Lexus UX 250h: Hybrid delivers luxury AWD with 41 mpg

SHARE Lexus UX 250h: Hybrid delivers luxury AWD with 41 mpg

The Lexus brand has never been shy about adopting new technologies that enhance the customer experience. This may explain why they are at the top of the rankings for customer satisfaction every year – but it says even more that they are doing it at the Luxury Class level.

The 2019 UX is the first-ever compact crossover for the Japanese badge. The all-new Lexus UX offers a distinct new design that, while producing ultra-efficiency and innovative features, delivers big with a bold message that is anchored to its luxury branding.

3 trims

Three trim packages are available: Premium, Luxury, and F-Sport. The last, available on both the 200 and 250h, comes with suspension modifications and special 18-inch alloy wheels to enhance handling. The entry-level UX sits below the compact NX and it gives finally provides Lexus a full array of crossovers and SUVs.


The Lexus UX is available with either conventional or hybrid powertrains. The UX 200 introduces a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a new Direct-Shift continuously variable transmission, while the UX 250h pairs the same 2.0-liter gas engine with a new fourth generation hybrid drive system.

Competing against a long, impressive list of luxury subcompact crossovers, Lexus boldly goes where others have been already. Established models such as the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lincoln MKC, Volvo XC40, Infiniti QX30, and BMW X1 have set the bar high.

Called an “urban explorer” by Lexus, the UX appeals to younger buyers more attuned to cityscapes than suburban/rural areas. The UX easily carries four passengers who can enter through four doors, 17 cubic feet of cargo space is offered behind the rear seat.

Two Versions

A front-wheel-drive UX 200 features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 169 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Lexus says 0-to-60-mph acceleration is 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 118 mph. Its EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption is rated at 29/37/33 mpg.

The hybrid UX 250h, which comes with all-wheel drive, has a 2.0-L four-cylinder engine with twin electric motor generators. The system delivers 181 hp that snaps to attention with the electric assistance.

The 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 8.6 seconds is slightly better than the UX 200’s, with the top speed of 110, 8 mph slower than the UX 200. The hybrid’s fuel economy rating is 41/38/39.


My UX 250h tester featured an optional navigation system, soft-touch interior trim called Washi, blind spot monitoring, a motorized sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, garage-door opener, and an auto-dimming inside mirror.

The hybrid UX 250h puts power to the pavement through a continuously variable automatic transmission. According to Lexus, in the UX 200, the CVT uses a mechanical gear to get an initial boost off the line; in the UX 250h the boost comes from the electric motors. It can mimic the shift feel of a stepped 10-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode.


Both UX models come standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which includes pre-collision warning and braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection, adaptive radar cruise control and lane departure mitigation. Blind-spot warning is optional.

The 2019 Lexus UX 200 has a starting price is $33,025, including the destination charge. My hybrid version started at $35,025, though the options brought its price up to $38,900. It’s a definitive luxury-class offering, albeit compact, it does manage to feel upscale and refined at every turn.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication

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