Lexus UX: First GenerationReviews

Motor Trend Reviews the Lexus UX Crossover

Lexus UX Review Motor Trend

The folks at Motor Trend are not sold on the Lexus UX crossover, turning in a lukewarm review with a harsh final judgment:

In public, the 2019 Lexus UX stands out, especially in F Sport guise with its blacked-out grille and large faux air intakes in the lower front fascia. Taillights with integrated fins create a distinctive look, especially with the full-width LED light strip. The available triple-beam LED headlights provide the full predator effect.

With both of our testers checking in at just over $40,000, you have to be completely sold on the Lexus’ curb appeal, unique interior design, or the hybrid’s superior fuel economy to get a UX. Young, tech-savvy consumers who expect everything to seamlessly integrate with their lives will find it hard to overlook the UX’s poor packaging, frustrating driver assists, and complicated infotainment system.

Comments
S
I'm waiting for some instrumental review with times and actual data, also nobody talked about the headlights (bi-led vs triple-led) quality apart from them being stylish...

I'd be interested in reading about the audio quality for the 8 speakers system vs the Mark Levinson.
Sadman
I'm waiting for some instrumental review with times and actual data, also nobody talked about
... Great comment :thumbsup:

I think apart from one exception, Mags don't test cars for safety driving capabilities.
They are setting track times but it's completely irrelevant with dynamic safety capabilities.

The only useful for typical drivers I ve found is a YouTube channel called km77.
I have learned some eye-opening things by watching their tests.

Check GT86.
In normal mode (slow) the car becomes exceptional in terms of driving safety capabilities Though in fast and track modes GT86 is a ticking bomb - a death trap for non racing drivers. I am not sure whether dealers warn enthusiastic consumers, fast cars should be driven by racing experienced drivers.

I think mags such as top gear are brainwashing public opinion having the perception that fastest cars as the safest. It is dangerous believing such thing.


A bit off subject.
It is utterly impressive how a responsive steering wheel does not mean more safety!

As an example Mitsubishi Eclipse SUV, eclipses:D all respected super agile fast machines :joy:
The exit speed is impressively high and most importantly without esp intervention! I think it is the platinum benchmark bar none!




2019 Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h First Test: Spatially Challenged
City-sized, packed with compromise

With both of our testers checking in at just over $40,000, you have to be completely sold on the Lexus' curb appeal, unique interior design, or the hybrid's superior fuel economy to get a UX. Young, tech-savvy consumers who expect everything to seamlessly integrate with their lives will find it hard to overlook the UX's poor packaging, frustrating driver assists, and complicated infotainment system. If you must have a luxury badge, the well-rounded and comparison-winning Volvo XC40 has your name all over it. Otherwise, consider a front-drive NX 300 for not much more or get a loaded crossover with a mainstream badge instead.
https://www.motortrend.com/cars/lexus/ux/2019/2019-lexus-ux-200-ux-250h-first-test-review/
S
Take a crossover marketed as “urban explorer” to a racing track —> drive it hard —> lol understeer

I honestly stopped reading here.

I also don’t understand the criticism to the driving assist suite because I drove the car and everything works as expected.
*sigh* When they review an a**load of Lexus vehicles and they still b*tch about the trackpad. Give me a god damn break. Bunch of losers. YOU CAN CHANGE THE SENSITIVITY OF THE TRACKPAD YOU NUMBCHUCKS.

But I agree with the rest. Literally everything else in terms of performance is a little lack luster. It is extremely luxurious though.
  • Joe
    Joe
  • April 12, 2019
Very poor review from Motor Trends, indeed.

Here in the EU, the UX is considered a strong product in terms of build quality, refinement, reliability, driving dynamics and value for money (list price vs. competitors at same equipment level). Excellent scores as well on real driving economy and strong improvement of elimination of the rubber band feel of the e-CVT (UX 250h). Most journalists agree to this.
It is also clear that the Touchpad interface is getting its classic criticism. But frankly... even if it is not the best system on the market, it is rather OK for day to day use if you spend app. a week to get to know it. Most journalists pick up the car for 1 week, spend 3 days testing it and then park it at the airport because they need to go to a product presentation from another brand... :laughing: so they never take the effort to live a bit longer with the car...

However, I do agree that there are some points where the UX deserves low scores:
- trunk space: way too small. As soon as you use the UX as a small family car (e.g. couple with 1 kid) it becomes almost impossible to use. Competitors have at least +100 litres trunk space
- rear cabin space: too small to transport adult-sized persons if the driver is + 1m80
- interior material choice: some very nice soft touch surfaces, but also a lot of zones with hard plastics (lower front door panels, lower center console, complete rear door panels...). This is a sad tendency of cost reduction that is clearly visible in a lot of recent Lexus models: current NX, RX and even new ES lower door panels & lower center console have all the same issues. Even a lot of mainstream competitor models nowadays score better on this level :confused:
R
  • R
    RAL
  • April 12, 2019
Joe
Very poor review from Motor Trends, indeed.

Here in the EU, the UX is considered a strong product in terms of build quality, refinement, reliability, driving dynamics and value for money (list price vs. competitors at same equipment level). Excellent scores as well on real driving economy and strong improvement of elimination of the rubber band feel of the e-CVT (UX 250h). Most journalists agree to this.
It is also clear that the Touchpad interface is getting its classic criticism. But frankly... even if it is not the best system on the market, it is rather OK for day to day use if you spend app. a week to get to know it. Most journalists pick up the car for 1 week, spend 3 days testing it and then park it at the airport because they need to go to a product presentation from another brand... :laughing: so they never take the effort to live a bit longer with the car...

However, I do agree that there are some points where the UX deserves low scores:
- trunk space: way too small. As soon as you use the UX as a small family car (e.g. couple with 1 kid) it becomes almost impossible to use. Competitors have at least +100 litres trunk space
- rear cabin space: too small to transport adult-sized persons if the driver is + 1m80
- interior material choice: some very nice soft touch surfaces, but also a lot of zones with hard plastics (lower front door panels, lower center console, complete rear door panels...). This is a sad tendency of cost reduction that is clearly visible in a lot of recent Lexus models: current NX, RX and even new ES lower door panels & lower center console have all the same issues. Even a lot of mainstream competitor models nowadays score better on this level :confused:
I agree with you Joe, cost reduction through the use of hard plastics is increasing. While it might be understandable at lower price point; a Lexus is a Lexus where bean counters should not reign.

For example: The back of the front seats in our '19 NX are not hard plastic, but are almost entirely hard plastic in the '19 ES. Scratches on hard plastics never go away! Upon the closer inspection time, warmer temperatures and ownership afford, I have found in the ES center console a symphony of creaking noises in a sea of plastic parts covered with a skin of leather. My ES has been in the shop for the last 3 days so far with no word, to locate and fix the myriad of creaks and squeaks coming from the double-hinged plastic center console. And there are creaks coming seemingly from the dashboard as well. I notice there is substantial use of hard plastic surrounding the center display (noticeably un-like the similarly designed UX center display).

These creaks and squeaks have become prevalent as the temperatures of spring increase and the plastics expand. And I notice the 300-miles-new '19 ES courtesy car I'm driving in the meantime, is creaking and squeaking much the same way .... Lexus is lowering the bar and persons like myself who have driven many Lexus vehicles for well over a decade are noticing. It makes no sense to devote so much attention to sound deadening the undercarriage of the 7ES only to allow the bean counters to push increasing numbers of hard plastics throughout the interior. I leased my '17 IS 300 AWD for two years. It was as tight as a vault. Never once heard a creak, squeak, or rattle regardless of the outside temperature. And true so far with the '19 NX. But the ES ... is another story. As a Lexus loyalist, besides the flagship models, I sincerely hope this pattern of cost saving will not become prevalent in new models and remodels across the fleet. This is not the pursuit of perfection.
  • Joe
    Joe
  • April 12, 2019
RAL
These creaks and squeaks have become prevalent as the temperatures of spring increase and the plastics expand. And these noises are not just occasionally heard. Some sound when there is but a change in the car's momentum. And I notice the 300-miles-new '19 ES courtesy car I'm driving in the meantime, is creaking and squeaking much the same way.
Strange that you are mentioning the temperatures getting higher as a cause for these disturbing noises. Personally, I have the same issues with some of our Lexus models (as I work for Lexus, I regularly drive a lot of them), but especially when it gets colder. I also got the impression that the issues are more present in the SUV models (NX and RX). The part where the windscreen is close to the dashboard, the panoramic roof, the center console... these areas are sometimes 'noisy'. Luckily, in general, our technicians find a remedy.
Compared to the German competitors, I believe that we have a better interior finish than BMW or some Mercedes models (less so than Audi). But not in all areas, so there should be some more attention to details in the development of future models (e.g. the ones you mentioned).

I very much like the way how the new ES drives. It is becoming my favorite Lexus model instead of the IS (and as I live in Belgium, I am talking about the hybrid versions). But some details in the IS and RC (especially the facelifted model) are better executed than in the ES, I agree.

After 11 years I will leave Lexus for another brand in a few weeks, but as I will remain a real Lexus enthusiast as well, just like you I am a bit disappointed to experience this poor quality evolution...
Joe
Strange that you are mentioning the temperatures getting higher as a cause for these disturbing noises. Personally, I have the same issues with some of our Lexus models (as I work for Lexus, I regularly drive a lot of them), but especially when it gets colder. I also got the impression that the issues are more present in the SUV models (NX and RX). The part where the windscreen is close to the dashboard, the panoramic roof, the center console... these areas are sometimes 'noisy'. Luckily, in general, our technicians find a remedy.
Compared to the German competitors, I believe that we have a better interior finish than BMW or some Mercedes models (less so than Audi). But not in all areas, so there should be some more attention to details in the development of future models (e.g. the ones you mentioned).

I very much like the way how the new ES drives. It is becoming my favorite Lexus model instead of the IS (and as I live in Belgium, I am talking about the hybrid versions). But some details in the IS and RC (especially the facelifted model) are better executed than in the ES, I agree.

After 11 years I will leave Lexus for another brand in a few weeks, but as I will remain a real Lexus enthusiast as well, just like you I am a bit disappointed to experience this poor quality evolution...
Have you been in Q2? I dont think there is higher quality car in normal version at least than UX, in the class... as all the european mags noticed, and they are quite sensitive about that.







I honestly think if Lexus produced above, most members here would say it is death of Lexus, and at the same time, everyone automatically thinks germans do it better, when they dont at all.
now go back to base spec UX and compare the materials ... let me do it for you



so lets stop with cost cutting talk at lexus, and pretend small cuv should have same interior as LC... reality is cars are built to price and compared to same level competitors, and ux does wonderfully there.
  • Joe
    Joe
  • April 13, 2019
spwolf
so lets stop with cost cutting talk at lexus, and pretend small cuv should have same interior as LC... reality is cars are built to price and compared to same level competitors, and ux does wonderfully there.
Don't get me wrong: the UX in general is an excellent product and general quality finish is more than OK, except in some specific areas. And that's my point: if they improve on these small detail areas, Lexus would be on top!

However, comparing the UX with Q2 is a bit stretched. Pricing and quality of UX 250h has been benchmarked against Q3 diesel (next to X1 and GLA). The base model of Q2 you are referring at, is priced 24.730 € with 112hp base engine or 27.050 € with 150hp (which equals the performance of the 184 hp UX 250h) and 29.175 in its diesel version. Base price of UX 250h is 34.990 € which compares better with 34.680 € of Q3 petrol.

It is clear that Q2 doesn't play in exactly the same subsegment. So you are totally right concerning the lack of quality finish in the Q2. But you should also accept the fact that this model is an exception to the Audi rules and that it is positioned much cheaper than the UX.

In my comments I was referring at the general downgrade of some interior plastics at Lexus. Just like RAL did. And I wish that there was a bit more attention towards these details at the development of new models. Because Lexus wants to be a global luxury brand and a luxury car should be all about details. Just an example: the front door pockets of my wife's 2016 VW Golf are made of decent quality plastics and have a soft touch carpet interior = premium feel in a mainstream car. The front door pockets of my 2019 Lexus RX are entirely made of rather hard plastics = mainstream feel in a luxury car. This car is almost 80k € and the Golf is 30k €.
Another detail? Lexus ES centre console for example: it should be rather easy to make the floor carpet go up a bit and make the soft touch upper panel a bit bigger (going down on the sides) instead of adding a hard scratchy panel between them...

Just my thoughts of course... ;)
Joe
Don't get me wrong: the UX in general is an excellent product and general quality finish is more than OK, except in some specific areas. And that's my point: if they improve on these small detail areas, Lexus would be on top!

However, comparing the UX with Q2 is a bit stretched. Pricing and quality of UX 250h has been benchmarked against Q3 diesel (next to X1 and GLA). The base model of Q2 you are referring at, is priced 24.730 € with 112hp base engine or 27.050 € with 150hp (which equals the performance of the 184 hp UX 250h) and 29.175 in its diesel version. Base price of UX 250h is 34.990 € which compares better with 34.680 € of Q3 petrol.
If you actually go and look for normal Q2, it would be around €35k for 1.6 diesel manual, which means it is actually more expensive than UX250h.
You can not look at Audi pricing from pricelist, just go to real car sales site and see models on sale.

But Q3 also has plenty of bad plastics... this is price comparable also to the UX250h i posted above but with manual... with AT, this model below is €1k extra vs UX200 posted above and has probably at minimum €5k less equipment inside. Please do take a look at these plastics and compare them.

Every german vehicle has nicer bottom door lining than any Lexus... now it is up to customer to decide if inside of bottom door plastic is important part of their car buying experience, as pragmatic Japanese will never take care of that. As I mentioned, Lexus buyers would object 90% of plastics shown here n this Q3.

I am not saying that Lexus shouldnt build LS quality in every car they do, they should... I am saying there is a reason why mags in Europe rate UX as having best interior, so please spare me the stories of cost cutting in Lexus.





  • Joe
    Joe
  • April 13, 2019
spwolf
I am saying there is a reason why mags in Europe rate UX as having best interior, so please spare me the stories of cost cutting in Lexus.
Ooops, I seem to have struck a nerve, given your tone of voice... Not my intention, so I will rest my case :innocent:
S
I feel like the CT has better interiors than the UX, given the price difference (which of course isn’t based only on that aspect).

I’m still massively disappointed by the lack of colours, the door panels are a joke and in the rear area they’re made of hard plastic.

On the back of the front seats you have for some obscure reason a pocket only on the passenger’s seat and the glove box is hard plastic without padding.

The new Mazda 3 has it padded and has nice door panels while costing 20.000€ less than this UX, and I’m sure it will be the same with the more comparable CX-30.

I came at the conclusion that Lexus quality has been inflated in the latest years, they’re living off the good times like the Germans are doing since decades.

I really don’t care if Lexus says that thousands of takumi masters work on my car looking for an almost autistic precision and when I have it in my hands it’s not SO better than another brand on fit and finish.

I had 3 Lexus cars and every single one rattled, the first one after 1 year and the other 2 since day one. This includes the new UX.

It’s all marketing, the truth is that Lexus is starting to become like the rest of the other premium manufacturers and what hurts me more is that as I said Toyota has increased their quality (see the new Corolla) while Lexus cheapened out (UX, ES) while also pumping their prices up!

I guess it’s over with “premium” cars for me, because unless you buy the flagship model you’re only in for disappointment.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • April 13, 2019
Just a reminder ... This forum and all our forums on LE facilitate a free and open exchange of views and opinions; and always with mutual respect. And I appreciate the tenacity with which members often defend their viewpoint. But let's be clear, there is never a need for a condescending tone!
Joe
Ooops, I seem to have struck a nerve, given your tone of voice... Not my intention, so I will rest my case :innocent:
absolutely not, I am just point out how it is actually compared to competition, when you end up looking at competition (i am buying a car so i have been driving a lot of competition in past month).

Also, IMHO UX is a lot better car than CT ever was, new ES is a lot better car than old ES, RX is a lot better car than old RX... I would never ever buy CT, ES or RX previously, while new gens are just fine.
RAL
I agree with you Joe, cost reduction is coming through increased usage of hard plastics. While it might be understandable at lower price points, a Lexus is a Lexus where bean counters should not reign, but be reigned in ...

For example: The back of the front seats in our '19 NX are not hard plastic, but are almost entirely hard plastic in the '19 ES. Scratches on hard plastics never go away! Every time someone inadvertently scraps the plastic side of the center console with the metal tip of the seat belt a scratch will be left; many scratches after time. I can only imagine what the hard plastic on the back of the seats will come to look like.

Upon the closer inspection that time, warmer temperatures, and ownership afford, I have found in the ES center console a symphony of creaking noises in a sea of plastic parts top-covered with a skin of leather. The leather looks nice, but ... My ES has been in the shop for the last 3 days so far with no word, to locate and fix the myriad of creaks and squeaks coming from the double-hinged plastic center console. And there are creaks coming seemingly from the dashboard as well. I notice there is substantial use of hard plastic surrounding the center display (noticeably un-like the similarly designed UX center display) and on the dash on the left side of the driver's display.

These creaks and squeaks have become prevalent as the temperatures of spring increase and the plastics expand. And these noises are not just occasionally heard. Some sound when there is but a change in the car's momentum. And I notice the 600-miles-new '19 ES courtesy car I'm driving in the meantime, is creaking and squeaking much the same way.

Lexus is lowering the bar and persons like myself who have driven many Lexus vehicles for well over a decade are noticing. It makes no sense to devote so much attention to sound deadening the undercarriage of the 7ES only to allow the bean counters to increase and expand zones of hard plastics throughout the interior. I leased my '17 IS 300 AWD for two years. It was as tight as a vault. Never once heard a creak, squeak, or rattle regardless of the outside temperature. And true so far with the '19 NX. But the ES ... is another story. As a Lexus loyalist, besides the flagship models, I sincerely hope this pattern of cost saving will not become prevalent in new models and remodels across the fleet. This is not the pursuit of perfection.
The single biggest problem with my 16’ RX is the trim noise issue. Almost every panel is rattling in the car. The center screen, drivers upper door, passengers lower door, subwoofer area and rear seats. There is a squeaking noise coming from the rear which I have never been able to find it’s origin. The center console flexes like a toyota too. Simply put the RX is way below it’s competitors in terms of build quality and material choices and I happen to think the rest of the line up is suffering from the same problem.

I had an RC as a loaner and the door handles were painted silver plastic. This is absymal for a luxury coupe. Neither Bmw 4 series nor an audi a5 uses that kind of cheap plastics.

I think lexus designs beautiful interiors but uses too cheap plastics to match the designs. It is the only premium manufacturer which uses plastic emblems on the steering wheel. That is unacceptable.
S
I’m pretty sure almost nobody uses metallic emblems on the steering wheel for safety reasons in case of airbag deployment.

Toyota uses the same plastic badge but it’s worked to look like metal, covered in a metal like material that also is heat responsive. This is a nice plus and I always thought that having it on Toyota but not on Lexus is stupid.

I’ll never understand Toyota
Sadman
I’m pretty sure almost nobody uses metallic emblems on the steering wheel for safety reasons in case of airbag deployment.

Toyota uses the same plastic badge but it’s worked to look like metal, covered in a metal like material that also is heat responsive. This is a nice plus and I always thought that having it on Toyota but not on Lexus is stupid.

I’ll never understand Toyota
Look at BMW steering wheels, you will see it. You can use a metal badge but you have to design the airbag in such a way that it won’t burst through the center of the wheel but it will “open” the central cover from the lowest point. Of course this means costs which is what TMC is so afraid of.
S
I’m not 100% sure but the last time I checked the BMW logo had a metal plate inserted into the airbag cover (some models were held with screws) but the main logo was just a plastic sticker, kinda like this which is not oem:



Maybe I’m wrong, just saying.

However plastic or not it’s definitely better than the “satin” plastic Lexus logo.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • April 13, 2019
Blame me for leaving the thread topic ... let's get back to that discussion.
But seriously, even if it's designed otherwise, I'd prefer to opt out of having a large piece of metal on something that's intended to punch me in the face :) Airbags hurt enough as it is, for those who haven't yet had that particular "pleasure".
Lexus UX 250h review: ‘self-charging’ hybrid SUV driven
https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/lexus/250h-20-f-sport-5dr-cvt/first-drive
Would you buy one?

It’s well worth considering, which is far more than can be said for the dreadfully cramped, uncomfortable CT 200h. It still pays to do the maths, and make sure it’s suited to your life (as opposed to say, a VW Golf or Ford Focus, which will just blend into the background of whatever lifestyle you throw at it).

Don’t bother adding more weight with all-wheel drive. But do plump for F Sport trim safe in the knowledge it doesn’t knacker the ride like speccing an S-line Audi Q3 does.

The UX 250h is a good effort from Lexus. It’s more interesting, and more town-friendly, than most of its immediate rivals. Or, to put it another way, it’s a more expensive, more cramped, butcher-looking Toyota Prius, wearing a Scream mask. But at least no-one will mistake you for an Uber and vomit all over the seatbacks when you’re bumbling home of an evening.

7/10
Sadman
I’m still massively disappointed by the lack of colours, the door panels are a joke and in the rear area they’re made of hard plastic.

On the back of the front seats you have for some obscure reason a pocket only on the passenger’s seat and the glove box is hard plastic without padding.

The new Mazda 3 has it padded and has nice door panels while costing 20.000€ less than this UX, and I’m sure it will be the same with the more comparable CX-30.
No one can beat Mazda for the money when it comes to interior design and refinement, not even Audi or Lexus simply because now that's part of their business plan and compromises go to something else. New Mazda 3 has better overall interior layout and fit and finish than UX, the only thing that UX has going on is better steering wheel and dashboard layout and screens but overall interior goes to Mazda 3. Even knobs on Mazda are better weighted and have better haptic feedback than volume/tune jogdials on UX. Call me crazy but road noise also fairs better on 3 than on UX.

Considering many Lexus users complaining about massive amounts of hard plastics from UX to RC and ES there is obviously something about silicon compound soft plastic that Toyota struggles with.
Saw today for the first time an UX, this car seems very well put together! And those seats on F Sport look lovely.
Still hasn't got the opportunity to get inside it, but was really amazed.
Our dealership finally was allocated a UX250h this week. It's probably 6 to 8 weeks away. I'm anxious to drive it a little bit since I didn't get to when we went to UX training. I drove a gas model but only got to ride in a hybrid.

About 90% of my driving is in town under 60mph and since I live right behind our dealership I only average about 5000 miles per year on a vehicle so the UX250h would totally fit into my driving habits.

Over the weekend I did a fuel analysis on fueleconomy.gov on it against the ES350. Yes I know it's two totally different classes of vehicles but it's the two I'm considering when my lease expires this winter. The UX has a greater overall range than the ES on a 5 gallon smaller tank. Of course the lease payment should be less, insurance payment would be less, etc. on the UX but all that would be IF I thought I could live with it for 3 years. My previous car before my current '17 IS200t was a CT200h and I hated every minute of it.

J
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