Lexus UX Review logo

Lexus UX Review

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1/10

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2/10

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3/10

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4/10

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5/10

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6/10

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7/10

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8/10

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9/10

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10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Hybrid
00/10
heycar rating
“Posh and frugal family SUV”

Best bits

  • Sips fuel in town
  • Excellent reputation for build quality and reliability
  • Eye-catching looks

Not so great

  • Feels inert on twisting country roads
  • Tight back seat and criminally small boot
  • The suspension is bumpy on all roads

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Lexus UX frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Lexus UX front interior

On the inside

Lexus UX backleft exterior

Driving

Lexus UX frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus UX boot open

Prices, versions and specification

Overall Verdict

"There is no shortage of posh SUVs to choose from – there is the BMW X1, Audi Q3, Volvo XC40, Mercedes CLA, Jaguar E-Pace, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport – but if you’re looking for a posh hybrid SUV your choice is more limited. Sure, some of these cars offer hybrid versions, but none have a range that is entirely hybrid like the Lexus UX."

Lexus UX frontleft exterior

And, to a large extent, this is the UX’s biggest selling point. Its combination of a petrol engine that’s boosted by an electric motor makes it an ideal SUV for driving in town because it’s capable of fuel economy that a diesel or petrol SUV wouldn’t get near. It also has light controls that make it easy to drive and a reversing camera comes as standard for bump-free parking. 


On more open roads the hybrid setup doesn’t make quite so much sense. In the country, the UX’s heavy batteries make it feel inert in bends, there’s plenty of body roll and the lifeless steering doesn’t give you confidence when you’re turning into corners. Factor in the standard CVT automatic gearbox’s slow responses and the UX can’t entertain like a BMW X1.


It also loses out on the motorway. At these higher speeds, the UX won’t get better fuel economy than a diesel version of its rivals and it’s quite noisy at a cruise. The CVT again gets a mark against it because it makes the engine drone and the car also suffers from tyre and wind noise. 


Jump inside and the Lexus feels like a high-quality product. There are no rattles and squeaks, trim pieces have consistent gaps and the design is smart to look at. Okay, so there are cheaper plastics used in the lower half of the cabin but you get the sense that the Lexus is a quality product – a conclusion that’s backed up by the brand’s consistently high scoring in consumer surveys. 


The tricky infotainment system is much more of an issue. It uses a touchpad control in between the two front seats which require a Crystal Maze winning level of hand-eye coordination just to use it. That said, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard so you can avoid the car’s controls and use your phone’s voice activation system instead. 


What’s harder to get past is the fact that the Lexus isn’t that practical for an SUV. Sure, the front seats are spacious but jump in the back and even average-sized adults will find themselves stuck for knee room and dreaming of larger rear windows that make the Lexus feel less claustrophobic. 


Factor in the incredibly shallow boot and, if you’re looking for a practical posh SUV, you are much better off with any of the Lexus’ competitors.


If you don’t need acres of space, though, there’s much to like about the UX. Its otherworldly body styling hides a hybrid engine deserving of the looks and capable of spectacular in-town fuel economy, and it’s a very relaxing car to drive. 


If that all sounds up your street then it’s worth breaking from the flock and considering the Lexus UX.


Is the Lexus UX right for you?

The Lexus UX is right for you if you want a hybrid SUV that’s cheap to run and relaxing to drive in town – it does this better than any of its rivals.


Okay so, relatively speaking, it’s not that spacious inside, but it does feel well-built and posh and you get plenty of standard of equipment – including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – which makes up for the lacklustre performance of the standard infotainment system.  


So the Lexus isn’t without fault – it’s not that spacious or all that great to drive out of town – but if you’re looking for a trendy looking SUV that’s ideal for the city, it’s got to be top of your shopping list. 


What's the best UX model/engine to choose?

Answering the first half of that question is simple – the Lexus is only available with one engine, a petrol-electric hybrid that’s frugal on fuel. That said, we’d avoid the specifying the optional four-wheel drive which is largely pointless in a car you’ll probably never take off-road. 


There’s more to consider when it comes to trim levels. The standard car comes with all the equipment you need and is a popular choice as a result, but nearly as many people go for the F Sport model which looks sportier outside and in and has extra equipment such as posher interior upholstery and heated front seats. 


What other cars are similar to the Lexus UX?

The question should almost be “What other cars aren't similar to the Lexus UX?” there are so many car’s like this to choose from. 


The BMW X1 is a great all-rounder. It looks smart, is posh inside and also a lot more practical than the Lexus. Sure, it can compete with Lexus' in-town fuel economy, but it’s a more well-rounded package out of town and diesel models are still very cheap to run. 


Fancy something more comfortable, then consider the Range Rover Evoque. Its suspension soaks up bumps better than the Lexus’ and it’s also quieter in town. It’s also better offroad and a more accomplished tow car.


Learn more

Lexus UX front interior

On the inside

Lexus UX backleft exterior

Driving

Lexus UX frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus UX boot open

Prices, versions and specification