Lexus UX Review 2024

Lexus UX At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Lexus UX is a left-field alternative to cars like the Mercedes GLA and BMW X2. It's not a flawless choice but, if low running costs and a relaxed driving experience appeal, it could be the perfect small SUV for you.

+Genuinely cheap to run in the real world. Likely to be extremely reliable. Top-spec Lexus UX Takumi is particularly lovely inside.

-Lacks the flashy image of some premium SUVs. Tiny boot and cramped rear seats. Infotainment system could be better.

New prices start from £33,000, brokers can source from £34,876
Insurance Group 39
On average it achieves 51% of the official MPG figure

The Lexus UX promises it all: a premium cabin, an incredibly efficient petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and a reputation for excellent reliability. But is it a convincing enough package to rival desirable premium SUVs like the Mercedes GLA, Volvo XC40 and BMW X1? Read our full Lexus UX review to find out.

While other manufacturers are only just offering hybrid versions of their best-selling SUVs, Lexus has been mastering this market for decades. The first hybrid Lexus RX went on sale as far back as 2005 – at a time when everyone else was getting giddy over diesel power and electric cars were something you might have heard about on Tomorrow's World.

The Lexus UX is a small SUV that's only been around since 2019, yet it shares its mechanicals with the Toyota Corolla and C-HR – two of the most dependable cars money can buy. Indeed, it's the brand's untouchable reliability record and attentive dealer network which means owners consistently rate Lexus highly in the annual HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index.

The Lexus UX line-up is a pretty limited one. Unless you look at the all-electric UX 300e, the only engine offering is a 2.0-litre 'self-charging' hybrid badged the UX 250h. That means you don't have to bother plugging in to extract the best out of it, but you're not going to bimble around town under electric power for any extensive period of time like you might in a Mercedes GLA 250e.

It's still impressively refined, though, and Lexus does suggest it'll still kick into electric-only mode at up to 71mph. We're not light-footed enough for that, but its hybrid running does make stop-start traffic a more relaxed affair than it would be in a clattery diesel.

With 180PS available, the Lexus UX isn't short on power, with a surprising turn of pace when required. A BMW X1 is more fun to drive, if that's what you're after, but the light steering and plethora of standard safety equipment means negotiating city traffic won't leave you in a fluster. It's likely to be very efficient, too – Lexus quotes an official figure of up to 53.3mpg. Our experience suggests that should be surprisingly attainable in reality.

Prices start from a smidgen over £30,000 for an entry-level Lexus UX. This isn't exactly basic, but most buyers will hunt out pricier models – the sporty UX F Sport is a desirable choice with its 18-inch alloy wheels, Tahara leather seats and bespoke exterior styling. We favour the posh Lexus UX Takumi (standard kit includes a bigger nav system, heated and ventilated front seats and a posh Mark Levinson sound system) – but it's not cheap, starting at more than £43,000.

Of course, the sensible choice for buyers in the market for a hybrid SUV would be a Toyota RAV4. Not only is the RAV4 cheaper, it's also bigger and more practical – quite an easy feat, considering the Lexus UX's relatively compact cabin and tiny boot. If you want a premium badge there's no shortage of excellent alternatives, too, although none match the Lexus's impeccable reliability record.

Ask Honest John

What's the best small SUV with memory seats?

"Now that hybrid working has settled down and insurance costs are going up, my partner and I are consolidating our two cars to one. However, a key essential is memory seats so we can be comfortable at all times whoever is driving. We currently have a Toyota Corolla and C-HR and have been with either Toyota or Honda for around 15 years due to their reliability reputation. We would like something no smaller than the C-HR but not too much larger either, probably nearly-new and around £30k. Our current thinking is last year's Honda CRV (EX trim), although this is in the higher road tax bracket which we'd prefer to avoid if possible and is also possibly slightly too large. Another possibility is splashing out on the new 2023 C-HR which now has memory seats on some trims. Our priorities are comfort, reliability and economy. Is there anything else you would recommend that has memory seats as standard on a particular trim so we don't have to search out cars with them as an option?"
Have you considered a Lexus UX? It's a very reliable hybrid SUV that'll feel a bit more upmarket than your current Toyota models. It sounds about the right size, too - similar in size to your C-HR and smaller than a CR-V. You'll need a Takumi model or F Sport with the optional Takumi pack for electric front seats with a memory function for the driver's seat.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a reliable SUV?

"I’m looking to buy a medium to small SUV, hybrid preferably. Comfort and economy are important as are good build quality and dependability. I live in the countryside in north west UK. I’m disabled so need to be able to sit up with good back support and heated seat and automatic gearbox. I need decent boot space. My last car was a Volvo XC90 which I had for over 12 years. I loved it but it wasn’t very economical and too big for my current needs."
A Lexus UX sounds like a good choice. It's a very comfortable and efficient hybrid SUV. Lexus is probably the most reliable car brand in the UK – routinely performing well in our annual Satisfaction Index. If you need more space, also look at the bigger Lexus NX. Alternatively, the Toyota RAV4 is a slightly more affordable choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady

How does the Lexus UX compare to the BMW X1?

"How do you compare Lexus UX 250h and BMW X1 (2-litre petrol, auto), models 2018-2020. And where does Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet auto stand in this mix? Models 2016-2020. "
Both the Lexus UX and BMW X1 are desirable premium SUVs. The Lexus UX is likely to be a very reliable choice, and the brand consistently performs well in our annual Satisfaction Index. The BMW X1 will be more enjoyable to drive, though, and has a better infotainment system. The Suzuki Vitara should also be very reliable, although it feels dated alongside competitors like the Volkswagen T-Roc (and will feel rather downmarket compared to the BMW X1 and Lexus UX).
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a hybrid car for a short person?

"What's the best medium-sized hybrid car for short people? I would like a bit of luxury."
Maybe a Toyota Yaris Cross. It's an excellent small hybrid SUV with low running costs. If you'd prefer something a bit more upmarket, take a look at the Lexus UX. This guide might be useful: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/guides/best-hybrid-cars/
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Lexus UX cost?

Buy new from £34,876(list price from £47,495)