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

The UX is rather an desirable tiny thing.

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The 2020 Lexus UX 250h helps make a pretty solid initial impact. The sharply styled exterior style and design seems to be wonderful — specifically in my example’s cadmium orange paint — and the hybrid’s generous gasoline financial state promises are worthy of a double get. Yet it really is hard to drop in like with Lexus’ smallest model. 


  • Attractive style and design, significant-quality inside materials
  • Great suite of common driver aids
  • Android Car joins Apple CarPlay for 2020 model 12 months

Never Like

  • Really tiny cargo room, even for a compact
  • Lexus Remote Touch controller is not fantastic

While successful, the powertrain is a little bit breathless at pace, and you can find shockingly tiny place for cargo, passengers or car or truck seats in the UX’s cramped cabin. And even with the 2020 model 12 months tech updates, the littlest Lexus’ cockpit tech can be a little bit baffling to use.

Sharp style and design

Magnificent and angular, the UX is probably the best execution of Lexus’ SUV style and design language and, in my belief, one particular of the best-searching motor vehicles in its class. The sharply creased sheet steel plays far better with the UX’s subcompact proportions than those of the larger RX and NX designs. I significantly love the chunky, RAV4-esque wheel arches and the three-dimensional style and design of the taillamps, which protrude a little bit from the system like tiny aerodynamic diffusers.

Measuring 177 inches from nose to tail and standing just sixty.6 inches tall, the UX is not that significantly larger than the CT 200h that it technically replaces as the entry point Lexus’ US lineup. The a bit elevated trip peak and all-wheel drive are basically the only qualities of its style and design that outline the UX as a little SUV relatively than hatchback. To be reasonable, that’s standard in this class. 

That explained, even amid its Lilliputian peers, the UX’s cabin feels significantly claustrophobic. There is certainly not significantly legroom to be observed in the cramped next row and treasured tiny quantity for cargo. Amongst the sharply raked roof and the hybrid’s battery pack, which raises the rear hatch floor, the UX 250h only presents seventeen.one cubic toes of cargo room, about 4.6 cubes a lot less than the non-hybrid. That is complete cargo room with the seats folded flat. That places the UX hybrid amid the worst in its class, with a lot less cargo capability even than the liftback Hyundai Ioniq


The UX has a ton a lot less cargo capability than you may believe, a lot less even than some in the same way sized hybrid sedans.

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What is a lot more, the significant load floor and little hatch opening make it difficult to load cumbersome products. Squeezing a not-also-significant 8.25-cubic-foot box in the back even proves to be a problem. 

The good thing is, the front row is fairly relaxed with a fair quantity of head- and legroom, as perfectly as supportive seats. The UX’s dashboard features significant-quality materials that are as satisfying to the eye as they are to the hand. Even with a number of puzzling style and design decisions for the tech, I definitely like the Lexus’ cabin aesthetically and ergonomically. 

Lexus Enform with Remote Touch

The dashboard is dwelling to the only authentic improvements for the 2020 model 12 months. The UX now features Android Car smartphone connectivity by way of USB. Of program, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility also carry above from final 12 months. Like the larger Lexus RX, Android Car helps make complete use of the UX’s optional 10.25-inch ultrawide screen, filling the display screen with a break up-screen interface that showcases navigation and audio information at the same time.

Further than the third-social gathering tech, Lexus’ Enform infotainment system with Remote Touch controller is… not fantastic. The console-mounted touchpad is straightforward adequate to comprehend, but can be imprecise and awkward for high-quality selections or when driving. That may well be one particular reason why Lexus blocks all but the most basic infotainment interactions when the car or truck is in motion, but it also signifies you are not able to have a passenger enter a destination for you.


The addition of Android Car is a little change that helps make a substantial improvement to the UX’s tech.

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The UX also offers what has to be the most awkwardly put quantity dial that I’ve ever observed. You’ll come across it — soon after some exploring — slotted into the side of a palm relaxation aft of the Remote Touch pad alongside with shortcut buttons for audio source assortment and radio tuning. The tiny knob requires a number of swipes for quick quantity adjustments and can be hard for passengers to achieve without having contorting.

It’s a tiny ironic that a motor vehicle termed UX has this kind of very poor person working experience (UX) style and design.

Lexus Safety Suite 2.

Fortunately, the UX’s state-of-the-art driver-help tech helps make a a lot more sound exhibiting with common Lexus Safety Suite 2. for all designs. That signifies common forward-collision warning, automatic unexpected emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam assist, lane-departure warning and pretty first rate lane-tracing assist — checking all of the packing containers out of the box. The UX also features common automatic significant beams and road-sign detection, which showcases posted pace limits in the navigation and instrument cluster shows.

My case in point also features the optional park assist with automatic rear cross-site visitors braking ($595), the upgraded triple-beam LED headlamps ($one,660) and a complete-shade head-up display screen ($five hundred). Other creature comforts including to the bottom line: a heated steering wheel, all-temperature floormats and a number of a lot more odds and finishes.

Hybrid Synergy Drive efficiency

The Lexus UX 250h features a model of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive with common all-wheel drive. Matching a 2.-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine with an electric motor sends a complete of 181 horsepower (and an unspecified quantity of torque) to the crossover’s front wheels. In the meantime, a committed seven-hp electric motor-generator on the rear axle splits 40 pound-toes of torque between the rear wheels on need at speeds up to forty five mph. This is basically the same minimal-drag AWD-e set up you may come across in the up-to-date Prius.

The UX features Standard, Sport and Eco drive modes, accessible by way of stubby stalks above the instrument cluster, and a constrained EV drive mode button on the middle console. Even though the hybrid can technically slip into EV operation at up to seventy one mph, this kind of speeds are only definitely attainable when coasting downhill. In practice, the EV mode is for creeping in and out of driveways or all over parking lots.


A pair of drive mode assortment stalks protruding from the instrument cluster hood is an odd depth, but a good homage to the exotic Lexus LFA.

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About city, the UX 250h feels fairly superior with first rate thrust off the line and a responsive accelerator backed up by electrified torque. The UX’s suspension and steering are taut, which helps make the tall hatchback feel fairly nimble all over city road blocks. You’ll want that nimbleness to dodge potholes the UX’s a bit also-organization suspension can be punishing above rough patches of road.

At greater speeds, sad to say, the UX’s hybrid powertrain appears to be to operate out of juice. Freeway passes and merges deficiency the oomph that you feel all over city, whilst spirited driving — the place you would want to capitalize on the responsive steering and suspension — are achieved with wheezy, laggy acceleration. The optional F Sport trim may well confirm to be a lot more entertaining with its activity-tuned suspension and paddle shifters but, without having any excess electricity, I question it. This is not a sports activities car or truck it really is an eco car or truck with sporty leanings.

The UX hybrid is fairly superior at becoming an eco car or truck, returning an EPA approximated 39 miles for each gallon blended, 38 highway mpg and up to 41 mpg in the city. That is not lousy for an all-wheel drive hybrid SUV, primarily matching the Ford Escape AWD Hybrid and Toyota’s possess RAV4 Hybrid AWD. Broaden your internet to consist of front-driven designs, even though, and the Kia Niro’s forty nine blended and 51 city mpg blow fairly significantly every little thing else in this class absent right before the plug-ins sign up for the fray.


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

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Pricing and opposition

The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is accessible in base ($34,five hundred), F Sport ($36,five hundred) and Luxurious ($39,seven-hundred) trim degrees. The base model nets you most of the creature comforts and the Lexus Safety Suite 2. systems with a number of excess options, there is not definitely a want to go beyond that. F Sport designs function some suspension and chassis tweaks, a lot more intense styling and paddle shifters. At last, the top Luxurious trim rolls in creature comforts like memory seats, steering wheel and mirrors, a electricity moonroof and enhanced audio. As tested, my Luxurious model with top quality paint, triple-beam LED headlamps, HUD, parking assist and other features rolls out at $forty four,seven-hundred like a $one,025 destination payment.

The UX is an odd tiny chicken. Its precarious stability of design and style, deluxe appointment and performance will come at the expenditure of any authentic utility. Toyota’s possess RAV4 Hybrid is a lot more highly effective, a lot more roomy and equally successful for significantly a lot less dollars. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid, despite its quirks, is a a lot more engaging drive. The frumpy-searching Kia Niro is significantly and absent the most successful SUV I can believe of without having a plug. And however, those aren’t “luxurious SUVs” like the UX none presents the top-conclude creature comforts or quality of materials that Lexus does. 

Some folks with a tiny excess funds searching for a trendy city runabout that stands apart from the group may well come across the UX 250h to be specifically what they’re searching for. For most, I believe, the tech annoyances, the cargo room compromises and the luxurious tax may well not be prices they’re prepared to spend. 

Maria J. Danford

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