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Lexus UX Review & Prices

The Lexus UX is a striking small SUV with a classy, well-equipped interior, but those looks won’t be to everyone’s taste and the infotainment system is about the fiddliest around

Buy or lease the Lexus UX at a price you’ll love
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RRP £34,770 - £48,625 Avg. Carwow saving £4,099 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£31,402
Monthly
£424*
Used
£18,500
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wowscore
7/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Lovely interior
  • Nippy around town
  • Economical hybrid system

What's not so good

  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Many alternatives are cheaper...
  • ...and more spacious

Find out more about the Lexus UX

Is the Lexus UX a good car?

The Lexus UX is an eye-catching alternative to posh small SUVs like the BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace, Audi Q2 and the current class pacesetter, the Volvo XC40.

While the larger Lexus NX and RX SUVs look pretty similar, the UX’s dimensions make it noticeably smaller than the other two. It’s not the highest riding of SUVs either. You could, perhaps, think of it almost as a hatchback with a bit more ground clearance, rather than a ‘proper’ SUV. Still, a distinctive front grille, sharp creases all across its exterior and the rear lights that stretch right across the width of the boot lid mean it’ll grab attention despite its smaller size.

The latest version of the UX has a more minimalist interior than earlier models. Most of the functions previously controlled by a rather haphazard array of buttons and dials have been moved into the new, widescreen touchscreen infotainment system. We haven’t actually been able to try out the new system yet, but we’ll report back when we have.

For a supposedly high-riding SUV, you actually sit relatively low in the Lexus UX, but Lexus seats are very comfortable and there’s a decent range of adjustment in the driver’s seat and steering wheel to make long journeys pleasant.

Things aren’t so great in the back. You’ll find three seat belts but, in reality, the Lexus UX is more of a four-seater than a five-seater. The middle seat is narrow and there’s a hump in the floor, restricting space for your legs.

The rear armrest folds down to reveal a couple of cupholders and the bin in the centre console is a decent size. But you’ll struggle to get much more than a couple of cabin suitcases in the UX boot – enough for a weekend away but you may need to pack light for longer trips.

The Lexus UX is way cooler than anything German. The front of the car is more grille than anything else and there are sharp creases everywhere. It certainly stands out

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

The UX is available with hybrid or electric power. Here, we’re focussing on the hybrid – badged 250h – which has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined power output of 184hp. It comes with a CVT automatic gearbox.

‘UX’ stands for Urban Crossover, highlighting that this is an SUV built for the city. It really hasn’t been designed to tow a boat or ford a river like you might do in a traditional 4×4. However you can opt for an all-wheel-drive UX, badged E-Four. Rather than a mechanical four-wheel-drive system, it has an extra electric motor that drives the back wheels. There’s no more power, but it provides extra grip on slippery roads and around corners. Just don’t expect to cross the Outback in the UX.

Around town, it’s easy to drive and manoeuvrable. You get a good view out and the optional Parking Support Alert makes slotting into a space a doddle. On faster roads the car is relatively quiet, the engine only getting noisy when you accelerate hard.

Fuel economy is pretty good for this type of car, with official figures showing that up to 53mpg is possible. Which is the same ballpark as diesel alternatives.

The UX scored very high marks for occupant protection and its safety systems when it was assessed by safety experts EuroNCAP, earning a full five star rating.

To find a great deal on a new Lexus UX head over to our deals page, or you can check out some used examples of the UX.

How much is the Lexus UX?

The Lexus UX has a RRP range of £34,770 to £48,625. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,099. Prices start at £31,402 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £424. The price of a used Lexus UX on Carwow starts at £18,500.

Our most popular versions of the Lexus UX are:

Model version Carwow price from
250h 2.0 5dr CVT [without Nav] £31,402 Compare offers

There are four trim levels available on the UX. The base model is nameless – it’s simply called UX 250h – then there’s the Premium Sports Edition, F Sport and Takumi. The only other choice is between front- or all-wheel-drive, with Lexus calling its AWD system E-Four. It has an extra electric motor driving the rear wheels which can power the car by itself for short distances, or work with the engine to provide extra grip on slippery roads.

There is also the fully electric UX 300e available, which you can read about here.

Alternatives to the UX include the BMW X2, Mercedes GLA, Mini Countryman, Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque. The Mini costs considerably less than the Lexus, the BMW and Range Rover cost about the same, the Mercedes costs a few grand more. But the bald numbers don’t always tell the whole story; compare cars of roughly equal specification and equipment and you’ll see some of the price gaps close.

Performance and drive comfort

The UX is at its best at a relaxed pace, and doesn’t necessarily encourage more spirited driving

In town

Being a hybrid, the UX can cover short distances at low speed on electric power. Which is ideal for driving in town because you can sit in stop-start traffic or manoeuvre without creating any emissions or noise. When the engine does cut in, it’s generally really quiet and responsive enough to make a quick getaway.

You sit quite low down for an SUV – the UX is really more of a slightly raised hatchback – but you still have a good view out of the front. Less so out of the back, though. The wide rear pillars create enormous blindspots and the back window is tiny. You do at least get a reversing camera on all models so you can see behind the car. Higher spec models also have front and rear parking sensors, plus a really clever 360-degree camera system that gives a much better view.

There’s lots of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel (both electric on high-spec models), so you can easily find the right driving position. The seats are fantastically comfortable, and the ride is smooth.

On the motorway

The UX has a CVT gearbox, which doesn’t actually have gears. Instead, it holds the engine revs at whichever point works best at that moment. Accelerate quickly onto a motorway and that point is quite high, so the engine gets pretty noisy. It’s not a pleasant noise, either. Still, once you’re up to 70mph, the revs drop and you can cruise along in near-silence.

Very little wind or road noise gets through to the interior, either. There’s even extra sound deadening above the wheels specifically positioned to absorb the noise of water sloshing up when it rains. The UX must be one of the quietest cars this side of a Rolls-Royce.

And one of the comfiest. Even the seats on the entry-point UX are wonderfully comfortable, the fancier seats in high-spec models even more so. Big distances can be covered without developing undue aches and pains.

With 181hp, the engine hauls the UX along happily at the speed limit, and has power in reserve if you need to hurry up. The car feels solid as a rock and gives a very smooth ride – it really is a very relaxing car to travel in.

On a twisty road

In many ways, the UX feels pretty good to drive on a winding country road. In as much as it feels utterly safe and stable, the steering is light and takes the car where you want to go, and there’s enough power to get a shift on when you need to overtake.

All of which sounds excellent. There’s just not a trace of fun to be had. You don’t feel particularly connected to the car, and the traction and stability control cut in keenly if you go just a little bit quickly round a corner. If you want a car that engages you, the BMW X2 is a much better bet. If you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, though, the UX is one of the best cars in its class, up there with the Range Rover Evoque.

Space and practicality

The Lexus UX is practical enough for single people and couples, but its credentials as a family car don’t stack up

Practicality

Just about anyone can get comfortable in the front on the UX. Leg, head and shoulder room are all pretty generous. The fabulous seats have a wide range of adjustment, so it’s easy to find the position you want.

For storage, there are door bins that can hold a litre bottle, two cupholders and a phone tray in front of the gear lever (the latter also doubles as a wireless charging pad in high-spec models), and quite a small glovebox. There’s a coin tray in the centre console and a cubby hole with two USB charging ports under the armrest, which can be opened from either side.

Space in the back seats

There’s decent space for a couple of average size adults in the back of the UX, but anyone taller than that will be complaining about the lack of headroom. And it’s too narrow to carry three adults. Small children won’t be keen on the view out of the back, either, as they basically won’t have one out of the small, high windows. There are two sets of Isofix mounts, but installing a child seat is a faff. All there is for storage is a pair of cupholders in the armrest and a single pocket on the back of the passenger seat. The UX is fine if you only occasionally have back seat passengers but, for a family car, you’d be much better off with a BMW X1 or particularly a Volvo XC40.

Boot space

The boot in the UX is tiny for a compact SUV. Indeed, its 320-litre capacity is in the same ballpark as significantly smaller hatchbacks. That capacity includes an extra storage area below the boot floor, which is useful for keeping things like maps, umbrellas and walking shoes. However, E-Four all-wheel-drive models don’t have that extra space, reducing boot capacity to just 283 litres. That’s just about enough to accommodate a couple’s luggage for a week-long holiday.

At least the loading lip is low, so it’s easy to haul heavy stuff in. There’s various hooks and tie-down points to secure the load, and a couple of extra hidden storage compartments to the sides. The back seats fold down if you need to carry more stuff.

Every other premium compact SUV has a much bigger boot than the UX – the Audi Q3 has the biggest at a hefty 530 litres.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Interior quality impresses, outdated infotainment impresses less

Lexus has announced that the UX will receive an updated interior in the second half of 2022, although at the time of writing, that update has yet to be implemented. We do know, however, that it will have a simpler, more user-friendly layout. And it’ll feature Lexus’s new infotainment system, which we have tried in the latest Lexus NX and is a vast improvement over the old one, which is far from user-friendly and especially hard to use on the move.

Looking at the UX that’s available right now, the layout of the dashboard is a little haphazard, though it’s not actually difficult to find whatever button or knob you’re looking for. The infotainment system has at least a 7-inch display and is controlled by a touchpad on the centre console that’s a bit tricky to use. There are plenty of features in the system, but it’s easier to connect your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The interior is at least a lovely place to spend time. Every button, knob and surface feels like it’s made from very high quality materials, everything is put together with millimetric precision and feels like it’ll last for decades.

The base model has dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, four electric windows and a host of safety features which we’ll cover in more detail later. Higher-spec models also have heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, and a digital driver’s display. Go for the top-of-the-range Takumi and you can luxuriate on electrically adjustable, ventilated front seats while listening to the crystal-clear Mark Levinson stereo.

MPG, emissions and tax

Depending on exactly which model you get, the UX will have an official fuel economy figure of 47-53mpg, which is the same ballpark as many diesel-powered alternatives. CO2 emissions are 120-137g/km, again depending on the exact model and largely determined by how big the wheels are. Private owners will pay vehicle excise duty of £165 per year once the car is a year old, but if you spend more than £40,000 on a new UX you’ll also have to pay an extra annual charge of £520 from the car’s first to sixth birthdays.

Safety and security

Car safety expert EuroNCAP awarded the UX a full five star rating, scoring it very highly in every area of the assessment. Indeed, it scored 96% for protecting adult occupants in a crash – very few cars have scored higher.

Safety features fitted to all models include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, road sign recognition and an emergency call system.

Reliability and problems

Lexus has a very strong reputation for building dependable cars that are a real pleasure to own. Lexus traditionally performs extremely well in owner satisfaction surveys – the UX hasn’t featured in any recently but we have no doubt it would uphold Lexus’s form. The brand provides a 3-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, which can be extended to 10 years/100,000 miles, so long as your car is always serviced by Lexus.

Buy or lease the Lexus UX at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £34,770 - £48,625 Avg. Carwow saving £4,099 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£31,402
Monthly
£424*
Used
£18,500
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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