Photos Courtesy of Lexus
In some social circles, there’s a proportional relationship between price tags and hipness. But if you want hipness without the high price tag, the brand-new Lexus UX 200 should be appealing.
This littlest and—shush!—least expensive Lexus offers much of the brand’s upscale goodness, including a handsomely designed interior with quality materials in all the right places. The roster of advanced safety and convenience features is extensive.
One of the car’s most notable shortcomings, however, is its center-console-mounted touchpad, which is used to select items on the seven-inch screen above the dash; the touchpad can be frustrating in everyday use as it makes even simple actions distracting. In addition, the UX’s compact dimensions mean adults will find the rear seat cramped; cargo space is limited, too.
On the road, the Luxury trim level front-wheel-drive UX 200 we tested delivered perfectly adequate, if somewhat uninspiring, performance from a 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at a healthy 29 miles-per-gallon city and 37 miles-per-gallon highway. (An available all-wheel-drive hybrid version, the UX 200h, ups those numbers to 43/41.) Handling feels nimble, if not exactly sporty.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to own a hip and happening ride.
- Lowest-priced Lexus
- Above-average fuel economy, especially hybrid model
- Long list of advanced safety features standard
- Cabin not quite as Lexus-quiet as expected
- Infotainment system touchpad controls not intuitive
- Back seat not adult-friendly
An upscale subcompact hatchback that should score points with the in crowd
Base Price: $32,000
As Tested: $39,615
NHTSA: Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5); Front: 4 Stars; Side: 5 Stars
IIHS: Small Overlap Front/Moderate Overlap Front: Good (highest rating); Side: Good
29/37 (UX 200)
43/41 (UX 200h hybrid)
Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto); wireless cell phone charging
Cadillac XT4; Infiniti QX30
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 edition of AAA World.