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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2020 Lexus UX 200 F-Sport

      ..Lexus' smallest crossover comes in for a review and awaits your questions..

    This week marks my first review vehicle for 2020 - the Lexus UX 200 F-Sport. This one comes equipped with such items as F-Sport exterior package, 18-inch wheels, Lexus Enform with Apple CarPlay  compatibility;  Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 10-way power driver's seat. Options on this vehicle include blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, navigation, and a windhield de-icer - the last one being quite important as we had an ice storm roll through last night.

    Power comes from a 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with 169 horsepower. This is likely the same engine I had in my 2019 Toyota Corolla SE hatchback I reviewed last month. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. Disappointingly, Lexus isn't offering all-wheel drive on the UX 200. To get that, you need to climb up the UX 250h. 

    For the day and a half I had the UX, I found to be quite nippy around town. Though on the freeway, the engine becomes quite buzzy and you do need to step on it to get some forward momentum. It is also surprising how maneuverable the vehicle is. I was able to snatch a narrow parking space at a popular restaurant with no issue.

    The price-tag on this tester is $42,285 with destination. This surprised me considering how much stuff this vehicle is equipped with.

    So while I put some more miles on and grab some photos, drop off any questions you have for Lexus' smallest crossover.

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    WOW, Such an ugly ass.

    I would love to know how you feel it compares to other luxury especially the XT4.

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    $42k for a 2.0 4cyl, FWD and CVT....beyond mediocre..that's the kind of hardware I'd expect in a $20k econobox....

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    Amazing how GM gets kicked in the head for alleged rebadge jobs by some folks yet this re-skinned RAV4 doesn't even register a blip by those same folks. I'm with ccap on this one and will that 169HP on ANY luxury brand is downright criminal. 

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    7 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Amazing how GM gets kicked in the head for alleged rebadge jobs by some folks yet this re-skinned RAV4 doesn't even register a blip by those same folks. I'm with ccap on this one and will that 169HP on ANY luxury brand is downright criminal. 

    As far as domestic competition, the Cadillac XT4 has a 2.0 4 with 237hp, and a 9-spd auto, and the Lincoln Corsair 2.0 is 250hp w/ an 8-spd auto.   Lexus definitely comes up short. 

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    19 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    As far as domestic competition, the Cadillac XT4 has a 2.0 4 with 237hp, and a 9-spd auto, and the Lincoln Corsair 2.0 is 250hp w/ an 8-spd auto.   Lexus definitely comes up short. 

    You can also get a 2.3T with 295hp and a plug-in hybrid with 25 miles of EV range and 266hp in the Corsair.

     

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    12 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    You can also get a 2.3T with 295hp and a plug-in hybrid with 25 miles of EV range and 266hp in the Corsair.

     

    Saw that..was just comparing the 2.0 versions.

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    20 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    How does it compare to the Cadillac XT4?

     

    15 hours ago, dfelt said:

    WOW, Such an ugly ass.

    I would love to know how you feel it compares to other luxury especially the XT4.

    I haven't spent any time behind the wheel of the XT4, so I can only express what it is like to sit in it. The XT4 has a slightly larger back seat than the UX, especially in legroom. I was getting photos of the interior yesterday and my knees were in the back of the front passenger seat. I also would say the infotainment system is better because you don't have to use that stupid touchpad controller.

    But I think the UX has a nicer interior both in terms of design and material quality. I also like the looks the UX better.

    For what I have been reading, the XT4 does have a slightly more uncomfortable ride, along with a fair amount of road noise. Also a number of features such as adaptive cruise control are optional on the XT4.

    The closest vehicle I have driven to the UX is the XC40 I drove last year. I think the Volvo is more luxurious, slightly better looking, and offers better performance. But the UX feels more lively in terms of handling and is more maneuverable in tight spaces.

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    8 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Good lord... Nothing with a luxury brand should have ANYTHING with 169hp. 

    Man you should avoid going to Europe then where there a number of luxury vehicles with similar outputs to this.

     

    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    Amazing how GM gets kicked in the head for alleged rebadge jobs by some folks yet this re-skinned RAV4 doesn't even register a blip by those same folks. I'm with ccap on this one and will that 169HP on ANY luxury brand is downright criminal. 

    I mean we could say the same thing with BMW and the X1 - shared architecture with the MINI or the Cadillac XT4 which shares the same E2XX as the outgoing Buick Regal and Chevrolet Malibu. Just because it shares a platform with the RAV4 and the CH-R, doesn't mean it feels or drives cheap. That platform happens to be one my favorites as it how blends comfort and sport.

    4 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Is it kick start? :D

    Possibly in other markets 😛

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    14 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    Man you should avoid going to Europe then where there a number of luxury vehicles with similar outputs to this.

    In all fairness, that would be a different market and the rules been played with are waaaaay different than what rules we play with. 

    And  moreso to it than that our luxury rules are pretty much bigger is better, which not only lends itself to mean bigger engines and more power, but it also means huge, large, heavy vehicles to go with those bigger engines, and those huge vehicles actually do require bigger engines and bigger outputs BECAUSE they got bigger. And we still play by those rules somewhat today.

    In Europe though, old cities exist, and when I mean old cities, I really do mean old. Quebec City is as old as it gets in North America, but by European standards, Quebec City is STILL in its infancy...

    With that being said,  there arent many wide and open spaces in Europe to accomodate EVERYONE to own our kind of luxury for cars.  And after 2 devastating wars on that continent, petrol rations and taxes on said petrol to rebuild have made their mark as to why in Europe, small cars and small engines continue to be.

    So...

    Yeah...I also agree with CCAP's statement.  In OUR market for OUR market.  Thankfully, I dont live in Europe, nor do I ever plan to live in Europe.  Europe, could kiss my Greek ass...   (great history Europe has, but the political hypocrisy is so much more unbearable there than here.  California and Hollyweird times a thousand to give you a clue)

    I do see myself visiting Greece often though... its not so bad there.  Really.  Plus Im...Greek.

     

     

     

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    Took a 6-hour round trip in the Kia Forte over the weekend.  Coming out of my truck and into the Kia, I was annoyed with the amount of road noise.  I am wondering if the UX suffers from road noise... which should be banished in all luxe makes.

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    169 hp in a Lexus, much less a car that is $41k.  They must be outside their minds!  
    This car should have a turbo 4 standard at that price, CVT’s are awful, it is awful in a Corolla’s segment, it is more awful here.  I think FWD only isn’t terrible for the segment because no one is going off road and in light snow, FWD is plenty fine.

     

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    I believe mercedes is selling a vehicle with only 188HP- that's the same level as lexus here. Sad.

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    4 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    As far as domestic competition, the Cadillac XT4 has a 2.0 4 with 237hp, and a 9-spd auto, and the Lincoln Corsair 2.0 is 250hp w/ an 8-spd auto.   Lexus definitely comes up short. 

    Parents recently bought an XT4 AWD for one of their rides (hers) and love it. It's super quiet and smooth with plenty of power from the 2.0T and the 9 speed is super smooth as well. They looked at the XT5 as well and being on the C1XX platform they said it was louder on road and the ride wasn't as smooth.

    Edited by USA-1

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    1 hour ago, oldshurst442 said:

    In all fairness, that would be a different market and the rules been played with are waaaaay different than what rules we play with. 

    And  moreso to it than that our luxury rules are pretty much bigger is better, which not only lends itself to mean bigger engines and more power, but it also means huge, large, heavy vehicles to go with those bigger engines, and those huge vehicles actually do require bigger engines and bigger outputs BECAUSE they got bigger. And we still play by those rules somewhat today.

    In Europe though, old cities exist, and when I mean old cities, I really do mean old. Quebec City is as old as it gets in North America, but by European standards, Quebec City is STILL in its infancy...

    With that being said,  there arent many wide and open spaces in Europe to accomodate EVERYONE to own our kind of luxury for cars.  And after 2 devastating wars on that continent, petrol rations and taxes on said petrol to rebuild have made their mark as to why in Europe, small cars and small engines continue to be.

    So...

    Yeah...I also agree with CCAP's statement.  In OUR market for OUR market.  Thankfully, I dont live in Europe, nor do I ever plan to live in Europe.  Europe, could kiss my Greek ass...   (great history Europe has, but the political hypocrisy is so much more unbearable there than here.  California and Hollyweird times a thousand to give you a clue)

    I do see myself visiting Greece often though... its not so bad there.  Really.  Plus Im...Greek.

    Point taken, but many people that are buying this type of vehicle in the U.S. don't really care about performance. Its about the badge. See the number of GLAs and X1s that are sold to see that.

    Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing this downsizing trend happen in the U.S. more and more. I mean who would have through we would be seeing a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder sold in a truck. For this type of vehicle, 169 horsepower is plenty.

    Also on the bigger and better: I argue that its our regulations on safety and other items that are causing vehicles to get heavier, hence requiring more power.  Yes we want more features and technology, but I think all of the safety and advanced active safety stuff is adding more weight overall.

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    169hp and a CVT is ridiculous for the lux CUV segment. Toyota/Lexus, who are still resting on their laurels from the 90's and 00's must think their new car buyers are clueless and in some ways they're right, especially if they buy one of these $41K RAV4/UX "F Sport" crossovers. Same with MB in many ways. If the L or 3 pointed star badge is all they want for $40K+ then let them suffer. :D

    Edited by USA-1
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    15 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    Point taken, but many people that are buying this type of vehicle in the U.S. don't really care about performance. Its about the badge. See the number of GLAs and X1s that are sold to see that.

    Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing this downsizing trend happen in the U.S. more and more. I mean who would have through we would be seeing a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder sold in a truck. For this type of vehicle, 169 horsepower is plenty.

    Point(s) also taken on my part on your rebuttal. 

     

    15 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    Also on the bigger and better: I argue that its our regulations on safety and other items that are causing vehicles to get heavier, hence requiring more power.  Yes we want more features and technology, but I think all of the safety and advanced active safety stuff is adding more weight overall.

    True, but I was more talking about how we went from normal sized cars from the end of WW2 to the excess craze that happened from the mid-1950s that lasted all the way to the mid-1970s and each year in that time period, chrome got more utilized, wheelbases increased, cars got longer and wider, etc.  

    Granted, 1920s and 1930s luxury cars were huge too, but that is for another discussion another day. 

    Yes, todays cars are heavier, but they arent bigger or wider.  

    Ill secede some of my rant, its true that us too, in North America, we are heading to a more European and Asian trend of going smaller. Some reasoning is that of what I said about Europe.   But more of the polluting side of petrol cars rather than rationing it.  But...its the governmental push worldwide that is forcing us North Americans to go that route.  

    At least we still have our wide open spaces though...  :)     And our 2500 and 3500 heavy duty pick-up trucks as a last middle finger salute to all opposed of our excessive way of life!!!  :D

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    20 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    I mean who would have through we would be seeing a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder sold in a truck. For this type of vehicle, 169 horsepower is plenty.

    2.7T I4 in the Silverado? Yeah, that's ridiculous as well...CAFE regulations be damned. 

    Edited by USA-1
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    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    I believe mercedes is selling a vehicle with only 188HP- that's the same level as lexus here. Sad.

    That Mercedes has over 200 lb-ft of torque and weighs less.  Although I think that A220 is sad, they should make the 221 hp turbo 4 in the CLA 250 standard.  Mercedes also makes a vehicle the size of the UX with 400 hp.

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    36 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    2.7T I4 in the Silverado? Yeah, that's ridiculous as well...CAFE regulations be damned. 

    I would not be surprised if post 2025 the Silverado HD and Ford Super Duty have base engines that are 4-cylinder engines.  

    Back to the Lexus 33 mpg combined is nice, but 169 hp is not how to "Experience Amazing"

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    I would not be surprised if post 2025 the Silverado HD and Ford Super Duty have base engines that are 4-cylinder engines.  

    Back to the Lexus 33 mpg combined is nice, but 169 hp is not how to "Experience Amazing"

    Maybe if they have the bed full of battery packs as an EREV truck with the I4 as a backup generator on the Voltec next gen. setup or a full BEV like the 1500's on the way. V8 gas and diesel engines will be in the HD's for many years to come. 

    VIA Motors uses a Voltec setup in Silverado 1500 trucks and Express vans. I'd take the 800hp VIA XTRUX Silverado if it's still around. https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1081727_via-motors-xtrux-electric-truck-2013-detroit-auto-show-live-photos

     

    33 mpg isn't all that good for that small of an engine with that low of output, shows that it has to work pretty hard much like the 2.7T in the Silverado 1500.

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    3 hours ago, William Maley said:

    ..I think all of the safety and advanced active safety stuff is adding more weight overall.

    Yeah; probably.
    A BMW 1-series has an overall length of 172" and a base curb weight of 3252.
    A Chevy Vega has an overall length of 170", and a base curb weight of 2190.

    Imagine what the BMW would weigh if it had as thick of sheet metal and as little of plastics & aluminum as the Vega did. It'd be 4000 lbs.

    Edited by balthazar

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    3 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    2.7T I4 in the Silverado? Yeah, that's ridiculous as well...CAFE regulations be damned. 

    I hate CAFE too, but Europe and China are leading the charge in raising fuel economy standards now.  The entire industry is forced to comply with foreign regs and higher fuel taxes, hence the likes of the UX200 and the X1 and the GLA and the XT4 etc.  SAD.

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      Source: CarBuzz, Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      Nearly two years ago, I drove the then all-new Hyundai Kona crossover at a press event. It was a unique looking vehicle that was entering the growing subcompact crossover class. Out of the three Hyundai vehicles I drove, the Kona impressed me most with its performance and value for money. But if there is something I have learned over eight years with reviewing vehicles, is that I can’t take first impressions as final. It has been a long wait, but I finally got my hands on a 2020 Kona Ultimate AWD. Let’s see if my first impression can still hold up.
      The Outer Limits (of Exterior Design)
      You may be forgiven for thinking that the Kona has just arrived in a UFO from Planet Nine due to its shape. But Hyundai knew they needed to make a splash in what is becoming a very competitive class. Designers took some influence from the Jeep Cherokee with a rounded front end and the front lights being separated into daytime lights and headlights. Another design trait is the slit that sits between the grille and hood cutline. Finishing off the look is body cladding running along the lower edge and a bright green paint color only available on the turbo engine models. It may seem like an odd mashup of ideas, but it works surprisingly well.
      A Conventional Interior
      Some will be disappointed that Hyundai didn’t continue the wacky design for the Kona’s interior. But having an interior that is user friendly will always pull ahead of interesting design. That isn’t to say Hyundai hasn’t added some special touches such as vent surrounds and seat stitching matching the exterior color. Hard plastics are used throughout, but they don’t feel hollow or cheap when you run your hand across.
      There is a fair amount of space for those sitting upfront. Comfort is ok for short trips, but I found myself wanting more thigh support on longer trips. In the back, there is a large amount of headroom for most passengers. Legroom is a different story as tall people will find their knees pressed against the front seats. Cargo space is another area where the Kona is lacking. With the rear seats up, the Kona’s cargo area measures 19.2 cubic feet - about 0.1 cubic feet more than the Toyota C-HR. Fold them down and space increases to 45.8. This trails the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
      The One To Still Be Beaten (Infotainment-wise)
      The Kona Ultimate comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s infotainment system. This system has consistently been one of my favorites as Hyundai nails the basics - simple interface, blazing-fast performance, and having features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My only complaint is that the design is starting to look dated when compared to other automakers and their updated infotainment. 
      Turbo Power!
      Two powertrains are available in the Kona. SE, SEL, and SEL Plus use the 2.0L four-cylinder offering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic. Limited and Ultimate come with the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front or all-wheel drive is available for either engine.
      Zippy is the word to describe the performance of the turbo engine. The Kona easily accelerates away from a stop and has no issue with passing a slower vehicle. The dual-clutch transmission seems to stumble when leaving a stop, but does get itself together at higher speeds. I also found the transmission is slow to react when your floor the throttle, taking a few milliseconds to downshift.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.6T with AWD are 26 City/29 Highway/27 Combined. My average for the week landed around 26.7 mpg, mostly due to cold weather during the week I had the Kona.
      Woah, This Crossover Handles
      If you wanted a subcompact crossover that handled decently, your choices were either the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR. The Kona enters the ring as the third choice, and possibly the best. On the backroads, the Kona feels quite agile and has almost no body roll. If I was to nitpick, the steering doesn’t have as much feel as you’ll find in the CX-3. But it feels noticeably better than the C-HR. Ride quality is impressive with most bumps being isolated from passengers sitting inside. Not too much wind and road noise come inside.
      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
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