All-new 2018 Lexus UX compact crossover brings hybrid and turbo power, quirky looks

It's the brand's first compact crossover

Following a preview last month, Lexus has dropped full details about its first compact crossover, the all-new UX. Labeled as an "Urban Explorer" in the press release, the UX is the first Lexus to be built on the new GA-C global architecture that helps the crossover achieve the lowest center of gravity in its class and "exceptional body rigidity," according to the automaker.

The result is a crossover that provides an "agile, hatchback-like driving experience," according to the carmaker. That's also thanks to the MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone arrangement at the rear.

The Lexus UX is 4,495-mm long, 1,520-mm high, and 1,840-mm wide, with a 2,640-mm wheelbase, which makes it similar to the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Looking at the busy design with many creases and surfaces, as well as the flared front and rear wings, it becomes clear that the UX targets young customers — a.k.a. millennials. The company claims its designers wanted the exterior and interior to appear almost seamlessly linked, but we'll let you be the judge of that by checking out the photos.

The highlight of the interior is the driver-focused cockpit with a digital instrument panel and a central touchscreen display sitting atop the center console. The infotainment system can also be controlled via a touchpad.  

The Lexus UX is available with two powertrains in Europe: an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with high thermal efficiency in the UX 200 and a hybrid unit in the UX 250h. The gasoline unit is front-wheel-drive and is available with a new Direct Shift-CVT (said to offer a connected feel typical of double-clutch transmissions), while the hybrid comes as a front-wheel-drive or E-Four all-wheel-drive model.

The UX 250h combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine linked to a CVT with an electric motor and a new NiMH battery for a system power of 178 hp. E-Four versions feature an additional electric motor on the rear axle.

As with all recent Lexus models, the UX comes with the latest version of the Lexus Safety System +, including a Pre-Collision System (PCS) that can recognize pedestrians at night thanks to radar detection.

READ MORE: Check out our complete coverage of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

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