Lexus UX vs Audi Q3 vs BMW X1 vs Volvo XC40, which is the perfect car for you?

Shaun · Feb 18, 2020 10:00 AM

How much is the Lexus UX?

Bookings for the Lexus UX has just been opened by Lexus Malaysia. It is fully imported from Japan and there are three variants to choose from – Urban, Luxury, and F Sport with prices from RM 243,888 to RM 299,888.

Lexus UX specs

Let me guess, it shares the same platform with another Toyota

It rides on the TNGA (GA-C) platform that is shared with the Toyota CH-R. They share similar suspension setup with MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear.

In theory, this should give it an edge over the Audi Q3’s multi-link rear suspension, but it remains to be seen (and tested) which is better. 

Lexus UX rear suspension

How fast is it?

Power comes from a Dynamic Force 2.0-litre engine making 171 PS at 6,600 rpm and maximum torque 205 Nm at 4,800 rpm. Unlike its turbocharged rivals, it makes the least torque in its segment. 0-100 km/h takes 9.2 seconds.

Lexus UX's engine bay

If outright firepower is what you’re looking for, the Volvo XC40 is the one for you.

Volvo XC40

Wait, is it a CVT?

The Direct-Shift CVT boasts improved fuel efficiency by 6% with response and shift time equal or better than dual clutch transmissions. Which both the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 have, while the XC40 uses an 8-speed Aisin sourced automatic transmission. 

For driving engagement, DCT has the upper hand but for absolute seamlessness, the CVT trumps. The conventional automatic is a compromise of the two.

Direct-Shift CVT

What's the fuel consumption like?

In terms of rated fuel economy, the Lexus UX returns the best fuel ecomony, coming in at 6.2 litres/100 km, followed closely by the BMW X1 at 6.5 litres/100 km. The Audi Q3 returns 7.2 litres/100 km and the Volvo XC40 does 7.7 litres/100 km.

Again, these are figures quoted by the manufacturers and may not reflect real-world driving conditions.

Which has the most special interior?

As expected from a Lexus, the UX’s interior is designed with flair and built with Japanese craftsmanship. But as its size suggests, the cabin can feel a little cramped.

Lexus UX interior (Luxury)

Luxury variant shown

Where storage is concerned, the Volvo XC40 leads the pack with large door pockets and clever storage spaces. The Audi Q3 has the Audi-famed build quality. And the BMW X1 has the most pedestrian interior among them.

Volvo XC40 interior

Is it safe?

Yes, but one of its rivals is a Volvo. The XC40 has the full suite of IntelliSafe with:

  • City Safety
  • Pilot Assist
  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation
  • Run-Off Road Mitigation
  • BLIS with RCTA, LKA
  • Driver Alert Control

Volvo XC40

The Lexus UX is right there behind with Lexus Safety System+ that includes AEB, ACC, LKA. Luxury and F Sport variants get BSM and RCTA. Meanwhile the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 make do without any form of ADAS.

Lexus UX instrument cluster

So which is best?

Being a fully imported model, the Lexus UX is at a price disadvantage. The "base" Urban (RM 243,888) costs RM 10,000 more than the BMW X1 (RM 233,800), while the Luxury variant (RM 283,888) is priced higher than the made-in-Hungary Audi Q3 (RM 269,900). The Volvo XC40 has only one variant, which retails at RM 255,888 and it has everything you need.

Then again, buying a Lexus has never been about value proposition, it is about feeling and being special, standing out from the crowd. And buying a Lexus UX does just that.