2020 Lexus UX 250h review: Space is at a premium

    The UX is kind of a pretty little factor.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    The 2020 Lexus UX 250h makes a really robust first impression. The sharply styled exterior design seems wonderful — particularly in my instance’s cadmium orange paint — and the hybrid’s beneficiant gas financial system claims are value a double take. Yet it is exhausting to fall in love with Lexus’ smallest mannequin. 

    LikeTrendy design, high-quality inside materialsExcellent suite of normal driver aidsAndroid Auto joins Apple CarPlay for 2020 mannequin 12 months

    Don’t LikeLittle or no cargo area, even for a compactLexus Remote Touch controller is not nice

    While environment friendly, the powertrain is a bit breathless at velocity, and there is surprisingly little room for cargo, passengers or automotive seats within the UX’s cramped cabin. And even with the 2020 mannequin 12 months tech updates, the littlest Lexus’ cockpit tech generally is a bit complicated to make use of. Sharp design Gorgeous and angular, the UX might be the very best execution of Lexus’ SUV design language and, in my view, one of many best-looking automobiles in its class. The sharply creased sheet metallic performs higher with the UX’s subcompact proportions than these of the bigger RX and NX fashions. I notably benefit from the chunky, RAV4-esque wheel arches and the three-dimensional design of the taillamps, which protrude a bit from the physique like little aerodynamic diffusers.

    Measuring 177 inches from nostril to tail and standing simply 60.6 inches tall, the UX is not that a lot bigger than the CT 200h that it technically replaces because the entry level Lexus’ US lineup. The barely elevated experience top and all-wheel drive are mainly the one traits of its design that outline the UX as a small SUV somewhat than hatchback. To be truthful, that is traditional on this class.  That mentioned, even amongst its Lilliputian friends, the UX’s cabin feels notably claustrophobic. There’s not a lot legroom to be discovered within the cramped second row and valuable little quantity for cargo. Between the sharply raked roof and the hybrid’s battery pack, which raises the rear hatch flooring, the UX 250h solely affords 17.1 cubic toes of cargo area, about 4.6 cubes lower than the non-hybrid. That’s whole cargo area with the seats folded flat. That places the UX hybrid among the many worst in its class, with much less cargo capability even than the liftback Hyundai Ioniq. 

    The UX has rather a lot much less cargo capability than you may suppose, much less even than some equally sized hybrid sedans.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    What’s extra, the excessive load flooring and small hatch opening make it tough to load cumbersome objects. Squeezing a not-too-big 8.25-cubic-foot field within the again even proves to be a problem. 

    Fortunately, the entrance row is pretty snug with an inexpensive quantity of head- and legroom, in addition to supportive seats. The UX’s dashboard options high-quality supplies which might be as pleasing to the attention as they’re to the hand. Despite just a few puzzling design decisions for the tech, I actually just like the Lexus’ cabin aesthetically and ergonomically.  Lexus Enform with Remote Touch The dashboard is residence to the one actual modifications for the 2020 mannequin 12 months. The UX now options Android Auto smartphone connectivity by way of USB. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility additionally carry over from final 12 months. Like the bigger Lexus RX, Android Auto makes full use of the UX’s optionally available 10.25-inch ultrawide display screen, filling the show with a split-screen interface that showcases navigation and audio information on the identical time. Beyond the third-party tech, Lexus’ Enform infotainment system with Remote Touch controller is… not nice. The console-mounted touchpad is straightforward sufficient to know, however might be imprecise and awkward for advantageous choices or when driving. That could also be one cause why Lexus blocks all however essentially the most primary infotainment interactions when the automotive is in movement, however it additionally means you may’t have a passenger enter a vacation spot for you. The addition of Android Auto is a small change that makes an enormous enchancment to the UX’s tech.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    The UX additionally boasts what needs to be essentially the most awkwardly positioned quantity dial that I’ve ever seen. You’ll discover it — after some looking — slotted into the facet of a palm relaxation aft of the Remote Touch pad together with shortcut buttons for audio supply choice and radio tuning. The tiny knob requires a number of swipes for fast quantity changes and might be exhausting for passengers to achieve with out contorting. It’s just a little ironic {that a} car known as UX has such poor consumer expertise (UX) design. Lexus Safety Suite 2.0 Thankfully, the UX’s superior driver-assistance tech makes a extra stable exhibiting with commonplace Lexus Safety Suite 2.0 for all fashions. That means commonplace forward-collision warning, computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam help, lane-departure warning and really first rate lane-tracing help — checking all the containers out of the field. The UX additionally options commonplace computerized excessive beams and road-sign detection, which showcases posted velocity limits within the navigation and instrument cluster shows.
    2020 Lexus UX 250h: Efficient fashion in a really small bundle
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    My instance additionally options the optionally available park help with computerized rear cross-traffic braking ($595), the upgraded triple-beam LED headlamps ($1,660) and a full-color head-up show ($500). Other creature comforts including to the underside line: a heated steering wheel, all-weather floormats and some extra odds and ends. Hybrid Synergy Drive efficiency The Lexus UX 250h includes a model of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive with commonplace all-wheel drive. Matching a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine with an electrical motor sends a complete of 181 horsepower (and an unspecified quantity of torque) to the crossover’s entrance wheels. Meanwhile, a devoted 7-hp electrical motor-generator on the rear axle splits 40 pound-feet of torque between the rear wheels on demand at speeds as much as 45 mph. This is mainly the identical low-drag AWD-e setup you will discover within the up to date Prius. The UX options Normal, Sport and Eco drive modes, accessible by way of stubby stalks above the instrument cluster, and a restricted EV drive mode button on the middle console. Though the hybrid can technically slip into EV operation at as much as 71 mph, such speeds are solely actually attainable when coasting downhill. In follow, the EV mode is for creeping out and in of driveways or round parking tons. A pair of drive mode choice stalks protruding from the instrument cluster hood is an odd element, however a pleasant homage to the unique Lexus LFA.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Around city, the UX 250h feels fairly good with first rate thrust off the road and a responsive accelerator backed up by electrified torque. The UX’s suspension and steering are taut, which makes the tall hatchback really feel pretty nimble round city obstacles. You’ll want that nimbleness to dodge potholes; the UX’s barely too-firm suspension might be punishing over tough patches of highway. At greater speeds, sadly, the UX’s hybrid powertrain appears to expire of juice. Highway passes and merges lack the oomph that you just really feel round city, whereas spirited driving — the place you’d need to capitalize on the responsive steering and suspension — are met with wheezy, laggy acceleration. The optionally available F Sport trim could show to be extra enjoyable with its sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters however, with none further energy, I doubt it. This is not a sports activities automotive; it is an eco automotive with sporty leanings. The UX hybrid is fairly good at being an eco automotive, returning an EPA estimated 39 miles per gallon mixed, 38 freeway mpg and as much as 41 mpg within the metropolis. That’s not unhealthy for an all-wheel drive hybrid SUV, basically matching the Ford Escape AWD Hybrid and Toyota’s personal RAV4 Hybrid AWD. Expand your web to incorporate front-driven fashions, although, and the Kia Niro’s 49 mixed and 51 metropolis mpg blow just about every part else on this class away earlier than the plug-ins be a part of the fray. The UX’s hybrid all-wheel drive system is just like (however extra highly effective than) the Toyota Prius AWD-e.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Pricing and competitors The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is obtainable in base ($34,500), F Sport ($36,500) and Luxury ($39,700) trim ranges. The base mannequin nets you a lot of the creature comforts and the Lexus Safety Suite 2.0 applied sciences; with just a few further choices, there is not actually a must transcend that. F Sport fashions characteristic some suspension and chassis tweaks, extra aggressive styling and paddle shifters. Finally, the highest Luxury trim rolls in creature comforts like reminiscence seats, steering wheel and mirrors, an influence moonroof and improved audio. As examined, my Luxury mannequin with premium paint, triple-beam LED headlamps, HUD, parking help and different options rolls out at $44,700 together with a $1,025 vacation spot price. The UX is an odd little fowl. Its precarious steadiness of favor, luxurious appointment and effectivity comes on the expense of any actual utility. Toyota’s personal RAV4 Hybrid is extra highly effective, extra spacious and equally environment friendly for a lot much less cash. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid, regardless of its quirks, is a extra partaking drive. The frumpy-looking Kia Niro is way and away essentially the most environment friendly SUV I can consider and not using a plug. And but, these aren’t “luxury SUVs” just like the UX; none affords the top-end creature comforts or high quality of supplies that Lexus does.  Some folks with just a little further money searching for a trendy city runabout that stands other than the gang could discover the UX 250h to be precisely what they’re in search of. For most, I believe, the tech annoyances, the cargo area compromises and the posh tax might not be prices they’re keen to pay. 

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