2020 Lexus UX 250h review: Space is at a premium

The UX is quite an desirable tiny factor.


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The 2020 Lexus UX 250h can make a incredibly sturdy first impact. The sharply styled exterior style and design appears to be like astounding — particularly in my example’s cadmium orange paint — and the hybrid’s generous gasoline economic system promises are well worth a double get. But it truly is tricky to tumble in like with Lexus’ smallest model. 

Like

  • Classy style and design, significant-high quality inside resources
  • Great suite of common driver aids
  • Android Car joins Apple CarPlay for 2020 model year

Never Like

  • Pretty tiny cargo place, even for a compact
  • Lexus Remote Touch controller isn’t really terrific

Whilst economical, the powertrain is a little bit breathless at velocity, and there’s surprisingly tiny room for cargo, passengers or automobile seats in the UX’s cramped cabin. And even with the 2020 model year tech updates, the littlest Lexus’ cockpit tech can be a little bit confusing to use.

Sharp style and design

Attractive and angular, the UX is almost certainly the greatest execution of Lexus’ SUV style and design language and, in my opinion, a person of the greatest-hunting vehicles in its class. The sharply creased sheet metal performs greater with the UX’s subcompact proportions than these of the more substantial RX and NX versions. I notably delight in the chunky, RAV4-esque wheel arches and the three-dimensional style and design of the taillamps, which protrude a little bit from the human body like tiny aerodynamic diffusers.

Measuring 177 inches from nose to tail and standing just sixty.six inches tall, the UX isn’t really that a great deal more substantial than the CT 200h that it technically replaces as the entry stage Lexus’ US lineup. The slightly elevated ride peak and all-wheel drive are basically the only attributes of its style and design that outline the UX as a small SUV somewhat than hatchback. To be truthful, which is standard in this class. 

That claimed, even between its Lilliputian friends, the UX’s cabin feels notably claustrophobic. There is certainly not a great deal legroom to be uncovered in the cramped 2nd row and treasured tiny quantity for cargo. Between the sharply raked roof and the hybrid’s battery pack, which raises the rear hatch floor, the UX 250h only presents 17.1 cubic ft of cargo place, about 4.six cubes a lot less than the non-hybrid. That is whole cargo place with the seats folded flat. That places the UX hybrid between the worst in its class, with a lot less cargo ability even than the liftback Hyundai Ioniq

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The UX has a lot a lot less cargo ability than you could possibly imagine, a lot less even than some similarly sized hybrid sedans.


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What’s far more, the significant load floor and small hatch opening make it challenging to load cumbersome objects. Squeezing a not-much too-significant 8.twenty five-cubic-foot box in the back again even proves to be a challenge. 

Thankfully, the entrance row is quite at ease with a realistic volume of head- and legroom, as well as supportive seats. The UX’s dashboard characteristics significant-high quality resources that are as satisfying to the eye as they are to the hand. In spite of a few puzzling style and design choices for the tech, I definitely like the Lexus’ cabin aesthetically and ergonomically. 

Lexus Enform with Remote Touch

The dashboard is dwelling to the only genuine variations for the 2020 model year. The UX now characteristics Android Car smartphone connectivity via USB. Of study course, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility also have around from very last year. Like the more substantial Lexus RX, Android Car can make whole use of the UX’s optional ten.twenty five-inch ultrawide display, filling the show with a break up-display interface that showcases navigation and audio information at the very same time.

Past the third-party tech, Lexus’ Enform infotainment system with Remote Touch controller is… not terrific. The console-mounted touchpad is easy enough to realize, but can be imprecise and awkward for fantastic alternatives or when driving. That could be a person purpose why Lexus blocks all but the most primary infotainment interactions when the automobile is in motion, but it also usually means you cannot have a passenger input a destination for you.

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The addition of Android Car is a small alter that can make a substantial enhancement to the UX’s tech.


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The UX also features what has to be the most awkwardly placed quantity dial that I have ever seen. You may find it — right after some hunting — slotted into the aspect of a palm rest aft of the Remote Touch pad alongside with shortcut buttons for audio resource choice and radio tuning. The tiny knob calls for many swipes for rapid quantity adjustments and can be tricky for passengers to attain without the need of contorting.

It is really a tiny ironic that a motor vehicle termed UX has this kind of bad user practical experience (UX) style and design.

Lexus Basic safety Suite two.

Luckily, the UX’s sophisticated driver-support tech can make a far more stable demonstrating with common Lexus Basic safety Suite two. for all versions. That usually means common ahead-collision warning, automated unexpected emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise regulate with targeted visitors jam help, lane-departure warning and incredibly good lane-tracing help — examining all of the packing containers out of the box. The UX also characteristics common automated significant beams and road-sign detection, which showcases posted velocity boundaries in the navigation and instrument cluster displays.

My illustration also characteristics the optional park help with automated rear cross-targeted visitors braking ($595), the upgraded triple-beam LED headlamps ($1,660) and a whole-colour head-up show ($five hundred). Other creature comforts incorporating to the bottom line: a heated steering wheel, all-temperature floormats and a few far more odds and ends.

Hybrid Synergy Travel overall performance

The Lexus UX 250h characteristics a edition of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Travel with common all-wheel drive. Matching a two.-liter gasoline 4-cylinder motor with an electric motor sends a whole of 181 horsepower (and an unspecified volume of torque) to the crossover’s entrance wheels. In the meantime, a devoted 7-hp electric motor-generator on the rear axle splits 40 pound-ft of torque between the rear wheels on need at speeds up to forty five mph. This is basically the very same minimal-drag AWD-e set up you can expect to find in the up-to-date Prius.

The UX characteristics Ordinary, Sport and Eco drive modes, available via stubby stalks above the instrument cluster, and a constrained EV drive manner button on the center console. While the hybrid can technically slip into EV procedure at up to seventy one mph, this kind of speeds are only definitely attainable when coasting downhill. In exercise, the EV manner is for creeping in and out of driveways or all-around parking heaps.

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A pair of drive manner choice stalks protruding from the instrument cluster hood is an odd depth, but a great homage to the unique Lexus LFA.


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All around town, the UX 250h feels pretty superior with good thrust off the line and a responsive accelerator backed up by electrified torque. The UX’s suspension and steering are taut, which can make the tall hatchback come to feel quite nimble all-around city obstacles. You may require that nimbleness to dodge potholes the UX’s slightly much too-organization suspension can be punishing around rough patches of road.

At better speeds, sadly, the UX’s hybrid powertrain appears to be to operate out of juice. Highway passes and merges lack the oomph that you come to feel all-around town, when spirited driving — in which you’d want to capitalize on the responsive steering and suspension — are met with wheezy, laggy acceleration. The optional F Sport trim could establish to be far more fun with its sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters but, without the need of any more energy, I question it. This isn’t really a sports activities automobile it truly is an eco automobile with sporty leanings.

The UX hybrid is pretty superior at remaining an eco automobile, returning an EPA approximated 39 miles for each gallon blended, 38 freeway mpg and up to forty one mpg in the city. That is not lousy for an all-wheel drive hybrid SUV, basically matching the Ford Escape AWD Hybrid and Toyota’s individual RAV4 Hybrid AWD. Develop your web to include entrance-driven versions, nevertheless, and the Kia Niro’s 49 blended and 51 city mpg blow pretty a great deal every thing else in this class away in advance of the plug-ins be a part of the fray.

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The UX’s hybrid all-wheel drive system is related to (but far more highly effective than) the Toyota Prius AWD-e.


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Pricing and level of competition

The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is readily available in foundation ($34,five hundred), F Sport ($36,five hundred) and Luxurious ($39,700) trim degrees. The foundation model nets you most of the creature comforts and the Lexus Basic safety Suite two. systems with a few more possibilities, there isn’t really definitely a require to go beyond that. F Sport versions characteristic some suspension and chassis tweaks, far more intense styling and paddle shifters. Lastly, the leading Luxurious trim rolls in creature comforts like memory seats, steering wheel and mirrors, a energy moonroof and improved audio. As tested, my Luxurious model with high quality paint, triple-beam LED headlamps, HUD, parking help and other characteristics rolls out at $44,700 such as a $1,025 destination charge.

The UX is an odd tiny fowl. Its precarious balance of model, deluxe appointment and effectiveness arrives at the cost of any genuine utility. Toyota’s individual RAV4 Hybrid is far more highly effective, far more roomy and similarly economical for a great deal a lot less income. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid, in spite of its quirks, is a far more engaging drive. The frumpy-hunting Kia Niro is much and away the most economical SUV I can imagine of without the need of a plug. And nevertheless, these usually are not “luxurious SUVs” like the UX none presents the leading-conclude creature comforts or high quality of resources that Lexus does. 

Some persons with a tiny more funds looking for a classy city runabout that stands aside from the crowd could find the UX 250h to be accurately what they’re hunting for. For most, I imagine, the tech annoyances, the cargo place compromises and the luxurious tax could not be costs they’re willing to pay out.