The 2020 Lexus UX200 is neither fast nor sporting but it is luxurious and makes a convincing little urban crossover for the slightly well-heeled. The UX is essentially a Toyota underneath, using the same underpinnings as the C-HR only it has the 2.0 engine from the Toyota Corolla. The other option is a UX25oH which we tested last year and was quite zippy with the added electric assist.

What’s New for 2020

New standard features now include, Android Auto functionality has been added on all vehicles, updated Enform trial periods, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is available with Blind Spot Monitor, which was previously Park Assist.

How is the gas engine?

The 2.0 DOHC four-cylinder has 169 hp and 151-lb-ft @4,800 rpm and it’s not quite enough if you really need to get a move on. From a stop to sixty mph takes 8.7 seconds making this a not so convincing power train option. Lexus has a turbo 4 with 235 hp available, can we have that one in the UX, please, because everything else about this car is great including its funky futuristic looks with all its elegant creases and folds. and you have a vehicle that definitely stands out, even if it doesn’t stand tall.

On The Road

Under that funky skin, the UX is primarily a great little car to drive. The overall dynamics are excellent including well-weighted and progressive steering, a supple yet supportive ride thanks to nicely tuned damping, and excellent levels of refinement. The only real let down is that the 2.0 is somewhat coarse sounding at higher revs, so it’s best to just waft along at a slower pace and enjoy some music. You can opt for an F Sport package that brings a retuned suspension along with a few visual upgrades and more supportive seats.

From a driver’s perspective, it’s very easy to drive, in particular around town. I spent the first day week toggling between Eco, Normal, and Sport and decided that Sport was best for the rest of the week. You do have to reset it every time you start the car since is always defaults to Normal.

The steering has a reassuring weight and is direct making the car quite nimble. It’s not just a city car though, once on the freeway, it cruises at high speeds and still has enough to push past traffic with relative ease. The chassis is good, you feel planted in the turns and it feels very stable at higher speeds. Simply put the diminutive UX doesn’t feel like a crossover at all, it feels like a car and this is why it shines.

The gas engine is of course not as economical as the UX25oH, we averaged 27.1 mpg for the week instead of 32 mpg with the hybrid, but then we do have a fairly energetic driving style.

Interior

You sit quite low in this car, so those of you that enjoy a high riding panoramic view will be disappointed, or will you? You see once you slide inside the very comfortable, leather-faced seats you’ll notice the UX is beautifully designed throughout.

The controls are laid out well using piano key buttons in a long row, the infotainment screen is wide and thin and is angled towards the driver, another plus. Instead of having to use the fiddly touch-pad for everything, the basic audio controls protrude from the front of the center armrest. It works, you can adjust volume, media, etc., not perfect but better than none.

Thanks to a lack of a battery you gain 4.6 cubic feet of cargo space for a total of 21.7 enough to squeeze in an extra bag or no bags and a small bloodhound.

My Luxury equipped tester came with just about everything you would need including Triple Beam Headlamp, Washers, LED Fog Lamps, and Cornering Lamps for $1,660. A Head-Up display ($565) and a Wireless Charger for $75 and the total tester price was $41,475.

Standard safety equipment included Pre-Collision System w/Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracking Assist, and Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist.

Final Thoughts

The UX is good, in fact, it’s very good, as a replacement for the aging CT, Lexus has produced a winner. It’s specifically aimed at the entry-level urban luxury buyer, and as a bonus is Lexus’s least-expensive model. I really liked this little Lexus, just give it a turbo, at least in the F-Sport version.

2020 Lexus UX200 Luxury Numbers

BASE PRICE: $37,500
PRICE AS TESTED: $41,475
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, FWD, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover
ENGINE: DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4

POWER: 169 hp
TORQUE: 151-lb-ft @4,800 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed Direct-Shift Continuously Variable Transmission

0-60 MPH: 8.7 sec
CURB WEIGHT: 3,307 lb

CARGO CAPACITY: 21.7 ft³
FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 12.4 gallons
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON: 29/37/33 mpg

OUR OBSERVED: 27.1 mpg
PROS: Quiet and refined, superb seats, beautiful interior
CONS: Cargo space is tight, could use more power