May 25th, 2022
The compact Lexus UX250h hybrid crossover is the least expensive Lexus all-wheel drive vehicle. Despite its price, it retains Lexus’ quality reputation. And as a hybrid, it’s an economical ride that’s offered in base, F Sport and Luxury. We tested the latter.
Lexus UX250h is the brand’s smallest and most affordable AWD vehicle with the exception being the Lexus UX 200 that is a bit less expensive. But the 200 doesn’t have the hybrids fuel economy even though it uses essentially the same 4-cylinder engine and CVT transmission.
Despite its size, the UX250h’s interior is spacious and very upscale, the latter a common trait among Lexus vehicles. After a low 16-inch step-in, you’re treated to soft, supportive, heated/cooled comfy front seats with quilted upper side bolters.
An optional 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the review vehicle was nicely snugged into the top of the dash. It serves the audio, rearview camera with extra wide view, Enform apps, navigation, some voice controls, Apple CarPlay and climate selections. Most of these are controlled by a sensitive trackpad on the console. Some applications like climate selections, if not using the piano-type keyboard switches on the vertical stack, require clicking on Misc. then selecting climate that requires taking the eyes off the road. But for the most part, the HVAC switches will suffice. Other controls are within infotainment menus that have to be searched out through multiple clicks. Below the HVAC controls is a wireless phone charger.
A burly gear selector for the CVT transmission is flanked by the trackpad, audio controls and an EV mode switch that allows electric driving for approximately 0.6 of a mile using only the hybrid battery and front/rear electric motors. The owners’ manual says this limited electric power is used to drive on residential areas in early morning, late night hours, or in an indoor parking lot.
The digital gauge cluster includes a driver information display for features, functions and alerts. On the outside of the hooded cluster are a pair of rotary stalks. On the right side is the drive mode switch for Sport, Normal and Eco modes. On the left side is a traction control switch.
UX250h’s back seat offers limited leg room for two adults but could seat three youngsters. If the front seats are racked well rearward, leg room becomes non-existent. The seats themselves are soft and comfy and the back doors open wide for easy ingress/egress.
Cargo space within the hatch and with the rear seatbacks upright is rated at 21.7 cubic feet that measures 29.5 inches deep, 40.5 wide and 22 high. Flip them and cargo loading depth expands to 61 inches. And beneath the cargo floor is a shallow bin for small item storage.
Powertrain wise, UX250h uses a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder plus two electric motors (front and rear) for a total system output of 181-hp. Coupled to the standard CVT transmission, EPA rates the car at 41 city, 38 highway mpg.
With a curb weight of 3,605 pounds, full pedal acceleration from a standing stop is linear. Sport mode alters shift points somewhat and increases engine rpms a bit.
Ride wise on Bridgestone 18-inch run-flat tires is smooth and relatively quiet. UX250h handles nicely with some body roll in sharp turns taken at an aggressive pace. It parks easily with its short wheelbase as it has a turn radius of a tight 34.2 feet.
Since the transport company who delivered the vehicle didn’t provide a Monroney (window sticker), I can only presume the Luxury trim model was loaded with all the available and latest safety features such as forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist (keeps the vehicle between the roadway lines), blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and more. And it may have also included the optional Premium/Luxury packages. As such, the UX250h carries a listed base price of $36,825. Of course, if adding certain optional packages, this price will increase.
UX250h comes with a 4 year/50K mile basic warranty, 6/70K drivetrain, 6/Unlimited rust prevention and 4/Unlimited roadside assistance.
If you’ve always wanted a Lexus for its reliability, quality build and luxury comfort, while desiring miserly fuel economy, check out the UX250h from the company who knows hybrid technology better than most.
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