- The Lexus UX is a subcompact SUV that debuted in 2018 for the “fashionable city explorer.”
- The UX 250h is a hybrid model of the automobile, which targets patrons of their 30s. It begins at $36,425.
- It is a reminder that automobiles may be quirky and enjoyable with out compromising their refined nature.
The 2021 Lexus UX 250h hybrid is small, squatty, and quirky, however not in a foul method — in an “I am going mountain biking in Oregon” (or wherever you go mountain biking, I do not know) form of method. It is oddly sporty, particularly with its blue seat belts, blue paint, and blue accents weaving via the inside.
It is a bizarre vibe from a Lexus. Totally different. However you will be taught to like that, in the event you in some way do not already.
The Lexus UX 250h: An city explorer
The UX line is pretty new, debuting in 2018 as Lexus’ smallest crossover providing designed for “the fashionable city explorer” and “patrons of their 30s.” The “UX” stands for “city crossover,” and within the automotive trade, “city” often means “extraordinarily small.”
The UX thus has hatchback-like proportions, making it look much more athletic and adventurous than your common crossover. It additionally is available in two flavors: the purely gas-powered UX and the UX hybrid, which begin at $34,225 and $36,425, respectively.
The UX hybrid does not plug in — as a substitute, the battery fees whereas driving. It additionally has customary all-wheel drive whereas the gas-only fashions have front-wheel drive, and since AWD is usually a $2,000 choice, you would possibly as nicely go for the $2,200 hybrid improve.
Lexus’ UX 250h hybrid has a claimed 181 horsepower and a constantly variable transmission, which fills the identical function as an automated for many drivers — ideally simply with added gasoline effectivity and smoothness. It comes with three trim selections: the common UX 250h ($36,425), the UX 250h F Sport with sporty accents ($38,765), and the UX 250h Luxurious with extra consolation options ($41,465).
The UX 250h we drove for per week got here from the underside trim, with charges and optionally available extras bringing the ultimate worth to $41,840. The extras included: a $75 wi-fi charger; a $150 heated steering wheel; two $100 pill holders within the rear seats; the $1,175 Premium bundle with a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, and heated and ventilated entrance seats; the $1,020 Black Line Particular Version bundle with numerous accent options and a two-piece baggage set to match your automobile; and different options. The Premium bundle not too long ago obtained a worth enhance to $1,515.
The 2021 UX lineup obtained high crash rankings in each class from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security and an total five-star ranking from the US Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, however the place issues get iffy are the headlights.
UX fashions obtained IIHS’ lowest headlight security rankings when not outfitted with the triple-beam LED headlight bundle (a $1,660 choice), whereas fashions with the bundle obtained its highest headlight rankings. Simply go forward and put that into your funds, as a result of having the ability to see the street is essential.
What stands out: Younger vibes and a refined nature
The UX 250h is not simply cute — it is unexpectedly cute. Lexus carries a connotation of older and fewer adventurous — silver sedans and champagne SUVs. However the UX 250h is younger, enjoyable, and colourful.
There is a sporty exterior and a superbly designed inside, from its textured seat bolsters and blue seat belts to its denim-like dashboard materials and black headliner. Even with the entire blue accents, the automobile feels elegant.
Certainly one of Lexus’ inside staples lately has been its touchpad-controlled infotainment system, which the corporate is phasing out now as a result of touchpads are typically not nice. The UX 250h nonetheless has one, however you do not have to make use of it to regulate the radio or mess with different fundamental settings. There are buttons for that.
I did not use the touchpad the entire week I had the automobile, and I thanked Lexus for having mercy on me with the buttons.
The UX 250h is not quick, however its transitions between electrical and gasoline energy are clean — so clean it is laborious to inform the automobile is a hybrid except for its silent startup and low-speed pedestrian warning sound — and it by no means feels prefer it’s struggling to rise up to hurry. It is agile but snug as a commuter automobile.
Plus, it is a hybrid! Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the right method to bridge the hole between our historic reliance on gas-powered automobiles and our electrified future, and the US Environmental Safety Company estimates you will get 39 mpg mixed within the all-wheel-drive UX 250h. That is not a foul deal in any respect.
What falls brief: Restricted storage, tight rear seating
Not every part is ideal within the UX 250h’s cozy inside. Its door panels are painfully plain. Again-seat passengers get vents however no local weather management or seat heaters, and regardless of the entrance seats having heating and air flow, the settings keep on even if you flip off the automobile.
As a result of the passenger seat retains the settings utilized by its final occupant even when nobody is sitting there, you will typically flip the automobile again on and will not notice it is heating or cooling the seat subsequent to you — an annoying waste of vitality. This occurred to me nearly day by day within the UX 250h.
The again seats within the UX 250h are tight however not uncomfortable for individuals within the 5-foot-8 area, however go a lot greater and you will be pushing it. Rear cargo house is sufficiently big to haul roughly 12 apples and a gel pen.
The moonroof makes the within of the automobile really feel greater, however it might profit from panoramic therapy. With fashionable automobiles, it nearly looks like standard-size moonroofs do not lower it anymore — the UX 250h’s again seats would really feel far lighter and extra spacious if Lexus had gone full panoramic.
There’s slight wind noise within the UX 250h on the freeway, however that may simply be lined by a modest radio quantity setting.
What could not be lined in my loaner, although, have been tiny scratches and mud on the shiny grey materials outlining the automobile’s shifter and touchpad. With solely 564 miles on the odometer, it wasn’t the best testomony to how that stuff will maintain up in the long run.
Our impressions: Good for the grownup who nonetheless needs to have enjoyable
I nonetheless do not fairly know what a “fashionable city explorer” is, but it surely’s laborious to think about Lexus nailing that aura greater than it did — in each the UX 250h’s angle and its usability.
The UX 250h has some drawbacks, certain. It is a bit cramped for greater than two individuals and a number of the inside options could possibly be higher, however typically an important factor a few automobile is the way it makes you are feeling.
Once you park the UX 250h and switch round to present it a ultimate look earlier than going inside your vacation spot, you will really feel particular. You may really feel quirky. You may really feel adventurous, like a contemporary city explorer — even in the event you’re simply going inside your native grocery retailer.