Lexus UX

Lexus' latest crossover is designed to tackle a major customer segment: younger, city-dwelling buyers. And not just any younger customer either. They're hoping the UX will be their first luxury automobile and if that's the case, they're going to have deliver quite the package. Young or not, the UX definitely delivers a luxurious experience at a reasonable price point while offering something that's compelling in design and rich in features.

At the base level trim, the UX 200 offers plenty of standard equipment that includes everything from CarPlay to Alexa compatibility and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also start, open, and lock the car from a smartphone, smartwatch, or via virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. On the options front, you'll have access to things like premium audio systems with bamboo charcoal speaker diaphragms that help enhance the midrange, color head up displays, wireless chargers, and parking assist systems. 

Our favorite trim is the UX F Sport, which ups the design ante with a more aggressive look that complements the strong lines of the UX with a bolder front end that features an F Sport mesh grille. It also receives a tuned suspension, bolstered seats, paddle shifters, 18-inch wheels, and digital gauges with a moving dial. The F Sport package is offered in the standard front-wheel drive trim with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine and the top-of-the-line 250h hybrid that also has an all-wheel-drive system.

On the performance front, you're not going to achieve blistering speed, but that's not the point of the UX. What you will get is a comfortable and nimble ride with an impressive 17.1-foot turning radius that is more than ideal for city driving and beyond. When it comes to fuel efficiency, you'll achieve 33 MPG combined with the base UX 200 and 39 MPG combined with the hybrid UX 250h models.

For a car that's supposed to be their entry-level model, the sharp lines and design details create a distinctive look that definitely stands on its own when compared to other cars in its segment. A couple of details that stood out to us were the aerodynamic taillamps, which take 120 LEDs and combines them into a continuous line of light and smooth interior elements that are designed to echo the soft grain of Japanese paper.

At $32,000, the Lexus UX is now their most affordable model in the lineup and we think it'll be an interesting and compelling value for potential buyers. The company has offered a smart selection of standard features for the tech-savvy customer as well as a strong set of options for a crossover that offers a good balance of practicality, luxury, and the reliability you would expect from Lexus. Whether the UX resonates with their targeted market remains to be seen, but we have a good feeling it's going to do pretty well across the board.

From $32,000, lexus.com

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