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

The UX is quite an interesting minimal thing.


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The 2020 Lexus UX 250h can make a pretty potent initially perception. The sharply styled exterior design and style looks remarkable — in particular in my example’s cadmium orange paint — and the hybrid’s generous fuel financial system promises are worthy of a double get. Still it is really hard to drop in like with Lexus’ smallest model. 

Like

  • Fashionable design and style, superior-quality interior elements
  • Fantastic suite of normal driver aids
  • Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay for 2020 model 12 months

Don’t Like

  • Extremely minimal cargo place, even for a compact
  • Lexus Remote Contact controller isn’t great

While successful, the powertrain is a little bit breathless at velocity, and you can find shockingly minimal 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 perplexing to use.

Sharp design and style

Stunning and angular, the UX is most likely the ideal execution of Lexus’ SUV design and style language and, in my impression, a single of the ideal-searching automobiles in its course. The sharply creased sheet steel performs greater with the UX’s subcompact proportions than these of the bigger RX and NX models. I notably delight in the chunky, RAV4-esque wheel arches and the 3-dimensional design and style of the taillamps, which protrude a little bit from the body like minimal aerodynamic diffusers.

Measuring 177 inches from nose to tail and standing just 60.six inches tall, the UX isn’t that a great deal bigger than the CT 200h that it technically replaces as the entry stage Lexus’ US lineup. The slightly elevated journey height and all-wheel travel are mainly the only characteristics of its design and style that outline the UX as a modest SUV rather than hatchback. To be reasonable, which is usual in this course. 

That claimed, even amid its Lilliputian friends, the UX’s cabin feels notably claustrophobic. There is not a great deal legroom to be found in the cramped next row and cherished minimal volume for cargo. In between the sharply raked roof and the hybrid’s battery pack, which raises the rear hatch ground, the UX 250h only features 17.1 cubic ft of cargo place, about 4.six cubes considerably less than the non-hybrid. Which is full cargo place with the seats folded flat. That places the UX hybrid amid the worst in its course, with considerably less cargo potential even than the liftback Hyundai Ioniq

The UX has a ton considerably less cargo potential than you could possibly consider, considerably less even than some equally sized hybrid sedans.


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What’s extra, the superior load ground and modest hatch opening make it tricky to load cumbersome products. Squeezing a not-way too-large eight.25-cubic-foot box in the back again even proves to be a challenge. 

Fortunately, the entrance row is quite snug with a realistic volume of head- and legroom, as effectively as supportive seats. The UX’s dashboard features superior-quality elements that are as satisfying to the eye as they are to the hand. Even with a handful of puzzling design and style possibilities for the tech, I really like the Lexus’ cabin aesthetically and ergonomically. 

Lexus Enform with Remote Contact

The dashboard is home to the only actual changes for the 2020 model 12 months. The UX now features Android Auto smartphone connectivity by means of USB. Of class, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility also have around from very last 12 months. Like the bigger Lexus RX, Android Auto can make full use of the UX’s optional 10.25-inch ultrawide display, filling the show with a break up-display interface that showcases navigation and audio facts at the very same time.

Outside of the 3rd-occasion tech, Lexus’ Enform infotainment technique with Remote Contact controller is… not great. The console-mounted touchpad is effortless adequate to have an understanding of, but can be imprecise and uncomfortable for great picks or when driving. That may well be a single purpose why Lexus blocks all but the most essential infotainment interactions when the car or truck is in motion, but it also indicates you won’t be able to have a passenger input a location for you.

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The addition of Android Auto is a modest adjust that can make a massive enhancement to the UX’s tech.


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The UX also features what has to be the most awkwardly positioned volume dial that I’ve ever witnessed. You will uncover it — just after some hunting — slotted into the side of a palm relaxation aft of the Remote Contact pad together with shortcut buttons for audio source assortment and radio tuning. The very small knob involves several swipes for rapid volume changes and can be hard for passengers to arrive at without the need of contorting.

It’s a minimal ironic that a motor vehicle called UX has these types of inadequate person encounter (UX) design and style.

Lexus Basic safety Suite two.

Luckily, the UX’s advanced driver-assistance tech can make a extra solid displaying with normal Lexus Basic safety Suite two. for all models. That indicates normal ahead-collision warning, computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam help, lane-departure warning and pretty good lane-tracing help — examining all of the packing containers out of the box. The UX also features normal computerized superior beams and road-sign detection, which showcases posted velocity restrictions in the navigation and instrument cluster shows.

My example also features the optional park help with computerized rear cross-site visitors braking ($595), the upgraded triple-beam LED headlamps ($1,660) and a full-coloration head-up show ($five hundred). Other creature comforts including to the bottom line: a heated steering wheel, all-weather conditions floormats and a handful of extra odds and finishes.

Hybrid Synergy Travel efficiency

The Lexus UX 250h features a variation of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Travel with normal all-wheel travel. Matching a two.-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine with an electric powered motor sends a full of 181 horsepower (and an unspecified volume of torque) to the crossover’s entrance wheels. In the meantime, a devoted 7-hp electric powered motor-generator on the rear axle splits forty pound-ft of torque between the rear wheels on desire at speeds up to forty five mph. This is mainly the very same lower-drag AWD-e setup you are going to uncover in the current Prius.

The UX features Ordinary, Sport and Eco travel modes, accessible by means of stubby stalks earlier mentioned the instrument cluster, and a restricted EV travel mode button on the centre console. While the hybrid can technically slip into EV operation at up to seventy one mph, these types of speeds are only really attainable when coasting downhill. In practice, the EV mode is for creeping in and out of driveways or about parking a lot.

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A pair of travel mode assortment stalks protruding from the instrument cluster hood is an odd detail, but a great homage to the unique Lexus LFA.


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About town, the UX 250h feels rather very good 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 about city obstructions. You will want that nimbleness to dodge potholes the UX’s slightly way too-company suspension can be punishing around tough patches of road.

At better speeds, sad to say, the UX’s hybrid powertrain looks to run out of juice. Freeway passes and merges absence the oomph that you come to feel about town, even though spirited driving — the place you’d want to capitalize on the responsive steering and suspension — are satisfied with wheezy, laggy acceleration. The optional F Sport trim may well establish to be extra enjoyable with its activity-tuned suspension and paddle shifters but, without the need of any extra energy, I question it. This isn’t a sports car or truck it is really an eco car or truck with sporty leanings.

The UX hybrid is rather very good at being an eco car or truck, returning an EPA estimated 39 miles for every gallon mixed, 38 freeway mpg and up to forty one mpg in the city. Which is not undesirable for an all-wheel travel hybrid SUV, primarily matching the Ford Escape AWD Hybrid and Toyota’s individual RAV4 Hybrid AWD. Extend your net to involve entrance-pushed models, however, and the Kia Niro’s 49 mixed and fifty one city mpg blow rather a great deal every little thing else in this course absent in advance of the plug-ins be part of the fray.

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The UX’s hybrid all-wheel travel technique is very similar to (but extra impressive than) the Toyota Prius AWD-e.


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Pricing and level of competition

The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is obtainable in base ($34,five hundred), F Sport ($36,five hundred) and Luxury ($39,700) trim stages. The base model nets you most of the creature comforts and the Lexus Basic safety Suite two. technologies with a handful of extra selections, there isn’t really a want to go outside of that. F Sport models element some suspension and chassis tweaks, extra intense styling and paddle shifters. Lastly, the leading Luxury trim rolls in creature comforts like memory seats, steering wheel and mirrors, a energy moonroof and enhanced audio. As analyzed, my Luxury model with quality paint, triple-beam LED headlamps, HUD, parking help and other features rolls out at $forty four,700 such as a $1,025 location payment.

The UX is an odd minimal chicken. Its precarious balance of design and style, luxurious appointment and performance comes at the expense of any actual utility. Toyota’s individual RAV4 Hybrid is extra impressive, extra roomy and similarly successful for a great deal considerably less dollars. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid, even with its quirks, is a extra engaging travel. The frumpy-searching Kia Niro is much and absent the most successful SUV I can consider of without the need of a plug. And nevertheless, these usually are not “luxury SUVs” like the UX none features the leading-close creature comforts or quality of elements that Lexus does. 

Some men and women with a minimal extra dollars searching for a fashionable city runabout that stands apart from the crowd may well uncover the UX 250h to be specifically what they’re searching for. For most, I consider, the tech annoyances, the cargo place compromises and the luxury tax may well not be prices they’re ready to pay out.