The 2019 Lexus UX 200 subcompact SUV arrives with some intrigue. It’s the first Lexus vehicle using parent company Toyota’s new Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform, shared with the Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR, and has a few multimedia additions we’ve been clamoring for from Lexus, including Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration.
At its introduction during the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the UX had a surprising amount of headroom, promising cabin materials and updates to Lexus’ control scheme to make the system more manageable, even though the notorious touchpad was still involved. And then over the summer, we found out the UX undercuts much of its class on starting price, offering a comprehensive suite of standard safety features that competitors like the BMW X2 or the Audi Q3 don’t.
Many of these initial positives were born out in my testing of the 2019 UX 200 in Southern California. But what stood out more was what the small SUV was missing: In a strange twist of fate, a vehicle named “UX” seemed to be lacking a good user experience.
Usually, user experience has more to do with technology or websites and the process of designing them to be attractive and easy to use. But for a car, I’d say user experience refers to how a car drives, how easy it is to use the various features, and how well it all gels together — and on those fronts, the UX falls short.