Lexus UX (2019) Review

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Lexus UX (2019) At A Glance

3/5

+Smooth and rapid performance from impressive hybrid system. Genuinely economical.

-Tiny boot and cramped rear seats. Ride can be on the unsettled side. Poor infotainment system.

On average it achieves 52% of the official MPG figure

With their raised driving position and extra practicality it's not hard to see why ever smaller crossovers are becoming popular, particularly with buyers who would ordinarily choose a Focus sized hatchback. Indeed, the Lexus UX joins a market where it has to rival cars like the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3 and Volkswagen T-Roc.

What the UX has over much of the direct competition is that - at launch at least - it's one of very few hybrid small crossovers, alongside the Kia Niro and of course the Toyota C-HR. 

Lexus however, is marketing this as a more premium model. So unlike the C-HR, it gets the more powerful 2.0-litre petrol self-charging hybrid system, also used with impressive results in the Toyota Corolla. This has 180PS and means the UX is not short of pace or acceleration. It can also travel at up to 71mph solely on EV power.

The standard UX is front wheel drive (the electric motor is located at the front axle) but there is also a four-wheel-drive model, badged the E-Four, with an extra electric motor powering the rear.

Driving the UX is an undemanding and refined experience, while the hybrid system gives it a surprisingly quick turn of pace when needed. Yet it's also genuinely economical with 50mpg easily achievable in every day driving - not far short of what Lexus claims. Its compact dimensions - it's less than 4.5 metres long - make it easy to park too.

What does let the Lexus down is a tiny boot. Even for a compact crossover it lacks carrying space with just 320 litres of boot space - that's less than a Volkswagen Golf. The rear seats are also cramped, especially with a taller driver or front passenger. 

Prices start at around £30,000 which compares strongly with the rivals like the Q3, especially when you take into account the high level of standard equipment. There are advantages for company car drivers too - they’ll pay BIK tax of 22 per cent, saving around £5000 over three years compared to a diesel alternative.

While we like the UX in some ways, not least its fuel economy, smoothness and renowned Lexus reliability, it's hard to recommend it over rival crossovers due to its terrible practicality and the infotainment system is a let down. There are too many compromises and for us, a Toyota RAV4 is a better value proposition.

Lexus UX 250h 2019 Road Test

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Real MPG average for a Lexus UX (2019)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

52%

Real MPG

39–59 mpg

MPGs submitted

63

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Can you suggest a small, premium hybrid?
"I drive a 4-year-old Mercedes C-Class - which I love. But even before lockdown, I thought it was time to get a smaller car and venture into the world of hybrids. I'm looking for a high-spec, small, self-charging hybrid - either a hatchback or small SUV. I do mostly local journeys but some longer ones so I don’t want to go fully electric yet. On the Mercedes, I'm used to a high spec and lots of gizmos so I am looking for the most luxurious small car - this time with 5 doors, that is easy to park. I realise performance will not be as good as I'm used to but would like to get the best I can. My car is my luxury item in life so cost is not a big issue. I would be very grateful for your recommendations."
We'd recommend a Lexus UX 250h. It's a small hybrid crossover SUV with a premium cabin. Lexus is Toyota's premium brand and owners are generally a very satisfied bunch: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2020/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2020-the-results/ You could also consider the CT 200h hatchback although it's been around for a number of years and is showing its age a bit now. Alternatively, look at a Toyota C-HR or the excellent new Yaris – they won't feel as classy as your Mercedes, but they're very dependable and efficient cars.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend some all-season run-flat tyres?
"My wife hit a rock in the dark and totally destroyed two tyres. I was going to switch to all-season tyres on replacement anyway, so this might be a good time. The car is a Lexus UX 250H TAKUMI, tyre size 225/50 RF 18 95V. Is it possible to get run-flats in this size for all-season use and, if so, which would you recommend? I need run-flats as they are original equipment on this car and they tonight have allowed her to limp home 50 miles on a puncture. Thanks Bill"
With regards to the tyre size you mention, I'd suggest Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season, Pirelli P7 Cinturato All Season or Bridgestone Turanza EL450. I can't suggest one of the three as better than the others as I haven't personally tested any of them. There's very little between the pricing, though you'll see there's an offer at Black Circles for the Goodyear tyres (I'll attach the link here too). If I were you, I'd have a look at each tyre at the link I've attached and see which ones offer what you want. For example, the Bridgestone have a B rating for wet weather grip, compared to a C rating for the other two. But the Goodyear are the quietest and are part of a multibuy offer currently: https://www.blackcircles.com/order/tyres/search?width=225&profile=50&rim=18&runflat=1
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Could you suggest a small, comfortable crossover?
"I’m 72 and have a 2013 Honda CR-V petrol automatic. I love the car, especially the fully adjustable driver’s seat as I have a bad back. However, I have to park on the road and I really need a smaller SUV with the same amount of tech and comfort as my CR-V. I would appreciate any suggestions."
If budget allows, you could look at something smaller but more premium like a Volvo XC40, Lexus UX or Range Rover Evoque. Alternatively, we'd recommend a Volkswagen T-Cross or Honda HR-V.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you help me decide which car to go for on PCP?
"I'm buying a vehicle on PCP with a choice of a Lexus UX with premium and tech safety pack or a Vauxhall Grandland X Ultimate - which is £100 cheaper per month. Servicing on the Lexus is 10,000 or one year, while it's 16,000 or one year with Vauxhall. Insurance wise they're similar but I'm not sure which one to go for."
The Lexus is a much more premium choice. If you're happy to spend an extra £100 a month, it's where my money would go. I'd also look at the Volvo XC40 or Volkswagen Tiguan.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Lexus UX (2019) cost?