Lexus UX 250h engines, drive & performance

The UX is comfortable, quiet and easy to drive, and has a decent turn of speed when you want it.

The Lexus UX 250h is surprisingly good fun to drive. It’s based on the same chassis and platform as the Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR, with the same sharp steering and tight body control. The hybrid system is more powerful than in either of those cars, however, offering easily enough shove to keep pace with faster moving motorway traffic.

Lexus UX hybrid engine, 0-62mph and acceleration

There's only one Lexus UX model available in the UK: a 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid, badged UX 250h. It’s more powerful than the 1.8-litre petrol-electric system in the mechanically similar Toyota C-HR, meaning the UX can accelerate faster and has a higher top speed. Performance is very good, in fact.

The 0-62mph sprint takes just 8.5 seconds (compared to 11 seconds in the C-HR), while top speed is 110mph. The UX certainly feels quick enough to keep up with everyday traffic – although the continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox encourages you to take things a little easier than you might in a manual car.

Handling

While Lexus isn’t famed for its fine-handling SUVs (they tend to prioritise comfort over sporty feel), the UX is actually based on the same platform as the fun-to-drive Toyota C-HR. That means it drives really rather nicely, with excellent body control and a composed ride. The steering is weighty and pretty sharp, too, offering more feedback through the wheel than you might expect for a car of this type.

Refinement is excellent, of course. The compliant suspension hides all but the very worst lumps and bumps in the road and the hybrid powertrain remains hushed even at high speeds. The CVT gearbox can send the revs soaring if you floor the throttle, but takes things more gently and the Lexus UX is an extremely comfortable and quiet place to spend time.

In fact, the 2.0-litre petrol engine in the UX is noticeably smoother and quieter than the 2.5-litre petrol engine fitted to many other Lexus models, so the only thing that might bother you is a fair bit of tyre noise over coarse surfaces.