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Lexus UX 2021: cheaper base model drives price of entry down for small luxury SUV

John Law

In a small year-on-year change, Lexus have tweaked the specifications of their smallest SUV – the UX – in order to make the crossover more affordable.

  • The Lexus UX is about $2,000 cheaper to buy in 2021
  • The change was made by making some standard features optional
  • The UX continues to be available with petrol or hybrid engines

The Lexus UX small SUV has been updated for 2021 with a number of small mechanical updates, as well as a lower price of entry on a new base model – an outcome achieved by repackaging some standard features into optional enhancement packs.

By removing some standard specification from the base-model UX 200 Luxury (see review), the most affordable Lexus in the brand’s lineup scores a $2,045 price drop to $44,445 before on-road costs.

Lexus UX 2021 side
The entry-level Lexus UX 200 Luxury is now more affordable for 2021.

That naturally means you get less for your money – but for some, the discount will be worthwhile, allowing entering Lexus ownership for a smaller outlay.

The lower price makes the UX more affordable than some rivals. The Mercedes-Benz GLA kicks off at $55,100 before on-road costs – however, the Audi Q2 35 TFSI Design is more affordable in base trim at $41,950 before on-road costs.

The change was achieved by removing passive keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, DAB digital radio and LED fog lights from the standard kit list and moving them to an Enhancement Pack. Tick that box and you still save $75 compared to last year’s car. 

Lexus UX200 tan interior
The UX – even in base 200 Luxury form – is available with a particularly lush interior for this segment. Tan is available.

The remaining Lexus UX lineup remains much the same,with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive UX 250h hybrid sitting above the entry-level, two-litre petrol-powered UX 200 that is exclusively sold with front-wheel-drive.

The petrol-only UX 200 retains its engine outputs at 126kW of power and 205Nm of torque. For 2021, Lexus has revised the CVT gearbox in search of a smoother transmission from the mechanical ‘take-off’ gear to the variable belts. 

From there, it’s a step to the petrol-electric UX 250h hybrid, which produces 135kW of power from its partially electrified powertrain that sips petrol fuel.

Lexus UX200 white front
The UX is available in petrol or petrol-electric hybrid forms, in FWD or AWD.

Lexus has further bolstered practicality for the UX with additional cargo room: up to 419L with 17-inch wheels, or 424L with 18-inch alloys. The hybrids grow to an even 368L for 2021 as well. 

Rear seat passengers will benefit from faster USB-C charging ports where regular ports were before. All passengers will be cosseted by more extensive use of sound-deadening materials.

Adding to the standard suite of AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane trace assist and adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Lexus has refined the speed sign detection The programming is now aware of school-zone speed signs. 

Lexus UX 200 Rear
The Lexus UX competes with the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q2.

The UX 200 remains available in base Luxury trim, with three ‘enhancement packs’ now available. Enhancement pack 2 brings a power tailgate, privacy glass, headlight washers and wireless phone charging. Enhancement pack 3 brings all that plus a sunroof.

Lexus’ mid-spec F Sport trim features 18-inch alloy wheels, F Sport styling, eight-inch digital driver’s display, wireless charging, heated and ventilated front seats and active sound control. A sunroof is optional, and with the second enhancement pack, the F Sport gets a 360-degree monitor and Mark Levinson stereo.

The Sports Luxury trim mirrors that previous spec but with a head-up display and smart key card optional with that car’s enhancement pack.

Lexus’ revised UX is available now from as low as $44,445 plus on-road costs.

2021 Lexus UX: prices in Australia

All prices are before on-road costs.

  • UX 200 Luxury – $44,445 (down $2,045)
  • UX 200 F Sport – $55,750 (down $250)
  • UX 200 Sports Luxury – $55,250 (down $250)
  • UX 250h Luxury – $52,025 (up $2,025)
  • UX 250h F Sport – $59,600 (up $100)
  • UX 250h Sports Luxury – $59,100 (up $100)
  • UX 250h F Sport AWD – $64,100 (up $100)
  • UX 250h Sports Luxury AWD – $63,600 (up $100)