There’s a new baby in the Lexus family.
Toyota’s luxury division unveiled the first-ever UX crossover on Tuesday at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The subcompact UX will serve as Lexus’ entry-level crossover, and it will slot below the NX in the brand’s portfolio of crossovers.
The 2019 UX will come with a choice of two engines. The base model, the UX200, will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 horsepower. It will come in front-wheel-drive only and will be paired with a CVT gearbox.
The UX250h will be an optional, all-wheel-drive hybrid model. It comes with an electric motor and a gas engine that work together to make a total of 176 horsepower.
Performance-oriented, F Sport versions of both UX models will be available. These will come with a retuned suspension, more aggressive exterior features (including the grille and bumpers), revised front seats and unique, 18-inch alloy wheels.
The UX will go on sale in the U.S. in December of this year – not a moment too soon for the Lexus brand.
With consumers’ appetites for crossovers showing no signs of waning, automakers are rushing to create a full range of models for all budgets. Small crossovers like this UX are particularly important to lure in young shoppers to the brand for the first time in the hopes that they’ll remain loyal as their budgets and need for space increase.
When Lexus discontinued the CT hatchback for 2018, it left a conspicuous void in the bottom of the brand’s lineup – one that will be filled by the new UX. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the new model is expected to start under $30,000 and it will serve as the entry-level model for Lexus.