Lexus Australia will launch its first-ever compact crossover, the UX, later this month with pricing that starts at an ultra-keen $44,450, giving the Japanese luxury automaker a proper rival to European competitors like the Volvo XC40, BMW X1 and Audi Q2 at long last.

The UX range will open with the base UX 200 Luxury, which at $44,450 lobs in at $3.5K above the CT 200h Luxury hatchback and takes up position as Lexus Australia’s second-most affordable model.

The UX 200, powered by a 126kW/205Nm 2.0-litre petrol inline-four and driving the front wheels exclusively through a new CVT transmission (an engine/drivetrain combo borrowed from the Toyota Corolla), will be offered in three grades: base Luxury, and high-spec Sports Luxury or F Sport.

The F-Sport is technically the flagship, however at just a $450 premium over the Sports Luxury the price gap between those two is much less pronounced than the $8550 jump from Luxury to Sports Luxury. Instead, Lexus expects the two higher grades to be complimentary choices – more opulent and understated at the Sports Luxury level, and more extroverted and dynamic in F Sport guise.

The UX 250h follows the same variant structure, except with a 131kW 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain taking power to the front wheels and a $3500 premium over its petrol-only counterpart.

Those same hybrid mechanicals can also be had in all-wheel drive form with an electric motor under the boot driving the rear wheels, however that model is only available in Sports Luxury or F Sport trim and comes with an additional $4500 tacked onto the UX250h 2WD range’s price tags.

As for fuel consumption, the UX 200 range consumes a claimed 5.8 litres of 91RON on the combined cycle, while the hybrid UX 250h burns 4.5 L/100km in FWD form and 4.7 L/100km with the heavier AWD option.

Video: 2019 Lexus UX preview drive

LEXUS UX FEATURES

Lexus has adopted an equipment-rich strategy from the base model upward, with the Luxury grade boasting niceties like a 10.3-inch infotainment system with touchpad controller, integrated satellite-navigation, an eight-speaker audio system with digital radio, a 7.0-inch LCD instrument panel, leather-upholstered steering wheel, 17-inch alloys and heated wing mirrors. Decent, right?

Well the standard equipment list doesn’t stop there. There are LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, and LED fog lights, not to mention a power-adjustable steering column (something you don’t normally see at this end of the luxury market), an acoustically-insulated windscreen, active cruise control, roof rails, plus power-adjustable and heated front seats. Keep in mind we’re still discussing the base model UX 200 Luxury.

Provision for smartphone mirroring seems to be the only notable omission.

Standard safety equipment includes eight airbags, collision warning system, AEB with pedestrian detection, speed sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, reversing camera, parking sensors and rear-cross traffic alert.

The Sports Luxury grade adds leather upholstery, 18-inch alloys, ventilated (as well as heated) power-adjustable front seats, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, wireless phone charging, adaptive high-beam, power-operated tailgate and higher-grade cabin trim.

Meanwhile, the more athletic-looking F Sport receives unique bumper, grille and 18-inch wheel designs, along with adaptive dampers, a rear performance damper, five drive modes, sports seats, alloy pedals and a unique steering wheel treatment – but misses out on the Sports Luxury’s Mark Levinson audio.

Want even more? A range of enhancement packs are available that can add features like a moonroof or head-up display, or bring features like the Mark Levinson stereo into the F Sport, or add the power tailgate and wireless charger to the Luxury variant. See below for more details.

LEXUS UX PRICING

Available for order now, the UX 200 and UX 250h officially enter showrooms toward the end of this month with pricing as follows:

  • Lexus UX 200 Luxury - $44,450
  • Lexus UX 200 Sports Luxury - $53,000
  • Lexus UX 200 F Sport - $53,450
  • Lexus UX 250h Luxury - $47,950
  • Lexus UX 250h Sports Luxury - $56,500
  • Lexus UX 250h F Sport - $56,950
  • Lexus UX 250h AWD Sports Luxury - $61,000
  • Lexus UX 250h AWD F Sport - $61,450

LEXUS UX OPTIONS

Luxury:

  • Enhancement Pack 1 - $1550
    Adds power tailgate, wireless phone charger, alloy scuff plates, privacy glass, cornering lamps, headlight washer
  • Enhancement Pack 2 - $4050
    As per Enhancement Pack 1, with moonroof

F Sport:

  • Enhancement Pack 1 - $2500
    Adds moonroof
  • Enhancement Pack 2 - $5600
    Adds moonroof, head-up display, panoramic view monitor, smart key card, 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio

Sports Luxury:

  • Enhancement Pack - $3500
    Adds moonroof, head-up display, smart key card

Source: Whichcar

November 8, 2018