Following its reveal at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show, Lexus brought its all-new entry-level crossover to North America for the first time at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. It’s called the UX and it arrives on Lexus’ latest GA-C (Global Architecture – Compact) modular platform. Fans of Lexus might note that there’s already an entry-level crossover called the NX. The new UX, however, isn’t so much a replacement for the NX as it is a new addition to the company’s lineup.
“The first-ever Lexus UX is designed for the modern, urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” said Chika Kako, executive vice president of Lexus International and chief engineer of the UX. “We designed the UX to appeal to buyers in their 30s who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”
In addition to being completely new from the ground up, the UX features an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the base UX200. The standard gas version puts out 168 horsepower to the front wheels, while promising to return an average of 33 mpg on the combined driving cycle.
A new “Direct Shift” CVT also debuts, promising to perform more like a conventional automatic rather than a typical CVT. This comes thanks to a new twin-variable pulleys connected via a belt, which aids in changing the effective gear ratio. The new CVT also features an additional gearset for starting from a standstill, resulting in faster, more linear acceleration.
Furthermore, the UX’s CVT is actually integrated with the sat-nav system, allowing it to learn and adapt to a driver’s driving habits and frequent routes. That way, the car can take this information and use it to improve fuel economy and optimize the hybrid system’s operation.
In typical Lexus fashion, an optional hybrid variant is also available. The UX250h pairs the 2.0-liter turbo-four with Lexus’ fourth-generation Hybrid Drive system. As such, it produces a total of 176 horsepower, while returning an estimated 38 mpg combined.
Although all base UX crossovers come with front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is also optional, but only for the UX250h.
Lexus says the new UX should begin production later this fall, hitting showrooms in the U.S. in December. Pricing details should arrive closer to date, which is also when Lexus plans to fully detail its latest subscription package.
Similar to what we’ve seen with Volvo, Lexus announced that the UX kicks off the company’s latest subscription service, where buyers can pay a flat monthly fee and have access to other vehicles in Lexus’ lineup. This also includes insurance and other associated costs, along with included maintenance and service.
Be sure to check out the all-new Lexus UX at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
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