Lexus UX 250h interior & comfort
The Lexus UX 250h is beautifully built, and since early 2020 has offered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity as standard
Quality, like on all modern Lexus models, is excellent here. The UX’s kit list is pretty impressive, too, and all versions get the same SUV-shaped body and raised ride height. The infotainment system is infuriatingly complicated to operate, however, so it was good news to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity added to the standard kit list as of March 2020.
Lexus UX dashboard
Anyone familiar with larger Lexus models will feel right at home in the compact UX. The dashboard is dominated by a central infotainment screen, below which sit a pair of vents and the intuitive climate controls.
The digital dials look good, but aren’t as customisable as the 'Virtual Cockpit' system found in the latest Audis. The Lexus UX’s button-heavy steering wheel takes some getting used to, although it’s all intuitive enough once you're familiar with it.
Equipment, options and accessories
The Lexus UX is only available with one hybrid engine option, although the all-electric UX 300e also features in the range. There are three trims to choose from: entry-level cars come well equipped, while range-topping versions offer enough kit to rival some cars in the class above.
The most basic version is simply badged UX and features 17-inch alloy wheels, sat nav and the latest Lexus Safety System+ package. Dual-zone climate control is also standard across the range.
These cars can also be specified with the Premium Pro Pack option, which combines all the contents of the Premium Plus Pack, while keeping the car’s on-the-road price below the £40,000 threshold for higher-level road tax. Features include blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display, LED headlights with adaptive high-beams, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio system and wireless phone charging.
Introduced in December 2020, the Premium Sport Edition features an all-black theme for the grille mesh and frame, alloy wheels, door mirror casings, roof rails and headlight units. Inside, the seats are upholstered in black Tahara faux leather, while blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and navigation are standard. Once again, it stays below the £40,000 mark and so escaped higher road tax.
Those after something a little racier should look to the UX 250h F-Sport, which adds stiffer suspension, sportier styling and heated seats,18-inch wheels, rear privacy glass and a heated steering wheel. Buyers can also add a selection of option packs to this car, too, which throw in a load of extras for a one-off fee.
The top-spec UX is badged Takumi. It boasts everything from that 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, to ventilated seats and a 360-degree parking camera. Takumi cars also get a sunroof and a heads-up display but do come at the cost of a huge (circa £5,000) price jump over F-Sport.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Unfortunately, this is where the UX falls down. The infotainment system – like those in all models from the Japanese brand – is tricky to use, limited in functionality and graphically dated. Thankfully, Lexus added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the standard kit in early 2020, so if you're ordering your car now, it should feature this intuitive technology.
For cars without Apple or Android software, or for buyers without a compatible smartphone, you're forced to make do with Lexus's clunky infotainment, which sees the car’s features controlled by a complicated touchpad on the centre console. It uses a mouse-like cursor system, which makes it really tricky to operate – jumping from left to right and top to bottom as you attempt to scroll through your list of favoured radio stations. The built-in navigation system is painfully unintuitive, too.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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 & comfort - currently readingThe 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