2019 Lexus UX 200 Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

It’s quite clear the oh-so-fresh 2019 Lexus UX 200 was designed with young, first-time, luxury car buyers in mind. The name even suggests its nature, blending Urban and X-over (crossover) to come up with “UX”.


While technically a crossover, the nimble Lexus moved with car-like agility, making it a breeze to weave through a congested area like DC’s bustling U-Street corridor. Another bright spot was the UX 200’s leprechaun-like size, which made it easy to fit into the compact parking space I felt lucky to find in the fashionable neighborhood. As I exited the diminutive Lexus, its fiercely athletic look was lauded with compliments from a group of trendy urbanites heading into one of DC’s latest must-try restaurants.


Of course, I wasn’t surprised the crossover drew such positive reactions. It gave me the same impression the frst time I saw it “in the flesh”. The grille exuded an air of dominance, while the sculpted lines defining its flanks radiated modernity. The going away view was similarly pleasing.


The UX 200’s rakish interior was thought through just as intelligently. Granted, the inclusion of leatherette upholstery was an unexpected letdown, but the accompanying soft touch materials and rich-looking plastics kept the luxurious vibe alive. Even better, the UX 200’s sport seats hugged me in all the right places — especially on long drives.


Standard comfort and convenience features included a seven-inch touchscreen hosting satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a six-speaker audio system and three USB ports. Welcomed upgrades included a 10.25-inch display screen, navigation and an eight-speaker audio system. On the other hand, that pesky Lexus Remote Touch interface just refuses to go away. Requiring considerable practice to use without fumbling, hearts won’t be broken when it is finally laid to rest.


My UX 200 also featured the F SPORT package. This brought leather coverings for the shift knob and steering wheel — which also hosted paddle shifters. The main instrumentation panel was an eight-inch TFT color display. Rounding out the sporty appearance of the Lexus UX 200 F Sport was aluminum trim for the pedals, door threshold plates and footrest. Rain sensing windshield wipers, heated driver and front passenger seats and a sunroof were also present, courtesy of the UX 200’s Premium Package.


As for standard safety features, the baby Lexus SUV stood shoulder to shoulder with its larger siblings. Lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane trace assist, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams were all fitted and appreciated. You can add front and rear parking sensors, front and rear cross traffic alert and a head-up display as options,


Sadly though, despite the ferocity of its countenance, the UX 200’s meager 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, didn’t quite measure up to the look. On the other hand, riding on the F SPORT’s unique 18-inch, twin-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, the UX 200 was responsive to steering inputs, whether I was plying city streets in the District or keeping pace on the Beltway.


Still, my desires for added pace were sometimes frustrated by the engine’s conservative nature. With that said, switching the drive mode selector into the Sport mode did make things a tad zippier. EPA fuel economy ratings of  29 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway proved quite accurate.


Pricing for the 2019 Lexus UX 200 starts at $32,000.


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