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2019 Lexus UX

Starting Price: $33,025 | Price Yours

Above Average: Price, hybrid option, Lexus quality and resale, fuel economy

Below Average: Cargo space, AWD only offered with hybrid and only works at speeds under 43 mph, tepid acceleration and performance, annoying touchpad controller

Consensus: A fuel-efficient small luxury commuter for people who don’t need a lot interior room, but desire the quality, style and status of a Lexus.

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2019 BMW X1

Starting Price:  $35,945 | Price Yours

Above Average: Handsome styling, nimble handling, peppy turbocharged engine

Below Average: Stiff ride, stiff seats, stiff price with options, Apple CarPlay is a subscription service after complimentary first year

Consensus: A subcompact luxury SUV with the performance one would expect of a vehicle carrying the BMW badge.

The 2019 Lexus UX is basically an entry-level crossover that offers buyers a foot in the Lexus door without breaking the bank. Not intended for off-road duty or rugged rural trails, the UX is more an urban dweller. Its tiny size makes it easy to maneuver in tight city confines, and its hybrid engine option returns a combined 39-mpg, a best-in-class bragging right. Where the UX falls short is in the area of performance, namely acceleration and cornering. Those looking for the sportiest ride possible should definitely step up to the UX F-Sport models. We’d also recommend going with the UX 250h hybrid over the UX 200 gasoline only version as it nets you more horsepower and all-wheel drive, but even then there’s a catch. The UX 250h’s AWD only works at speed up to 43 mph, after which the rear electric motors shut off leaving the front wheels to do all the work.

In the 2019 BMW X1, you’ll find a more complete crossover, with more interior room than the UX, especially in the areas of rear seat legroom and overall headroom. The X1 cost significantly more than the UX, and that’s even before adding options. But all these nitpicks melt away into a sea of “whatever” once you drive this little crossover. It’s turbocharged engine revs freely, loves to pull and sounds great doing so. The ride is BMW firm, as one would expect, but it’s not harsh, although the UX’s overall ride is much more forgiving. We like the X1’s interior a bit more. It seems more cohesive and not so frenetic. The X1 sDrive28i is pulled by its front wheels (very un-BMW like), while the X1 xDriver28i comes with all-wheel drive.

Lexus UX Advantages

The UX cost less than a comparable X1, and its ride is much softer and comfortable. The UX offers more front seat legroom and a tighter turning circle, as well as better fuel economy from either the gas or hybrid model.

BMW X1 Advantages

The X1 is a superior driver’s car, with better acceleration and cornering abilities, but a firmer ride. You’ll find BMW offers a few more goodies with the X1, like a panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces, six different wheel designs and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The X1 also has more horsepower and its optional all-wheel drive system remains engaged at all speeds.

Similarities

Both the UX and X1 come with a host of standard driver assists, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. Both cars offer extensive warranty plans that include a number of perks including complimentary maintenance, although BMW offers it for 4 years/50,000 vs. Lexus’ first two scheduled visits.

Final Recommendation

If you don’t fancy yourself a driving enthusiast, we think you’ll be happier in the Lexus UX. It’s less expensive, holds its value better and gets better fuel economy. The AWD hybrid model is our pick, in either base or Luxury trim. However, if quick acceleration, potent passing power and razor sharp cornering are your thing, the BMW X1 is a no brainer. 

Ready to buy a compact luxury SUV? Search for the BMW X1 or Lexus UX near you!

  2019 Lexus UX 2019 BMW X1
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.0-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm 228 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
Torque 151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm 258 lb-ft @ 1,450-4,500 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Automatic, 8-spd
Fuel Economy 33 mpg (29 city/37 hwy) 26 mpg (23 city/32 hwy)
Also Available Hybrid, AWD AWD
Specs    
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating n/a 5 Star
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.9 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 177.0 inches 175.4 inches
Width 72.4 inches 71.7 inches
Height 59.8 inches 69.9 inches
Turning Diameter 34.2 feet 37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 37.2 inches 41.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.3 inches 39.4 inches
Legroom, Front 42.1 inches 40.4 inches
Legroom, Rear 33.1 inches 37.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.1 inches 55.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.9 inches 55.2 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 90.4 cu. ft. 101.2 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 21.7 cu. ft. 21.7 cu. ft.
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