Vice President of Lexus International and Chief Engineer of UX Chika Kako said, “We designed the UX to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”
Well, I accept that reasoning, but I also feel that there is a much wider range of folks who enjoy comfort, superb handling, power, and sophisticated technology; all adding up to fun performance on rural narrow roads.
In search of genealogical records, my wife JoAnn and I spent several days in Liberty, Mississippi and surrounding area. We were searching through old courthouse records and ancient cemeteries in hopes of piecing together a puzzle of ancestors that lived in the area from the early 1800s.
From our home in Dallas, Texas, we drove over 800 miles on the round-trip journey. We didn’t see many high rise buildings, fancy restaurants, or rush hour traffic, but did spend considerable time driving narrow backroads through daily rainstorms in our quest to uncover the past.
Folks were friendly and food was wonderful, but as kind as everyone was, the most talked about subject was not our family history. But rather, where did you get that car and can I drive it?
I like the exterior of the UX. From its smart size to its sharply sculpted lines, this accommodating compact crossover easily tread through crowded interstate traffic, narrow town streets, and lonely, winding, tree-lined country lanes.
Wherever we stopped, it was easy to park with its Best-in-Class 17.1-foot turning radius and specially tuned suspension, providing great turning performance as well as fitting into a tight space alongside narrow roads.
The UX body style offers a refreshing take on a crossover configuration. Triple-beam LED headlamps, integrated daytime running lights, and dynamic taillights make for distinct body styling.
The UX has a low, wide stance, and since it is extremely light weight with a rigid platform, it is able to perform engineering feats unmatched by competitors. High-strength aluminum throughout the vehicle coupled with a low center of gravity provide superb handling and make road navigation easier.
The UX 250h hybrid is powered by a hybrid system consisting of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a drive motor that delivers 181 total system horsepower through a CVT. The result is a fuel economy rating of 41-mpg city and 38-mpg highway for a 39-mpg combined average.
UX offers generous front seat roominess for head, legs and knees, but the back seat is a little tight for feet and knees. The hybrid model offers up 17.1 cubic feet of cargo space, while the gasoline models have 21.7 cubic feet. Together with 60/40 split fold-down rear seats and additional compartments, this vehicle’s utility is validated. A 110-volt wireless charger and four USB ports throughout the cabin keep everyone’s digital devices going.
The dash is designed with the concept of merging the inside with the outside, offering optimal visibility of the road ahead. It’s easy to monitor the dash features without taking eyes off the road.
The navigation system and the 10.3-inch color media display went perfectly well with the 10-way power driver’s seat. The screen was the clearest and had the craftiest enriched colors I have seen on any vehicle.
The 7-inch Multi-Information Display presents the driver with a wealth of available info, including audio, outside temperature, vehicle status, and clock.
Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 is the standard suite of safety technologies that protects the occupants from harm. It includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beam, and Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. It made an 800-plus mile trip assuring and satisfying, especially when road conditions were bad and visibility was marginal. It would be a perfect ensemble if Blind Spot Monitor is also included, although it is standard on the Luxury model. Backup Camera with Dynamic Gridlines is standard on all models.
Numerous features like Power Rear Door with Kick Sensor and Auto-Tilt Side Mirrors with reverse were most helpful. The latter makes a parking task more streamlined by automatically tilting the power side mirrors as soon as you put the vehicle in reverse.
The trip was made safer with less effort and fatigue because of the above mentioned features.
Now if I can just get a little more room in the front seats and soften the seat cushions a little more, then any drive would be perfect.
Manufacturer’s suggested Retail Price $39,200.
4-year/50,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
6-year/unlimited-mile Anti-Perforation Warranty
8-year/100,000-mile Hybrid System Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org.