Lexus UX: First Generation

Motor Trend Interviews Lexus UX Chief Engineer Chika Kako

Lexus UX F SPORT

Motor Trend has an interview with Chika Kako, Lexus International executive vice-president and the chief engineer of the new UX:

Motor Trend: What vehicles did you benchmark?

Chika Kako: As a crossover we checked of course, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, [and] Audi Q3. We also [checked the] Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and BMW 1 Series. If we look at the market here right now, BMW X2 is coming, our package is quite close.

MT: UX rides on the Lexus GA-C. What is the GA-C and TNGA?

CK: At Lexus GA-C is our global architecture “C-platform” and it’s the same TNGA platform as CH-R, Auris, and of course, Prius. It’s a common (shared) platform, however, because the basis already provides good noise and vibration levels, as well as drivability and rigidity, we were able to further expand and enhance from what we had as a baseline.

There are several things we have done [at Lexus for UX]. We have made center of gravity lower, we are using aluminum doors, fender and foot panels, and the [liftgate] is a resin door with aluminum reinforcement. These changes make the center of gravity lower. Body rigidity is also reinforced by using laser screw welding and body adhesives in the structure. This makes the body more rigid and handling response better.

There’s some detail into how the Lexus UX design factors in aerodynamics:

MT: The taillights on the UX are very striking. Can you talk about the design?

CK: The appearance is quite unique, but it serves an aerodynamic function and is inspired by the rear wing of a race car. Our designers and engineers collaborated on the question, “How can we modify the shape and stabilize the airflow?“

It’s about letting the airflow be smoothed out, rather than the air wrapping around behind the car creating different pressure zones. That kind of thinking was also applied on the fender edge molding. If you look at the car, there is quite a unique shape to the fender. The upper portion is quite straight, but the back edge is abrupt. This is really for the aerodynamics.

Kako also confirmed that that fender molding will only be available in black, and that the UX will be manufactured at the Kyushu factory in Japan. The on-sale date is October in Europe and December for North America.

Comments
T
Thank you for the information on the Powertrains. I understand what they’re going for on the naming (yes, the naming on CT200h *did* bother me a little). As a software developer, model names that describe what’s actually under the hood make more sense to me than their power equivalent. It’s just preference, I suppose. The naming convention could certainly be much worse.

I’m trying to get an idea how the hybrid system in the ux250h will compare to the one in my RAV4 hybrid. The RAV4 is certainly heavier than the UX250H will be. Basically, I’m hoping the UX will be less floaty with similar acceleration and a much nicer interior. It certainly sounds that way this point, though only time and a test drive once they’re available will tell.
spwolf
- 250h has bigger battery output compared to Prius. Where Prius has 23 hp max battery output, 250h has 34hp max battery output + 44hp stronger engine.
- 250h has been configured to give more electric power sooner to make revs lower and accelerate faster.
- 250h is estimated to go 0-100kmh in low 7's to mid 8's, depending on the vehicle... thats a lot better than 122hp hybrid in C-HR, but as expected since it has 45hp more overall.
I think that is almost as fast as the RAV4H, which was around 7.8 seconds measured by Motortrend.

Good to know the 250h will likely not disappoint.
telithos
Thank you for the information on the Powertrains. I understand what they’re going for on the naming (yes, the naming on CT200h *did* bother me a little). As a software developer, model names that describe what’s actually under the hood make more sense to me than their power equivalent. It’s just preference, I suppose. The naming convention could certainly be much worse.
It bothers me as well. Unfortunately, this arbitrary "displacement equivalency" is widespread among luxury carmakers. At first, it was only Lexus applying it to its hybrid models, but then BMW and Mercedes-Benz started coming up with such arbitrary equivalencies for its boosted (primarily turbocharged) models, and Lexus followed suit with their boosted non-hybrid models.

If luxury carmakers are so gung-ho on doing away with references to actual displacement, perhaps the most logical system is the one just being implemented by Jaguar, which also accounts for the multiple states of tune offered on many engines. The model name is followed by a 3-digit number denoting its horsepower.
LEXUS PRESS CONFERENCE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW 2018
Text from the presentations given by Pascal Ruch, Head of Lexus Europe, and Chika Kako, Chief Engineer of the UX, at the launch of the Lexus UX at the Geneva Motor Show.

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Lexus!

It has been nearly 30 years since we launched our brand. If you think about it, Lexus was a disrupter at that time, demonstrating that we could build innovative vehicles, with great performance and incredible quality. Of course at the centre was and always will be our commitment to providing a personalized and exceptional customer experience.

Over the years we have leveraged our disrupter mindset and our DNA of product innovation by introducing industry-first technologies in many fields such as active safety, car manufacturing and on-board premium features.

Other innovations include bringing the first premium crossover to market with the RX.

And of course our industry leading self-charging hybrid has been nothing short of amazing. Since we introduced this new technology to the premium market back in 2005, we have sold more hybrids than all of our competitors combined.

Today we have the largest range of premium self-charging hybrids on the market with over 1.3 million sold globally, and more than 350 thousand in Europe.

Our disruptor mindset and Lexus DNA have extended to the design of our vehicles. The Lexus signature grille has become a hallmark in the industry and we collected many awards for innovation in design, such as with the recently launched LC.

Now let’s take a look at some of the vehicles we have with us today.

10 years ago we introduced the F marque … combining muscular design, authentic sports performance and cutting-edge technologies. Today we present here in Geneva the car that brings this milestone to life: the RC F 10th anniversary edition. This will be a limited run of only 350 units globally … and European customers can expect to take delivery by the end of the summer.

Now let’s look further into the future. At the recent Detroit Motor show we have revealed our vision of a new type of flagship crossover with the Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept, and today it’s making its European Premiere here in Geneva.

This amazing vehicle signals our future design direction. It’s combining crossover capabilities with outstanding performance, innovative features and Lexus true quality.

The LF-1 Limitless Concept is like a co-pilot, anticipating the needs of its driver and passengers. For example, it has a virtual assistant with links to navigation, radar and cameras to provide advanced predictive capabilities.

As a further proof of our disruptor mind set and commitment to innovation, this vehicle is capable of hosting any powertrain: self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric or even fuel cell.

Limitless is more than just the name of the concept vehicle; it’s also how we see our opportunities for the coming years. Already today, 98% of our sales in Western Europe are electrified, and we will continue playing a leading role in the electrification trend in the global automotive industry.

Now let’s turn to more immediate product news.

Our next launch is just around the corner: it’s the RX L, our first seven-seater to be offered in Western Europe. The RX L retains the stylish and elegant design of the RX, while offering even more space and versatility.

This has been achieved by optimizing vehicle packaging with only 110 mm additional length. Third-row passengers also benefit from great comfort and luxury, for example thanks to a 3-zone climate control system. On top, the RX L offers great luggage space flexibility behind the third row.

Ladies and Gentlemen, with close to 75 thousand Lexus sales in 2017 in Europe – the highest ever – we achieved our 4th consecutive year of sales growth. But our ambition is to get to 100 thousand vehicles in Europe by 2020.

One model will strongly contribute to this objective and to the growth of the Lexus brand globally. It’s covered here on my right, it’s one of our most exciting product launches ever.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce now in world premiere the new Lexus UX.

Thank you! This is a new type of crossover and I can tell you, everyone at Lexus was excited to reveal it to the world today. Among us, there’s one person who is probably even more passionate than everyone else.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome

Ms Chika Kako, Lexus Executive Vice President and chief engineer of the new UX.

Good morning Lexus Guests. Thank you for joining us on this special occasion.

The Lexus UX introduces a new genre crossover. It is built for modern adventurers who prefer an imaginative, refined lifestyle, and who are on a non-stop adventure to experience it. We call them Creative Urban Explorers.

The aim for the UX was not to conform to the established, solid crossover look, but to achieve a compact design that is both strong and stylish, breaking with the conventions of the segment to deliver something more distinctive and dynamic.

The vehicle’s interior was very important to me, because that is where driver and car connect. The UX cabin is very stylish, with high quality materials designed by the best Japanese craftsmen and an ‘inside-out’ philosophy inspired by a traditional style of Japanese architecture which blurs the boundary between the inside and outside of a house.

The foundation for the vehicle’s dynamic performance focuses on enabling nimble and instant response to driver inputs, while maintaining a sense of stability and safety.

For more on what’s under the UX’s hood, here’s Pascal…

Pascal Ruch

Thank you, Kako-san, for such a great vehicle.

In terms of powertrains, of course our self-charging hybrid technology will play a key role in the UX line-up, especially in Europe! The UX 250h will feature a new-generation 2 litre petrol engine combined with a compact electric motor, or even two in the all-wheel drive version. This powertrain will bring segment-leading fuel efficiency as well as a smooth and dynamic driving experience.

The UX will also be available as UX 200, with a brand new 2 litre petrol engine and transmission, delivering superior energy efficiency and direct acceleration feeling.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as you can see, with this UX, the other models here on display and our ongoing commitment to innovative powertrains, Lexus will continue to disrupt the market.

Let me now also introduce the Chief Designer of UX, Mr. Tetsuo Miki and Chief Branding Officer, Mr. Tokuo Fukuichi. And now I would like to invite on stage the president of Lexus International, Mr. Yoshihiro Sawa for the photoshoot.

Thank you very much for your attention. Please take some time to discover UX and the other new models and enjoy your day in Geneva.

http://media.lexus.co.uk/2018/03/lexus-press-conference-geneva-motor-show-2018/
Joaquin Ruhi
It bothers me as well. Unfortunately, this arbitrary "displacement equivalency" is widespread among luxury carmakers. At first, it was only Lexus applying it to its hybrid models, but then BMW and Mercedes-Benz started coming up with such arbitrary equivalencies for its boosted (primarily turbocharged) models, and Lexus followed suit with their boosted non-hybrid models.
Still, power equivalency is way better than 'torque equivalency' system VAG is experimenting with. Audi models now have severely inflated equivalency model numbers e.g. the Q3 30TFSI (actually a 140hp 1.4T) A4 40TFSI (190hp 2.0T) A6 45TFSI (250hp 2.0T) and A8 50TFSI (300hp 3.0SC). These cars don't even really have the torque the model numbers suggest. I call this false advertising since consumers are cheated to believing they are buying something much much better. The less knowledgeable common folks will think they are buying an A4 with a V8 when it is merely a 2.0 I4T. And this is extending to other VAG models as well. At least BMW underrate all their equivalency values. The 330i will smoke the A4 45TFSI any day, and the 340i is very comparable to a real V8.
Yet, a lot of people buy into all these BS because they think some extremely sophisticated German engineering is going on under the hood (for christ sake it's an iron block carried over from the 90s) , but complain Lexus overrate their hybrids.
ssun30
Still, power equivalency is way better than 'torque equivalency' system VAG is experimenting with. Audi models now have severely inflated equivalency model numbers e.g. the Q3 30TFSI (actually a 140hp 1.4T) A4 40TFSI (190hp 2.0T) A6 45TFSI and A8 50TFSI (300hp 3.0SC). These cars don't even really have the torque the model numbers suggest. I call this false advertising since consumers are cheated to believing they are buying something much much better. The less knowledgeable common folks will think they are buying an A4 with a V8 when it is merely a 2.0 I4T. At least BMW underrate all their equivalency values. The 330i will smoke the A4 45TFSI.
Yet, a lot of people buy into all these BS because they think some extremely sophisticated German engineering is going on under the hood (for christ sake it's an iron block carried over from the 90s) , but complain Lexus overrate their hybrids.
Yes, I was about to mention the new Audi system but agree it's so ridiculous and absurd that I preferred not to. You expressed it much better than I could've.
telithos
Thank you for the information on the Powertrains. I understand what they’re going for on the naming (yes, the naming on CT200h *did* bother me a little). As a software developer, model names that describe what’s actually under the hood make more sense to me than their power equivalent. It’s just preference, I suppose. The naming convention could certainly be much worse.

I’m trying to get an idea how the hybrid system in the ux250h will compare to the one in my RAV4 hybrid. The RAV4 is certainly heavier than the UX250H will be. Basically, I’m hoping the UX will be less floaty with similar acceleration and a much nicer interior. It certainly sounds that way this point, though only time and a test drive once they’re available will tell.
Since C-HR is sister car I can tell you that it handles a lot better than Rav4... so UX should handle really good. It is very tight car that can handle big pot holes without problems.

I think speed will be around the same with UX faster at low speeds while Rav4 faster at higher speeds. But I expect UX to spend a lot less fuel.
T
spwolf
Since C-HR is sister car I can tell you that it handles a lot better than Rav4... so UX should handle really good. It is very tight car that can handle big pot holes without problems.

I think speed will be around the same with UX faster at low speeds while Rav4 faster at higher speeds. But I expect UX to spend a lot less fuel.
That's good know. My biggest complaint with the RAV4 hybrid is that it handles like crap. You feel every bit of that 4000lbs curb weight and high center of gravity when you make a turn or even some slight side to side motion to avoid something on the road. It's not confidence-inspiring. I am really curious to see what the UX ends up weighing in with the hybrid system, as that will have a big impact on how it drives.
Also, keep in mind that with Lexus nomenclature, we've had h, L, d, t, F and probably some others I'm missing. Approximations based on total power output really simplify things, especially as all models become turbocharged, and then we even move to turbocharged hybrid powertrains.

Imagine:

LS 350ht L F Sport

Oi.
ssun30
Still, power equivalency is way better than 'torque equivalency' system VAG is experimenting with. Audi models now have severely inflated equivalency model numbers e.g. the Q3 30TFSI (actually a 140hp 1.4T) A4 40TFSI (190hp 2.0T) A6 45TFSI (250hp 2.0T) and A8 50TFSI (300hp 3.0SC). These cars don't even really have the torque the model numbers suggest. I call this false advertising since consumers are cheated to believing they are buying something much much better. The less knowledgeable common folks will think they are buying an A4 with a V8 when it is merely a 2.0 I4T. And this is extending to other VAG models as well. At least BMW underrate all their equivalency values. The 330i will smoke the A4 45TFSI any day, and the 340i is very comparable to a real V8.
Yet, a lot of people buy into all these BS because they think some extremely sophisticated German engineering is going on under the hood (for christ sake it's an iron block carried over from the 90s) , but complain Lexus overrate their hybrids.
You may have some misunderstanding about the Audi TFSI designation system. It is a weird system but it has nothing to do with displacement nor torque. It is an artificial calculation inversely related to 0-100Km/h acceleration speed. That’s why the former A6 had both 30FSI(2.5 NA V6) and 40 TFSI (2.0 Turbo L4. This also explains why different models with exact same engine have different designations sometimes. But yea, VW is using a torque related designation right now.
Joaquin Ruhi
Yes, I was about to mention the new Audi system but agree it's so ridiculous and absurd that I preferred not to. You expressed it much better than I could've.
You can refer to my latest post. The Audi TFSI uses an acceleration speed related calculation to determine the number. But still, extremely strange and misleading.
telithos
That's good know. My biggest complaint with the RAV4 hybrid is that it handles like crap. You feel every bit of that 4000lbs curb weight and high center of gravity when you make a turn or even some slight side to side motion to avoid something on the road. It's not confidence-inspiring. I am really curious to see what the UX ends up weighing in with the hybrid system, as that will have a big impact on how it drives.
there is already a hybrid in C-HR... sure this will be heavier but it will certainly have more complex suspension setup too.

Toyota's new TNGA is game changing for Toyota. I feel confident saying C-HR has best suspension in the class and that's a big change for Toyota where they used to have a setup thats good for something but rarely good at everything.
ssun30
Still, power equivalency is way better than 'torque equivalency' system VAG is experimenting with. Audi models now have severely inflated equivalency model numbers e.g. the Q3 30TFSI (actually a 140hp 1.4T) A4 40TFSI (190hp 2.0T) A6 45TFSI (250hp 2.0T) and A8 50TFSI (300hp 3.0SC). These cars don't even really have the torque the model numbers suggest. I call this false advertising since consumers are cheated to believing they are buying something much much better. The less knowledgeable common folks will think they are buying an A4 with a V8 when it is merely a 2.0 I4T. And this is extending to other VAG models as well. At least BMW underrate all their equivalency values. The 330i will smoke the A4 45TFSI any day, and the 340i is very comparable to a real V8.
Yet, a lot of people buy into all these BS because they think some extremely sophisticated German engineering is going on under the hood (for christ sake it's an iron block carried over from the 90s) , but complain Lexus overrate their hybrids.
Audi's system will end up being so ridiculed by the drivers that they will change it in 2-3 years. A4 30TFSI is slower than modern 2.5l NA engine, so it is just crazy that they are labeling it as such. It just no grounds in reality at all.
amoschen7
It is an artificial calculation inversely related to 0-100Km/h acceleration speed. That’s why the former A6 had both 30FSI(2.5 NA V6) and 40 TFSI (2.0 Turbo L4). This also explains why different models with exact same engine have different designations sometimes. But yea, VW is using a torque related designation right now.
I'm not convinced. If Audi does use 'acceleration equivalency' (see? it's getting worse and worse) here, then why not choose a scaling system that accurately represent the performance? This whole system just arbitrarily chooses a reference point to inflate the equivalency number and cheat consumers. There's just nothing right about it.

OK we are going off the thread here. Enough for now.
Imagine:

LS 350ht L F Sport
Hybrid + turbo, long wheelbase, "sporty". It's not *that* hard, whereas you often need a cheat sheet to decode recent BMW model numbers.
I can't wait to see when Lexus finally has a turbocharged hybrid powertrain.
C
I might have missed a comment but has anybody picked up on the shortened tailgate with the license plate set below? Doesn't this make for a raised boot floor level and reduced access? Or is there some advantage I've not noticed.
cherrrhc
I might have missed a comment but has anybody picked up on the shortened tailgate with the license plate set below? Doesn't this make for a raised boot floor level and reduced access? Or is there some advantage I've not noticed.
it is not terribly tall vehicle.
In the case of the UX, Kako and her team aimed for a more hatchback-esque driving feel, benchmarking cars like the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1-Series. The UX rides on the same platform as the new Toyota CH-R but it uses aluminum throughout for lighter weight and a lower center of gravity. Additionally, the UX has nine-percent more torsional rigidity than the CH-R and over half of its suspension components are bespoke.
https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-sh...299932/lexus-wants-all-cars-to-drive-like-lc/
Something interesting that I like from an esthetic point of view, but not from a function one, is how the hatchdoor is flush with the rear bumber. In a world where looks trumps function, let it then be all looks.


What I am interested in, is the air vents illumination. In a different application, it could be very good for battery wrist watches.
The UX is the first Lexus to use a new platform that also underpins the Toyota CH-R, but Kako says it’s the only thing they have in common. “We began the design in 2015, and it was always separate from the CH-R,” she says. “It was the first C-segment crossover for Lexus.”

Half of the chassis components are unique to the Lexus version, and the suspension is tuned differently. The UX also contains substantially more aluminum – including in its door panels, hood, and fenders – along with composite material in the liftgate. It has a lower centre-of-gravity than the Toyota.

It also has a lower hip point, which is how high the seat is from the floor. “It’s 55 millimetres lower than in the CH-R, and this feels sportier,” Kako says.
http://driving.ca/lexus/auto-shows/...s-more-luxury-and-tech-into-a-smaller-package
Any thoughts on the pricing structure of the UX in the U.S.? The UX200 has an obvious weakness in the engine/transmission department, so it needs to be convincing in terms of value. With Lexus' commitment to not price any vehicle below $30k, the UX200 needs really good standard equipment to have a fair chance of competing. Even with a luxury package or F-Sport package the price should not go above $33k. The UX250h doesn't have much room either, since the NX300 FWD starts at $36k (arguably the best value for the segment). To me a UX250h with E-4 AWD needs to start no higher than $36k since that's where the XC40 (standard AWD) starts.

There's no doubt the UX250h will be a money printer in EU. But in the U.S. the UX line-up seems deliberately undermined to protect the NX.
ssun30
Any thoughts on the pricing structure of the UX in the U.S.? The UX200 has an obvious weakness in the engine/transmission department, so it needs to be convincing in terms of value. With Lexus' commitment to not price any vehicle below $30k, the UX200 needs really good standard equipment to have a fair chance of competing. Even with a luxury package or F-Sport package the price should not go above $33k. The UX250h doesn't have much room either, since the NX300 FWD starts at $36k (arguably the best value for the segment). To me a UX250h with E-4 AWD needs to start no higher than $36k since that's where the XC40 (standard AWD) starts.

There's no doubt the UX250h will be a money printer in EU. But in the U.S. the UX line-up seems deliberately undermined to protect the NX.
I think question is not where it will start but where will it end... I assume it will start $33k or $34k for 2.0l and $2k more for hybrid, which will have awd as standard in the US it seems. Then go up to $40k... and it will miss some features in order to fit that price, Lexus likes artificially limiting options so cars dont compete.

"Loaded" XC40 is $45k in the US, so by your definition of pricing it should be $5k cheaper because loaded NX costs $46k.

Rather than comparing it to Volvo, that is a small player in the US, I think they will base the pricing on X1 and GLA, which start between $33k and $34k.. so that seems about right, it will have more equipment at those prices, which isnt hard.
spwolf
I think question is not where it will start but where will it end... I assume it will start $33k or $34k for 2.0l and $2k more for hybrid, which will have awd as standard in the US it seems. Then go up to $40k... and it will miss some features in order to fit that price, Lexus likes artificially limiting options so cars dont compete.

"Loaded" XC40 is $45k in the US, so by your definition of pricing it should be $5k cheaper because loaded NX costs $46k.

Rather than comparing it to Volvo, that is a small player in the US, I think they will base the pricing on X1 and GLA, which start between $33k and $34k.. so that seems about right, it will have more equipment at those prices, which isnt hard.
That's what I'm saying. The basic trim UX200 needs at least 'one free package' to make up for the engine deficit compared to its competitors. The Q3 in particular has a nice array of standard equipment (at $34k) so the UX200 needs to offer more at $33k. The UX250h can be priced at the same level as the GLA250/X1 28i/Q3 40TFSI.

I used the XC40 as a benchmark for the 250h since it is the cheapest subcompact to offer 2.0 turbo+AWD+decent standard equipment, so the 250h should not be more expensive than it.

IMO the UX should play the value game since it will discourage people from buying low grade NX. NX buyers are then more likely to buy a loaded NX thus improving the overall profitability.
ssun30
That's what I'm saying. The basic trim UX200 needs at least 'one free package' to make up for the engine deficit compared to its competitors. The Q3 in particular has a nice array of standard equipment (at $34k) so the UX200 needs to offer more at $33k. The UX250h can be priced at the same level as the GLA250/X1 28i/Q3 40TFSI.

I used the XC40 as a benchmark for the 250h since it is the cheapest subcompact to offer 2.0 turbo+AWD+decent standard equipment, so the 250h should not be more expensive than it.

IMO the UX should play the value game since it will discourage people from buying low grade NX. NX buyers are then more likely to buy a loaded NX thus improving the overall profitability.
I dont think Lexus has to be more affordable or better deal than Volvo in the USA, although none of these cars are good deal when NX is around.

They will likely position it vs X2, as stylish not just standard competitor otherwise nothing really makes sense at the pricing... considering how CT200h was priced 32k, even $33k seems too low.

I would not be surprised if at these pricing, for whatever reason it might be (volume, manufacturing, etc), it might be better for them to sell NX, hence lack of 250 option for NX and hybrid being positioned as only AWD option. Also with that comes loss of available equipment like ML.

So they likely might be trying to not compete with NX.

Since we are talking about relatively low possible volume, something like 20k per year, I dont think that pricing is all that important.
p.s. Just checked Q3, nice base spec for sure. But I cant believe that they dont have auto crash even as option. Thats where UX will do good against it, since advanced level of auto crash, radar cruise and more are available in base spec.

For all the PR their new system (not yet available) get in A8 for being L3 capable (at very specific set of circumstances and speed), most of VW cars have either poor or optional or not even available auto crash.
T
spwolf
I dont think Lexus has to be more affordable or better deal than Volvo in the USA, although none of these cars are good deal when NX is around.

They will likely position it vs X2, as stylish not just standard competitor otherwise nothing really makes sense at the pricing... considering how CT200h was priced 32k, even $33k seems too low.

I would not be surprised if at these pricing, for whatever reason it might be (volume, manufacturing, etc), it might be better for them to sell NX, hence lack of 250 option for NX and hybrid being positioned as only AWD option. Also with that comes loss of available equipment like ML.

So they likely might be trying to not compete with NX.

Since we are talking about relatively low possible volume, something like 20k per year, I dont think that pricing is all that important.
In the U.S., the NX300h is only $2300 or so more over the price of the base NX300 without AWD (36k vs. 38.3k). Not a wonder Lexus isn't even offering the non AWD version of the UX250H. Also, you can't get an F-Sport package on the NX hybrid from what I can see, but you will be able to on the UX250H. I do think that they will certainly price it lower than the NX. I don't think they have a choice here, especially in the U.S., where people tend to equate smaller with less expensive.

Honestly, I felt the CT200h was overpriced for what it was. I test drove it at one point and never once felt it was worth the price tag on the car (neither did the Lexus dealership near me, as they usually had huge discounts on it). It basically was a Scion chassis with a slightly more powerful prius powertrain and Lexus..ish appointments. The car itself was very loud on the inside, the powertrain struggled to move the car up anything resembling an incline, and the inside was rather uninspired. It felt way too much like a Prius with a Lexus badge. Only plus was that it did handle fairly well.

It's pretty easy to push something like the GLA over 40k to get some of the things that a Lexus comes standard with. I have to pay extra to get keyless entry in the year 2018? Seriously? I don't think Lexus will have a difficult time making the UX feel worth the money compared to competitors. The only issue I see is the disparity in powertrains, so they'll need to take that into account when they price it. Many people who haven't driven a Lexus/Toyota hybrid may be turned off by the perceived lack of power, even though I can confirm that the RAV4 hybrid system feels like it's more powerful than it is on paper, especially when you're just driving around in a city.
Some additional bits of information from Douglas Bolduc of Automotive News Europe:

Lexus expects Europe to be the top sales market for the UX...

UX sales in Europe start in October, roughly two months before the U.S. UX deliveries in will begin in Russia and other eastern European markets by year-end while customers in western and central European markets will start getting the car in the first quarter of 2019, a Lexus Europe spokesman said...

Lexus also enhanced the UX's handling by making special adjustments to its exterior. The SUV's so-called Aero Stabilizing Blade Lights in the rear incorporate fins that are designed that helps prevent airflow from wrapping around the back of the vehicle. This helps keep the rear of the car stable when turning and while driving in crosswinds, Lexus said.
http://europe.autonews.com/article/.../lexus-expects-europe-to-be-top-market-for-ux
T
Makes sense. I think the size of it will be a turn off for some in the U.S. market. That's probably what will push many to the NX. With all this mention of aerodynamics, I'm interested to see how the EPA rating turns out for the UX.

K
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