While you drive a Lexus, you count on it to be one thing particular. One thing luxurious or sporty or quick, or all three.  What you don’t count on is a automotive or SUV that, apart from premium options, is just about atypical. 

That was my expertise driving the 2021 Lexus UX 200 F Sport, a compact crossover that, regardless of its load of know-how and luxury options, got here throughout as pretty mundane total.  The one factor that truly stood out was the firmer suspension and sharpened steering that got here with the F Sport bundle, which accentuated its dealing with.


First off, UX 200 is a decidedly unattractive alphanumeric title, sounding extra just like the designation for a Soviet-era military tank. The UX stands for City Explorer, in keeping with Lexus, which put that spin on this mannequin when it arrived for 2019 as a car seemingly designed for tackling the wilds of metropolis life.

Positive, it’s simple to park, particularly with the tech gear that basically parks it for you, however aside from that, the UX doesn’t appear any extra targeted on city exploring than every other compact crossover, of which there are numerous decisions on this red-hot section of the auto market.

The Lexus was my press automotive for Monterey Automotive Week, and whereas its snug seats, easy experience and superior audio system had been nicely appreciated, the UX didn’t impress as any form of top-drawer car from Toyota’s vaunted luxurious division.  From Lexus, I anticipated extra.


However don’t get me incorrect.  I didn’t dislike the Lexus UX.   I discovered it nice to drive with good controls that had been simple to make use of (principally) and well-adapted for what passes for city driving in Monterey, California. 

What I discovered most missing, although, was the drivetrain.  The engine, a 2.0-liter inline-4, was simply lower than snuff, with simply 169 horsepower delivered at a lofty 6,600 rpm, with an excessive amount of harshness because it climbed up the revs, unbefitting a Lexus.  The sparse 151 pound-feet of torque additionally took some revving, not hitting its max till 4,800 rpm. 

In different phrases, this Lexus is gradual.


Making issues worse is the constantly variable transmission, which regardless that it had the equal of 10 speeds when manually shifted (paddle shifters are included within the F Sport bundle), appeared lumpish and gradual to react.  Getting on the fuel for passing and hill climbing ran the engine as much as an disagreeable and unceasing roar. 

Then again, gas mileage is nice, estimated by the EPA at 29 metropolis, 37 freeway and 32 total.

The F Sport gear features a distinguished dial on the higher proper of the gauge cluster which shifted between Regular and Sport.  What I discovered was that the Regular setting was OK for cruising round, however when in visitors or anyplace that you just wished faster response, the Sport setting made an enormous distinction.  Nonetheless not quick however extra on the ball.


The check Lexus was a front-wheel-drive UX 200. A fuel/electrical hybrid mannequin is on the market, named UX 250h.

The daring “spindle grille” on the nostril of the UX 200 proclaims its Lexus lineage, and with the F Sport bundle, the grille will get a particular remedy in black and chrome, and an unique bumper with imbedded LED fog lights with L-shaped moldings. 

The styling with its multi-faceted creases and curves seemed attention-grabbing, and I significantly appreciated the perky little tailfins sticking up from the taillights. Lexus calls them Aero Stabilizing Blade Lights.   So be it.

The check UX was brightly painted in Ultrasonic Blue Mica, a gregarious shade that made the wagon look pleasant and enjoyable.  The paint was set off with the F Sport’s darkened trim items and 18-inch spoke alloy wheels.


Additionally a part of the F Sport bundle are actually glorious sport seats up entrance, which Lexus says are shaped from a “extremely supportive built-in foaming approach first developed for Lexus F fashions.” They are surely very good, trimmed in leather-based and designed in order that the motive force can stay in driving place whereas working the assorted controls.

Different F Sport options embrace a sport steering wheel with a perforated-leather rim, a leather-trimmed shifter knob, 8-inch shade video show, and aluminum pedals, door scuff plates and footrest.

The middle console of the Lexus is dominated by a touch-control much like that on a pc keyboard, which takes some getting used to however capabilities nicely sufficient as soon as it’s mastered.  I didn’t fairly grasp it in my quick time behind the wheel, however I bought pretty good at it, and I count on that in time, I’d have the ability to use it with out trying.

lexus, Driven: 2021 Lexus UX 200, a good little crossover but not a great one, ClassicCars.com Journal

Nonetheless, I would like to have the form of management knob that’s turn out to be a typical characteristic in well-equipped autos.  The touch-pad interface comes throughout as gimmicky and overly delicate.

And whereas the dashboard boasts a well-designed array of bodily switches for local weather management and such, too usually easy duties require a deep dive into varied video-display menus to perform.

Naturally, the Lexus was loaded with nearly each characteristic possible, together with a multi-media system with voice activation and Alexa compatibility, in addition to navigation with Dynamic Voice Command; optionally available head-up show; intuitive park help to assist ease right into a curbside house; a number of cameras and warning buzzers to maintain you on the straight and slim; and a great-sounding 8-speaker audio system.

lexus, Driven: 2021 Lexus UX 200, a good little crossover but not a great one, ClassicCars.com Journal

The inside is nice and comfortable, though perhaps too cozy with extra-high window sills that give the impression of sitting too far down.  Whereas cruising with the home windows lowered within the cool California climate, I discovered it inconceivable to relaxation my arm on the sill.  And I’m additional tall; a shorter driver would haven’t any likelihood.

There was one other clinker on the Lexus dashboard that bothered me.  Included within the middle array subsequent to the video display screen is a horny little analog clock, as befitting a premium car.  Nevertheless it comes throughout as a barely incongruous afterthought on this overtly high-tech array, and its location to the left of middle signifies that the motive force’s view of it’s partially blocked by the steering-wheel rim.

Total, the Lexus UX 200 was principally nice to drive, supremely snug and a superb companion throughout Monterey Automotive Week.  Not a nasty little SUV, simply not an amazing one, as one would possibly count on from Lexus.  And with a price ticket surpassing $42,000, one would possibly count on extra.

2021 Lexus UX 200 F Sport

Automobile kind: 5-passenger, 4-door crossover SUV, front-wheel drive

Base value: $34,900 Worth as examined: $42,250

Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4, 169 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm, 151 pound-feet of torque @ 4,800 rpm Transmission: “10-speed” constantly variable

Wheelbase: 103.9 inches Total size/width: 176.9 inches / 72.44 inches

Curb weight: 3,304 kilos

EPA mileage estimates: 29 metropolis / 37 freeway / 32 mixed

Assembled in: Miyawaka, Japan

For extra info, go to the Lexus web site

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