LUXURY carmaker Lexus is adding a new entry model to its vast range in the form of its UX.

Due in Australia late this year, the hatch-cum-SUV is aimed at younger buyers and prices are expected to start from about $45,000.

Lexus says the UX will not only be the first Lexus for many customers, but also their first luxury vehicle.

What does UX mean?

The design team says the U is for urban and the X for crossover.

“The Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” chief engineer Chika Kako, said.

“We designed it to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”

The new model claims to deliver a quick and engaging drive experience, with a Lexus-smooth demeanour, making it unique in the luxury compact crossover market sector.

The range starts with the front-wheel-drive UX 200, powered by a 126kW/250Nm 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine and a new Direct Shift continuously variable transmission.

A model called the UX 250h pairs a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine with a new hybrid drive system engineered specifically for this platform.

It will be available with either front-wheel drive or E Four electric all-wheel drive.

Combined output of 131kW makes the 250h the leader in performance as well as fuel efficiency.

The UX is the first vehicle to be built on Lexus’ new Compact GA C platform, a  super-rigid lightweight structure, very low centre of gravity and refined suspension.

“I wanted to positively overturn the image of a crossover with a high body that requires careful manoeuvring and offer a car with nimble performance and excellent manoeuvrability that makes it as easy to drive as a sedan,” engineer Chika Kako said.