Lexus UX 200 Luxury review - "Luxury Compact SUV"

By sep, 05 January 2022

What can the Lexus UX 200 Luxury offer in this day and age at RM275k?

According to the Malaysia Automotive Association, around 30% of the Malaysian vehicle market share is dominated by SUVs and the numbers are going up. The numbers have been steadily rising and for good reason - SUVs are now considered as a status symbol paired with a good dose of usability, performance, and practicality. But what if you want something a bit more 'premium'?

Enter the Lexus UX 200 (it actually entered the market back in 2020, actually). Offered in three variants (Urban, Luxury, and F Sport), we got our hands on the Luxury model to see if it's worth paying the premium of over RM275k for a fully-imported compact SUV. Launched back in 2020, the UX 200 sits comfortably on the top of the list as one of the best-looking compact SUVs to date, and we couldn't agree more. The thing is wonderful to look at no matter the angle.

Sitting wider and lower compared to its competitors in the same segment, the UX 200 Luxury definitely has the crossover coupe vibe thrown into its compact SUV facade. With its side profile angling upwards towards the rear, the UX 200 is indeed one of the more sporty looking SUVs in the market, and other elements like its new spindle grille, all-LED lights, and protruding rear lights certainly portray a car that's sexy, agile, and worth every Ringgit.

The Lexus UX 200 Luxury is slightly different from the UX 200 Urban variant due to a number of added features. The extra RM38k will grant the owner a slightly bigger set of 18-inch aluminium wheels with a more premium design, climate seats, wireless charging function, a bigger 10.3-inch infotainment screen, plus a couple of safety features like Panoramic View Monitor as well as Blind Spot Monitor.

Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine (no turbo, folks), the UX 200 produces a respectable 169hp and 205Nm of torque. It's not the most powerful offering in the market, but its overall style, handling, and delivery make up for the lost horses. 0-100km/h is achieved in just 9.2 seconds, but what stands out about the UX 200 is its fuel economy. On paper, it's around 6.2L/100km and our figures weren't that far off considering our slightly heavier right foot.

But what's even more amazing is its handling. Most road imperfections are absorbed in the most classy manner without much drama. For the price that you're paying, you're getting a compact SUV that's certainly very comfortable to drive, and even easier to navigate through tight spaces and congestions in urban areas. The UX 200's overall agility is by far the most impressive feature next to its premium looks.

Its overall NVH levels are good too, apart from the slightly higher audibles from the wheels. The placement for the side mirrors might look a bit off once you're inside, but they're exactly where they are for a reason - to reduce the blindspots from the A-pillars. Those slightly bigger windows make the UX 200 a breeze to manoeuvre around tight spots.

As for the interior, the blue/white Cobalt colour combo for the leathers is indeed a breath of fresh air apart from the usual black. As the test unit has gone through quite a few miles, the grey part is a bit dirty, which means that it requires a bit more upkeep to keep in nice and fresh-looking during your ownership tenure. It also blends well with its Celestial Blue Glass Flake exterior colour, which certainly stands out amongst the rest in the best possible manner.

Even the trims are finished in the Washi Japanese paper grain blue material that looks amazing but feels a bit weird to the touch (that's probably what true premium feels like to our average hands). While everything looks premium and modern thanks to all the button placements like the Drive Mode select switch, remote touch interface, and audio switches attached to the console box, the one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is its crinkly leather cover to the gear selector. There's a strong urge to purge it with hot steam to get all the creases out for some reason.

lexus ux 200 luxury interior
lexus ux 200 luxury interior

Anyway, the whole setup offers a low dashboard with a wider range of view for a slightly sportier driving feel which is also another added bonus of owning the UX 200. Looking good while staying true to functionality is indeed a hard balance to achieve, but we can honestly say that Lexus did a pretty good job with the Luxury variant. Other little details like the centre console box that can be opened from either end make it even more appreciated if there's ever a time you think that you've paid too much for a compact SUV.

At the end of the day, the Lexus UX 200 is certainly one of the better options to choose from within its segment and price range due to a number of factors - comfort, agility, safety, and most of all, style. The UX 200 Luxury will most likely stand the tests of time and perhaps 10 years down the road, it will most likely never be out of place no matter the destination or venue.