Lexus UX 250h review

The Lexus UX is the first small SUV from the brand, featuring all the best bits about the larger NX and RX in a small and fun-to-drive package

£29,900 - £39,100
Hybrid

Pros

  • SUV styling
  • Good to drive
  • Low running costs

Cons

  • No plug-in variant
  • Dated infotainment
  • Tiny boot

The Lexus UX is a smart and fun-to-drive hybrid crossover with loads of standard kit. Its clunky infotainment system and tiny boot let it down, but comfort and quality are excellent, and refinement is impressive.

There's just one powertrain available at launch in the UK: the 2.0-litre petrol-electric UX 250h. There's no plug-in model and no fully electric version for the time being, although a petrol option is available in some foreign markets. As such, the UX rivals the Toyota C-HR and Kia Niro, as well as plug-in hybrid (PHEV) alternatives like the MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Lexus UX comes in three trims: standard, F-Sport and Takumi. All cars come with a long list of standard kit, including alloy wheels and sat nav, while range-topping models boast everything from a 10-inch infotainment display to a large sunroof and ventilated seats. All-inclusive option packs bundle extra kit for an additional fee, but be careful not to get carried away, as top-spec models can breach the £40,000 threshold for higher road tax.

Based on parent company Toyota’s tried-and-tested Prius platform, the Lexus UX is surprisingly fun to drive. The steering is sharp and body control is good, while the punchy electric motors offer a pleasing turn of pace. It’s comfortable around town (although we can't yet comment on the stiffer suspension of the F Sport model) and excellent on the motorway, with a hushed powertrain and decent general refinement.

Running costs are competitive, with the hybrid system ensuring low emissions and good fuel economy. The UX is particularly efficient around town and settles down nicely on longer runs. It’ll no doubt prove popular with company-car drivers due to a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating, although some plug-in rivals will be even more affordable to run if you have a short, urban commute, and the Lexus doesn't have free access to the London Congestion Charge zone.

If you’re after a hassle-free, cheap-to-run and good-to-drive compact crossover with a lovely interior and a punchy hybrid powertrain, the Lexus UX is well worth a look. Just don't go thinking this is a good option as a family car, as access to the rear seats isn't great, and a tiny, high-lipped boot space will rule it out for anyone with young kids. If the poor practicality and clunky infotainment aren't deal-breakers for you, the rest of the car is thoroughly impressive. 

For a more detailed look at the Lexus UX, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.