2020 Lexus UX 250h: 5 Things We Like and 4 Things We Don’t

2020 Lexus UX 250h

The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is a small SUV that prioritizes fuel efficiency and comfort as it competes against rivals like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40. A hybrid powertrain in the Lexus, along with its standard all-wheel drive, provides the UX 250h with excellent gas mileage plus the all-season grip many car shoppers demand in a premium SUV.  

Related: 2020 Lexus UX 250h Review: An Efficient Pseudo-SUV

Things We Like

1. Excellent Gas Mileage

There’s no doubt about it, the Lexus UX 250h easily eclipses its rivals on fuel economy. With an EPA-estimated 39 mpg combined, the UX 250h is kind to your fuel budget — far beyond all-wheel-drive versions of competitors like the Q3 (22 mpg combined) and X1 (26 mpg combined), neither of which offer a hybrid drivetrain. 

2. Drives Like a Car

We know many car shoppers like the extra ride height and loftier view of the road offered by a typical SUV, but that’s not what the lower-riding Lexus UX 250h delivers; it rides and handles more like a premium hatchback than a rugged sport utility. We think the light steering response and soft ride should appeal to a wide audience, even if this Lexus won’t lure the off-roading set.

3. Standard AWD

Here’s a quirk that works in favor of the hybrid version of the Lexus UX. While the UX’s non-hybrid variant, called the UX 200, comes only in front-wheel drive, the UX 250h comes standard with AWD. Many SUV buyers like the extra reassurance of AWD when the weather turns sour, but that can sometimes put a big dent in fuel economy. In the UX 250h, however, this isn’t the case.

2020 Lexus UX 250h

4. Adult-Friendly Interior Room, With a Caveat

Despite its modest proportions, the UX 250h is adult friendly for occupants in the front or rear seats. For a little more luxury, options include heated and ventilated front seats, a moonroof, hands-free liftgate and rain-sensing wipers. The rear seats accommodate adults, with enough space back there for two people. One minor demerit concerns the size of the rear doors: They’re small, which makes getting in or out of the backseat awkward.

5. Strong Safety Scores

The Lexus UX scored a rating of good, the highest possible score, in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This strong performance helped earn the UX a 2020 Top Safety Pick designation.

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Things We Don’t

1. Small Cargo Area 

If you live a shopping-bag or luggage-intensive existence, the Lexus UX 250h will put the squeeze on your routine. That’s because the cargo hold measures in at only 17.1 cubic feet in capacity, by Lexus’ estimates. The lack of cargo room is one of the biggest drawbacks we discovered during our test drive. 

2020 Lexus UX 250h

2. Frustrating Multimedia Trackpad

The Lexus UX 250h makes do with a multimedia system operated by a confusing trackpad on the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but the UX’s display isn’t a touchscreen, which is preferable for these smartphone interfaces. Overall, the multimedia system takes too much time and attention away from driving. 

3. Noisy Engine

Fuel economy is great in the UX 250h, but the powertrain’s soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sounds coarse when accelerating. In fact, in our review, we likened the engine sound to “an angry blender.”

4. Outward Visibility

The UX 250h’s extroverted exterior design helps it stand out, but the styling does no favors for outward visibility. Rear visibility is poor, and the large roof pillar next to the driver’s seat limits your view, too.  

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