The new UX is Lexus’ own seemingly convincing answer to the growing segment of luxury compact crossovers.
Yet another testimony to Japanese workmanship of the highest order, the UX – whose name describes the vehicle’s mission as Urban + X-over (crossover) – sports a fresh design, new engine and latest gadgets, offering the driver a good experience overall.
At the launch, Ebrahim K Kanoo, the sole distributor of Lexus vehicles in Bahrain, had filled the entire showroom with nothing but UX to avoid visitors getting distracted by its other models.
On first look, the sleek UX seems shorter in height than others in its category. At 60.6 inches, it’s, in fact, several inches shorter than a person of average height. Maybe the low centre of gravity is to give it a good grip on the road.
The extremely low centre of gravity coupled with a refined suspension tuning and placed on the new Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform – the first Lexus vehicle to be constructed on this platform – is said to provide the UX with exemplary handling agility.
Inescapably noticeable on the outside is the huge signature grille, prominent sculpted surfaces and dramatically flared front and rear fenders. In the rear end, the lights are full-width that project a distinctive night-time signature formed by a sequence of 120 LEDs.
The UX also introduces some world-firsts, such as wireless lighting for the airflow knob and a unique aero ventilation design, which was developed to reduce air turbulence over the wheel surface.
Underneath the hood, the UX 200 is fitted with a newly developed 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine, which produces 169 hp and 205 Nm of torque into a front-wheel drive configuration through a new 10-speed Direct Shift Continuously Variable Transmission (DCVT). The Drive Select controller with up to five modes allows the driver to tailor the driving experience.
Inside, the UX looks somewhat small and tight but it has a range of advanced features including a 10.25-inch multimedia display, 10.2-inch coloured and adjustable head-up display (HUD), 7-inch colour multi-information display (MID), wireless charging system for smartphones, and an analogue clock with GPS correction function.
Additional features include multi-adjustable power front seats, as well as 60:40 split folding rear seats with cup holders, and a hands-free power trunk with a kick motion sensor.
A Lexus-first in the new model is palm rest integrated audio control system, as well as Lexus’ advanced safety technology package, Lexus Safety System+.
Focussing on safety, the UX 2019 is fitted with the comprehensive Lexus Safety System+, an advanced safety technology package that includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with pedestrian detection, all-speed range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and adaptive high beam system (AHS).
Additional safety features include eight SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Panoramic View Monitor (PVM), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Parking Support Alert (PKSA), Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), Active Cornering Assist (ACA), and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), among many others.
The new UX model gets new wheel designs, incorporating a world-first aero ventilation design developed to reduce air turbulence over the wheel surface, an 18-inch wheel with run-flat tires designed for excellent handling stability, and an F SPORT exclusive 18-inch wheel.
The discerning buyer can choose from 13 distinctive exterior colours, with two exclusive colours for the F Sport version.
The UX starts at a little over BD15,000 ($39,682) for the lower trim and goes all the way to over BD18,000 for the top trim.
- By Abdulaziz Khattak
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