It was January 14, 2009 and Lexus Manila officially opened their doors in the country. The initial range was rather limited, but having heard praises from abroad, and the Filipino consumer warmed up to the Japanese luxury marque. Fast forward 10 years and the local Lexus lineup has expanded significantly.
To commemorate this milestone, Lexus Manila launched the UX compact crossover.
Lexus is no stranger in the crossover market. After all, they beat everyone to the punch in the luxury crossover market with the first-generation RX300. 20 years have passed since the RX300 was launched and the UX brings Lexus' crossover range to three.
The UX premiered at the 2018 Paris Motor show and it made its regional debut in Thailand a couple of months ago. The small crossover was also shown in Singapore just last week during their motor fair. The celebration of Lexus Manila's 10th anniversary also served as the UX's formal introduction in the local market.
Unlike the Thai and Singapore markets however, we won't be getting a hybrid UX. Instead, we get a turbocharged gas engine. Dubbed the UX200, the boosted 2.0-liter engine makes 168 PS and 205 Nm of torque. It is then paired to a continuously variable transmission, the lone transmission option.
Two variants are available for the Philippine-spec UX200, namely the standard model and the F Sport. The standard UX200 sits relatively high off the ground and rides on 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels. It also gets a diamond-pattern grill, and standard comfort seats on the inside. As for the F-Sport, it gets a low-slung front apron, 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, sports-tuned suspension, mesh grill, and thicker bolsters on the seats. On top of that, the UX200 F Sport even gains adaptive suspension with variable mode select.
With the UX200 out in the market, it aims to go head to head with the likes of the Audi Q2, BMW X2, and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Prices for the UX starts at Php 2,478,000 for the UX200 while the UX200 F Sport starts at Php 3,048,000. With these prices, the UX range undercuts its European competitors by a fair amount as well.