If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of subcompact crossovers, mid-sized SUV crossovers and full-sized SUV’s being offered by Lexus these days, you’re not alone. Not to be construed as a bad thing. After all, who doesn’t love options? The Lexus UX 200 is the smallest of the bunch. Smaller than the NX, an upscale RAV4 that’s smaller than the popular RX. A model that’s less rugged than the GX, which is still smaller than the chart-toping LX. More hatchback than crossover, the miniature UX 200 is full of standard features. There’s also plenty of personality and sporty good looks to go around. Wrapped up in that premium Lexus packaging.
Ushering in 2021, Lexus has added standard blind-spot monitors and rear cross traffic alert on every UX model. An adjustable rear cargo floor allows you to expand cargo capacity from 17 to 22 cubic feet as well. In a vehicle as compact as this, every inch matters. While the UX 250 hybrid delivers better gas mileage and all-wheel-drive, our 200 F Sport model brought a sportier suspension set-up. Plus a sleek gauge cluster and seats with extra sculpting and overall support. The F Sport version takes things even further with special 18 inch alloy wheels, a sporty front and rear bumper, aluminum scuff plates and sport grill inserts. Whichever model you choose, each brings its own set of pros and cons. Delivering additional options within your already expanded list of vehicles to choose from.
Powering the front wheels of the UX 200 F Sport is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. Putting all 169 ponies down through a 10-speed CVT transmission. This culminates to acceleration that will not be a strong selling point. The little engine takes on a coarse, strained note at high rpm’s as well. Luckily, steering feel is much better. The tightened suspension in the F Sport also allowed for good cornering dynamics. A combination that helps the little UX to feel light and nimble, distracting from its lack of actual power.
On the inside, Lexus continues to do what it does best. An attractive layout is dominated by upscale materials meant to pamper and impress. Additional options stand at the ready, and include: heated and ventilated front seats, a heads-up display, dynamic voice command, intuitive parking assist and an in-house premium sound system. All will undoubtedly enhance the experience even more. The back seat couldn’t be called spacious, but there’s more than you’d expect to find.
Lexus has mastered the art of crafting super-stylized, refined SUV-crossovers. With a size and option that will fit every personal preference. There’s plenty of standard safety features and driving assists along for the ride. Plus a strong warranty and that reputation of reliability we’ve all come to expect from Toyota. All with an appealing price-tag and decent gas mileage to boot. The Lexus UX 200 F Sport will indeed be an appealing alternative to rivals like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA class. But when wasn’t Lexus a thorn in the Germans side lately.
Price as tested: $42,250.00