Lexus UX review
The Lexus UX hybrid is good to drive, economical and should be easy to live with, too
Based on our early drive, the Lexus UX is shaping up to be a genuine alternative to the best compact SUVs you can buy. The styling is daring and different, the interior is finished to the usual Lexus high standards, and it’s packed with an impressive array of safety equipment.
There’s only one powertrain available in the UK, but the 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid system in the 250h delivers punchy acceleration while maximising fuel economy, and even the CVT transmission feels smooth and relatively alert. It’s not perfect; the infotainment system is too fiddly – there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – and the boot is too small. But if the UX stacks up after our first UK drive, this could be one of the most compelling and attractive cars in the segment.
Lexus practically invented the premium crossover when it launched the RX in 1998, but the luxury brand is a little late to the compact SUV party. Now, three years after the launch of the NX, Lexus has created the UX, its third SUV offering.
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It’s based on an adaptation of Toyota’s TNGA platform (called GA-C in Lexus speak), which means it shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR. One powertrain will be available in the UK: a 2.0-litre petrol-electric ‘self-charging’ hybrid badged UX 250h.
A choice of two and four-wheel drive variants will be offered, with Lexus promising up to 68.9mpg, and CO2 emissions as low as 96g/km – although official figures are yet to be confirmed. Whatever, the UX is likely to be one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class, with economy to rival many diesel alternatives.
The UX will reward keen drivers with tight body control, plenty of grip, sharp steering and a composed ride. Even the standard-fit CVT transmission feels smooth and linear in the UX.
The level of standard specification is high, including a comprehensive array of active and passive safety devices, and there are three trim levels to choose from: UX, F Sport and Takumi. Prices start from around £30,000, but rise to £40,000 for the flagship model.
It’s not cheap, then, but thanks to its bold styling, smart interior and impressive level of kit, the Lexus UX promises to make quite an entrance. Read on to discover our thoughts on the latest UX 250h.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Lexus UX hybrid is good to drive, economical and should be easy to live with, too
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe UX offers quite un-Lexus-like levels of driver engagement, with tight body control and a punchy powertrain
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe figures are to be confirmed, but the UX self-charging hybrid is likely to be a cheap car to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Lexus UX boasts a highly individual and quality-rich interior
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe boot is too small and the space inside the cabin is merely adequate
- 6Reliability and SafetySafety and reliability come as standard with Lexus – you can buy a UX with confidence