The small luxury SUV class is growing and understandably so. Small SUVs are trendy, easier to park, and generally more fuel-efficient. But really, a small SUV is the same thing as a crossover. One of the newest entries to the small SUV class is the Lexus UX. It’s charming and sporty, but some enthusiasts question how luxurious the model is. Take a look and see if the UX lives up to your standards.
Performance and capability
The main draw to luxury models is the promise of an elevated driving experience and superior handling. With that being said, the UX offers a smooth and pleasant ride, but it’s not as dynamic as we would have hoped. Rivals like the Audi Q3 are far more forceful.
The UX features two powertrain options: a traditional gas-powered engine or the hybrid option. More specifically, the traditional gas engine on the base UX 200 model is a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes a 169-horsepower. The hybrid model, dubbed the UX 250h, has a turbocharged four-cylinder and two electric motors which generate a 181 hp. This option is duller than the traditional gas-driven UX. Rear-wheel-drive comes standard on the UX and all-wheel drive is only available on the hybrid version.
What the UX lacks in driving dynamics, it more than makes up for in fuel efficiency. The UX 200 gets a combined 32 mpg and the UX 250h gets up to 42 mpg overall. Both of these ratings are exceptional for the small luxury SUV class.
Inside the UX
On the inside, the UX is pretty attractive but doesn’t look as fancy as other family members. The UX comes with synthetic leather that does look nice, but the mix of materials cheapens the overall feel. You do have the option to upgrade with flashier finishings if you would like. Generally speaking, the UX is comfortable to ride in but the rear seat is tight.
When it comes to infotainment offerings, the UX offers a lot of features we desire but it can be difficult to access them. On the plus side, standard features include a 7-inch display screen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wifi hotspot.
The downside is that the Lexus Remote Touch Interface is aggravating. It’s almost like operating an older computer so you’ll definitely want to take the time to get used to it. Otherwise, you can still access many of the features without using the touch interface.
The UX has earned top safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To help prevent accidents, the UX comes standard with advanced safety features such as forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and lane departure warning.
The final verdict
Overall, the UX is a comfortable ride that’s pleasant and fuel-efficient. The in-car electronic features are also very desirable even though using them can take some getting used to. It’s not the most luxurious option in its class but with a starting price of $32,300, we’d say its a good entry-level luxury model.