2019 Lexus UX Arrives With Available Hybrid

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

, Automotive Editor - March 8, 2018

Lexus continues to add versatility to its crossover lineup. Following closely behind the five-passenger version of the Lexus LX SUV and the three-row RX, the Japanese brand has taken the wraps off of its latest crossover at the Geneva Motor Show. The new machine is called the UX, it's tiny, and it will be available as a hybrid.

Unsurprisingly, the Lexus UX features the automaker's spindle grille. But in this application, it's been slightly downsized. Despite looking similar to the grille that's found on other vehicles from Lexus, it features a new block-shape mesh pattern that, according to the automaker, changes depending on the viewing angle. From the pictures, the pattern in the grille appears to go from small to large as your sight goes from the top to the bottom of the grille.

Another interesting aspect of the UX crossover are its taillights. The units share a lot of the same design elements as the UX Concept, including small fins that jut outward from the vehicle. It's not enough to mimic taillights from classic cars, but it's a unique design that brings some flair to the vehicle. The UX also wears 17- or 18-inch wheel designs.

Lexus hasn't made a lot of the interior specs of the UX available, but the automaker claims that from the driver's seat, the upper portion of the instrument panel seamlessly appears to extend into the hood. From the outside, the hood apparently blends directly into the instrument panel. While it all sounds nice, we'll have to wait to see the car in person to see if that's really the case.

The rest of the interior looks, well, like a Lexus. The instrument cluster looks like it has LFA-styled gauges, there appears to be a trackpad to the right of the gear shifter, and a prominent screen is perched atop of the dashboard. What we can't get our heads around are two knobs that sit right above the instrument panel on the dashboard. It will be interesting to see what those knobs control.

Underneath its stylish exterior, the UX utilizes the same underpinnings as the Toyota C-HR, although thankfully, the Lexus gets more than the C-HR's meager 144 horsepower.

Lexus UX

Two models will be available when the crossover goes on sale, the first of which is the UX 200. Powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four that generates 168 horsepower and works alongside a continuously variable transmission, like the C-HR, the UX 200 routes its power to the front wheels.

The UX 250h hybrid has the same 2.0-liter engine, but features an electric motor that's powered by a nickel metal-hybride battery pack. A second electric motor is located on the rear axle, giving the crossover an all-wheel-drive layout. Combined output for the UX 250h hybrid is rated at 176 hp.

The hybrid may not sound like anything out of the ordinary, but the crossover is Lexus' first hybrid to come with Predictive Efficient Drive, which studies the driver's behavior and the road conditions to optimize fuel consumption. Predictive Deceleration Support technology and Predictive State of Charge are other pieces of tech on the vehicle. The former analyzes and remembers when the car is likely to slow down or come to a stop and increases regenerative braking. Lexus isn't as clear on the latter, only claiming that it works when the car is traveling downhill or in traffic – we're betting it's some kind of energy recapturing tech.

Both the UX 200 and UX 250h hybrid can be spec'd with the F Sport package that includes unique springs and stabilizer bars, an exterior body kit, 18-inch alloy wheels, jet-black trim, sport seats, a F Sport steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. Consumers wanting something a little sportier can opt for the Adaptive Variable Suspension system and Active Sound Control that generates sounds to mimic the up shifts and down shifts of a regular automatic gearbox.

The UX family will go on sale later this December, with pricing set to be announced at a later date. With a length of 177 inches from front to back, the UX is marginally smaller than the NX, which measures in at 182 inches. Pricing, then, should undercut the NX's price tag of $36,980.

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website