REVIEW – LEXUS UX 200 – GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY
A Lexus for less than 40 grand.
Since the CT went out of production, the UX 250h is the cheapest Lexus you can get. But now you can drive a Lexus for even less money. There is in fact a new basic version of the UX: the UX 200. A Lexus for less than 40 grand, is that what?
Review Lexus UX 200
Since its introduction in the Netherlands, the Lexus UX has only been supplied as a hybrid UX 250h , but you can now also opt for a variant with only a petrol engine: the UX 200. It saves five euros, but the UX is now actually there for less than 40 grand. For the thicker dressed Preference Line version that we drive, you obviously do not pay the entry price of 39,995 euros, but 42,745 euros. For comparison, you can drive the hybrid UX 250h from 44,645 euros.
Despite its lower starting price, the UX 200 is still a true premium crossover. It will compete with other luxury SUVs in the C-segment, such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40.
- Lexus UX 200 – 174 hp – 39,995 euros
- Lexus UX 250h – 184 hp – 43,395 euros
- Mercedes-Benz GLA – 136 hp – 49,881 euros
- Volvo XC40 T2 – 129 hp – 40,995 euros
- BMW X1 sDrive 18i – 140 hp – 45,044 euros
- Audi Q3 35 TFSI – 150 hp – 49,196 euros
On paper, the UX 200 is a great deal. In fact, a top deal. The UX has significantly more horses under the hood compared to the competing models and at a significantly lower price. Only the Volvo XC40 T2 comes close with its price. You drive that from just under 41 mille, but has only 129 hp. It stands 1 – 0 for Lexus for now. But money is not everything of course, what about the UX 200?
It also stands out in terms of looks. Thanks to its striking design, the Japanese SUV manages to stand out from the crowd. The Lexus Spindle grille and a striking light bar, which consists of 120 LEDs and runs the entire width of the car, are some notable elements. But also think of the robust plastic protection around the wheel arches. That is only there for decoration, because the UX – like many other crossovers – has too little ground clearance to occasionally dive into the woods or a mud puddle.
In the interior we cannot quickly discover where costs have been saved. Everything we touch feels soft and is firmly put together. In that regard, it is just a typical Lexus interior, full of high-quality materials. Only when we get behind the wheel do we notice that we are missing some things, which you normally expect in a Lexus.
For example, the seats are not electrically adjustable and there is no wireless phone charger. A navigation system is also missing and we have to operate the tailgate by hand, just like the seats. Small things, which are fine to live with if you ask us. Of course, a car without a navigation system is unthinkable these days, but thanks to Apple Carplay and Android Auto you can simply show Google Maps on the infotainment screen. We also regularly do this in cars that are five times as expensive as the UX 200.
There are also quite a few nice things available. The UX 200 may be the entry-level model, but it remains a Lexus. So you get a reversing camera – with a somewhat grainy image, but still – keyless entry, lane assistant and adaptive cruise control. Especially those last two things make life in the UX very pleasant.
The car can drive semi-autonomously. On the highway you are less tense behind the wheel, because the car takes a number of tasks off your hands. The car itself arranges that it stays neatly within the lines and at a distance from the vehicle in front, without you having to use the gas or brake pedal yourself. The Preference Line that we drive is also equipped with parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert and a blind spot monitor system.
The infotainment system in the UX is now a bit behind, whether you go for the basic version or not. Especially the service feels a bit old-fashioned. You don’t operate the infotainment screen with your fingers, but via a touchpad. One that you also have on your laptop. Nowadays, however, you are used to operating everything via a touchscreen. Whether it’s your phone or the screen at McDonalds where you place your order. The UX is fine to live with, but we miss the ease of use of a touchscreen. We also know that Lexus has a great touchscreen infotainment system, because it’s in the updated NX .
The UX 200 is the only Lexus you can get without an ‘h’ at the end of the model name. So there is no hybrid system. The powertrain consists of a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 173 hp and 205 Nm. The power difference with the UX 250h is small, which has a system power of 184 hp. You don’t seem to miss the immediately available torque of the electric motor of the 250h – on paper. The 0-100 sprint is in the UX 200 in 8.9 seconds, just 0.4 seconds slower than in the UX 250h. The top speed is 190 km/h.
You don’t buy a Lexus because you love traffic light sprints, but the UX 200 is well ahead thanks to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder. You will never run out of power and, moreover, the center of gravity is low. Its driving characteristics are therefore excellent. We won’t call it sporty, because it isn’t overly smooth, but in the corners it feels more compact than it is. Switching yourself is not possible, because a model without an automatic transmission, Lexus is even going too far.
Consumption Lexus UX 200
The consumption is also striking: the UX 200 is surprisingly economical. On the highway we are without too much effort on a consumption of 1 to 18. Not bad for an SUV with a hefty 2.0-litre petrol engine without electrical assistance. As soon as you leave the highway and enter the city, consumption shoots up. If you buy a UX – for whatever reason – as a car for the city, then it is better to go for the UX 250h. Thanks to its hybrid powertrain, it shines in the city, because acceleration is often electric.
Lexus offers a very interesting version with the UX 200. The car doesn’t feel like a ‘cheap’ base trim, replete with hard plastic and unused switches. Okay, you do have to shift your seat by hand and the tailgate doesn’t open electrically, but it does. In short: in this segment you can not get more value for money around this price than with Lexus.
Of course, not everyone will be enthusiastic about the striking design of the UX and the operation of the infotainment system will also be a reason for some to look further. You do not have to leave it alone for its performance, because only Audi comes close with the 150 hp strong entry-level Q3. But it is immediately 10,000 euros more expensive. You therefore wonder why you see so little UX on the road…