Lexus UX Review 2022

Lexus UX At A Glance

4/5
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
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

Can I get a spare wheel for my Lexus UX?
"I've just bought a Lexus UX and it has a puncture repair kit but I've noticed that in other markets they offer a spare wheel and I think there may be room for one. Trouble is, the Lexus dealer can't (won't!) tell me what size wheel to get. There are stacks of Toyota and other brand spares on offer at Ebay, but Lexus is never mentioned, no doubt because sales are minuscule. "
Lexus has advised that a spare can’t be safely stored securely. If you want a second opinion on this, I would suggest your best bet would be to visit a tyre specialist.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
Spare wheels - do we really need them anymore?
"When we bought my wife's Honda Jazz it came with a tyre repair kit but we could buy a spare, and this came in handy when she hit a kerbstone and ruptured a tyre. I'm about to get a Lexus UX. I could not get one with the 18-inch wheels and run-flats (none were available) and have had to settle for the 17-inch wheel version which comes with a can of repair gunk I don't think there is a designated space for a spare wheel. So it looks like I have no alternative. Am I being foolish in worrying about driving long distance with just a repair kit, or have things moved on since I last bought a car?"
While it's comforting to have a spare wheel, it's certainly becoming less and less common. This is partly due to strict CO2 emission targets – every kilogram needs to be accounted for, and a spare wheel adds unnecessary weight (and therefore CO2 emissions). In hybrid vehicles, like the Lexus UX, it's often the case that there simply isn't the space for a spare wheel – the hybrid batteries are positioned underneath the boot floor. In our experience, the tyre repair kits aren't particularly reliable but breakdown service providers are now very well prepared for dealing with punctures (they carry multi-fit spare wheels to allow you to continue to a garage).
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend an upmarket, used hybrid SUV?
"My company car (Range Rover Evoque) goes back in May and I have to purchase my first vehicle in 14 years. My budget is £23k. I would love to purchase another Evoque but worry about reliability and repair costs once out of warranty. I would like a 2-year-old, similar-sized vehicle that's automatic with sat nav, cameras, leather interior and some warranty. We expect to keep this vehicle for at least 5 years. I would estimate 8000 miles a year and am thinking that a hybrid would be a good choice. The other half has vetoed the Suzuki Vitara. What would you advise? Thanks."
For your mileage, we'd recommend a petrol or hybrid (full hybrid – not a mild hybrid like the Sportage). As you're used to a premium SUV, have you considered a Lexus UX? It's an impressive hybrid SUV. You'll be looking at a slightly older example within budget but it ticks all the boxes and, being a Lexus, will be extremely reliable. Alternatively, look at mainstream alternatives like a petrol Skoda Karoq or Volkswagen Tiguan. Both represent excellent value for money and make a sensible used purchase. If you're concerned about out-of-warranty costs, consider buying an aftermarket warranty.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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
More Questions

What does a Lexus UX cost?