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The small SUV is ideal for downsizers

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Lexus offers a unique rewards program full of useful and practical incentives. We’re testing the cheapest way to access the Encore Platinum program.

VALUE

The UX is Lexus’ smallest and cheapest SUV. Prices start at around $ 52,000 per car for the UX 200. This compares favorably to Mercedes-Benz’s GLA200 at $ 63,000, but costs more than the Audi Q2 at $ 49,000.

We’re testing the Crafted Limited Edition, based on the cheapest UX 200, which costs around $ 58,000 by car.

Lexus reinforced the urban appeal of the Crafted Edition with a number of styling tweaks, including large 18-inch black alloy wheels, puddle lights, a moonroof, and chrome exterior highlights. dark and black.

A head-up display makes up for the omission of a digital instrument cluster, and a wireless device charger is another welcome addition. A large 10.3-inch center screen is compatible with Apple CarPlay / Android Auto.

Audiophiles will appreciate the 13-speaker Mark Levinson system and booming CD player.

The UX Crafted Edition is the cheapest way to access Lexus’ exclusive Encore Platinum benefits program, typically reserved for the brand’s machines over $ 100,000.

Owners can borrow premium sports cars such as the LC500 coupe four times for up to eight days at a time. Vehicles are available at airports and dealerships nationwide, as well as New Zealand airports. Owners can use free valet parking at select malls and access discounts and perks at some of the country’s major hotels. Lexus covers its vehicles for four years / 100,000 km, while a capped maintenance program costs $ 1,485 over three years.

COMFORT

The cabin of the Crafted Edition is a pleasant space. Passengers are surrounded by soft-touch materials, while the leather-enhanced steering wheel and shifter are of premium quality.

The comfortable leatherette front seats are heated and electronically adjustable and provide good support. A high seating position gives the driver a good view of the road and the high ride height makes access easier.

The laptop-style trackpad control for the center display is difficult to use, however.

Rear legroom is tight, and taller windows make vision less than ideal for young children.

A decent-sized boot can easily accommodate the weekly store or a few travel bags, while the power tailgate is a welcome addition.

A well-sorted suspension absorbs most bumps well, but can feel a bit unstable on wavy surfaces. More rugged roads cause a bit of tire roar and road noise.

SECURITY

The UX Crafted Edition features all of the latest safety bells and whistles.

It will brake automatically if it detects a potential collision with another car, pedestrian or cyclist.

Active safety aids will bring you back to the center of the lane if you are walking around, while the car will also tell you if something is in your blind spot. If a car approaches as you exit your driveway or tight parking space, an alarm will sound.

CONDUCT

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine won’t set you on fire, but its powers of 126 kW / 205 Nm are sufficient for city trips. However, it can seem a bit short of breath when accelerating hard.

Lexus’ automatic CVT is one of the best examples, making the most of the engine’s modest power reserves.

The UX is one of the most maneuverable small SUVs on the road. It exerts excellent body control in the corners, displaying minimal and impressive grip. Its compact size makes it easy to navigate downtown streets and narrow parking lots. Lexus claims fuel consumption of 5.8 L / 100 km, but expects low 6s in the real world.

VERDICT 4/5

A sleek little SUV is great for downsizers, while the ownership experience should be first-class.

ALTERNATIVES

Audi Q2 40TFSI, starting at around $ 56,200 by car

Cute and charming all-wheel-drive SUV doesn’t have the Japanese brand’s cabin finesse.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200, starting at around $ 63,000 by car

Slightly bigger, more powerful and luxuriously equipped. Much more expensive, however.

BMW X1 sDrive20i, starting at around $ 61,000 by car

Looks good but lacks the warranty and benefits of Lexus ownership.

LEXUS UX 200 CRAFTED EDITION VITALS

Price: About $ 58,000 by car

Motor: 4-cylinder 2.0-liter petrol, 126 kW / 205 Nm

Guarantee / service: 4 years / unl’td km, $ 1,485 over three years

Security: Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control

The thirst: 5.8 L / 100 km

Spare: Repair kit

Cargo: 424L


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