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REVIEW| Lexus UX200 F-Sport: the SUV for the city?

2019-09-06 04:30

Charlen Raymond

lexus ux200 f-sport

Image: Charlen Raymond

If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you just got that well-paying job, and you are looking for your first premium SUV purchase, you’re probably looking at something from Germany first.

Option would include the likes of BMW’s X1 and X2, Audi’s Q2 and Q3, and from Mercedes-Benz the GLA or GLC. Granted, Mercedes’ offerings are a bit dated compared to the others.

But if you’re one of those seeking individualism and something other than a German vehicle, then it would be wise to take a look at Lexus.

The Japanese automaker launched its brand new UX earlier this year in South Africa, and dubbed it the SUV for the city. In order for the UX to see to the needs of life in the city, it has to meet some important criteria.

And on the face of it, it would seem that the automaker has done so.

lexus ux200 f-sport

                                Image: Charlen Raymond

City-friendly features?

The UX200 F-Sport is the line-up topper in the three-model UX range. In order for it to claim its place at the top of its range, the F-Sport needs to be fitted with numerous technologies and features to not only warrant its price, but also its claim of being built for the city.

The first introduction to that claim is the SUV’s interior. This model is decked in beautifully-crafted red leather that creates a sporty ambiance to underline the ‘Sport’ in F-Sport. In front of the driver sits the information cluster that relays all the necessary information regarding the vehicle’s status, as well as trip reports.

READ: Lexus welcomes a new addition to the family with its luxury UX SUV

On the technological front the SUV is fitted, as standard, with park distance control and a rear view camera, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic wipers, and keyless access and –start. The front seats are both heated and ventilated, but the driver’s seat is fitted with memory function.

From a practical point the UX200 F-Sport drops the ball a bit. When the vehicle is switched off and the safety belts’ unbuckled, the front seats move backwards and often into the knees of unsuspecting rear passengers. The boot is rated at 440L and can be expanded when the rear bench is folded down, but the boot cover is a cloth that will become prone to tearing. The boot itself is a bit shallow, but underneath the floor lies even more space that could’ve been utilised for extra storage. Especially because the 18-inch tyres are run-flat units and there is no spare wheel.

lexus ux200 f-sport

                                Image: Charlen Raymond

Friendly to the environment?

The UX200 F-Sport uses the same engine as the UX200 EX. Power outputs remain the same on 126kW and 205Nm and drive is sent to the front wheels via 10-speed CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Lexus notes that fuel consumption for the petrol engine is rated at 6.1-litres/100km, which should translate to a range of 771km on its 47L fuel tank. Strangely, after barely covering 470km, the F-Sport had to be refuelled. Despite driving with as light a foot as possible, Lexus’ claim could not be met. Not even come close to it.

Apart thereof, the UX200 F-Sport has a very good ride quality - as you’d expect from one of Japan’s top luxury exports - and does the SUV tick the right boxes when it comes to premium driving. Four driving modes are on offer - Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+) - and each one alters the SUV’s driving characteristics. An especially nice touch is how the information display in front of the driver changes in accordance with each mode. Interestingly, when one is in either Sport or Sport+, the gearbox only avails eight gears and not all ten.

Price: R729 200

Click on the link below to read Charlen Raymond’s full review of the Lexus UX200 F-Sport:

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