The new entry level crossover is the Lexus UX, and is a true contender in its segment. In true Lexus style, Premium=Pampered. This five-passenger SUV comes in base, Luxury and F Sport trim levels, a Premium package is available with a few ‘extras.’ Standard features are as follows: 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, LED headlights, push-button start, selectable drive modes featuring Sport, Normal and Eco Drive, Apple CarPlay Integration, Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity, four USB ports, six-speaker premium sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 and Alexa compatibility (which is complimentary for the first year of ownership), power-adjustable front seats, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
The Premium package is right at $1,000 extra; those aforementioned ‘extras’ are as follows: power tilt-and-slide moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and ‘Washi’ Interior trim. If you plan to keep the car for awhile, the extra cash will be worth the plush interior in my opinion.
The Luxury trim gets you everything that the Premium package offers but adds sound-damping front side windows, a hands-free power lift gate, auto-dimming side mirrors, driver seat memory functions blind-spot monitoring, an eight-speaker sound system and a navigation system on a 10.3 inch display screen.
The F Sport trim, has more performance options, with 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and augmented sound generator, steering wheel paddle shifters, sporty front seats and an upgraded digital gauge cluster.
The Lexus UX 250h model has a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine, two motor-generators and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack yielding 181 horsepower. The hybrid model is super quiet, I found myself checking twice to make sure I had turned the car off; I dare say it is THE quietest hybrid I have driven thus far.
One drawback to the Lexus UX 250h is that the battery pack leaves little cargo room, with a mere 17.1 cubic feet. Keep in mind though, this is a subcompact vehicle and what the Lexus UX 250h lacks in cargo space, is made up for in the interior. The front seats were comfortable and super supportive. I love how everything is streamlined. The dash is well designed with controls thoughtfully positioned towards the driver. The leather wrapped steering wheel is tilt-and-telescopic with a leather gear shift. The Lexus UX 250h has dual zone climate controls and heated front seats with great visibility.
The remote touchpad on the Lexus UX 250h remains a hot topic. Is it better than previous versions? Is it user friendly? What exactly does it control anyway? It seems that there is no middle ground, either drivers like it or they don’t. My thoughts are that it is unnecessary. Sometimes it is just better to have a simple dial to turn or a button to press.
The UX 250h does come with Apple CarPlay but not Android smartphone integration as of yet. Technology features do include: a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, onboard WiFi, four USB ports, a six-speaker audio system and satellite radio.
Lexus Safety System 2.0 has features that will help drivers stay safe. Safety features include Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure alert with steering assist (Steering assist takes temporary corrective measures with a slight pull on the steering wheel), road sign recognition that will display speed limits information, and adaptive cruise control.
The Lexus UX 250h has best in class fuel economy. Being a hybrid, it delivers 41 mpg/city, 38 mpg/hwy for a combined 39 mpg.
If you are in the market for a stylish crossover that is easy to maneuver around town and won’t break the bank, the Lexus UX 250h deserves to be a contender. The ‘Cadmium Orange’ I drove this week was priced at $42,785.00.