Lexus revealed the 2019 UX compact luxury crossover at the Geneva auto show after showing a few teasers earlier this year. It rides on the company’s new GA-C (Global Architecture–Compact) platform and will offer both four-cylinder gas and hybrid versions.
The UX has a wheelbase of 103.9 inches and an overall length of 177 inches, which makes it a little smaller than the Porsche Macan. And plenty small, Lexus notes, to fit in compact parking spaces.
In front, we see the company’s spindle grille with L-shaped daytime running lights on either side and swoopy headlights. In the rear, the triangular taillights connect with a lightbar going across the middle. Like the new Mercedes C43, Lexus put engineering effort into reducing the drag of both the 17- and 18-inch wheels.
The interior takes cues from the recent LC500 sports coupe with a big, centered screen that displays gauges, which the driver can customize. At the top sit two knobs — one for traction control, the other changes drive modes. The infotainment screen sits back in the dash, and the center console features the love-it-or-hate-it touchpad controller. The seats are perforated leather.
If we couldn’t see the height of the greenhouse in the interior shots, the instrument panel could surely be confused for that of a new sporty two-door. The cabin comes with leather or washi trim, the latter of which was inspired by the Japanese paper found in traditional homes. The new air vents have a single point of control, which increases air flow, and each gets its own LED light, powered wirelessly through electromagnetic resonance.
The 2019 Lexus UX will come with Lexus Co Drive (featuring Lane Tracing Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control), Automatic High Beam/Adaptive High-beam System, and Road Sign Assist.
The UX200 comes with a 168-hp, direct-injection four and a new transmission called a Direct-Shift Continuously Variable Transmission. This DS-CVT takes the traditional CVT and adds gears that, Lexus claims, improve starting from a stop by “giving the UX a quicker, more linear acceleration feeling.”
The UX250h uses the next-generation Lexus hybrid drive — delivering 176 total system hp — which uses a new transaxle and power-control-unit that minimizes power loss from heat and friction. The hybrid also gets Lexus’ E-Four system, which puts an additional motor at the rear axle to add traction when needed.
Both will get Lexus Safety System Plus, which includes a precollision system that can recognize pedestrians at night, lane tracing assist and adaptive cruise control. They also come with adaptive high beams and road sign assist.
Either UX will be offered with F Sport tuning, which adds specific springs and stabilizer bars, rear dampers and the optional Adaptive Variable Suspension. The grille is lower and wider, and the interior takes cues from the fantastic LFA supercar with specific gauges and front sport seats.
The 2019 Lexus UX goes on sale in December; pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.