Could this be your first new Lexus? The brand certainly hopes so, attempting to attract new customers with the Lexus UX, an entry point to its SUV range.
The manufacturer unveiled its rival to the Audi Q2, BMW X2 and Volvo XC40 at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday, confirming it will go on sale in Australia in 2019.
Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson says the baby SUV will be an important drawcard for the brand’s showrooms.
“The UX with its all-inclusive luxury will further broaden our range and enable Lexus sales to cross over the 10,000 sales barrier for the first time in our history,” he said.
“For the first time, Lexus can compete in the luxury small-SUV segment, growing that category by attracting new, younger customers while offering an aspirational alternative to our long-standing customers.”
Lexus claims the UX will have the lowest centre of gravity in its class, which should help deliver a “hatchback-like driving experience”.
Interior features for premium models include a digital dashboard and widescreen infotainment system accessed through a laptop-style touchpad interface.
The standard engine for the UX200 will be a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine driving the front wheels through Toyota’s new direct-shift continuously variable transmission. While we don’t know how much power the entry-level model will offer, Lexus says a premium UX250h hybrid will bring 131kW of power and better efficiency than the standard car.
The car will feature advanced driver aids including a pedestrian and cyclist detection system that works in the day and night. Variable suspension will be offered on driver-focused F Sport models that also bring a body kit, sports seats and 18-inch wheels.
Lexus has not revealed prices for the UX. But we know it will sit undeneath the existing NX, which starts at around $55,000, suggesting the new model will start somewhere in the $40k bracket.