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MSRP: $32,150 - 37,350

2019 Lexus UX Review

The 2019 Lexus UX is an all-new model. It's smooth and stylish, but it has some tech issues, and many rivals are more powerful and more fun to drive. That's why the UX debuts in the middle of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings.

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 a pretty good SUV. It's maneuverable, it rides smoothly, and it gets great fuel economy estimates. The seats are comfortable, and there are plenty of standard driver assistance features. But there are some drawbacks as well. The engine feels weak at times, and many rivals are more fun to drive. Additionally, most competitors have more user-friendly infotainment systems.

Should I Buy the Lexus UX?

The UX crossover makes a decent value pick in this class because of its low price. It never hurts to explore your options, however, so you should at least consider alternatives like the Jaguar E-Pace and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Compare the UX, E-Pace, and GLA »

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.

Why You Can Trust Us

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 $32,000. That's on the low end for this class. Because there's only one trim, a fully loaded UX doesn't cost as much as most fully loaded class rivals.

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. While there are some things to like about the UX, the E-Pace is better overall.

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. The Lexus gets better fuel economy and provides a smoother ride, however. These two are neck-and-neck in our class rankings, and the better choice comes down to your personal preference.

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or Lexus NX?

The Lexus NX is like the UX's big brother (really, it's like the middle sibling between the UX and the RX). These two are similar in terms of interior quality, but the NX's rear seats are a bit bigger. The NX has the more powerful engine, but the UX gets better gas mileage and delivers a smoother ride. With so many similarities, the better choice here comes down to the NX's power and space versus the UX's refinement and efficiency.

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.

UX Interior Quality

Inside, the all-new UX cuts a stylish figure, but the materials quality 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

According to Lexus estimates, the UX crossover will earn 33 mpg city/highway combined. That makes it more fuel-efficient than almost every competitor. For comparison, the Jaguar E-Pace and Mercedes GLA earn 24 and 27 mpg combined, respectively.

UX Ride and Handling: Lots to Like

Whether you want a smooth ride or poised handling, the UX delivers. However, despite its composure and high maneuverability, this Lexus isn't as fun to drive as some class rivals.

Read more about performance »

UX Reliability

Is the Lexus UX Reliable?

The Lexus UX does not yet have a 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 has not yet been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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 $32,000. 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 a 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 look at 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
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