Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lexus UX

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Lexus UX200
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter DIHC I-4 
  • TRANSMISSION: 10-speed CVT 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm/151 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 103.9 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 177.0 x 72.4 x 60.6 in 
  • TIRES: P225/50RF18 run flat 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 21.7 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 29 mpg city/37 mpg highway/32.4 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 12.4 gal. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: BW X1, Infiniti QX30, Mercedes-Benz GLA 
  • STICKER: $35,875 
  • BOTTOM LINE: As an upgraded version of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the Lexus UX200 is a good luxury entry level sport utility vehicle.

            Take the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback, throw in a couple of Lexus touches to dress it up and add a couple of grand to the sticker, and you have the Lexus UX200. A hybrid version, the UX250h is also available. I’m not a big fan of the name; it leads to so many bad variations, but other than that, this is a nice package. 
            Powered by the same 2.0-liter DOHC four as in the Corolla and several other Toyota vehicles, the UX has enough power with 169 horses. Yes, it makes noise on hard acceleration, but otherwise it’s fairly quiet. 
            An aside: Several years ago it seemed as if every manufacturer was using 3.0-liter V6 engines in their vehicles. With the move toward better economy, that trend has drifted down to 2.0-liter fours, and I’ve seen them all over the place. Economy has improved, and I haven’t suffered any by the slight reduction in power. 
            That said, the UX gave very good fuel economy. The UX will keep you from making too many visits to fuel pumps.
            I confess it was the controls that grabbed my initial attention. First, sticking out horizontally from the instrument pod are two knobs; traction control on the left and on the right to switch among sport, normal, and eco drive modes. Instruments consist of a large digital speedometer with a tachometer encircling it. Fuel and water gauges are on the right and economy on the left. The cluster is informative at a quick glance. In the center is a standard infotainment screen. HVAC controls arrayed in the middle of the center stack with heated seat controls below.
            The dash is nicely designed overall. However, a navy blue top just doesn’t go with the rest of the black and grey interior. Granted, there’s no reflection in the windshield, but it’s a bad choice of color, and we had several people comment on this. 
            Audio controls are unique and located on the center console in ideal reach of your (or the passenger’s) hand. Two turn wheels control tuning and volume/on-off. There are hidden pushbuttons on the left and right for radio and media sources. These are totally unique and so easy to use. The designers don’t sacrifice utility for uniqueness. In addition, there’s a “mouse pad” to navigate the infotainment screen.
            There’s a small but deep arm rest/console with a pair of USB outlets inside.
            As is to be expected from a compact vehicle, rear seats offer tight legroom. However, there’s a small center hump for middle passengers, and I noticed the seat belts are easy to connect. I recently was a rear passenger on a long ride and had difficulty connecting the seat belts. 
            The cargo area is good, and probably all you’d ever need. The rear seat backs fold easily to increase cargo capacity from the base 21.7 cubic feet.
            Except for the oddly colored dash, the Lexus UX200 is a nice entry level SUV.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

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