The UX crossover hit the market in early 2019 but has yet to gain much popularity. Hopefully, the more successful mid-range Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 will help us figure out why. For comparison, we chose the most marketable version of the UX 200 with a two-liter 150-horsepower aspirated and CVT. You can also join the discussion of the car and material on our forum.
At Audi, the same power is developed by the 1.4 turbo engine, which is assisted by a six-speed “robot” with two clutches. As in the Lexus, traction is transmitted only to the front wheels, but the torque is higher: 250 N • m at the peak versus 202. Base prices around 2.3 million rubles are comparable. But a gasoline Volvo is initially 200-400 thousand more expensive – these are sold only with all-wheel drive. In addition, the two-liter T4 engine, paired with an eight-band “automatic”, develops 190 hp. and 300 N • m.
The sills, as in the case of Audi and Volvo, are protected from dirt by doors. But rear passengers run the risk of getting dirty on the wheel arches. The surcharge for such a “metallic” is 45 thousand rubles, but there is a special white for 68 thousand. Black and red gloss are free. Lexus is manufactured in Japan.
Nevertheless, the most expensive in our company is Q3. Just a self-propelled showcase for options! A rare customer in this class will invest half the price of a car in them. Volvo for that kind of money can be equipped with every conceivable add-on package. Even a demo car from the press park pulls “only” for 3.5 million. Lexus UX 200 also got to us in the top, but it seems to be from another league. For the front-wheel drive “Japanese” to overcome the mark of at least three million, it must be hung with accessories, like a Christmas tree.
However, from the driver’s seat, UX is not perceived as a crossover. You sit closer to the ground, as if in an ordinary hatchback. Lexus is indeed noticeably shorter than the competition, with the shortest base and the smallest width. As a result, it is the closest here, which is especially noticeable in the back row. Visibility is slightly worse due to the smaller glazing area. And the trunk is miniature. Also, we can offer test drive Lexus is300.
Audi’s cheerful interior does not skimp on hard plastic, but it is much more spacious. The seating position is higher than in the Lexus, the seat adjustment range is wider. Only then can I raise it so that, with a growth of 170 cm, it rests against the ceiling! The glossy surfaces are covered with fingerprints. But the climate control unit with physical buttons and handles pleases.
Is that the volume knob is more convenient for the passenger to use, and the driver will be helped by a wheel on the spokes of a plump steering wheel with a rim unsuccessfully cut along the chord … It’s easier to sit on the second row than in a Lexus, there are more chances to stay clean in the process – and find a suitable position, since the back is adjustable … The cargo hold is almost twice as large and better organized. Richer transformation possibilities thanks to the longitudinal adjustment of the sofa.
In Volvo, you sit freely, as in Audi, at about the same level, but there is nothing to grasp: there are no handles on the door panels or on the ceiling. Q3 has both. In general, the interiors of European cars are similar in quality. But the materials in the XC40 are more homogeneous than in the Audi, the interior is more practical. There are huge cavities in the doors, a pull-out tray under the driver’s seat, numerous niches for little things. Here is a small, but the most capacious glove box in our company. Like Lexus’s tiny glove compartment, it is devoid of trim, but the lock is only offered at a surcharge.
The almost square bonnet is clearly visible from the driver’s seat, which makes it easier to understand the dimensions. The steering wheel is comfortable, the matte buttons are more pleasant than the glossy ones of older Volvo cars … The non-adjustable sofa dictates an unnecessarily vertical seating position. The high central tunnel does not favor the third passenger. The trunk, although smaller than the German one, is no worse thought out. Only the window for long items is no match for the folding center backrest in Audi.
From the first meters, it is felt that Volvo is more powerful: it starts off easier, picks up speed more actively, and easily accelerates on the move. And it’s not just about the power advantage. The accelerator connection is surprisingly good, and it is pleasant to dose the traction. The eight-speed “automatic” shifts emphatically smoothly, but there is no slowness in changing gears.
The naturally aspirated Lexus with a CVT is not so quick, but the acceleration is just as convenient. The car readily follows the pedal, the gearbox convincingly simulates gear changes. And the responsiveness can be enhanced by selecting Sport with the right shifter on the dashboard visor. The connection grows stronger, and the harshness of the reactions does not become uncomfortable. Great settings for the city! Only a little noisy: extreme overclocking makes the UX freeze at maximum power rpm. The aspirated vocal data does not shine in such modes.
The Audi engine does not allow itself to scream, but the pedals of the 150-horsepower Q3 are like a feather pillow. Reactions to the first third of the accelerator stroke are damped to numbness. I don’t understand if this is an ultra-ecological setting, or simply bad. The crossover both starts uncertainly, and accelerates on the move with annoying delays.
The stifled response to the fuel supply, coupled with the uncertainty of the DSG, turns traffic jams into sheer flour: you give gas – the car hesitates. When you press it, it jumps forward. With an increase in revolutions, the turbo engine finally frees itself from the excessive care of electronics, and the car cheers up: it pulls quickly, imperceptibly turns in six gears. Sport mode makes the Q3 generally follow the pedal more accurately, but the shifting becomes nervous …
With a selection of Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV studless tires, the Audi dealership got into the weather. On them, the Q3 is quieter than everyone else in the test, and the handling is generally not satisfactory. The crossover is stable and predictable in the corner, and in the limit it delicately shifts to a wider radius. Sensitive electronics do not allow naughty. I also like the natural effort that occurs on the steering wheel when deflecting even a slight angle.
The body is mostly steel. The mass fraction of high-strength hot-formed alloys used in the power cage of the passenger compartment reaches 26%. Only the hood is made of sheet aluminum, the profile is used in the construction of the bumper cross members.
High-strength steel is widely used in the power structure of the body, the proportion of which is not specified. To increase the rigidity of the body, in addition to conventional welding, laser welding was used (the seams are 33 m long), as well as adhesive joints. The doors, fenders and bonnet as well as the tailgate frame are made of aluminum.