Lexus UX 250h review
The Lexus UX is the first compact SUV from the Japanese brand, featuring all the best bits about the larger NX and RX hybrids in a small and fun-to-drive package
- SUV styling
- Good to drive
- Low running costs
- No plug-in variant
- Dated infotainment
- Tiny boot
|Car type||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions||0-62mph|
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 hybrid powertrain available in the UK: the 2.0-litre petrol-electric UX 250h. There's no plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, but there is a fully electric UX 300 e, which we've reviewed separately, and a pure-petrol option is available in some overseas markets. As such, the UX rivals the Toyota C-HR and Kia Niro, as well as plug-in hybrid alternatives like the MINI Countryman and Mitsubishi Outlander.
The UX comes in three trims: standard, F-Sport and Takumi. All come with a long list of equipment, including alloys 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 UX 250h is surprisingly good 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 and excellent on the motorway, with a hushed powertrain and decent general refinement.
Running costs are competitive, with the hybrid system ensuring low CO2 emissions and good fuel economy. The UX is particularly efficient around town and settles down nicely on longer runs. It should prove popular with company-car drivers due to a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating, although plug-in rivals are even cheaper on company-car tax, and will be cheaper to run if you have a short, urban commute. The Lexus also doesn't have free access to the London Congestion Charge zone – although come October 2021, only pure-electric cars will enjoy that.
Overall, 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 will rule it out for anyone with young kids.
If the poor practicality and clunky infotainment (despite a 2020 update that added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) 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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Lexus UX is the first compact SUV from the Japanese brand, featuring all the best bits about the larger NX and RX hybrids in a small and fun-to-drive package
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsDrive carefully and the Lexus UX is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market, but it's no better than most diesels on faster roads
- 3Running costsThe Lexus UX is cheap to run, but plug-in hybrid rivals offer more appealing tax benefits
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe Lexus UX 250h hybrid is comfortable, quiet and easy to drive, as well as being capable of a decent turn of speed when you need it
- 5Interior & comfortThe Lexus UX 250h is beautifully built, and since early 2020 has offered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as standard
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Lexus UX prioritises form over function, and as a result isn’t the most practical car in its class
- 7Reliability & safetyLexus owners are a satisfied bunch and UX safety should be top-notch, too