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2019 Lexus UX 250h AWD Test Drive

“2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport AWD”
A Compact Luxury Hybrid Crossover

OVERVIEW

Lexus has added a compact luxury hybrid crossover to its already diverse SUV lineup in the form of the 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport. Yes folks, there’s yet another acronym to add to the vehicle inventory. The UX moniker stands for “Urban Crossover”.

The 5-passenger UX is actually available in two configurations – the 2.0-liter gasoline FWD model UX 200 And the hybrid version UX 250h, which adds AWD, more power and increased fuel efficiency for only $2,000 more. Both come with the Lexus Safety System+2.0 – a suite of driver assist features.

AERODYNAMIC EXTERIOR STYLING

The 2019 UX is the first Lexus to be constructed on the new Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform. It consists of a lightweight yet exceptionally rigid structure with a very low center of gravity and refined suspension tuning that provides the UX with outstanding handling agility and ride comfort, as well as a distinctive driving personality.

Leading off with the signature grille that shares its basic form with other Lexus models, is actually unique to the UX, featuring a new block-shape mesh pattern with individual elements that gradually change shape as they radiate out from the central Lexus logo. The headlight design completes the face of the UX. LED_ daytime running lights arranged in an arrowhead motif above the headlights complement the Lexus L-shaped lighting signature. These appear like brows above the standard single-projector dual-beam LED headlights or the optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units.

The full-width rear lights project a distinctive nighttime signature formed by a sequence of 120 LEDs tapering toward the center, measuring just 1/8” _thin at its narrowest point. The vehicle’s basic form flows outward from the lines of the grille to envelop the cabin.

Prominent, crisp, sculpted surfaces and pronounced flared front and rear fenders depict a robust persona, while the aerodynamic profile, with large wheels pushed out to the corners, and a strong front fascia create an agile, sporty stance.

The wheel arch moldings that protect the body from flying gravel from the tires using airflow over their edges, reducing turbulence and lift contributing to vehicle stability. A similar contribution is made by the rear combination lamps.

Using aluminum for the side doors, fenders and hood and composite materials for the tailgate, the UX has among the lowest center of gravity of any vehicle in its class at 23.4 inches.

LUXURIOUS INTERIOR STYLING

The cabin of the UX puts the “UX” back in “Luxury” and was designed to instill the aura of a luxury sedan albeit with an elevated seating position and increased functionality and versatility of a crossover.

A traditional Japanese concept called engawa, creates an effect where the upper section of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield into the fenders, providing the driver with an excellent field of vision and a feeling of the vehicle’s dimensions and tire placement.

Ingress and egress of the UX is made easier through optimal placement of the hip-point and unique shaping of the seat cushions.

The UX offers 8-way power adjustable front seats, with adjustable lumbar support for the driver as well as manual forward/backward adjustment for the headrests. Front seat cushions use springs and foam specially designed for comfort and support.

The leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel and analog clock come from the Lexus LS and Lexus Climate Concierge, as used in other Lexus models, automatically links heating and cooling airflow with the heated and ventilated seats optimizing interior temperature comfort. Lexus Remote Touch Interface with haptic feedback controls are intuitive and displays are clearly legible.

Connectivity and infotainment features abound in the UX 250h and are state-of-the-art.

NEW GENERATION LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE POWERTRAIN

The 2019 UX 250h with its new-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain. delivers 181 total system horsepower. It is the fuel-efficient leader with the best MPG of any CUV and SUV without a plug in the U.S. market.

The hybrid system combines the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine found in the UX 200 but adds two electric motor/generators in a new-generation hybrid transaxle that is more compact, lighter and has less internal friction than previous Lexus hybrid systems. Compared to similarly sized Lexus hybrids, the power control unit of the UX is more powerful yet 20% smaller and 10% lighter. Motive force is transferred to the driving wheels via a Sequential Shift feature that delivers responsive engine braking force in 10 steps with a shift feel similar to a manual transmission, using either steering wheel paddle shift switches or the “S” position on the shift lever.

F SPORT PERFORMANCE

The F SPORT Performance Package provides exclusive F SPORT suspension tuning that includes revised springs and stabilizer bars for a tighter ride quality.

18-inch, five twin-spoke aluminum alloy wheels unique to the F SPORT are more rigid than standard UX wheels – a contribution to responsiveness and handling agility.

The F SPORT transformation, along with the unique grille design includes an exclusive F SPORT front bumper featuring large LED fog lamp bezels with L-shaped chrome moldings, cornering lamps and the same mesh pattern as the grille. A revised rear bumper and jet-black trim on the front and rear moldings complete the F SPORT look.

The UX 250h Hybrid is equipped with Lexus Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to tailor the driving experience by selecting from three different drive modes. Normal mode provides an optimal balance between driving performance and fuel efficiency; ECO mode maximizes fuel savings across all driving conditions by smoothing the throttle response, and by moderating air conditioning operation; Sport Mode delivers quicker throttle response and increased power steering feel.

AS TESTED

My test Lexus UX 250h came with the F Sport Package. The base sticker read $36,000., while the final tally rose to $42,785. After factoring in the impressive inventory of optional features, which included driver assistance programs, connectivity and infotainment, as well as the delivery, processing and handling fee. The exterior was sprayed in Ultrasonic Blue Mica, while the interior was done in Gray tones. Infotainment features include Apple CarPlay smartphone projection, but not Android Auto. A Wi-Fi hotspot is standard, with 4GB of free data for the first year.

THE FINAL ANALYSIS

With its low center of gravity and a heavy battery pack, the UX 250h feels stable when cornering, with minimal body lean or roll.
In an urban environment, the suspension is somewhat harsh over rough road surfaces, but not unduly so. The brakes are effective but can feel grabby, due to the regenerative braking system.

All-wheel drive is standard in every UX 250h, courtesy of a small, 7-horsepower electric motor integrated into the rear axle, which only works up to 43 mph. Above that, power is only delivered to the front wheels.

The Lexus UX 250h F-Sport AWD provides an excellent entry into the realm of Lexus luxury motoring.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Lexus UX 250h F-Sport AWD

Base Price: $36,000.
Price as Tested: $42,785. * Before applicable tax rebates

Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve Atkinson cycle four-cylinder hybrid engine w/ VVT-iE & VVT-I , electronic direct fuel injection plus two front permanent magnet electric motors and a rear induction motor.

Lexus Hybrid Drive System Total System horsepower: = 181 @ 6,000 rpm Hybrid Battery Pack: Nickel-metal hydride – 180 cells- 216 V/ power=24kW

Transmission: Two motor-generator hybrid transmission with planetary power-split device. 10 stage CVT w/ overdrive and paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Front engine/electric motor front and rear- AWD

Suspension: Front -Independent MacPherson strut.
Rear -Independent Multi-Link with trailing arms.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, BA, ESC and regenerative braking.

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza 225/50 RF18 95V mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels Machine face outer and painted inners.

Wheelbase: 103.9 inches
Length Overall: 177.0 inches
Width: 72.4 inches – w/o mirrors
Height: 60.6 inches
Curb Weight: 3,605 lbs.
Turning Circle: 43.2 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 41 mpg city /38-mpg highway –Range=400+ miles
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: 8.6 seconds – Top track speed =110 mph

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Published on: March 19, 2020

Filled Under: Automotive Content Experience, Automotive Reviews, Cars, Crossover, Hybrid, Lexus, SUV

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