SLEEK, contemporary and indulgent. A modern interior and sharp, sexy lines means driving the 2019 Lexus UX 200 Sports Luxury might well make you feel like you are a better class of person.
And with an affordable price tag for a luxury vehicle, it’s worth a test drive at the very least. Actually it’s probably worth more than that. But what makes this compact Lexus SUV special is the way it makes you feel.
The way it provokes a luxurious calmness with a minimum of fuss. It’s the little details inside the cabin such as the centre console lid that opens in both directions, or the covered glass sunroof that add to a feeling of quality.
We get that they don’t seem like major features, but it’s a whole lot of little ‘nice touches’ that make the difference, as does the incredible ochre interior our test vehicle came with. Matched with black dash inserts, it has the look of serious luxury.
The hero for us was the leather appointed seats and the driving position. With an electric driver’s seat with position memory, heating and ventilation, it definitely provided a comfortable place to pilot the new baby Lexus from.
In true Lexus style, the full colour fireworks you get when you start up the UX 200, on the electronic dash, infotainment system and the heads-up display immediately grab your attention.
As is always the case with Lexus, the infotainment system is controlled by a touch pad because there’s no touchscreen, but there’s improvement here over previous incarnations and the new system is much easier to control.
While it does take you a little while to familiarise yourself with all of the available features, it is bundled with SatNav, DAB+ digital radio, phone controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the usual Bluetooth connectivity.
It took us a few goes to get the Bluetooth to behave but once we got there, it never missed a beat. The reversing camera offers good quality vision and the front camera provides an extra view for tight parking spots as well.
On board you’ll also find a premium 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with sub-woofer, and it is awesome. Sound quality is up there with the best we’ve experienced, and in a nice touch, there’s even a CD player.
Safety wise, the Lexus UX 200 Sports Luxury has all the fruit, including a driver assistance package with lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring, and a host of airbags. It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
On the outside, this thing is sleek, as we said, and for a compact SUV that goes head to head with the likes of the Mazda CX-3, it’s certainly got the looks. It even looks classy in the reflection of shop fronts as you drive by.
Our test vehicle was supplied in Sonic Quartz and no, it is not white. It has a beautiful quartz finish and glimmers in the sun. That shimmer doesn’t look half bad riding on 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/50 RF18 tyres front and rear.
It’s a smart look, and road noise is kept to a minimum as well. Lexus claim 5.8-litres/100km on fuel consumption but during our road test in varied conditions we could achieve no better than 6.6-litres/100km. Damned impressive fuel economy none the less.
Those numbers are thanks to the 126kW 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine under the hood, which offers three driving modes; Eco, Normal and Sport. Normal is definitely the solid performer for day to day driving, while Sport offers extra punch when needed.
The front wheel drive offers a good on-road feel, and the steering is light and effortless. We were impressed by the overall driving experience for what is a new space for Lexus to play in, with a host of tough rivals, including Toyota’s C-HR.
There are some faults though, and storage is one of them. While the electronic tailgate is a nice touch, there’s not much rear boot room. There’s also no door pockets in the back for bottles and rear seat passengers get only two centre console cup holders.
Just one seat pocket is on offer as well. There are split folding rear seats, which helps the cause should the need for room arise though. Rear leg and head room for adults is not brilliant either, but it’s a good space for kids.
Overall though, the 2019 Lexus UX 200 Sports Luxury is a quality compact SUV. It has all the character traits of a Lexus, and the starting price sits at $53,000 plus on roads.
Our test car came with the enhancement package, which delivers the sunroof we’ve already talked about, key-less card based entry, and the HUD. Positioned against luxury competitors like the BMW X2 and Audi Q2, the Lexus offers a genuine non-Euro option.
Our test vehicle was provided by Lexus Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Lexus UX 200 Sports Luxury, contact your local Lexus dealer.