A closer look at the new small luxury crossover
Although the 2019 Lexus UX that made its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show isn’t as radical as the concept from the 2016 Paris auto show, there’s still a lot to say about it. From its new, efficient powertrain options to its suite of safety features and available F Sport model, here are eight cool facts about the 2019 Lexus UX.
New Engine Brings “Dynamic Force”
The 2019 Lexus UX will be the first model to utilize a new “Dynamic Force” 2.0-liter I-4 with a thermal efficiency of around 40 percent, meaning it will likely be one of the most efficient small luxury crossovers when it goes on sale in late 2018. With 168 hp on tap, the small Lexus isn’t especially powerful, but that’s to be expected for an entry-level model that will slot in below the NX.
Pick the Hybrid, Get More Grunt
Normally a hybrid model would be the efficiency option, but in the case of the 2019 Lexus UX, opting for the electrified variant gets you more power, too. At 176 hp combined, the UX 250h has 8 hp more than the gas-only UX 200, which we also hope brings better acceleration thanks to the electric motor’s instant torque.
The Platform is New, But…
The UX is underpinned by a new platform that Lexus calls GA-C, which stands for Global Architecture-Compact. Although the platform is new to Lexus, we’ve seen it before in the Toyota portfolio. GA-C is Lexus’ version of Toyota’s flexible TNGA platform, which is used in the Prius and C-HR crossover. Lexus claims GA-C offers excellent rigidity and contributes to the UX having the lowest center of gravity in its class.
It Only Sounds Like it Has Gears
Regardless of which variant you get, the 2019 Lexus UX will only come with a CVT. To make it sportier, the F Sport variant comes with Active Sound Control to mimic shifts and make it seem like the gearless transmission is changing cogs. In order to make the little crossover sound sportier, it also offers a Sonic Interaction Design system that adjusts the noise it makes when it’s in Sport S+ mode.
Electrified Four-Wheel Traction
Opting for the UX 250h not only gets you more power, it also gets you all-wheel drive as standard. However, unlike a conventional system where all four wheels get power from the engine, the UX 250h uses an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. At speeds of up to 43 mph (69 km/h), the hybrid system can send around 80 percent of its power to the rear wheels when it detects the rear wheels slipping.
Active Safety Features Abound
As part of Toyota and Lexus’ commitment to safety, the Lexus Safety System+ suite comes standard on the 2019 UX lineup. This suite bundles together forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection that also works at night, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning. Should you want more driver assist features, the 2019 UX will be available with the Lexus Co Drive option, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane tracing assist, adaptive high beams, and road sign assist.
Sporty Looks Come With a Sportier Suspension
When you opt for the F Sport trim with either engine, you’ll get specially tuned springs, stabilizer bars, and performance-oriented dampers to make your UX even more agile. An available adaptive variable suspension has been tuned specifically for the UX for even better ride and handling. Opting for the adaptive variable suspension gets you the Sport S+ mode added to the drive mode selector to sharpen the crossover’s reflexes even more.
Hypermiling is Encouraged
Buyers who opt for the UX 250h will get a new system Lexus calls Predictive Efficient Drive that analyzes driving habits and road and traffic conditions to optimize battery charge and discharge. The system gathers more data the longer you’re on the road to help you drive more efficiently. In addition, Predictive Deceleration Support uses the information gathered to anticipate the places where you’re likely to slow down or stop and increases regenerative braking to improve energy recovery and battery recharging.