Test Drive Notes Library
- Smallest Lexus. If you want a small, maneuverable hatchback, but really want to the ride and interior reminiscent of a Lexus, the UX 250h may be for you. Lexus took the bones of the Toyota CH-R, and did it’s best to “Lexus-ize” it. In some ways, they succeeded quite well.
- Interior. The quality of materials inside the UX are quite good. The inside feels den-like, with comfortable, leather seats, a stitched dashboard, and soft surfaces on many areas. The touch switches operate with a substantial, quality feel. The things you touch frequently are soft and padded. The touchscreen is huge, sleek, and well integrated into the interior design. Placement is superb. It’s set back towards the windshield, and at the very top of the driver’s visual field, so it’s easy to see at all times while driving.
- Ride. It’s not easy to give a small hatchback a Lexus-y ride. But they’ve mostly done it. The ride is impressively smooth. Bumps are absorbed well. The car feels heavier than it is, in a good way, and things stay pretty calm inside the UX.
- Quiet. Again, Lexus did an admirable job taking a compact car, and making it very quiet inside. No doubt a ton of sound absorbing material gave its life for the UX. The result is a peaceful place to be.
- Acceleration. The UX 250h has plenty of power. It’s oriented towards quickness off the line, which is what most people use in urban and suburban driving. We had no complaints.
- Mileage. Because it’s a hybrid, the AWD UX 250h gets pretty impressive fuel economy. We logged about 35 mpg in mixed driving.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Handling. While the handling is good in urban and in-town driving, the softness of the suspension leads to significant body lean on turns at speed. So if you’ve got a windy road as part of your commute, you may need to order the built in Lexus Dramamine Dispenser. We found that on curvy roads, or anything requiring quick steering, a feeling of seasickness built up. It’s the price, we suppose, of the cushy in-town ride. This also made the UX no fun to drive outside of town.
- Space behind the front seats. While the front seats are very comfortable, the rear seats are a different story altogether. They’re low to the ground (hello, knees!), and if the person sitting in front of you is 6 feet tall or taller, you may not have enough leg room to even get into the back seat. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area is also very limited in the hybrid UX. The batteries are under the cargo floor, making it very high. So there’s precious little room for the vintage brass London Navy Mark V diving helmets you like to pick up at antique sales.
- Screen controls. “Hate” is not too strong a word for how we feel about Lexus’ touch pad screen controls. You move your finger around a touch pad to move a curser on the screen and select various items. But no matter how hard we tried, we kept overshooting, missing, selecting the wrong thing, and cursing at it (sorry again, kids!). Not only is it awkward and imprecise, but it requires you to take your eyes off the road to futz with it. We can’t wait for Lexus to scrap this system and try something else. Yecch.
- Noise on hard acceleration. While it’s generally quiet inside the UX, on harder acceleration, there’s a loud engine drone. It’s hardly a deal breaker for us, but it’s one of the things that is un-Lexus-like about the UX.
Get the Car Talk Newsletter