2019 Lexus UX: Exquisitely Urban

by Kristin Shaw

2019 Lexus UX w me 2 sm.png

Urban Excellence: Lexus UX

How often do you think about a turning radius? Maybe not until you really need to make a tight turn. And that happens, more often than not, in the city. Lexus just launched their first compact crossover called the UX, their “Urban Explorer” design. The UX is built on a platform designed for younger urban dwellers, and with all of the luxury you would expect in a Lexus.

Photo: Lexus

Photo: Lexus

Urban art + philanthrophy + Lexus = a brilliant way to launch this new model

But before I tell you more about the vehicle, I want you to know about a special art installation Lexus commissioned for the reveal. In collaboration with non-profit organization RxArt, Lexus brought art to the New York International Auto Show Press Days; afterward, the urban landscape installation was repurposed at the Hassenfield Children’s Hospital at NYU Lagone.

Artist Daniel Heidkamp produced the art series, which is modeled on the colorful skyline of New York City. The spirit of his work follows RxArt’s mission is to help children heal through the power of visual art.

Who’s a Good Match for a UX?

Photo: Lexus

Photo: Lexus

Whether you’re single and living in the city or you’re a parent living in the suburbs and looking for a great first car for your teenager, this compact SUV is a strong choice because of its versatility. It does appeal to the younger market - that is to say, younger than I am, at 47. The choices of trims and styles and colors; and the fact that it’s a Lexus, known for luxury, means that it is a vehicle for a wide variety of people.

If front-wheel drive and a traditional engine powered by fuel is what you need, then you’ll be more interested in the UX 200. If your terrain demands all-wheel drive and you’re up for a hybrid engine with two electric motors, then it’s the UX 250h you want. And if you decide to take it up a notch on the sporty side, opt for the F Sport package on either powertrain. This includes a sportier suspension and more rigid wheels. The F Sport looks a little faster, too, with a distinctive set of bumpers and grille.

The 2019 Lexus UX is offered in 12 exterior colors; two of those colors, Ultra White and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0, are exclusive to the F Sport. Also, two new colors were developed for the UX line: Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. (Totally unrelated side note, for your entertainment: I once worked for a Japanese CEO named Nori Goto. I wrote all of his general speeches, and once impressed him by pulling out my college Japanese lessons and wrote his name in kanji. Nori, for example, is のり).

Photo: Lexus (Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0)

Photo: Lexus (Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0)


Predictive Efficient Drive on the UX 250h

Direct from Lexus: The UX 250h is the first Lexus to offer Predictive Efficient Drive, which analyzes driving habits along with road and traffic conditions to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. One element of the Predictive Efficient Drive system is Predictive Deceleration Support, which uses accumulated knowledge about a driver’s behavior to predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. For example, when the UX approaches a location where the driver has slowed or stopped in the past, and the driver releases the accelerator pedal, Predictive Deceleration Support increases regenerative braking, allowing more efficient energy recovery and recharging of the hybrid battery.

Photo: Kristin Shaw

Photo: Kristin Shaw

Here’s the skinny on the Lexus UX:

  1. Lexus calls the UX 250h “The most fuel-efficient crossover on the market without a plug”.

  2. The super-rigid structure and low center of gravity deliver excellent handling and ride comfort.

  3. Yakima partnered with Lexus to offer roof-mounted accessories for the UX.

  4. The driver’s seat was redesigned to help reduce driver fatigue, specifically by improving the pelvis angle. Also, the cushion pad was increased to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.

  5. Available: a Power Back Door with Kick Sensor which can open and close the back door with a quick kick under the rear bumper and smart key in close proximity.

  6. The unique tail lights are formed by 120 LEDs, tapering towards the center. This creates a cool signaling light signature, and also helps aerodynamic stability by reducing the rear corner air pressure.)

  7. The engineering team worked hard to reduce drag and turbulence under the UX, which reduces noise vibration.

  8. Apple CarPlay is standard on all models. Drivers and passengers can access Apple Music, maps, make phone calls, and send and receive messages through the multimedia display or with voice control through Siri.

  9. Starting in the first quarter of 2019, Lexus Complete Lease will be available. The program will offer two-year leases with a 20,000-mile limit for one fixed price tag that includes the lease payment, car insurance and maintenance coverage. It's reportedly similar to the Care By Volvo subscription. The Complete Lease program will launch in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami, though Lexus may consider expanding it to other cities at a later date.

  10. Starting price: $32K for the 200 and $34K for the 250h, with an upgrade to the F Sport for $2K.

Music for the road in your UX

Because Lexus is so cool, they even created a Spotify playlist for us for their Seattle launch. Check it out here and rock out with some of the best grunge bands from the 1990s.

Photo: Lexus

Photo: Lexus

Photo: Kristin Shaw

Photo: Kristin Shaw


Kristin Shaw