Lexus UX (2019) Review
Lexus UX (2019) At A Glance
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.
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Real MPG average for a Lexus UX (2019)
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