Lexus UX 250h review
The Lexus UX is the first compact SUV from the Japanese brand, featuring all the best bits from 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 the smallest hybrid in the Japanese luxury brand’s SUV range, featuring sharp styling and a tempting amount of standard equipment. It’s best thought of as a high-riding hatchback rather than any sort of off-roader, with low running costs, great build quality and impressive comfort among its key strengths. It’s not perfect, though, due to a frustrating infotainment system and pretty small boot.
The UX is available with a single hybrid powertrain in the UK: the 2.0-litre petrol-electric UX 250h. While there's no plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model (you have to step up to the larger NX for that), there is a fully electric UX 300e version, which we've reviewed separately. As such, the UX is a direct rival to other hybrid SUVs like the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, as well as plug-in hybrids like the Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40.
The UX comes in four trim levels: standard, Premium Sport Edition, F-Sport and Takumi. All come with lots of kit, including alloy wheels, while the range-topper boasts everything from a 10-inch infotainment display with navigation to a large sunroof and ventilated seats. Option packs bundle extra kit for an additional fee, but be careful not to get carried away, as top-spec cars 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 in this regard, and will probably work out cheaper to run if you have a short, urban commute.
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 small 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 from 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 costs & insuranceThe Lexus UX is cheap to run, but plug-in hybrid rivals offer more appealing tax benefits
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe 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, dashboard & comfortThe Lexus UX 250h is beautifully built, and since early 2020 has offered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as standard
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Lexus UX prioritises form over function, and as a result isn’t the most practical car in its class
- 7Reliability & safety ratingLexus owners are a satisfied bunch and UX safety should be top-notch, too