2021 Lexus UX 200 Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Aug 24, 2021

Editor's: 4.2/5
The entry-level Lexus crossover that should tickle your fancy.
2021 Lexus UX 200 Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants and Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Lexus UX 200 Review: Introduction

The world is going gaga for SUVs and crossovers, to the point that automakers have been expanding their high-riding lineups (and reducing their sedan ranges), making sure to cover all bases of the profitable segment.

That’s exactly the case with the Lexus UX. Entering the Lexus range as the smallest model (yet), the UX aims to serve as the entry-level model into the Japanese luxury marque’s crossover ecosystem, slotting under the NX.

As the “base” model, is the UX 200 any good? I got to drive home one in F Sport flavor for a few days before the stricter quarantine measure and here are my thoughts.

4.2/5

Lexus UX 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.0/5

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology
    4.0/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    4.5/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    4.5/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    4.0/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Lexus UX 200 Exterior Review: Beautiful chaos

Full disclosure: I have always been fond of current Lexus cars, no matter which model I look at. Guess the spindle grille works fine for me, which isn’t the case for everyone.

A picture of the side of the Lexus UX

It's sloping roofline provides the model a degree of sportiness.

The UX 200 is no exception, but I need to point out some obvious executions that show Toyota pushing the boundaries of style on its C-HR-based luxury crossover. While most vehicle designs come with thematic lines, the UX in its F Sport trim does have a multitude of shapes, deep cuts, and extra sharp creases. The result is something that most people would call over-designed. And while Lexus vehicles are often called polarizing because of the grille, the UX has taken this up a notch. It’s obvious that Lexus is aiming for the younger, active crowd with the UX and the company’s quite successful in expressing that style-wise.

A picture of the rear of the Lexus UX 200

Check out the shape of those taillights though

Truth be told, the UX’s design is daring and edgy, chaotic even, but for some reason, I find the whole ensemble beautiful. Not many cars can pull that off, mind you.

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2021 Lexus UX 200 Interior Review: Familiar with a few omissions

As with the rest of the Lexus range, the UX comes with luxurious appointments that are worthy of its price point. But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any cost-cutting involved, but more on that later.

A picture of the Lexus UX 200's front cabin

The Lexus UX 200's cockpit

At the front, the UX has an organized layout, with the massive infotainment spanning the driver-centric dashboard. Synthetic leather will mostly touch your skin, while textured materials are found on some parts where the fake cowhide doesn’t reach. The execution is familiar yet a bit better than the aging Lexus models, which is a bit expected given the timing of the UX’s introduction to the market. Cost-cutting measures are apparent at the rear. There are some few bits of hard plastics, while the trunk is relegated to a thin plebeian sheet of mesh cloth.

A picture of the rear cabin of the Lexus UX 200

A peek into its amply-sized rear cabin

On the other hand, space is out of the question at the front, but the rear cabin is relatively on the tight spectrum. That’s if you’ll fill it with three tall people; just make sure to keep it at two average-sized adults. Trunk space isn’t exactly dismal, but loading height’s a bit illogical. Maybe Lexus thinks UX buyers aren’t the type to haul heavy stuff – that, or this is a classic case of choosing form over function.

2021 Lexus UX 200: Tech & Safety Review

In terms of tech, the Lexus UX isn’t lacking and the omissions to keep its price competitive in the luxury segment are apparent. Things you’ll miss include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, memory function for the 8-way power-adjustable seats, blind-spot monitors, steering wheel with power adjustments, and the typical Lexus helm that opens up electronically whenever you shut off the car.

A picture of the UX 200's headunit

The UX 200's infotainment system

But those were just the omissions; the whole package still includes things you’ll expect in a Lexus, such as a great-looking digital LFA-inspired instrument, logical USB charging port placements, and a working kick-sensitive power tailgate. The host of tiny LED lights in the cabin keeps things premium and posh, but as always, I couldn’t help but criticize Lexus for its non-intuitive touchpad for the infotainment. Good thing the company is already moving away from this as seen in the new-generation Lexus NX.

A picture of the Lexus UX 200's touchpad

The Lexus UX 200's touchpad

In terms of safety, the UX is almost filled to the brim, except for the coveted Toyota Safety Sense.

2021 Lexus UX 200: Engine & Performance Review

Whether you’ll fault Lexus for the cutbacks in select areas especially in the cabin, its on-road manners and performance isn’t something to scoff at. Sure, an in-line 2.0-liter four-banger isn’t the most attractive powertrain out there, but the M20A-FKS engine under the hood is a bit more potent compared to the same mill found inside Chinese C-HRs.

A picture of the Lexus UX 200's engine

The Lexus UX 200's 2.0-liter M20-FKS inline-4 gasoline engine

That said, with 168hp and 205Nm torque on tap, the Lexus UX is a peppy machine to drive. Despite being equipped with a CVT, it does react instantly to accelerator outputs and overtakes don’t take too much effort.

Even better, the reactive powertrain is partnered with agile handling. Thanks to the adaptive variable steering and great steering feedback, the UX is both comfortable and sporty to drive. Switching to Sport S and Sport S+ modes means more tendency to linger at high RPMs, equating to a more spirited drive.

2021 Lexus UX 200: Fuel Efficiency

With a 2.0-liter engine and a CVT, the Lexus UX 200 is relatively a thrifty cruiser. In a mixed driving condition – mostly in-city at a slow pace and a bit of a highway stint including some sprints where possible – the UX returned 8.5 km/l. In more sedate (and normal) circumstances, I’d wager I can get more.

2021 Lexus UX 200 Review: Verdict

Life is full of oxymorons. A small crowd. The only choice. A deafening silence. Even with cars, there are several oxymorons that describe some, oftentimes doing so perfectly because automobiles aren’t simply black and white.

A picture of the front of the Lexus UX 200 highlighting the grille

And of course, it gets the famous Lexus spindle grille

For the Lexus UX 200, it’s beautiful chaos. While not exactly an awfully good oxymoron per se, I love how the daring design execution blends well to form an interesting car. Polarizing? Yes. But I'm willing to bet that a few samples rolling around the metro have piqued the interest of many.

At P3,128,000 for the UX 200 F Sport (P2,538,000 for the standard non-F Sport sibling), the UX is of course not for the mainstream market. Cabin shortcomings considered, it’s already a good deal considering that you’re driving a Lexus that behaves like a Lexus.

2021 Lexus UX 200: Variants and Price

Lexus UX 200 Variants

Price

UX 200

Php 2,538,000

UX 200 F Sport

Php 3,128,000

2021 Lexus UX 200: Color Options

2021 Lexus UX 200 Color Options

Sonic Quartz, Amber Crystal Shine, Mercury Gray Mica, Platinum Silver Metallic, Sonic Titanium, Black, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Madder Red, Blazing Carnelian Contrast Layering, Terrane Khaki, Celestial Blue Glass Flake

2021 Lexus UX 200: Specs

Overall

Make

Lexus

Name

UX 200

Body Type

5-door crossover

Dimensions and Weight

Length

4,495mm

Width

1,840mm

Height

1,520mm

Engine and Transmission

Type

2.0-liter inline-4 gasoline

Max Power

168 horsepower

Max Torque

205Nm

Transmission

Direct-Shift Continuous Variable Transmission

Chassis and Suspension

Brakes (Front/rear)

Disc/Disc

Suspension (Front/rear)

MacPherson Strut/Trailing wishbone

Wheels and Tires

215/60R17,225/50RF18

Exterior

LED headlamps

LED Daytime Running Lamps

LED Taillights

Auto-leveling headlamps

UV-Cut Acoustic windshield

LED side turn signal repeaters with heater

Interior

Optitron meters

7-inch color TFT Multi-information display

Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

Cruise control

7-inch Lexus Display Audio w/ six-piece speaker system

USB Ports

Eight-way power adjust front seats

Safety and Security

Eight airbags

Anti-lock braking with electronic brake-force distribution

ISOFIX

Traction control

Stability control

Drive-start control

LED rear fog lamps

Engine immobilizer

Tire pressure monitor

Jacob Oliva

Jacob Oliva

Author

Jacob is a motoring journalist and the Content Manager of Philkotse.com. A recipient of the Henry Ford Awards in 2019, he currently has a column under Wheels, the motoring section of The Philippine Star. He's also an editor for Motor1.com, a leading global automotive website.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacobosing/

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