Dubai International Finance Centre was witness to the unveiling of the brand-new Lexus UX last weekend. The name “UX” is short for Urban Crossover.
Lexus hitherto had no offering in the premium compact to midsize crossover segment. All that is set to change with the arrival of the UX urban crossover. Lexus’s smallest offering in the high-riding vehicle space was the NX until now. From the looks of it, the UX will slot below the NX when it comes to dimensions and pricing.
Lexus calls the UX as a ‘creative urban explorer’, clearly aiming the crossover at youthful customers. Indeed, the UX does look fresh and funky without coming off as too loud. Its design can be credited to Chika Kako who is Lexus’s first female chief engineer. The crossover gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a 10-speed CVT gearbox with a low centre of gravity. Lexus claims the lowest-in-class COG helps the UX drive more like a saloon than a high-riding vehicle. This is also the first Lexus to feature the company’s all-new GA-C (Global Architecture – Compact) platform.
The fresh design is carried forward in the interior department too. The company has thrown all modern gimmickry and technology at the crossover. You can pair your smartphone to the car and access its various functions through the centrally mounted touchscreen. The seats get sporty upholstery finished in twin tones.
As with all Lexus models, the UX will get an ‘F’ badge that will denote its performance aspirations. There is also a hybrid version on offer, as well as a performance hybrid. All the trims generate 168hp out of the motor, while the hybrid versions are good for 176hp. F Sport models will bring their own set of performance suspension and stabilizer bars as well as rear performance dampers.
The 2019 Lexus UX will go on sale early next year. The firm’s current smallest SUV offering, the NX, is priced at AED 175,000 for the base trim. Expect the UX to sit below the NX with a price tag of around AED 150,000.