2019 Lexus UX 200 Review
2019 Lexus UX 200 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Dan spent many years covering the go-fast, look-good, get-loud corners of the automotive universe. First, he served as editor of enthusiast magazines AutoSound and Honda Tuning, then as executive editor at SEMA News, the publishing arm of the trade group that produces the annual SEMA Show (yes, that show). As a contributor to Edmunds, he now likes to keep the volume low and the speed limit legal, providing expert car-shopping advice to drivers looking for the perfect match.
- High fuel economy
- Lots of standard and optional safety tech
- Maneuverable around town thanks to small dimensions
- Infotainment interface can be difficult to use
- Small rear cargo space with high liftover height
- Less powerful than some competitors
- All-wheel drive isn't available
- The 2019 Lexus UX 200 is an all-new model
Survey the automotive landscape and you'll see several examples of just how big luxury SUVs can get. Whether it's a Cadillac Escalade or a Lincoln Navigator, there's no shortage of behemoth people-movers on the road. But several automakers are also moving in the other direction, and the latest extra-small arrival is the 2019 Lexus UX 200.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Lexus UX 200 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$150/mo for UX 200 Base
UX 200 Base
Avg. Compact SUV
Just how small can an SUV get while still providing the plush appointments that buyers expect of luxury brands? Pretty small, as it turns out. BMW and Mercedes have found success by shrinking their larger family-size SUVs into what are essentially tall hatchbacks. With the UX, Lexus takes a similar approach, distilling some of the blissful comforts of its RX and NX models into a classy subcompact crossover. It also happens to be the most affordable way to get into the Lexus brand.
Because of its modest 169-horsepower engine, the UX falls short of most of its competitors in terms of acceleration. But the upside is better fuel economy. Where rival mini-SUVs from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti achieve roughly 26-27 mpg combined, the Lexus returns 33 mpg combined, according to EPA estimates. There's also a hybrid model, the UX 250h, that achieves 39 mpg combined.
Inside, the UX impresses with a classic Lexus formula of understated style and lots of standard features. But this is also where you'll find most of the UX's drawbacks. The infotainment system isn't particularly easy to use, and the cargo area is small. There's also evidence of cost-cutting, with some of the interior surfaces and materials feeling more Toyota Corolla than Lexus SUV. Overall, however, we think the new Lexus UX 200 is worth a look for anyone seeking a sharp-looking ride in a pint-size package.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.1 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Lexus UX 200 Luxury (2.0L inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).
|Overall||7.1 / 10|
The UX 200 is relatively zippy and playful and is ideally suited as a city runabout. But compared to most rivals in the class, the overall experience is less dynamic. In particular, its measured acceleration and braking performance are well behind competitors.
In the Normal drive mode, the UX feels a bit lethargic when you press on the gas. But switch to Sport and it's much livelier. While outright acceleration is undeniably slow — in our testing, the UX 200 needed 8.9 seconds to get to 60 mph — the car feels responsive. Power builds through the rev range and doesn't plateau early.
Brake feel is reassuring and the response is linear, which helps make the UX easy to drive. Emergency braking performance is lacking, however. We measured a stopping distance of 129 feet from 60 mph, which is longer than average for this class of vehicle. There are some unsettling noises and shakes coming from the ABS under max braking effort, too.
There's good on-center feel, and steering resistance builds quickly, which makes the UX feel a bit more substantial. There's not much in terms of road feedback, but steering is precise and easy to judge.
If you don't take it too seriously, the UX 200 is surprisingly playful around town. You'll feel confident going around smooth and sweeping turns, such as freeway on-ramps. But drive more aggressively or hit a midcorner bump and the UX's body becomes unsettled. For its intended mission, the Lexus handles adequately.
We appreciate that Lexus didn't add in simulated gear-shift changes (which add unnecessary choppiness to some CVT automatics) in auto mode. In certain circumstances, there's a small delay in power delivery during the handoff from the fixed-ratio first gear to the CVT automatic. But otherwise the transmission is agreeable.
Sadly, the smallest Lexus crossover doesn't go big on the Lexus comfort we expect. The front seats aren't particularly luxurious, and somehow the ride feels more brittle than what you get from some small sedans. It's acceptable, but comfort levels that would have economy customers smiling are unlikely to put a grin on a luxury shopper's face.
The front seats are a comfortable place to spend time thanks to pleasantly supportive cushions, but the seatback's distinct contour won't please every back. The headrests also lean forward a little aggressively. Shorter drivers will be able to raise them out of the way, but taller drivers may be bothered.
The UX deserves a more refined ride quality. The suspension smooths out sharp edges, but it still transmits too much of the road surface into the cabin. At the same time, the suspension isn't firm enough to be intentionally sporty. It's a rather mediocre middle ground.
Noise & vibration6.0
The UX doesn't do the best job of isolating you from traffic noise. And in our test UX 200, distinct wind noise came from around the doors. Depending on the road surface, there's also noticeable road and tire noise. Overall, it's below par for the class and cheapens the cabin experience.
Heating and cooling are strong. The heated and ventilated seats aren't the most powerful, but they get the job done. We appreciate that all climate controls have physical buttons, but the toggle-switch design isn't the friendliest.
The interior is attractively designed, even if the controls are a bit confusing to use at times. There's also more interior space than you'd think, at least up front. Rear legroom, however, consistently aligns with the expectations of buying a little SUV — it's tight.
Ease of use6.0
There are physical buttons for most controls, but the layout is a bit consternating. The handful of media buttons near the shifter is certainly easy to reach, but they take some getting used to. As in other Lexus models, operating the infotainment touchpad controller adds frustration to simple tasks.
Getting in/getting out7.0
The short doors open wide, providing suitable access. And the front seats are at an appropriate height, facilitating sliding in and out. But access isn't as smooth for rear passengers. The rear door opening into the footwell is rather narrow, so getting your feet in and out of the back requires some maneuvering. Taller passengers will have to duck in and out of the back seat.
The high beltline makes you feel as if you're sitting quite low in the car, which is unbecoming in an SUV. You can raise the seat higher, but then you may find the gauge cluster and wheel to be awkwardly low. The steering column lacks sufficient range of motion to accommodate a variety of natural seating positions.
This vehicle is small, even compared to other subcompact SUVs. Front accommodations are a bit narrow, and your knees may meet the dash if you have to move the seats forward to make room for rear passengers. Rear passengers get generous toe room, but legroom is lacking. The only significant positive is a good amount of headroom for front and rear passengers.
Thick roof pillars all around create blind spots despite the helpful front pillar corner windows. The rear view is partially obstructed if the rear headrests are up. The backup camera is helpful, but the display is a bit small and not the greatest quality. Blind-spot monitoring unfortunately isn't standard equipment.
Quality is where the UX 200 excels. There are a lot of soft-touch materials, and (especially with the Luxury package) the upholstery is soft and pleasing. Every surface seems to have some sort of texturing, which adds depth and visual interest to the cabin. Even though there's a lot of plastic, texturing and coloring make the interior look distinctly upscale. The doors feel light when closing them, which evokes thoughts of an economy car.
The UX 200 offers a reasonable amount of storage space for an extra-small SUV, but it's a far cry from the current class leader, the BMW X1. The lack of small-item storage is particularly frustrating.
The door pockets are quite small but can hold 12-ounce water bottles. You get anti-tip cupholders and a modestly sized console box under the armrest. A small shelf in front of the shifter provides just enough room for a phone. Overall, there's a lack of options to organize your small items.
Cargo space is acceptable at 21.7 cubic feet, but that's about it. The load floor isn't particularly wide, and the liftover point is a bit high. The rear seats fold down but not enough to create a completely flat load floor. Overall, the UX 200 isn't as practical as some other competitors.
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
LATCH points are clearly marked and easy to access thanks to large plastic sleeves with doors that pop on and off. Bulky rear-facing car seats may have issues clearing the front seatbacks when being installed or removed. They'll also interfere with front seat travel.
Apple CarPlay has finally arrived, but otherwise the crisp-looking technology is somewhat cumbersome to interact with, and the profusion of buttons across various surfaces doesn't always help matters. If you want the latest and greatest tech in your pint-size luxury SUV, the UX isn't going to wow you. It does, however, have an excellent optional stereo.
Audio & navigation7.5
As usual, Lexus makes a nice stereo. The upgraded eight-speaker system in our test UX provided strong and accurate sound. The infotainment system display looks nice, and it's not difficult to figure out how to do things, but the touch interface adds a layer of frustration to every interaction. The built-in nav isn't as fully featured or easy to use as some competitors, but it is easy to read and follow.
Front passengers get two USB ports and an auxiliary jack, along with a standard 110-volt outlet, while rear passengers get two USB charging ports. Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging pad are both available. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have some integrated features, and they let you replace some key fob functions with your smart device. Sadly, Android Auto isn't offered.
The driver aids are functional, but they aren't quite up to par with other Lexus offerings or the rest of the class. The UX has a small camera display and twitchy reactions from the adaptive cruise. Blind-spot monitoring should be standard, considering the car's price and visibility issues, but it is not.
It can be hard to tell if the voice system is rigorously regimented or just prone to misunderstanding. The best results come from following the on-screen guide step by step, although that takes more time and is just as distracting as performing tasks by hand.
Which UX 200 does Edmunds recommend?
Picking a UX 200 largely comes down to which features you want. We'd go with base UX 200. Look to get the Premium package as it offers some appealing creature comforts and tasteful interior materials, such as the Japanese fabric-paper panel motifs. Also consider getting the related UX 250h hybrid as it has a little more power, better fuel economy and all-wheel drive.
2019 Lexus UX 200 models
The 2019 Lexus UX is a five-passenger SUV that comes in base, Luxury and F Sport trim levels. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (169 hp, 151 pound-feet of torque) that sends power to the front wheels only through a continuously variable automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on the UX 250h hybrid (reviewed separately) only.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, heated side mirrors, proximity entry and push-button start, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated-leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.
Technology highlights include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an infotainment system with 7-inch touchscreen display, smartphone app-based navigation, onboard Wi-Fi, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, six-speaker audio system and satellite radio.
In addition to standard safety features, the UX 200 also includes the Lexus Safety System 2.0, which encompasses driver assistance features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, road sign recognition, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect emergency services.
Optional for the base UX is the Premium package. It adds heated and ventilated front seats, a sunroof, automatic wipers and washi interior trim, inspired by Japanese fabric paper.
Opt for the Luxury trim and you get all of the Premium package's features along with sound-damping front side windows, auto-dimming side mirrors, a hands-free liftgate, driver-seat memory functions, blind-spot monitoring, a navigation system, a 10.3-inch central display, and an eight-speaker sound system.
The F Sport trim is more of a performance package than trim level (although Lexus classifies it as the latter) and includes unique 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED foglights, an augmented engine sound generator, steering wheel paddle shifters, sport front seats, and an upgraded digital gauge cluster.
Several stand-alone options allow you to season the UX further to taste. They include upgraded triple-beam LED headlights, a sunroof, a windshield wiper de-icer, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a heated steering wheel. Tech upgrades include parking sensors with low-speed auto braking, a head-up display and a wireless phone charger.
Jump to:Related 2019 UX 200 articles
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
A great value
2019 Lexus UX 200 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
We traded in a 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn for a 2019 Lexus UX 200 with Premium Package in Eminent White Pearl with Birch interior. At the time of this review, I have driven this car for 850 miles. The UX is the cheapest way to get into the Lexus brand via a new car. The window sticker for our car was $36,718 and it comes with plenty of features that make up for a great … value: Moonroof, auto dimming inner rearview mirror with compass and homelink, rain sensing wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, power rear hatch door with kick sensor, blind spot, full safety suite with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking, parking assist (sensors in the front and back of car), pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and road sign assist (the car has a camera that will recognize speed limit, yield, do not enter, stop, and a few other signs and display them in the instrument cluster). I think the key is to keep this car under $40k and not get it fully loaded. We decided against the F Sport package as well as the upgraded 10 inch screen. If you’re considering this car, you’ve likely read and watched some video reviews already and you might be concerned about the power and if it’s adequate. I’m finding this car to be plenty powerful around town, and I’m coming from a VW GTI which is much quicker. While this car is slower, it does not feel as slow as some people are making it out to be. Put the car in Sport mode and you have plenty of power to accelerate around town and on the freeway. Our other vehicle is a 2018 Lexus RX450h F Sport. I’m surprised how many features this UX has that either carry over from the current gen RX or are even better. For example, the RX has a heated steering wheel but it’s only an on/off button, whereas the UX has an auto feature and two stages (high and low). You also have the new Lexus Concierge which turns both front seats and the steering wheel on “Auto” and all three will adjust to the climate control. Of course, you also get Apple CarPlay which the majority of the Lexus lineup still doesn’t have. Another thing that I was surprised to learn was that the UX offers a black headliner with certain interior colors — even without having to opt for the F Sport package. This is something I always prefer to have in a car, and it’s nice to not need the F Sport package just to get it. Speaking of the interior, we had a tough time deciding between the black interior vs. birch interior. We ended up with birch which is a very, very light gray (almost looks white). Most people were advising against it in favor of maintenance, but we took the risk and are so happy with the decision (so far). The black is just too dark, especially on the doors where nothing seems to break up the design other than the door handle. With birch, you get a little more contrast. The seats are extremely comfortable and the car glides like butter. You don’t feel like you’re driving the “cheap” Lexus. It’s actually very smooth, quiet, refined, and more fun in Sport mode than I would have thought. The back seat is pretty small, but you can still fit adults back there as long as all passengers aren’t 6+ ft tall. Here are my gripes: (1) We’re not quite getting the 33 combined MPG. I’ll continue to monitor and update this review as time goes on though. (2) There’s a lack of storage throughout. No sunglass holder, side pockets in front doors are small and they don’t exist in the rear doors. But that’s about it so far. We love everything else. Do yourself a favor and consider this vehicle! You get so much for your money, including Lexus reliability and an impressive warranty. **UPDATE March 2020 (1 yr later)** We're still loving our UX! It has been reliable the entire time. We now have 15k miles on the car and have only gone to the dealer for 5k, 10k, 15k services. At the 10k service we mentioned a slight rattle in the front passenger door when playing music. The dealer was able to fix it with some insulation of some sort. No other issues to date! We continue to enjoy the smooth ride. The birch interior has also held up really well. It doesn't show any dirt, which is surprising given it's near-white color! **UPDATE Sept 2020 (18 months after purchase)** We are still enjoying this car! We're at just under 20k miles. Recently brought it to the dealer because of a rough shifting from 1st gear to CVT. The master tech performed a software update and checked some other items and it's much better, but still not perfect. I can live with it though. Putting it in Sport mode gets rid of the issue completely. We also had them lubricate the center armrest lid because it started to squeak when opening and closing. It's back to normal now. Looking forward to bringing the car on a road trip in a couple weeks. Last time, we got over 40 mpg on average while in Eco mode averaging about 68 MPH.
5 out of 5 stars
So What’s Not to Like
Steven Moore, 01/26/2019
2019 Lexus UX 200 F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
I traded in a ‘16 RX350 for this ‘19 UX 200. Believe it or not this car is even more refined and immensely more satisfying. I could not believe how extremely quiet and isolated the smaller SUV has become. It absolutely turns on a dime. It is tremendously responsive in every detail from breaking to steering to every input you can conceive. The updated electronics are amazing. The … screens are so much brighter than prior Lexus’s with pinpoint detail and super high resolution. The graphics are lightning quick and now up to date, even futuristic. The car has a low center of gravity and the F sport model gives a firm turn with a Lexus cush. I am 6’2” and headroom is not a question. My bright red F Sort model with roof rails was a mostly loaded model and stickered at $40,393 lacking the head up display and the memory seating as well as the triple beam headlights but included every other option. Fill-ups are $19 for the 12.4 gallon tank and the mileage is true at 32 city. I even get 42 highway when they publish the expected mpg at 39. I get a new car every 20 months or so and I have not loved a car this much in a long time...actually ever. My recent prior autos: 2016 LEXUS RX350 GREAT; 2015 BMW X3 DISLIKED; 2015 MERCEDES GLK HATED; 2015 HONDA CIVIC LOVED; 2014 ACURA TLX DISLIKED;
5 out of 5 stars
Great Lexus Value
David D., 04/13/2019
2019 Lexus UX 200 F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
I just leased this car, and love the flexibility. Currently, I also drive the LC500, and needed a more flexible car, with additional space for extra passengers, and to do shopping for larger items. I have had 8 Lexus' since 2001. I love this car. The size is perfect, the look is sporty, interior is not as expensive as my other Lexus', but I really needed a daily driver, to go to work … and leave it parked in the parking lot. I will drive my LC500 for the flash, power, performance, and attention.
5 out of 5 stars
Replaces Mazda CX5 with Lexus UX200 - Happy!
2019 Lexus UX 200 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
I was looking for a Car from a Premium brand that I would use for regular commute mostly in the City of LA. For the price, fuel economy, reliability, resale and safety - Lexus UX200 was a GREAT buy for me. I looked at X1, Q3 and GLA, they all have certain things (like rear space for passengers in X1 and the cargo space etc.,) going better compared to Lexus whereas certain other things … (fuel economy, base price, reliability etc.,) not so great. I got the base version with some extras like Sunroof, Power rear door, Rear view mirror with compass and Homelink etc., Overall, for what I was looking for as a new entrant into the Luxury car segment, driving the car in Los Angeles for commute, this worked out so well for me. I kept my Mazda CX-5 for 6 years before selling it now. I hope I keep this Lexus UX200 longer with almost no expenses for any big maintenance.
2019 UX 200 Highlights
|Combined MPG||33 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$150/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the UX 200 models:
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Monitors lane markings, warns you if you are drifting, and can even help steer the vehicle back into the lane of travel.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Helps drivers maintain a preset distance by adjusting the vehicle's speed in relation to the vehicle directly ahead.
- Intelligent High Beam
- Switches between high and low beams automatically by using cues from a camera that helps detect when other vehicles are present.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover14%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood