The Lexus UX is the smallest and cheapest compact crossover from Toyota’s upscale brand. It’s got bold styling and a choice of traditional or hybrid powertrains. It’s considered an entry-level Lexus because it doesn’t have as many luxurious touches as other vehicles in the company lineup.
Base Price: $40,240
As Tested: $44,365
Mileage: 38 mpg city/41 mpg highway/39 mpg combined
The five-passenger UX was introduced for the 2019 model year. Some features were added for 2020 and 2021, and there are no big changes for 2022.
The gas-powered UX comes in three trims: base, F Sport and Luxury. Starting prices range from $33,000 to $38,040. It’s only available with front-wheel-drive.
My tester, the hybrid comes in just the UX 250h trim, but Premium, F Sport and Luxury packages are available. Starting prices range from $35,200 to $40,240. All-wheel-drive is standard on the hybrid.
The regular UX has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission.
The UX 250h is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that generate a total of 181 horsepower. It’s best suited for running errands around town and its small size and tight turning radius makes it easy to maneuver on busy streets and small parking spaces. Otherwise, it could use more power. Acceleration from a stop is pokey and you’ll want to plan ahead for merging and passing at freeway speeds, especially if you’ve got passengers and cargo. On the plus side, the ride is smooth and the UX 250h is easy to drive.
Most people get a hybrid for good fuel economy and the UX 250h sure delivers. EPA ratings for my tester are 38 mpg highway and 41 mpg city for a combined rating of 39. I got 38 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway. This is excellent for the class and about 10 mpg more than the gas-powered UX 250.
The cabin is attractive with quality materials but it’s not as posh as other Lexus models and other luxury crossovers. You’ll notice plastic surfaces, but the overall fit and finish is very good. While there’s technically room for five passengers, the second row best accommodates two people with decent room for adults in both rows. Front seats are supportive and comfortable.
Standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, infotainment system with seven-inch display and Lexus Remote Touch touchpad controller, seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, four USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive headlights.
Available features include a head-up display, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, infotainment system with 10.3-inch display, eight-speaker audio system, navigation, wireless device charging, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a moonroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, lane trace assist, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition.
Available driver assistance technologies include front and rear parking sensors and parallel park assist.
The infotainment system with the display screen and Lexus Remote Touch touchpad controller is cumbersome and can be distracting to use. Instead of using a touchscreen, the system is controlled with a touchpad controller located between the two front seats and some physical controls. There’s definitely a high learning curve. C’mon, Lexus, make some improvements to this system!
The UX 250h has more cargo space than its gas-powered sibling with 21.7 cubic feet behind the second row and 40.4 cubes with the second row folded. However, several competitors offer more space.
Affordable price for the class
Excellent fuel economy
Lots of standard and available features and tech
Clumsy infotainment system
Less cargo space than rivals
My tester starts at $40,240. Wireless device charging is $75. Windshield deicer is $100. Head-up display is $500. Triple Beam LED headlamps with auto-leveling, washers, LED fog lamps and cornering lamps are $1,660. Intuitive parking assist is $565. Heated steering wheel is $150. Delivery fee is $1,075 bringing the grand total to $44,365.
The stylish 2022 Lexus UX 250 and UX 250h come well equipped and are relatively affordable compared to other little luxury crossovers. Both boast great gas mileage and are good for city driving. But this little Lexus has lackluster performance, less cargo space than many rivals and a cumbersome infotainment system so you’ll want to shop around before making a final choice.