The UX 250h is the hybrid version of the subcompact crossover from Lexus. It comes well-equipped, has the trademark smooth Lexus ride and costs less than many other competitors from other luxury brands. However, it has Lexus’ clunky infotainment system and below average cargo space.
The UX Hybrid was introduced for the 2019 model year. For 2020, Android Auto and blind spot monitoring become standard. Otherwise there are no major changes.
The five-passenger UX Hybrid comes in three trims: UX 250h, UX 250h F Sport and UX 250h Luxury. Starting prices range from $34,500 to $39,700. All-wheel-drive is standard on the hybrid.
All trims get the same powertrain: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that have a combined output of 181 horsepower, mated to a continuously variable transmission.
There’s enough power for everyday driving situations but the UX Hybrid doesn’t have the snappiest acceleration. If you want zippy performance, this will not be your first choice. But the UX 250h excels at providing a smooth and comfortable ride which is what the Lexus brand is known for. Although acceleration isn’t very brisk and the engine can get loud when pressed, the steering is responsive and the UX Hybrid can turn on a dime. It excels at city driving. Its small size makes it easy to dart around in busy traffic and fit into tight parking spaces. And the standard AWD means the UX 250h is ready for changing Pacific Northwest weather conditions.
You can choose from four driving modes: Normal, ECO, Sport and EV which puts the UX 250h in all-electric power in certain conditions.
The UX Hybrid gets excellent fuel economy for the class. In fact, Lexus says the UX 250h has the best mileage of any crossover or SUV without a plug in the U.S. EPA ratings for my tester are 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with a combined rating of 39. I got 38 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The UX Hybrid utilizes Lexus’ Predictive Efficient Drive system. This works along with the navigation system to learn your driving habits and the locations to which you frequently drive so the vehicle best utilizes the regenerative braking system and can travel on electric or gas power in order to get the best fuel efficiency.
The interior is pleasant with mostly high-end materials. There are some plastics, but they have a nice look and feel. Passengers in the front row enjoy spacious and comfortable seats. The back seat is OK for two average-size adults, but taller folks will feel cramped.
Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, infotainment system with seven-inch display, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hot spot, four USB ports and automatic high-beam headlights.
Standard advanced driver assistance technologies include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane trace assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition.
Available features include a head up display, sport front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-speaker upgraded audio system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and memory settings for the driver’s seat, outside mirrors, and steering wheel.
Available advanced driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring, front and rear cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors,
The infotainment system’s Lexus Remote Touch interface is not user-friendly. The controller is located in the center console between the two front seats. You have to progress through numerous menus and submenus. And the cursor requires very delicate finger and hand movements which can be very distracting while driving.
The UX Hybrid has less cargo space than its rivals. There are 17.1 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place. The second row folds down but the load floor is high, making it challenging to load heavy or bulky items. A handsfree liftgate is available.
- Cushy Lexus ride
- Handles well in urban settings
- Great fuel efficiency
- Pleasant interior
- Lots of standard and available features
- Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Relatively low price for the segment
- Sluggish acceleration
- Clumsy and distracting infotainment system
- Not as much cargo room than rivals
My tester starts at $36,350. A wireless charger is $75. Windshield de-icer is $100. The F Sport Luxury Package is $2,890 and adds a moonroof, blind spot monitor, rain sensing wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, power rear door with kick sensor, auto-folding auto-dimming outer mirrors with memory, and driver seat memory. Head up display is $500. Navigation system with 10.3-inch color display, dynamic voice command, Lexus Enform Destination Assist, Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation, eight-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, auto-dim inner mirror with HomeLink, and power tilt/telescopic steering wheel are $2,200. Parking Assist and rear cross traffic alert with braking are $565. Premium paint is $595. Heated F Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters is $150. Delivery fee is $1,025 bringing the grand total to $44,450.
If you want a small hybrid or electric crossover, the Lexus UX 250h is worth a look for its excellent fuel economy, long list of standard features, nice interior and relatively low price. But you’ll have to put up with the complicated infotainment system and less cargo space than many rivals.