Is the Lexus UX an SUV or a boldly styled hatchback? Whatever it is, the UX is an unconventional little vehicle among crossovers. Lexus says that UX stands for "urban explorer," which indicates its purpose: to be more of a city-focused companion than an off-road adventurer. Introduced for 2019, the UX is available with a non-hybrid FWD drivetrain or hybrid AWD setup. Every UX model features extensive technology and eye-catching Lexus design.
The Lexus UX250h is a 2021 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value award winner.
Breaking from convention can lead to some enticing products, but in trying to be different, the UX misses on being good.
Unlike many hatchbacks and SUVs, the UX isn't very practical. The raked cargo door makes it tricky to fit tall items inside. Cargo space is small, and it's even smaller on the UX 250h hybrid due to its electrical componentry. Front-row passengers have a decent amount of space, but second-row headroom and legroom are quite limited.
Fuel efficiency is good, but the UX is slow, and acceleration is accompanied by rough vibrations. Updated throttle mapping for 2021 helps, but the powertrain is still unimpressive. Brake feel could be improved, particularly on the hybrid. Ride quality is inexplicably stiff, unbecoming for a luxury vehicle.
At least materials, fit, and finish are all strong. The interior layout looks good, and appointments feel upscale. There's lots of digital real estate, but Lexus' trackpad-controlled infotainment system needs a rework. Even so, Lexus-intenders may find its small size, affordable pricing, and edgy design appealing. Still, we think shoppers of entry-level luxury SUVs can do better.
The UX 200 is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 producing 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. FWD is the only available drivetrain with this engine, which is paired with a CVT automatic. In MotorTrend testing, the UX 200 accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy is 29/37 mpg city/highway.
The AWD-only UX 250h is a hybrid that uses a 2.0-liter I-4 and electric motors for total output of 181 hp. MotorTrend measured an 8.1-second 0-60 mph time from an AWD UX 250h. Fuel economy rates at 41/38.
Lexus' first-ever electric vehicle is the UX 300e, which—you guessed it—is a battery-powered version of the UX crossover. Just by looking at it you might think it's a standard UX, but it carries a 53-kWh battery pack instead of an engine. That provides about 260 miles of range on the European NEDC testing cycle (the U.S.' EPA testing usually yields lower ratings). In our First Drive, passenger and cargo space felt the same as the standard car. Unlike the standard car, the UX 300e's power delivery was immediate, effortless, and quiet.
Unfortunately, Lexus has no plans to sell the UX 300e in the U.S. Even as the electric crossover segment takes off with entries including the Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge, the UX 300e isn't part of Lexus' American lineup just yet.
From the NHTSA, the UX scores a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). The UX received the IIHS' 2021 Top Safety Pick designation when equipped with the available triple-beam LED headlights. The UX also earned the top Good score in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests.
Standard driver-assist and active safety features include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist, lane departure prevention, and automatic high-beams. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert are included for 2021.
The UX 200 has 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row. The UX 250h's battery pack reduces that area to 17.1 cubic feet. Both models have a 60/40 split-folding second-row seat to expand maximum capacity.
Depending on trim and sunroof, front-row headroom measures between 35.0 and 37.2 inches, which compares to 39.0 inches in the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250. Second-row headroom is 36.3 inches in the UX, less than the GLA's 38.1 inches. Front-row legroom is 42.0 inches in the Lexus, an inch more than the Mercedes' 41.0 inches. Second-row legroom is 33.1 inches in the UX, much less than the 38.0 inches in the GLA.
The UX's standard infotainment screen measures 7.0 inches and includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa functionality. An available 10.3-inch display adds built-in navigation. These infotainment systems aren't touchscreens and instead use a trackpad on the center console. A 7.0-inch gauge cluster display is standard, while F Sport models get an 8.0-inch unit. Premium tech options include a head-up display and wireless charging pad. The standard six-speaker audio system can be upgraded to an eight-speaker setup.
|$0||1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||06-30-2021|
|$1000||Lexus announces a College Graduate Reward Program on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-03-2022|
|$1000||Lexus announces Bonus Cash on select models for eligible Military personnel. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-03-2022|
|$0||0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||06-30-2021|
|$3000||Lexus announces a Lease Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||06-30-2021|
|$2000||Lexus announces a Retail Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||06-30-2021|