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MM Test-Drive: 2019 Lexus UX Hybrid AWD F-Sport (updated static review)

Old 01-07-19, 06:49 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
"Better" may be a relative term, but, IMO, it's hard to justify hard-plastic all over the door panels in a 38-40K Lexus product. I've seen better door-panel material in low-level Kias and Hyundais.

Having said that, though, there are some nice touches inside the UX, such as the felt-lined sun-visors and a nicely-done steering wheel. It's not all bargain-basement stuff.
The bottom line is $38-40k isn't a whole lot for a car nowadays. If you look at competitors products in that segment and range, they're no different.
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Old 01-07-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SW17LS View Post
The bottom line is $38-40k isn't a whole lot for a car nowadays. If you look at competitors products in that segment and range, they're no different.


I can't necessarily agree with that. Compare, for example, the materials that Audi uses in that price range.
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Old 01-07-19, 06:56 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
I can't necessarily agree with that. Compare, for example, the materials that Audi uses in that price range.
Have you looked at an Audi Q3 or A3? Lots of cheap plastic on those interiors, if anything the UX is nicer in some ways. Just looked at them too
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Old 01-07-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post


So the $7000 comes from the need to first, pay the premium for the hybrid and second, you must pay the premium for the hybrid in order to even get the luxury package. Not knocking the premium for the hybrid as it appears that in this case, it is the vehicle to get as well as in RAV4. But the premium for the hybrid is not cheap IMO.

Now I see the problem. The hybrid premium is NOT an extra fee to be paid on top of the retail price. The hybrid is merely the difference between the higher retail price of the Hybrid model and the lower retail price of the regular model.

I showed the premiums for the various models in my earlier post.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:44 PM
  #65  
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IMHO, you pay for the fancy stuff on the UX vs. the Corolla Hatch. This is a car for people who want a more "rugged" looking SUV for styling and a higher ground clearance. It's basically a mini RX just a notch down from the NX. Lexus had to get this on the market because the Germans have been doing this already. For the $10K-$15K or so markup over the Corolla, you're getting a bigger infotainment screen, heated and cooled seats vs just heated.

There are adaptive LED headlights vs the standard LEDs on the Corolla. You're paying for little extras and presumably the better materials on the UX. But if you don't need the L badge and a few little extras, the Corolla hatch looks very nice, very Euro and offers a lot for the money. And that Corolla has AWD available on the standard drivetrain, because of course, Toyota can provide you with the Prius for a hybrid or PHEV. Best of all is the six speed standard transmission as a choice for highway drivers. You won't get that on the UX.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MattyG View Post
IMHO, you pay for the fancy stuff on the UX vs. the Corolla Hatch. This is a car for people who want a more "rugged" looking SUV for styling and a higher ground clearance. It's basically a mini RX just a notch down from the NX. Lexus had to get this on the market because the Germans have been doing this already. For the $10K-$15K or so markup over the Corolla, you're getting a bigger infotainment screen, heated and cooled seats vs just heated.

There are adaptive LED headlights vs the standard LEDs on the Corolla. You're paying for little extras and presumably the better materials on the UX. But if you don't need the L badge and a few little extras, the Corolla hatch looks very nice, very Euro and offers a lot for the money. And that Corolla has AWD available on the standard drivetrain, because of course, Toyota can provide you with the Prius for a hybrid or PHEV. Best of all is the six speed standard transmission as a choice for highway drivers. You won't get that on the UX.
The same can be said for the NX compared to the (older) RAV4, and the RX compared to the Highlander (and the ES compared to the Camry or Avalon). If you are looking for something more refined, with a few more (standard) features (or just want a luxury brand), and are willing to pay the premium, buy the Lexus. If, however, you don't need the little extras and/or want to pay a lower price, an equivalent Toyota is available.

In fact, I am interested in looking at the new RAV4 as a preview of what the next-generation NX will offer.

I don't see anything wrong with this. There is obviously a market for a luxury-branded RAV4, Highlander, Camry / Avalon and Corolla / C-HR; the evidence is in the sales of the NX, RX, ES and CT (for the 6 years it was in the North American market). Time will tell for how well the UX sells, but I believe it will sell enough to not be pulled from the market early (like the HS hybrid was after only 2 years in North America).
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Old 01-08-19, 04:33 PM
  #67  
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Default MM Test-Drive: 2019 Lexus UX Hybrid AWD F-Sport












Last week, I did a static review of the all-new 2019 Lexus UX subcompact (B-class) SUV/CUV., checking out a couple of versions inside and out. While there were some good features about it, I found the interior, overall, quite disappointing, poorly-designed, cramped, not really designed for persons my size, and using cheap or questionable materials. After that generally negative experience, I was not really in the mood for a test-drive, and did not want to waste the dealership's time if I was not going to recommend the vehicle or (potentially) send them any customers. So, I simply did the static-write-up (it was a thorough write-up, not just a couple of sentences or paragraphs), posted it, and that was that.

Some of you, however, including Jill and the (ever-polite): thumbup: corradoMR2, suggested that it was a mistake not to test-drive it when I had the chance, and asked me to reconsider. After about a week or so of sleeping on it, I agreed. I decided to test-drive the same version (a hybrid) I wrote about last week. The Lexus shop I was at last week, though, had sold or leased the two hybrids that had in stock (and, apparently, one of the two gas versions). Another Lexus shop, not too far away, still had a couple of hybrids left, so I hopped in my Lacrosse and drove on down while they were still available. This Lexus shop was smack in the middle of an area with quite a few poor road-surfaces, so it would also be a good basic test of the suspension and ride comfort.

One of the two hybrids available was a white F-Sport (I had not previously looked at an F-Sport, because none were available) with the all-Black NuLuxe imitation leather interior...the traditional F-Sport burgundy-red color seats, of course, are also available as an option. The F-Sport seats, of course, were a little narrower and more sharply bolstered than the standard seats, and my big rump and torso noticed it at first, but, by the end of the test-drive, had more or less gotten adapted to it, but just barely. The one I drove listed for $39,540, and included several options.

As you can see, I decided to drive the F-Sport, for several reasons. First, a number of you in the forum would probably be more interested in it than some of the other versions. Second, It had the same drivetrain, suspension, and wheels as the other versions, so it probably wouldn't make much, if any, difference in road manners. Third, I'm not sure if it was just me or not, but the F-Sport interior seemed to have some nicer-feeling trim-materials, particularly on the front door panels. The rest of the F-Sport interior, though, of course, had the same awkward control design/ergonomics as the other versions.....so there wasn't any change there. So, I checked the tire PSIs, got a test-drive plate, adjusted everything, and went off.

I have to admit that, with one major exception (the regenerative-braking system, which I'll get to later) the actual test-drive, even on the Third-World roads around that dealership, was better than I expected, and significantly better than the negative experience I had had last week on the static-review. I stayed out a little longer than usual (perhaps to make up for not doing it last week LOL)....and got a good well-rounded summary of the road manners on quite a few different concrete and asphalt road surfaces (even some smooth roads as well). I ended up actually liking its road manners a little more than the larger, more expensive NX...though neither of them, of course, can compare to the smooth, silky, refined RX, and, by Lexus standards, I wasn't impressed at all wth the NX's road manners.

Like with many hybrids, when the drivetrain system is turned on, a green READY light on the dash will tell you if and when the system is powered-up, with sufficient battery-charge, to go....otherwise the gas engine will start. If desired, again like with may hybrids, you can program the dash screen to show you which system (gas or electric) is powering which wheels, and in what percentages.....this is the only AWD system offered on the NX, as AWD is not available with the gas-engine versions. At 181 HP, this is not a particularly strong hybrid system (Toyota and Lexus don't publish most of their hybrid power-specs except for total system HP), but there is sufficient torque for most normal driving, under most conditions. The CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is supposedly set up to imitate a conventional automatic (with stepped-ratios) while starting out, then revert back to conventional CVT characteristics once rolling at speed. In my experience, it was pretty much seamless under most driving conditions, and you don't really notice it most of the time. There is, of course, a Sport/Manual Mode for the transmission, and manual-shifts can be done with either the shift-paddles on the steering column or with the S-mode +/- on the shift-lever, in a separate gate. An odd-looking **** that sticks out of the upper-dash, sideways, behind the steering wheel, controls the ECO and SPORT driving modes, which alter the engine and transmission response slightly (not the suspension damping). As with the new RAV-4, the rings around the speedometer and primary gauges change color with the drive-mode,

As I mentioned earlier, there were plenty of bumpy roads and street in the area I was today, and general ride comfort (always a sensitive issue in my book) was better than I expected. I think this is partly because the F-Sport version, unlike on some other Lexus products, keeps the standard (and relatively compliant) 18" 50-series wheels/tires), and partly that Lexus may (?) be responding to customer complaints that the NX's ride is too firm and noisy. Because of those complaints, they probably decided, on the UX's design, to give the suspension a little more compliance over bumps and some better sound insulation. Can't prove it, but that's my strong suspicion. Yet, in spite of the decent ride quality (for a vehicle this size), steering response is very good...quick and precise; one of the best I've seen on a crossover SUVs. The electric power steering, as with most units, filters out a bit of the road feel, but that is the case with most units. Wind-noise, from the tight-fitting door/window seals, was well-controlled. I got to sample the sound-insulation on many different road-surfaces, and, as with most vehicles, the more porous the road surface, the more tire noise, but it was tolerable and never obtrusive. Tire noise on concrete, as is also usually the case, was higher than on smooth asphalt. On smooth asphalt, it wasn't bad at all....almost as quiet as some Buicks I've tried. In the static review, I did not power up the stereo system....with the power-up, of course, that was one of the things i checked out. Once you get past the (aforementioned) awkward on/off, volume, and tuning controls, the sound quality itself was quite good.....not quite as good as the Lexus Mark Levinson units, of course, but you're not going to find a Mark Levinson option in an entry-level Lexus product. My test-vehicle had the heated steering-wheel and heated/seat options, which keep your pinkies and rump nicely toasted on a cold winter day...though temperatures at test-time today weren't too bad, only in the mid-40s.

My only significant complaint on the road-test was the regenerative braking system. Like most hybrids and pure-electrics, the UX uses a regenerative braking system that allows the free-wheeling electric motor to generate current, help recharge the battery, and act as a brake-drag on the vehicle when the accelerator pedal is lifted. The one in the UX still needs some work, and a little fine-tuning. Lifting off on the pedal, at first, doesn't produce all that much drag, then, when you push the brake pedal, you are greeted with a couple of inches of almost no-response mushiness, and then the brakes hit all at once, with much more effectiveness. I never did quite get used to it during the whole test-drive, and, IMO, is something that the engineers might have to work on a little more. I also didn't care much for the vibrating steering wheel when the Lane-Change camera thinks that you are too close to painted lane-markings. It vibro-massaged the wheel a couple of times, even when I was in the center of the lane and tracking properly. After a couple of miles of this.......(you guessed it)......I calmly switched it off, though it took some hunting through the controls to do it.

All in all, though, aside from the brakes (and the still somewhat cramped interior) a significantly more pleasant experience behind the wheel than during the unimpressive static review I had last week. If I was several inches shorter (and thinner) I could maybe live with this vehicle as a daily-driver.

And, as always..........Happy Car-Shopping.
MM

Last edited by mmarshall; 01-08-19 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:00 PM
  #68  
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thanks for the update! glad the drive was overall good...
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Old 01-08-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
thanks for the update!
You can also thank Jill and corrado.....they talked me into it.

glad the drive was overall good...
Better than I expected, except for the brakes. Perhaps just my imagination, but the F-Sport interior also seemed to have some better materials in it than other versions.

Last edited by mmarshall; 01-08-19 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-08-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
You can also thank Jill and corrado.....they talked me into it.



Better than I expected, except for the brakes. Perhaps just my imagination, but the F-Sport interior also seemed to have some better materials in it than other versions.
The UX Hybrid's braking, as described, seems similar to how the brakes operate on my ES Hybrid and other ES Hybrids I have driven.

Unlike other automakers that offer an aggressive, even single-pedal throttle and braking, Toyota does not. And without engine braking, lifting completely off the throttle allows the Toyota Hybrid to truly coast with no drag from the engine.

Placing your foot on the brake pedal initiates the progressively-stronger regenerative braking -- it gets stronger the further you depress the brake pedal. When you first drive a Toyota / Lexus hybrid vehicle, this is a bit different from normal cars, causing drivers -- including me when I first drove an ES Hybrid -- to overcompensate and press down hard on the brake pedal.

But if you apply too much brake too quickly (too much pressure), less regenerative braking is used and more mechanical braking comes on earlier, leading to those very sudden stops at stop signs. If, however, you learn to brake smoothly and evenly, and even reduce pressure near the bottom of the pedal travel (to reduce the effect of the mechanical brakes), braking is very smooth and linear.

Once you learn it, it becomes second nature, and driving other vehicles only becomes a problem if their brakes are very grabby at the top of the pedal travel. My wife's Accord is like that. The Elantra that we rented while on vacation had a brake pedal that was as smooth and linear as my ES Hybrid.

From Mike's descriptive driving review, I think that I could very quickly and easily get used to driving the UX 250h.
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Old 01-08-19, 09:34 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Sulu View Post
The UX Hybrid's braking, as described, seems similar to how the brakes operate on my ES Hybrid and other ES Hybrids I have driven.

Unlike other automakers that offer an aggressive, even single-pedal throttle and braking, Toyota does not. And without engine braking, lifting completely off the throttle allows the Toyota Hybrid to truly coast with no drag from the engine.

Placing your foot on the brake pedal initiates the progressively-stronger regenerative braking -- it gets stronger the further you depress the brake pedal. When you first drive a Toyota / Lexus hybrid vehicle, this is a bit different from normal cars, causing drivers -- including me when I first drove an ES Hybrid -- to overcompensate and press down hard on the brake pedal.

But if you apply too much brake too quickly (too much pressure), less regenerative braking is used and more mechanical braking comes on earlier, leading to those very sudden stops at stop signs. If, however, you learn to brake smoothly and evenly, and even reduce pressure near the bottom of the pedal travel (to reduce the effect of the mechanical brakes), braking is very smooth and linear.

Once you learn it, it becomes second nature, and driving other vehicles only becomes a problem if their brakes are very grabby at the top of the pedal travel. My wife's Accord is like that. The Elantra that we rented while on vacation had a brake pedal that was as smooth and linear as my ES Hybrid.

From Mike's descriptive driving review, I think that I could very quickly and easily get used to driving the UX 250h.
Try one out and see what you think. My experience is that the UX250 Hybrid regenerative braking system feels more or less like those found on early hybrids (from the early-mid 2000s), but that more recent hybrids have pretty much engineered out.

Placing your foot on the brake pedal initiates the progressively-stronger regenerative braking -- it gets stronger the further you depress the brake pedal. When you first drive a Toyota / Lexus hybrid vehicle, this is a bit different from normal cars, causing drivers -- including me when I first drove an ES Hybrid -- to overcompensate and press down hard on the brake pedal.
That wasn't quite what I experienced wth the UX. With the UX Hybrid, the pedal was very soft (pure mush) for a couple of inches, with virtually no response at all. It was hard to push it lightly because there was little resistance in the pedal itself. Then, about halfway down or so, the braking seems to hit all at once. I understand what you are saying about smooth pedal-application, but I found that difficult in the NX. Like I said, you might want to try one and see what you think.
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Old 01-09-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Try one out and see what you think. My experience is that the UX250 Hybrid regenerative braking system feels more or less like those found on early hybrids (from the early-mid 2000s), but that more recent hybrids have pretty much engineered out.



That wasn't quite what I experienced wth the UX. With the UX Hybrid, the pedal was very soft (pure mush) for a couple of inches, with virtually no response at all. It was hard to push it lightly because there was little resistance in the pedal itself. Then, about halfway down or so, the braking seems to hit all at once. I understand what you are saying about smooth pedal-application, but I found that difficult in the NX. Like I said, you might want to try one and see what you think.
Regenerative braking systems do feel different and they definitely take more than 1 test drive to get used to.
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Old 01-09-19, 04:06 PM
  #73  
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My gosh do I ever love the interior of the new UX. I sat in the hybrid model that was F sport. I have no idea how to determine which trim the model is.

I know now there is always talk about plastics and such, however the materials met my expectations. The fit and finish as well. I just love love love the F sport seats and the feel of the faux leather.

I think the design inside and out is great. Very sexy design inside and quite cozy once seated. The f sport stripe in the seats and rear bench seat was really cool.

Some nice finds, door courtesy lights (&#128077, seat cushion on passenger side is power up and forward back and the headrests pull four way.

Although I did not drive the new UX, I simply find the price point to be way too high for the engine you are getting in either gas or hybrid. Is it too much to have turbo like in the new A class hatch?

Rear hatch space as well as rear passenger space is deplorable and the floor is too high. You can clearly see why there are run flats. Rear doors lose some soft touch materials. I also really find it cheap looking to that Lexus has gone to the pegs on the doors to alert if the doors are locked or unlocked.

Remote touch is a poor idea. But the new radio controls are kinda interesting.

Lastly, I think the gauge cluster and horns 😅 work way better on this size of interior than they do in the LS or LC and ES size.


Last edited by LexsCTJill; 01-09-19 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-09-19, 04:22 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post
My gosh do I ever love the interior of the new UX. I sat in the hybrid model that was F sport. I have no idea how to determine which trim the model is.

Obviously, those with the burgundy red seats are F-Sport models, but the F-Sport also comes in black, such as my test-vehicle. The red, though, is a lot nicer.

I just love love love the F sport seats and the feel of the faux leather.
Yes, if one is thin, the F-Sport seats are indeed nice. And no arguments on the NuLuxe imitation leather, which is probably the best thing that ever happened to cows LOL. That, of course, applies to all Lexus products with it, not just the UX.

Some nice finds, door courtesy lights (��),
True, but those are expected in this class. of vehicle. This is a luxury nameplate.

Although I did not drive the new UX,
Well, you talked me into driving one. Now go sample one yourself.....you probably won't be disappointed.

I simply find the price point to be way too high for the engine you are getting in either gas or hybrid.
True. IMO, this is a 30K vehicle with a 40K price-tag.

Rear hatch space as well as rear passenger space is deplorable and the floor is too high. You can clearly see why there are run flats. Rear doors lose some soft touch materials. I also really find it cheap looking to that Lexus has gone to the pegs on the doors to alert if the doors are locked or unlocked.
Yep......I made all of those points in my earlier static review.

But the new radio controls are kinda interesting.
Like you said, you didn't drive it. Just try and flip those tiny thumb-wheels accurately when you're on a bumpy road. Fortunately, you can at least adjust the radio volume with a steering-wheel button.

.

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Old 01-11-19, 09:51 PM
  #75  
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MM glad you checked out the hybrid and took it out for a spin. Seems your impressions are consistent with the general automotive community of reviewers regarding the good ride and handling. For me, the 2K premium on the Hybrid (like-for-like) over the 200 is well worth the added smoothness in NVH, torque, AWD, and 40%+ better fuel economy. I also prefer the F Sport (thanks for checking that one out) in either red or white interior as I agree, it looks richer inside than the non-F Sport thanks to the LC-inspired seats and little details like different stitching throughout, the paddle shifters, and F Sport emblem on the steering.

Not sure if you checked the cargo area and noticed the shallower floor on the 250h, a smallish 17 cu ft. It's probably the biggest negative for me along with the runflats.



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