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klims lexus joins the compact crossover wars

KLIMS - Lexus joins the compact crossover wars

Though not confirmed, we're willing to bet the UX will surely make its way here to take on the GLC and X1

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

30 Nov 2018

Lexus is surely a contender for the best booth at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2018 (KLIMS’18) and its only real competition is Toyota because the latter has the FT-1. If you manage to pull yourself away from the LS+ Concept, you’ll notice the handsome UX compact crossover it brought over as well.

The crossover game is strong at KLIMS’18 and the UX is probably the most striking of the lot, most likely for that daring shade of olive green.

Lexus calls it the Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform but you’ll probably recognise it as the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that underpins it. Whatever you choose to call it, the platform brings a much more rigid shell and lower centre of gravity to the table for what is ultimately improved refinement and dynamic handling.

It looks like every modern Lexus, in your face and absolutely unapologetic about it. We love it. The spindle grille leads the front, flanked by sleeker headlights than the larger SUVs from Lexus. That muscular arch out from the rear fender helps air flow but more importantly, adds more sexiness to the side profile.

The rear is where most of the action is with the protruding taillights that runs across the entire hatch much like the Porsche 911. Yes, we just did that. The taillights jut out though because they also double up as a clever rear spoiler for additional downforce at speed.

Lexus brought out the UX 200 for the show, further evidence that it’ll be introduced here soon as the 200 trim is most relevant for our market. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder good for 169hp that hits the front wheels via a Lexus Direct Shift CVT.

“Booo, down with CVTs.” We hear you but hear us out first. The transmission is an intelligent little one, utilising a mechanical first gear for spirited acceleration from a standstill before the CVT takes over for fuel economy.

Safety comes in the form of the Lexus Safety System+ that’s marketing talk for advanced driver assistance technologies such as pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert and adaptive high-beam system among others.