Despite the popularity of luxury cars, some models aren’t actually the best value for the price. Lexus’s vehicles were already more affordable than their rivals but now have several new standard safety features. Even newer models, like the Lexus UX, got some much-needed upgrades.
The Lexus UX, the automaker’s debut subcompact SUV, has already proven itself to be a safe luxury car. The 2020 model got perfect scores on all IIHS-conducted crash tests, as well as a five-star rating from the NHTSA. Is the 2021 Lexus UX just as safe as its predecessor?
Safety enhancements for 2021
Every 2021 Lexus UX now comes equipped with monitoring for rear cross-traffic and blind spots. Already standard were lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition. It also boasted a high predicted reliability score of 4.5 out of 5.0 from J.D. Power.
Higher trims have some extra safety features, like adaptive headlights, parking sensors, and even automatic parking. You can also get a head-up display, which helps drivers pay more attention to the road ahead. The 2021 Lexus UX has already received another five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.
Other new features
The Black Line Limited Edition package is now offered on the Lexus UX, which adds black highlights to its exterior, according to Motor1. A new bright blue paint color, as well as blue interior accents, are also optional for this package. However, it’s only available for the 250h, the hybrid version of the Lexus UX.
The 250h Hybrid model also received a new cargo organizer for the latest model year. The UX Hybrid’s trunk is slightly compromised by the rear-mounted battery, so this should help drivers better utilize the space. Not to leave out the gas-operated UX owners, Lexus also retuned the car’s engine to be more responsive.
What stays the same for the Lexus UX?
The Lexus UX still has only one engine option, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a CVT, which usually provides accurate shifts. However, the engine is also known for struggling to accelerate, particularly on the highway.
Hopefully, the adjustments made to the 2021 model’s engine should fix these issues. The Lexus UX Hybrid has the same engine and transmission but makes a little more horsepower thanks to the battery packs. It also has much better gas mileage, estimated at 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on highways.
Both the regular Lexus UX and its hybrid counterpart aren’t particularly favored in terms of interior quality. While the materials may look upscale, a trained eye can tell what’s imitation or not. This is somewhat expected considering the UX’s entry-level price, but some shoppers might want to pay extra for the real deal.
The seats are made with synthetic leather and offer plenty of support during long trips. The infotainment system has a sufficient array of features, but using it can be a headache. It has no touchscreen, meaning it can only be operated with a trackpad controller.
How much does the 2021 Lexus UX cost?
The 2021 Lexus UX is now on sale, with the base model retailing for nearly $34,000. The UX 250h Hybrid costs just over $36,000, making it the cheapest luxury SUV hybrid available. Drivers interested in the Black Line Hybrid will have to wait until next spring.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the Black Line Edition of the hybrid model. No matter which version you buy, you’ll have the peace of mind that it’s safer than ever.