Lexus UX is offered in two separate trims and powertrains: UX200 and UX250h, both of which utilize a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. The UX200 is paired with a 10-speed Direct Shift-CVT transmission designed for peak fuel economy and the more direct feel of a traditional gear-driven automatic. The UX250h hybrid pairs that 2.0L engine with two electric motors, one powering the front axle and one powering the rear for a total output of 181 horsepower driven through Lexus' fourth-generation eAWD system.
Each model is available in three separate trims: Premium, Luxury and F Sport. All UX models come with plenty of standard features, as is generally expected in this class. They include power locks and windows, a 6-speaker audio system, two USB ports, cruise control, SiriusXM satellite radio, power front seats, keyless ignition and a 7-inch infotainment system to name a few. Lexus also is among the first to feature Amazon Alexa integration and comes with Apple CarPlay phone integration functionality as standard.
Premium models have a power sunroof, washi textured dash, heated and cooled leatherette seating, while a wireless charging pad ahead of the shifter, navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment display and an 8-speaker audio system are optional.
Finally, Luxury models add to that a power tilt/telescope steering, blind-spot monitors and a hands-free tailgate. F Sport models have active sound control adding a sportier exhaust note to the interior, sport seats with added bolsters, paddle shifters, F Sport badging, aggressive suspension tuning and a bigger LED gauge display.
Of course, the Lexus UX offers world-class, advanced safety systems. All UX models come with Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist and a Pre-Collision System that can recognize pedestrians at night. Additionally, PCS radar capability has been extended to enable detection of cyclists during the day.
The 2020 Lexus UX 250h makes a very strong first impression. The sharply styled exterior design looks amazing -- especially in my example's cadmium orange paint -- and the hybrid's generous fuel economy claims are worth a double take. Yet it's hard to fall in love with Lexus' smallest model.
While efficient, the powertrain is a bit breathless at speed, and there's surprisingly little room for cargo, passengers or car seats in the UX's cramped cabin. And even with the 2020 model year tech updates, the littlest Lexus' cockpit tech can be a bit confusing to use.
Gorgeous and angular, the UX is probably the best execution of Lexus' SUV design language and, in my opinion, one of the best-looking vehicles in its class. The sharply creased sheet metal plays better with the UX's subcompact proportions than those of the largerand models. I particularly enjoy the chunky, wheel arches and the three-dimensional design of the taillamps, which protrude a bit from the body like little aerodynamic diffusers.
The Good ~ Stylish design, high-quality interior materials ~ Excellent suite of standard driver aids ~ Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay for 2020 model year
The Bad ~ Very little cargo space, even for a compact ~ Lexus Remote Touch controller isn't great
The Bottom Line The 2020 Lexus UX 250h makes a strong first impression with sharp style and good economy, but tech annoyances and a claustrophobic cabin make it a difficult choice to live with.
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