Lexus UX Review
Fancy a relatively compact but upmarket SUV with the choice of hybrid and electric power? Check out the striking Lexus UX
Strengths & weaknesses
The Lexus UX is an upmarket family SUV that’s around the same size and price as cars such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40. All of these models are popular family cars in the UK, and the Lexus deserves to be considered alongside all of them.
Many Lexus models over the years have been good in many ways but overshadowed by European rivals, yet the UX is one of the brand’s most successful and appealing cars. This is because it has a great balance of characteristics: it’s good to drive but also comfortable and well-equipped.
It also retains key traits of the brand such as comfort and reliability. All versions of the UX use some form of electric power, whether it’s the petrol-electric hybrid '250h' model or the electric '300e' version. We’ll cover both in our buying guide below.
Most models are front-wheel-drive, but there are some four-wheel-drive versions out there, too. They’re not really worth choosing, though, because they aren’t as efficient and the UX isn’t really an off-roader by nature. Instead, it’s a great road car for families who want a hybrid or electric car that’s high in quality, dependable and has a little bit of SUV style.
Read on to find out more about the Lexus UX and all the different versions, to help you discover if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Lexus UX?
✔ Hybrid and electric options
✔ Pleasant to drive
✔ Fantastic build quality
✘ Not the most practical SUV
✘ Technology can be fiddly to use
✘ Relatively expensive to buy
The Lexus UX is a very appealing choice if you’re after a smallish SUV. It’s better to drive than other Lexus models, plus it has a more modern-looking and feeling interior that is incredibly well made. It’s roomy enough for family life, although some rivals have more space inside.
The UX is also great to drive, has an incredible 10-year warranty (provided you get it serviced by Lexus every year) and is bound to be really reliable - after all, it shares parts with the very dependable Toyota range. That means it holds its value well and can be a bit expensive on the used market, but if you are looking for a car to keep for a long time then the UX will be a top choice. You can future-proof yourself by choosing the 300e electric version as well, although that model’s sub-200-mile-per-charge range is a sticking point.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Best Lexus UX for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
There are two versions of the UX, the self-charging hybrid and the electric. The hybrid is called the 250h, and uses a normal 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor. It has around 180hp in total, and goes from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds - so it's not quick, but it's more than nippy enough for a majority of drivers. Most models are two-wheel-drive, but there is also a four-wheel-drive model called E-Four, though this really is still very much a road-focused car rather than having any tangible off-road capability.
This version is the most popular for now, and it’s our pick as well. It’s cheaper than the electric model below and since it’s capable of around 50mpg fuel economy, it should still be cheap to run. The electric motor is charged using the engine only, so you never need to plug in - yet you can still enjoy near-silent running when driving smoothly at low speeds.
Lexus UX Electric
The Lexus UX 300e doesn’t have an engine at all - it’s fully electric. It uses a 50kWh battery and has a range of 196 miles per charge, and can go from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. You can charge up in about 50 minutes at a public fast charger (taking the car from 0 to 80% charge).
The low range of this version is its main stumbling point, as it’s also more expensive than the normal UX hybrid. If you don’t mind that, the 300e’s punchy performance, low noise and comfortable ride mean that it’s an ideal car for commuting and family life.
|UX||Limited stock: The entry-level car is simply called UX, and comes with 17-inch alloys, LED lights, climate control, smartphone connectivity, a seven-inch media system and other connected services.|
|UX Premium Sports Edition||Limited stock: Choose the Premium Sports Edition and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, black exterior trim, heated seats, a reversing camera and parking sensors all round.|
|UX F-Sport||From £22,900: This trim level comes with different 18-inch alloys and a sportier exterior look, plus firmer suspension for a sharper drive, a digital display instead of dials, electrically-adjusted front seats and a heated steering wheel.|
|UX Takumi||From £27,950: The high-spec Takumi version has upgraded headlights, a power boot door, an upgraded stereo, a 360-degree parking camera, leather upholstery, cooled seats, a larger 10.3-inch media system with sat-nav and a sunroof.|
|UX Electric||From £21,950: The UX 300e comes in one trim level, but you can add option packs on to upgrade the equipment. It gets 18-inch alloys and a seven-inch media system as standard, but you can add the Takumi Pack to upgrade to the larger wheels and media screen. The Premium Plus Pack adds wireless phone charging and keyless entry, among plenty of other added kit.|
The Lexus UX 300e is perhaps the better choice in isolation, simply because it is ultra-quiet and is punchier and more fun to use than the hybrid engine in the 250h. However, in the real world, the 250h is by far the more sensible choice for most people.
This is because it delivers reasonably strong fuel economy of more than 50mpg without you needing to charge up any batteries. You can drive all day and night without having to stop to recharge, and you don’t need a driveway to make the most of it with regular charging.
The 300e is a great car but its low range of 196 miles per charge feels a bit too short for a car of this type and price level. Plus, the 250h is just as quiet and relaxing at low speed, since it runs on electric power then.
The Lexus UX 300e uses a 54kWh battery that promises a theoretical range of 196 miles per charge. It's not a particularly economical or high-range electric car despite its relatively small dimensions.
Other manufacturers like Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and Renault get more than 200 miles of range from their 50kWh and 52kWh batteries. Lexus claims around 3.7mi/kWh, which is just average when it comes to electric car efficiency.
A full charge at a 7kW charging point - like those found at home and at most public charging points - should take just over 8 hours with this Lexus. However, the UX 300e is limited to 6.6kW so won't benefit from the full 7kW charging speed, increasing how long it takes to top up somewhat.
Rapid charging is capped at a dissapointingly low 50kW, unlike many other cars which support 100kW or more. It's also a CHAdeMO connector, which is less widely available compared to the CCS charging connector that the majority of other electric cars use. Find out more about electric car charging cable types here.
The version of the Lexus UX that you choose should fit with your needs. If you rarely travel long distances and can afford the higher purchase price, then the 300e electric model will be ideal, but the 250h may be better for people who do a lot of miles and want an efficient SUV. Here we’ve picked out the best models for a variety of different situations.
|Lexus UX 250h Premium Sports Edition: The entry-level UX is reasonably well equipped but we’d suggest moving up to the second rung on the ladder, as you get some nice extras such as parking assistance tech, blind spot monitoring and heated seats.|
|Lexus UX 250h Takumi: The Takumi model is quite pricey, but the equipment you get makes it even better for family life - the leather seats are comfy and they are heated and cooled, plus you get a larger sat-nav screen.|
|Lexus UX 300e: The fastest UX is the electric model, which can go from 0-62mph in a reasonably speedy 7.5 seconds. It’s punchy from low speeds thanks to the electric motor, so it’s relatively fun to drive as well.|
|Lexus UX 250h E-Four: There’s really no need to choose the E-Four model, which is the four-wheel-drive version. It’s less efficient than the two-wheel-drive equivalent and costs more to buy, and most buyers won’t ever benefit from four-wheel-drive in this type of car.|
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There are many rivals for the Lexus UX in both hybrid and electric forms. The 250h model is a rival for any number of family cars from upmarket car makers, such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3. There’s also the left-field Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-Pace, if you prefer not to go for a German brand.
The electric model is a rival for models such as the BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC, which are larger and have longer range, as well as the Volkswagen ID.4 and Kia EV6, which also have significantly more range but aren’t quite as upmarket - though in the Kia’s case, there’s not much in it.
Lexus UX practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Lexus UX is 4.5m long, 1.5m tall and 1.8m wide (with the mirrors folded). With the mirrors out, it’s about 2.1m wide. You can read more about the car’s dimensions in our dedicated article here, but it’s about average for a family SUV - it’s about the same as a Nissan Qashqai, for example.
There’s a decent amount of legroom in the back of the UX, and despite the sloped roof there’s enough headroom for adults as well. It’s not the most spacious car of its type for passengers, though - a Volvo XC40 feels more spacious, for example. The boot is also on the small side.
|Length 4,495mm||Width 1,840mm|
|Height 1,540mm - 1,545mm||Weight 1,540kg - 1,840kg|
The Lexus UX has 438 litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,231 litres with them folded down. That’s an okay amount but most other family SUVs have more space than that. The four-wheel-drive versions have even less room inside, too. Still, the electric 300e has a bit more: 486 litres with the seats up.
You can read more about the UX’s boot space figures, as well as towing capacity and weights, in our dimensions article, which we've linked to below.
|Seats up 283-367 litres||Seats down 1,194-1,231 litres|
The Lexus UX is based on parts shared with the Toyota Corolla and Prius, both of which are known to be very reliable. We’d be confident in predicting that the UX will be among the most reliable cars of its type, especially as Lexus is confident enough to provide a warranty lasting for 10 years (see below for more details on how this works).
Lexus is also a consistent high scorer in customer satisfaction and reliability surveys - in 2021 the brand came in 10th place in the Driver Power survey, though this was the first time it didn’t come first overall in the poll for five years.
The Lexus UX comes with an industry-leading warranty - you won’t find better than this. It’s 10 years or 100,000 miles, as long as the car is serviced according to the manufacturer requirements at approved workshops every year. That’s really impressive and shows how confident Lexus is in the reliability of its cars.
Only Kia offers anything like it, but that’s for seven years rather than 10, though less well known SsangYong does offer seven years and 150,000 miles worth of cover (although its electric models only get 90,000 miles of cover). Most car makers only offer three years of warranty as standard.
|10 years||100,000 miles|
The Lexus UX is one of the best cars that Lexus offers, and despite high used prices, it’s also a great option for second-hand buyers. It’s likely to be really reliable and all versions will have plenty of warranty left, unless they have done very high mileage. The UX is comfortable, good to drive, well built and practical enough for family life, too.
The electric version of the UX isn’t as convincing, because it’s expensive and offers a rather disappointing amount of range - under 200 miles from a full battery. There are rivals with more than 300 miles of range available, which will be more future-proof options. However, for people who don’t do many miles, the UX 300e is a decent choice and it’s a pleasant car to drive.
The Lexus UX 250h makes a lot of sense in Premium Sports Edition trim, as this version comes with extra kit such as heated seats and blind spot monitoring, but it’s not as pricey as the fully-loaded Takumi version.
However, if you are looking for a more luxurious interior then the Takumi’s leather upholstery and larger media system mean that it feels more upmarket than lesser models. It’s quite expensive, but you do get a lot of standard equipment with this model.
The 300e model is the electric version, which is a good option for people who live in the city and can charge up at home and at work. It has a short range but is well equipped, good to drive and could provide ultra-low running costs.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
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