2020 UX 250h New Car Test Drive
Despite ferocious competition in the subcompact luxury crossover arena, the 2020 Lexus UX manages to stand apart. Its dimensions might be minuscule, but each UX boasts edgy styling and standard features that are more typical of larger vehicles. Billed by Lexus as an urban crossover, the UX is a strong choice for the budget-minded, whether in regular gas or thrifty hybrid guise.
Only a handful of changes mark the 2020 model. The standard infotainment system adds Android Auto compatibility to Apple CarPlay, which had been introduced previously. Though welcome, this addition has no impact on the system's awkward and frustrating controller and menu-intensive displays. On the safety front, rear cross-traffic alert is now available,
Base, F Sport, and Luxury trim levels are offered, either as the gas-powered UX 200
or the hybrid UX 250h.
The UX 200 is equipped with a 169-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-4, teamed with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. A drive mode selector offers Sport, Normal, and Eco settings.
A different 2.0-liter inline-4 goes into the UX 250h, working with fourth-generation hybrid technology. Dual electric motors provide power separately to front and rear wheels, making the UX an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Combined output from the gasoline/electric system is 176 horsepower. An unconventional CVT employs Direct Shift, to mimic operation of a 10-speed automatic transmission. Performance is stronger and fuel economy impresses.
No UX is thirsty, while the hybrid version is an eco-friendly choice. The UX 200 is EPA-rated at 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 33 combined. The AWD UX 250h sips gasoline at an impressive 41/38/39 mpg. Unlike most rivals, all UX models use regular gasoline.
The Lexus UX has done well in most crash testing. The NHTSA gave it a five-star overall safety rating, which is the highest possible. Meanwhile, the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick, provided that specific headlights are installed.
Standard active safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. The Luxury trim adds blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alert, which are optional on the other trims.
Both the gas-powered UX200 and the hybrid UX 250h are available in base, F Sport, and Luxury trim levels. Prices include a $1,025 destination charge.
The base UX 200 costs $33,325 and comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, a six-speaker audio system, eight-way power front seats, keyless ignition, and 18-inch wheels. The infotainment system includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The UX 250h is priced from $35,525 and substitutes in the hybrid powertrain.
The $35,325 UX 200 F Sport adds 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires, a tuned suspension, unique grille and bumpers, heavier-bolstered seats, aluminum pedals, LED fog lights, active sound control, paddle shifters, and performance-inspired instruments. The UX 250h F Sport costs $37,525.
The UX 200 Luxury is priced from $38,525 and adds a 10.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, heated and cooled front seats, a moonroof, and a power liftgate. The UX 250h Luxury starts at $40,725.