The luxury compact crossover is a genre of car that evokes a certain feeling of compromise. They tend to be a little too high and heavy to be nimble on the road, but not truly large enough to offer a sense of power and security. But Lexus, which has always been on the forefront of imaginative design in motoring, has developed something remarkable with their latest offering: the Lexus UX.
Just recently unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow, the “UX” stands for “Urban Explorer,” and that name reflects the general philosophy behind the car. It is a sophisticated, thoroughly refined automobile that hasn’t forgotten its sense of adventure. There is certainly no missing that sense of luxury, the bold, markedly seamless design indicative of a certain level of refinement unavailable to most. But under the hood, the UX is clearly engineered to be more than expensive eye candy.
The exterior, at first glance, is clearly in crossover territory. But then the details start popping up: the clean, continuous lines that give the car a sense of forward movement; the way in which the wings seem to flow right out of the car’s distinctive grille. It is a design that calls to mind the solid nature of the crossover, while seemingly bending it toward a more harmonious overall feel. That harmony carries over into the interior, which feels like an extension of that exterior lines. The trim, which was inspired by the grain of Japanese paper, creates a sense of warmth within the technological bubble of this advanced driver’s cockpit.
But the real story is in what isn’t immediately visible. The whole car is built on a new architecture name GA-C, which gives the UX the lowest center of gravity in its class and exceptional body rigidity. It’s the kind of engineering that might fool a person into thinking that he or she is driving a much smaller car. Incredibly, the UX is built to be fun and agile, all while still offering the benefits of having a larger vehicle. All that, and it also happens to be built on a hybrid platform that promises excellent fuel economy. The UX may technically be a crossover, but it’s in a class of its own. With its bold, deeply human design, and best-in-class technology, the compromises that came with its predecessors are simply no longer a concern.