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In the now crowded world of compact crossovers, the Lexus UX stands out as the luxury leader of the pack. Infused with dynamic attitude, the 2019 Lexus UX is engineered to deliver quick and engaging driving with a Lexus-smooth demeanor, making it a unique entry in the segment.

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The UX is now considered to be the “gateway” model for Lexus, meaning it’s likely the model a first-time Lexus buyer may choose. These buyers are likely to be younger, and appreciate the excellent driving traits. Its lightweight and rigid structure, very low center of gravity and suspension tuning endow the UX with exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, along with a distinctive driving personality.

The Lexus UX is available in two versions: the front-wheel drive UX 200 is powered by a high-efficiency 169-horsepower 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a 10-speed Direct Shift Continuously Variable Transmission, while the all-wheel drive UX 250h pairs an even higher-efficiency version of the 2.0 liter gas engine with a fourth-generation hybrid drive system engineered specifically for this platform. All wheel drive is also available.

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Pricing starts at MSRP $32,300 and up. You can expect to average around 33-mpg with the base 2.0-liter engine. The 250h Hybrid Luxury (tested) tops the range, starting at $39,550.

The Lexus UX is a leap forward in the compact luxury crossover segment. Pushing the envelope even farther out towards the sports-car edge, the F SPORT package is available for both the UX 200 and UX 250h. Exclusive F SPORT suspension tuning includes revised springs and stabilizer bars for a tighter ride. The 18-inch, five twin-spoke aluminum alloy wheels unique to the F SPORT are even more rigid than standard UX wheels, contributing to responsiveness and handling agility.

2019 Lexus UX

Lexus designed the UX cabin to evoke the feel of a luxury sedan, but with the higher seating position and versatility experienced in a crossover. The materials and workmanship are pure Lexus, combining traditions in craftsmanship and hospitality with innovative production techniques. The Luxury model raises this bar even further.

The UX makes the driver feel more in touch with the road thanks to a “seat-in-control” concept. Critical vehicle functions are grouped around the driver’s side of the cabin, and the seatback shape allows the driver to operate them while maintaining a comfortable, natural posture.

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Lexus designers created a cabin atmosphere with a “wow factor” and an apparent depth of quality to those buying a luxury-brand vehicle for the first time. LED cabin lighting is one example; white LEDs illuminate the front footwells, glovebox and console switches, and serve as the dome light, map lights and cargo area light.

The 2020 Lexus UX models offer the latest in the brand’s multimedia, premium sound, and navigation technology. A 7-inch Lexus Multimedia System display is standard, and a 10.25-inch screen is available.

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Overall we like the Lexus UX 250. We drove the top of the line model, but inspected all the trim levels in the range. It is very much “carlike” – with the added flavor of a crossover that drivers today want.

For more information, visit your local Lexus dealer, or online at www.Lexus.com. More vehicle reviews are online at www.TheWeekendDrive.com.