Lexus UX 250h performance, top speed & engine
The 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
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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 250h engine, 0-62mph and acceleration
The 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine in the UX 250h is more powerful than the 1.8-litre version used in some versions of 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 1.8-litre 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 doesn’t really encourage spirited driving in the same way as a manual car.
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 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 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.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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 & drive - currently readingThe 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