Luxgen U5 review – The all around tech savvy compact crossover

Luxgen has been on a roll, taking advantage of the ever growing crossover segment. First with the U6 crossover, which competes with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, and now Luxgen joins in on the compact crossover segment with the release of the new U5. The Luxgen U5 competes with the likes of the Honda HR-V and Toyota CH-R. Luxgen hasn’t had much success with its sedans, but they’ve seem to have found a niche with crossovers. So how is the all new Luxgen U5 and does it offer anything great to the otherwise crowded segment?

Style & Specs:

Luxgen went out of its way to make to style the U5’s exterior stand out. The creases and curves help give the U5 a more sportier look and it definitely helps make it stand out from an otherwise generic crowd of crossovers. The front fenders integrate the side turn signals, which makes it more visible for drivers rather than having those mounted on the side mirrors. This styling aspect adds to the flow of the curvy lines the designers wanted to create. The sloped rear invokes a sportback look with added with LED tail lights

Inside the interior, one cannot notice the massive 12 inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. This is a first for Luxgen. It is double the size of both the U6 crossover’s and S3 sedan’s 6 inch touchscreens, it reminds me a bit of the Tesla’s massive touchscreens. However, unlike the Teslas, the U5’s HVAC controls still use buttons. New to the Active Eagle View 360 is the AR Around View+ (using augmented reality technology), this is a first and you don’t even see this use of AR in BMWs or Mercedes yet. The technology uses all the cameras and sensors on the U5 to place a model of the vehicle on the touchscreen. Then from there you can see the traffic lanes, cars in other lanes, and other objects in real time. This really comes in handy when making tight turns and backing into a tight parking spaces with faded lanes, or pulling out of an alley or parking spot.

AR Around View+ and Active Eagle View 360 in use:

 
Interior space is huge with lots of head and legroom for passengers. Legroom for rear passengers is spacious, even for the taller passengers. The seats are comfortable and supportive. The smart key is kept in your pocket, press the start button the instrumentation lights up. The motorcycle inspired instrument cluster is similar to that of Luxgen’s S3 sedan. Cargo space is a huge 26 cubic feet with split 60/40 that gives you additional space to haul what you want to haul at 60 cubic feet. The 7 speaker audio system gives clear surround sound with one speaker in the integrated into the center console giving you a truly surround sound experience. HDMI and USB outlets lets you hook up and listen to tunes from your phone or MP3 player. Then of course there is also Bluetooth connectivity as well. The touchscreen controls are all within reach of the driver.

 

The D-VVT 1.6L is an all new non-turbo engine that puts out 120hp. It may seem weak when considering the U5 weighs a hefty 3,300lbs, but the engine does not disappoint. The engine delivers smoothness as long as it isn’t pushed too hard. NVH is kept down to a minimum. On the highway, acceleration gives you confidence that it isn’t under-powered and overtaking is easy. At highway speeds the U5 is stable with very little wind noise. Handling is predictable.

As with all Luxgens there is a great emphasis on safety with triple steel beams in doors, re-enforced front crumple zones in both the front and rear, 6 airbags, HSA (hill start assist), VSC, ABS, and of course the Active Eagle View 360. The audible sounds that the come with the 360’s blind spot warning can get annoying when so many objects are around the vehicle. It can be turned off and in its place are flashing hazards to let you know what obstructions is surrounding vehicle. Another new feature on the U5 is APA (auto parking assistant), which helps parks the car for you. The U5’s sensors will analyze a parking spot’s size and then if its okay, the car will park it for you.

Stars:

4 of 5

The U5 crossover will turn heads when one sees it driving down a road. Luxgen has done a great job at making this crossover enjoyable to drive and own. It is affordable and packed with all kinds of technology that will keep you occupied, whether its music, GPS, or playing around with the AR surround view. It is too bad the U5 will not be sold in North America. If it were to be sold in North America it would definitely be a wake up call for the very boring/generic Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, and Nissan Rogue Sport/Qashqai crossovers. The Toyota CH-R comes close with bold styling, but it does not offer the great driving dynamics, technology and safety that the Luxgen U5 offers. The U5 is new chapter in Luxgen’s crossover lineup. They have pretty much all the major segments covered.

Starting prices for the U5 crossover begins with the AR+ model at $NT735,000 ($24,000 USD). The 1.6L HiFi+ at $NT765,000 ($25,000 USD). The range topping 1.6L Vogue+ tops out at $NT789,000 ($26,000 USD).

 

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