Luxurious, tight given the segment, and all Lexus for an attractive price. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Sept. 12, 2018 Austin, TX -- At this years annual Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo, Lexus brought something I am sure many here will find intriguing. Here is a quick overview of the all-New 2019 Lexus UX 250h - $34,000 and $36,000 for AWD. Although the full EPA has not yet been released, Lexus promised it will have the best MPG ratings of any CUV without a plug in the U.S. market. In other words, TBA. D&H will run you $1,025 in addition to the vehicle price. The new entry level Lexus is slated to reach dealership showrooms this December and is the first Lexus constructed on the new Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform. A super-rigid high strength steel ladened structure with a very low for a sport ute, center of gravity. 2019 Lexus UX 250h Exterior Arrowhead LED DRLs highlight standard dual-beam LED headlamps or optional ultra-small 3-projector LED headlamps round out the eyes of the new compact Hybrid Ute. Lexus’ signature grille shape with a new mesh pattern providing a three-dimensional appearance that changes with the angle. A lower chrome trim wrap rounds out the facial expression. The profile includes a full chrome DLO “window edge trim”. Front and rear fender flares including hard-plastic wheel arch moldings provides an off-road ready look. Unfortunately, the std. wheels are 18’s with 225/50RF18 run flats which are both unnecessary and kill efficiency. Out back, a wing-type spoiler at the roof edge plus a full-width sequence of 120 LEDs tapering toward the center are the two highlights. The face, profile, rear end, and a flat underbody combine for a middling Cd of 0.33. The 103.9-inch wheelbase provides a tight 34 ft turning diameter. 2019 Lexus UX 250h Interior Lexus’ UX cabins upper instrument panel appears to extend beyond the windscreen into the fenders. Given the UX is a Sport Ute with a higher ground clearance, an elevated hip-point provides he higher seating position most seem to like vs the Lexus sedan lineup. The UX offers 8-way power adjustable synthetic leather front seats, with adjustable lumbar plus manual forward/backward adjustment for the headrests. A leather wrapped wheel with an electric tilt and telescopic steering column is available for higher trims which improves ingress and egress are auto away / auto return. An analog clock along with heated and ventilated front seats are standard. LED cabin lighting with white LEDs illuminating the front footwells, glovebox and console switches, and also serve as the dome light, map lights and cargo area light. The small lit Toyota/Lexus LED map light cone continues to shortchange owners, however. A 7-inch TFT LCD driver display looks like analog gauges in a digital three-dimensional space. The standard 7-inch Lexus Multimedia System (LMS) central display is standard, and a 10.25-inch screen Lexus Navigation is optional. The Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with haptic feedback was designed to feel like a smartphone but like past RTIs, it is not as good as the Mazda Commander system, one of If not the best in the business imho. An optional hands-free foot-activated power rear gate adds to convenience, but I would have preferred that it include a proximity key-based unit with a few seconds delay to open the rear hatch like Hyundai? Like the all-new 2019 Lexus ES, the UX arrives with Apple CarPlay with voice control through Siri. Unfortunately, Apple Maps still lack Google Maps accuracy and detail and Android Auto is still not available? Fix this Lexus. Yesterday. 2019 Lexus UX 250h Chassis The Lexus UX uses of high-tensile steel, high-strength adhesives, and Laser Screw Welding. The MacPherson strut front suspension with upper strut brace and multilink rear with trailing arms - both mounted to sub-frames – were designed for high torsional rigidity. An Electric Power Steering system with a new compact and highly rigid column-assist motor delivers decent steering feel. 2019 Lexus UX 250h Drivetrain Within the UX 250h, Lexus is using a new Atkinsonized 2.0L I4 mated to the Toyota/Lexus’ highly efficient 4th gen Hybrid system for a total output of 181 hp. Once again Lexus is using a tried and true but heavy NiMH traction battery chemistry. I am still wondering why? Longevity? Cost? Recyclability? The UX 250h AWD uses a separate, dedicated electric motor-generator with 7hp output integrated into the rear differential similar to the current gen RAV4 Hybrid. Power distribution between the front and rear axles is automatically optimized by the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system when accelerating, cornering, or driving on slippery surfaces. AWD provides stable driving on uphill slopes or snow-covered roads with lower fuel consumption than a conventional all-wheel drive system that employs a power split device and driveshaft. AWD does more than assist traction in slippery conditions; the system can actively improve stability by adjusting rear-wheel power to help correct an over- or understeer condition. Something I have wanted but whose implementation across all OEMs has been poor at best is a Predictive Eco Drive Control. The system uses navi to learn driving habits, predicts the expected roadway grades either up or down ahead and analyzes real-time traffic reports to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery for better SoC control. The system can provide deceleration support up to about 1,000 feet ahead of the vehicle. Predictive State of Charge (SOC) control for the hybrid functions on both downhill roads and in congested traffic. Operating when the UX is following guidance from the navigation system, it will predict the route for a distance of up to 6 miles ahead to optimize the conditions under which it can regenerate for an a mild ascent ahead.. On a long, downhill stretch of road where a full SoC could be reached partway down the mountain, no additional regenerated energy can be recovered. The system will run more EV through the peak prior to the downhill to reduce SoC and leave more pack to regen electricity for later use. I am not sue iof it will work but I will be interested in testing it out. Our short drive loop on mostly flat terrain provided no possibility of seeing if it works or not? In known stop-and-go traffic or low-speed driving ahead, the system will force charge the pack to a higher SoC so as to use more electric only driving in the stop and crawls. 2019 Lexus UX 250h Safety The UX 250h is equipped with eight airbags: driver and front passenger; driver and front passenger knee; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact and front to rear side curtain airbags. No rear sides are included unfortunately. Like the ES 350h, the UX 250h includes the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 stanrard. It includes the following: Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection Somewhat All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist Lane Tracing Assist Road Sign Assist (RSA) Intelligent High-Beam headlamps DRCC operates between 0-110 mph but must be initiated at speeds above 19 mph. Why, I have no idea? Other available safety systems include Parking Support Alert (PSA) and Parking Support Brake (PSB). PSA can detect crossing vehicles from the sides and static vehicles in front of or behind the UX when parking and uses digital camera images on the center display along with audibles to alert the driver of potential risks. The PSB system adds active drive force (throttle) and braking control to audible and visual warnings to reduce the possibility of contact with moving objects ahead or behind the UX when parking. Although I have only driven it on a short drive loop and detailed driving impressions may be embargoed, I thought this latest entry into the Luxury B-Segment Sport Ute category was a great first time buyer step into the Lexus lineup. I am sure that is exactly what Lexus has hoped for as well. Lexus up close, personal, and what a face! Now where is that Android Auto?