,

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 Volvo XC40

Starting Price:  $34,195 | Price Yours

Above Average: Ride and handling, standard features, interior accommodations, safety features, Care by Volvo comprehensive 24-month subscription

Below Average: Big blind spots toward the rear, most powerful engine only offered in all-wheel drive variant

Consensus: A well-executed subcompact luxury crossover earning top marks for horsepower, fuel economy, interior room and features.

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.

The 2019 Volvo XC40 may just be the best subcompact SUV money can buy. It costs a bit more than the Lexus UX, but it offers so much more in the way of styling, interior room, features and standard equipment. The XC40 delivers quick acceleration, which gets quicker in the more powerful T5 models thanks to an upgrade to 248 horsepower. The T5 also features all-wheel drive. Inside the cabin, the XC40 impresses with its tasteful design, super comfy seats and cool features like the standard digital instrument cluster and 9-inch touch-screen infotainment system that includes both Apply CarPlay and Android Auto. Ground clearance at 8.3-inches is generous, although we doubt many will be taking the XC40 off-road, the added height is a benefit when traversing deep snow. Among the long list of optional equipment are feature you won’t find on the UX, including a panoramic sunroof, semi-autonomous driving, automatic parking and active dampers. It can also be leased through Volvo’s innovative new Care subscription program that requires no money down and covers all maintenance and insurance for a mere $700 a month.

Lexus UX Advantages

The UX costs less than a comparable XC40, and its ride is softer and bit less choppy. The UX offers a bit more cargo space, has more front seat legroom, has a tighter turning circle, as well as better fuel economy from either the gas or hybrid model. The UX also holds slightly higher resale values.

Volvo XC40 Advantages

The XC40 offers more headroom, rear legroom and shoulder room, plus it comes standard with leather seating. The Volvo is a better performer, offering more horsepower and torque. The XC40 also offers more standard and optional features, has a more user-friendly infotainment interface and bit more stylistic presence.  

Similarities

Both the UX and XC40 come with a host of standard driver assists, including automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Both can be had with all-wheel drive, offer large touch-screen infotainment systems and offer a sport trim option with improved suspension for better handling.

Final Recommendation

For a few thousand dollars more, the Volvo XC40 offers so much over the entry level UX that it’s hard to say no. Other than fuel economy and the hybrid engine option, the XC40 just outshines the Lexus UX in every category that matters most to luxury buyers. We’d go for the optional crystal gearshift knob just for good measure. 

Ready to buy a compact luxury SUV? Find a Lexus UX or Volvo XC40 on sale near you!

  2019 Lexus UX 2019 Volvo XC40
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.0-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm 187 hp @ 4,700 rpm
Torque 151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm 221 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Automatic, 8-spd
Fuel Economy 33 mpg (29 city/37 hwy) 27 mpg (23 city/33 hwy)
Also Available Hybrid, AWD 248 hp 2.0-liter turbo I4, AWD
Specs    
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.9 inches 106.4 inches
Overall Length 177.0 inches 174.2 inches
Width 72.4 inches 73.3 inches
Height 59.8 inches 65.0 inches
Turning Diameter 34.2 feet 37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 37.2 inches 40.6 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.3 inches 39.1 inches
Legroom, Front 42.1 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 33.1 inches 36.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.1 inches 56.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.9 inches 56.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 90.4 cu. ft. n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 21.7 cu. ft. 20.7 cu. ft.
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