Weekend Wheels: RAV4, Lexus UX Sport ’19 elevate comfort and performance
Driving a new car is always an exciting experience: the new car smell, the next-generation features and the sleek exterior designs that by and large evolve from year to year.
Over the past few weekends, this media outlet has had the opportunity to test drive two vehicles, the Toyota RAV4 and the Lexus UX Sport, which target different audiences but offer similarly robust designs.
The original Toyota RAV4 arrived in the United States 22 years ago, creating the mold for a new industry segment and evolved into the compact crossover SUV. The first RAV4 changed the rules of the game, but nobody knew at that time the impact that this vehicle would have on the Puerto Rican market.
Since then, during these past two decades, much has changed. The compact bus has grown in its real size, and the growth of the segment shows no signs of diminishing. RAV4 is currently the best-selling vehicle in its segment.
For 2019 it will be offered in five grades: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. monopolizing 9.2% of the market at the end of last year.
“RAV4 2019, in essence, elevates the segment it created to another level. This model brings a sportier spirit and provides greater utility, while improving handling and making it more agile, integrating everyday life and comfort,” said Maribel Bengoa, marketing manager for Toyota Puerto Rico.
“In addition to bringing exemplary fuel efficiency that can only be attributed to a segment leader, RAV4 2019 is designed to deal with adventures in urban, suburban environments and to withstand great outdoor experiences with poise,” she said. It brings a stronger ‘look’ that is in tune with greater capacity and a new type of four-wheel drive for a smoother and quieter ride, with new touches of interior comfort.”
The new thrusters of this SUV increase its performance, reducing fuel consumption. It offers a great sense of safety with the second generation ‘Toyota Safety Sense’ (SST 2.0) integrated as standard. It also brings the Entune multimedia system with more complete and versatile technology than ever.
The RAV4 2019 cannot be confused with any other vehicle in its class. Following the guide of ‘refined adventure’ the designers were inspired by other tough Toyota vehicles, particularly in the design of the front grille, to create an athletic and chiseled appearance.
They created a sophisticated sculpture with a more dynamic profile and robust shoulders to give RAV4 a “start and let’s go” attitude.
With polygonal attributions, the arcs of the tires appear that the tires are in a higher position, emphasizing the raised body that calls more attention to the capacity of the vehicle. The ground clearance increases by more than half an inch over the previous generation. LE and LXE grades with 8.4 inches and XLE and higher with 8.6 inches.
The black finish on the lower part of the body further emphasizes the elevated appearance, but RAV4 retains a comfortable height to mount on it.
The side mirrors are positioned further down the doors to increase frontal visibility. The vision on the sides increases with the larger posterior windows.
The shape and function are combined in the taillights and exterior door handles, which have been configured to contribute to aerodynamic stability.
No matter the model, each RAV4 is an ideal option, whether for an exploration in the city, a weekend trip to the countryside or an excursion around the Island, you can live something new every day. With five models to choose from, the RAV4 2019 arrives at dealerships with an option for everyone, starting at $28,495 to $42,385.
Lexus launches the bold compact UX for urban explorers
Another SUV that is boldly designed and has a young and urban audience in mind, is the Lexus UX 2019, recently introduced to the local market.
With the aim of attracting customers outside its traditional audience, the UX brings with it the impeccable engineering that characterizes the luxury brand, with a more daring than usual, contemporary and dynamic design.
This first Lexus UX debuted in Geneva last year and is available in two propulsion systems, hybrid and gasoline. The UX200 includes front-wheel drive, with a 2.0-liter engine, four cylinders and 165 horsepower. While the UXh250 pairs a more efficient version of the 2.0-liter gas engine with a fourth generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
“It is a vehicle between sedan and SUV, designed exclusively for those adventurous at heart who are always exploring new environments, who love the city and lead a modern and dynamic lifestyle, but who are not willing to sacrifice the luxury that only Lexus provides,” said Víctor Aponte, senior operations manager for Lexus in Puerto Rico.
The UX makes a strong statement in a segment characterized by conventional SUVs. The striking design, highlighted by its imposing sculpture is dramatically flared and surrounds a cabin that offers ample and relaxing space, both for the driver and for the passengers.
Among the exterior details are that all of its headlights are LED, including daytime running lights and taillights.
The latter have an original design, as both pilots are connected by a continuous line of light that crosses the entire trunk. This will be a typical feature in future brand models. The aluminum hoops of this Lexus are 18 inches, and the distance of 103.9 inches between axles, contributes to a smooth and stable handling, while the total length of 177 inches makes it compact and unique in its class, with a radius of just over 17 feet, which allows you to turn and maneuver easily to park.
Lexus designed the interior cabin of the UX to evoke the feeling of a luxury sedan, but the versatility experienced in a crossover. The materials and workmanship are pure Lexus, combining Japanese traditions in crafts and hospitality with innovative production techniques.
The Lexus multimedia system is combined with the improved 10.25-inch screen, which adds numerous features to support customers’ digital lifestyles. Staying connected on the road is essential for today’s drivers, so the UX makes it easier and safer with a number of standard technology features.
Among the safety elements, the UX Lexus has an emergency braking system, pedestrian and cyclist detection sensors, active speed programmer, lane maintenance system, cross-traffic alert and traffic signal recognition system synchronized with the heads-up display.
This vehicle starts at $39,615 and runs up to $50,053, depending on the model.