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MSRP: $32,150 - 37,350

2019 Lexus UX Review

The all-new 2019 Lexus UX has a stylish interior along with an excellent predicted reliability rating. However, its less athletic than many rivals, and its infotainment system can be confusing. As a result, the UX ranks in the bottom half of the luxury subcompact SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Good gas mileage
  • Smooth ride
  • Stylish interior
  • Uninspiring engine
  • Frustrating infotainment system

Is the Lexus UX a Good SUV?

The Lexus UX is merely an OK luxury subcompact SUV. It gets great fuel economy and delivers a smooth, easygoing ride. It's jampacked with standard driver assistance features as well. On the other hand, the UX is not that fun to drive because of its weak acceleration and uninspiring handling. Additionally, most competitors have infotainment systems that are more user-friendly.

Should I Buy the Lexus UX?

One of the main reasons to consider buying the UX is its low starting price for the class. It's a better choice than rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLA. However, it doesn't hurt to explore your options, so check out the Jaguar E-Pace if you're looking for a more engaging drive.

Compare the UX, GLA, and E-Pace »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus UX?

Since it's brand-new for the 2019 model year, used UX models will be hard to come by.

We Did the Research for You: 8 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

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U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lexus UX Cost?

The new-for-2019 UX carries a base price of $32,150, which is on the low end for this class. Higher trims start at $34,150 and $37,350. 

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

Lexus UX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or Jaguar E-Pace?

The Jaguar E-Pace features two engine options that are much stronger than the UX's engine, though they are less fuel-efficient. The E-Pace comes standard with all-wheel drive and is more fun to drive than the UX, though both SUVs deliver a smooth ride. The UX looks more stylish inside, but the E-Pace provides more cargo space and has a better infotainment system. The UX ranks higher overall because of its excellent predicted reliability rating. 

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or Mercedes-Benz GLA?

The Mercedes-Benz GLA features an upscale interior and an easy-to-use infotainment system, though it doesn't have as much cargo space as the UX. The GLA feels sportier and offers multiple engine options, all of which are more powerful than the UX's engine. However, the Lexus gets better fuel economy and provides a smoother ride. Throw in an excellent predicted reliability rating, and the UX is likely to be the better choice for most buyers. 

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or Lexus NX?

The Lexus NX is like the UX's big brother (really, it's the middle sibling between the UX and the Lexus RX). These two are similar in terms of their standard and available features, interior quality, and infotainment systems. The NX's rear seats are a bit bigger, as is the cargo area. The NX also has a more powerful engine, but the UX gets better gas mileage and delivers a smoother ride. Ultimately, the better choice here comes down to the NX's power and space versus the UX's efficiency and lower price.

Compare the UX, E-Pace, and GLA »

UX Interior

How Many People Does the UX Seat?

This SUV seats five people and comes with leatherette upholstery. Both rows provide plenty of headroom, and even though the rear seats are on the small side, you can fit four adults in the UX without much trouble.

UX and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the UX. The middle seat can borrow lower anchors from either side. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the highest rating of Good for overall ease of use. All of the anchors are easy to find and connect child car seats with. 

UX Interior Quality

Inside, the all-new UX cuts a stylish figure, but the quality of the materials has its high and low points. It seems like everything is soft-touch at first, but look closer, and you'll find some low-rent materials.

UX Cargo Space

This Lexus SUV gives you just under 22 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That's enough room for a weekend's worth of luggage or some outdoor gear, but the high cargo floor and slope of the roof and hatch make it tough to load heavy and bulky items.

UX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The UX comes standard with an infotainment system that includes a 7-inch display screen, the Lexus Remote Touch interface, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and three USB ports. Available features include an upgraded infotainment system with a 10.25-inch display screen, navigation, and an eight-speaker audio system.

Good luck using this infotainment interface. There's a learning curve to master the menu layouts, and the Remote Touch controller is more difficult to use than most rivals' control mechanisms. Additionally, not all of the controls are logically arranged.

Read more about interior »

UX Performance

UX Engine: Prepare to Be Unimpressed

This Lexus tends to meander on the road. Its 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine lacks the power and acceleration of many rivals' engines, and it never feels fast. Make sure you have plenty of room before passing other cars.

UX Gas Mileage: A Real Fuel Sipper

The 2019 Lexus UX crossover gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. That makes it more fuel-efficient than almost every competitor.

UX Ride and Handling: Lots to Like

The UX provides a smooth ride quality and composed handling, making it a relaxing vehicle for everyday driving. It may not be agile as some class rivals, but we suspect most drivers will find it perfectly fine.

Read more about performance »

UX Reliability

Is the Lexus UX Reliable?

The Lexus UX earns an excellent 4.5 out of five predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Lexus UX Warranty

Lexus covers the UX 200 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

UX Safety

UX Crash Test Results

The Lexus UX earned the best rating of Good in all six crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It also received a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

UX Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane trace assist, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. Available features include a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, and front and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

Which Lexus UX Model Is Right for Me?

The Lexus UX comes in only one trim (the UX 200), and it carries a starting price of $32,150. It features a 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a CVT (automatic transmission), and front-wheel drive. It comes with leatherette upholstery and an infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen, the Lexus Remote Touch interface, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and three USB ports.

There are also plenty of standard active safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane trace assist, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

Available features include a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, front and rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 10.25-inch display screen, navigation, and an eight-speaker audio system. You can also add an F Sport package that includes revised springs, stabilizer bars, and different wheels.

Lexus makes a UX Hybrid (known as the UX 250h), which we cover in a separate review.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

See 2019 Lexus UX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Lexus UX is an all-new model, and it earns a spot in the middle of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings. The UX provides a smooth, comfortable ride, and it's one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class, but it trails the competition in other areas, including engine power. It deserves a look from anyone shopping for a small luxury crossover, but you'll probably want to check out a few rivals as well.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Lexus took a little longer than others to make a subcompact luxury SUV, but the UX proves to be a worthy addition to the Japanese automaker's stable. We suspect it will find a ready audience. As a de facto replacement for the luxury automaker's formerly least-expensive car, the Lexus CT 200h that went out of production last year, the UX brings more of what today's buyer's want: the higher seating position and practicality of an SUV, … the latest safety systems, and technology. … We enjoyed our first sample of these pre-production versions of the Lexus UX." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • It's easy to write off the Lexus UX; its mostly forgettable driving experience and not-for-everyone styling are tough to get excited about when there are many interesting options in this crowded segment. On the other hand, the UX arguably offers a better value-for-money equation than its rivals, with all the technology and style some customers are looking for in what may be their first luxury car. For that reason, it's bound to be a hit with shoppers." -- CNET
  • "Unfortunately, one of the main elements of the Lexus UX's UI, the infotainment touchpad, has a lousy user experience. Naming the vehicle thus is a little like if VW had called its last Jetta TDI the Black Cloud Edition. It's a shame because otherwise this new entry-level crossover has a lot going for it." -- Motor Trend

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: September 27, 2019

Climbing Demand: The brand new Lexus UX has been steadily climbing the competitive luxury subcompact SUV sales charts ever since it was introduced in late 2018. It’s already in the middle of the pack and has passed the BMW X1 and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. However, it’s still far from the top, as class sales-leaders like the Volvo XC40 and Mercedes-Benz GLA are outselling the UX by around 10 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

Research more buying advice »
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