The 2019 Lexus UX is the smallest and cheapest Lexus you can buy, and the UX 250h hybrid model just barely misses out being the most fuel efficient. As an entry into the Lexus brand, this subcompact crossover is generally an impressive effort, embodying the design, quality, features and driving experience we've come to expect – albeit with understandable cutbacks made to achieve its lower price. However, the UX faces stiff competition. It has one of the smallest cabins in a segment not known for its spaciousness, and its Remote Touch tech interface constantly frustrates. And while fuel economy is exceptional for the segment, its acceleration is underwhelming regardless of whether you get the UX 250h or gas-only UX 200. Worse still, you can only get the latter with front-wheel drive. In other words, this is a car with distinct highs and lows. What's new for 2019? The Lexus UX is an all-new model for 2019. It is mechanically based on the same platform that underpins most new Toyota models such as the Toyota C-HR and Toyota Corolla, as well as the Lexus ES sedan. It slots into the bottom of the Lexus SUV lineup below the NX. What's the interior and in-car technology like? From the comfortable and supportive driver seat, the UX looks and feels like a proper Lexus. The design is consistent with, but, refreshingly, not a copy of other models. There are common details like the drive mode setting selectors that sprout from the instrument panel and the F-Sport's sliding gauge cluster within, while the available 10.25 infotainment display is perched atop a low, flat dash. The materials covering the dash and front doors are appropriate for this luxury price point and consistent with the ES 350, if not higher-priced Lexus models. By contrast, the hard plastic door panels in the rear are disappointingly more consistent with a Toyota Corolla. However, the UX features unique touches (we like the contrast-color dash and door trim available) and offers different controls than other Lexus models. The climate system is operated by unique toggle switches, while the air vents have little rotary controllers that look and feel better than those in a Lexus ES. Now, the UX has been afflicted by the same curse as its various siblings – the Remote Touch tech interface – and while it's still perpetually frustrating and distracting, there are some noteworthy advancements. First, Apple CarPlay is standard and with fewer icons on the screen to select, Remote Touch might actually work better with Apple's interface than it does with its own. Second, the UX groups controls for volume and tuning, plus menu shortcuts for radio and media, in the wrist-rest aft of the Remote Touch control pad. This keeps these commonly used items closer at hand – much as BMW's iDrive or Audi's previous MMI interface do – which is an improvement over other Lexus that place them up on the dash. Basically, your hand and eyes are moving less, which is good. …
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|MPG||29 City / 37 Hwy|
|Power||169 @ 6600 rpm|
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