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2019 Lexus UX Review

2019 Lexus UX Review

The 2019 Lexus UX is a completely brand-new model on a new platform. To Lexus, UX means “Urban Crossover”, highlighting that it is an SUV specifically built for driving around cities and towns. The new UX brings a brand-new take on the entry Lexus that many buyers will find a breadth of fresh air. Having an ‘X’ on the end also makes it apart of Lexus’s current SUV family i.e. the popular NX and the even larger RX and RXL.

The UX will compete against premium family SUV’s like the Volvo XC40 and BMW X1, plus hybrid rivals like the KIA Niro and MINI Countrymen SE.

Read on to find out what you can expect from the all-new Lexus UX that goes on sale in March 2019.

How does the Lexus UX look from the outside?

Outside, the UX has a really prominent spindle grille that looks similar to an hour-glass, including sharp, muscular lines all across its exterior and lightning-bolt LED headlights that immediately stand out. However, the most noticeable feature is undoubtedly the UX’s rear lights that stretches right across the width of the boot lid.

An optional F Sport is also available upon launch, which includes a body kit with new front and rear bumpers and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as fog lamps, badges and its own mesh grille.

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Read more: Rivervale Reviews 2018 Lexus NX300h

Loads of new tech

The UX gets a 7.0-inch or 10.25-inch infotainment system (depending on specification) with a big speedometer and ancillary gauges, as well as a touchpad to operate it; on the F Sport, the cluster can go up to 8.0-inches. It also comes equipped as standard with advanced second-generation Lexus Safety System+. This includes: Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist, Automatic High Beam (AHB)/Adaptive High Beam System (AHS), Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) Day and Night-Road Sign Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), which recognises road signs.

As far as innovative tech goes, the UX gets a Panoramic View Monitor that combines a collection of images from four individual cameras to provide drivers with an amazing 360 degree birds-eye view of the car and its surroundings via the infotainment display. Drivers will also be able to charge their mobile devices through a Qi-compatible wireless charger. Yes, that means you won’t have to worry about cables getting in the way, all you have to do is place your device on the charger.

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Japanese-built, inspired by European design

Inside, the UX sits noticeably lower and narrower to the ground than its rivals. While it might not sit quite as high as other SUVs/Crossovers, it still has a decent driving position, with clear visibility and lots of adjustability for drivers to get comfortable. One of UX’s main goals is to be a sporty crossover that drives like a hatch. However, after sitting inside one, I definitely think it is more of a crossover than an SUV.

As for the rest of the interior, it is typical Lexus. The UX designers took inspiration from Japanese Engawa architecture which is based on seamlessly merging the interior with the exterior, allowing for a more emotional bond between the driver and the car.

This is most noticeable in the driver’s seat where the instrument panel appears to continue through the windscreen into the bonnet. This allows the driver to have a better sense of the size of the car which, coupled with fantastic front visibility, makes it easier to drive through cities. The UX also gets ‘Takumi’-crafted ‘sashiko’ leather upholstery, a traditional Japanese stitching technique (see below).

In terms of layout and space in the front seat, the UX is great. There’s more headroom in the front seat, thanks to the low-set seats. Indeed, a very good implementation by Lexus.

Now moving towards the back seat, there is a decent amount of space for passengers to feel comfortable and at ease. There is also a small transmission tunnel so sitting in the middle seat isn’t too cramped either. However, there isn’t quite as much room as there is in the front seat, and windows don’t let through a great deal of light which makes the UX seem smaller than it actually is.

The boot space was rather small compared to some of its rivals like the BMW X1. Interestingly, Lexus would like to lower the boot floor in future, as they did with the front seats, to give buyers more space underneath. However, you can lower the rear seats if you want some more space.

Trim Levels

The 2019 Lexus UX comes available in three trim levels, although only the UX Hybrid (known as the UX 250h) will be sold in the UK: Base, F Sport and Luxury. Standard features by each trim level can be seen in the table below:

Manual front head restraints Heated door mirrors 3 point rear center seatbelt
Front ventilated disc brakes Power door mirrors Curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbag
Knee airbag Turn signal indicator mirrors 18” wheels
Height adjustable front seatbelts Power liftgate Alloy wheels
Security system Real-time weather display Wheel locks
Traction control Enform Wi-Fi internet access Power steering
Immobilizer Wireless phone connectivity Speed-sensing steering
Brake assist Primary monitor touchscreen Real time weather display
Steering wheel mounted audio controls Steering-wheel mounted audio controls SiriusXM AM/FM/Satellite with seek-scan, single in-dash CD player
Primary monitor touchscreen   Integrated roof antenna
Smart device integration   6 speakers
Voice activated radio    
Speed-sensitive volume    
6 speakers    

Rivervale’s Verdict

There’s plenty to admire about the Lexus UX. If you want a modern stylish crossover car that is cheap to run, easy to drive and has an abundance of space in the front and rear seats, along with the latest infotainment technology, then this could be the car for you!

What are your thoughts of the 2019 Lexus UX?

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