Lexus UX: First GenerationReviews

Collected: Lexus UX 200 & UX 250h Reviews

Lexus UX Green 2

The first drive reviews for the Lexus UX 200 & Lexus UX 250h have arrived — here’s a cross-section of opinion from around the world.


Lexus UX Orange

Frank Markus from Motor Trend:

The “urban explorers” Lexus is targeting reportedly care more about “lifestyle flexibility” and efficiency than they do about horsepower and torque, so the new 2.0-liter engine prioritizes its 33-mpg EPA combined rating and achieves original-Prius hybrid levels of thermal efficiency without leaning on electrons. The all-wheel-drive hybrid UX 250h achieves a claimed best-in-class 38-mpg EPA combined.

However, the UX accelerates with the enthusiasm of a Prius, too, as horsepower levels fall well short of the turbocharged 2.0-liters powering virtually all of the competition, at 169 hp for the gas front-driver and 175 total system hp for the hybrid.


Lexus UX White

Joseph Capparella from Car & Driver:

Lexus has gone far outside the box with the UX’s styling and has applied a surfeit of flourishes for such a small package, perhaps to ensure that it won’t be mistaken for a Toyota. It surely won’t be, but it’s also far from pretty. On the other hand, interesting color choices, including a green and an orange for the exterior and a two-tone blue-and-white interior option, help give the UX more youthful energy than other Lexus models can offer. We think the brighter colors show off the crossover’s surface interest best.

If the UX is a commuter car under its wild skin, it’s a good car to drive. We continue to be impressed with the dynamic qualities of Toyota models that ride on the brand’s TNGA family of platforms, and the UX’s chassis boasts progressive-feeling steering, nicely tuned damping, and a satisfying sense of quiet refinement. It is a shame that the best version we sampled, a UX200 with the F Sport package, won’t be available in the United States with the adaptive dampers that were featured on the European example we drove.


Lexus UX Interior Blue

Jake Holmes from CNET:

Whichever powertrain you pick, my experience at the UX’s Stockholm, Sweden global launch reveals that this Lexus drives just fine, a judgment that may sound like faint praise. The non-hybrid feels the quicker of the pair on the road, with pleasantly strong midrange torque and smooth power delivery (though neither is especially brisk above city speeds). The hybrid is quiet and slick off the line when it’s operating on electrical power, but its engine can both sound and feel strained when asked for more acceleration.

It’s really tough to get excited about driving the Lexus UX, even in the F Sport model with the drive-select knob twisted to Sport+, because you always feel mildly detached from what’s going on. The UX’s chassis is agile and happy to change direction, but not exactly eager to dive into bends. No feedback is telegraphed through the steering wheel, but at least the action is nicely weighted, quick and precise. It’s a crossover that will neither annoy nor excite you on the road — fitting in well with the ethos of most other Lexus models.


Lexus UX Green

Josh Condon from The Drive:

If you don’t think the move to self-driving cars is coming piecemeal and sometimes in the fine print, check out this bit of creepiness: “…Predictive Deceleration Support technology uses accumulated knowledge about a driver’s behavior to predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. For example, when the UX approaches a location where the driver has slowed or stopped in the past, and the driver releases the accelerator pedal, Predictive Deceleration Support increases regenerative braking, allowing more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery. The system can provide deceleration support up to about 1,000 feet ahead of the vehicle.” It will also add brakes to long downhill descents.

It should go without saying, but if you fail to remind a driver how much his car weighs by doing the braking for him, it won’t take long for him to forget. This is how one creates the demand for autonomous cars: by encouraging drivers—slowly, steadily—to forget how to drive.


Lexus UX Interior

Keith Jones from CAR Magazine:

Up front, the plushness continues, with a typically Lexus-like cabin – read top-notch materials as that infuriating multimedia touchpad. It doesn’t feel quite as snug and coupe-like in the first row as the designers would have you believe, but in the back the similarities are all too apparent.

Although it’s a three-seater bench, in truth two tall adults are going to be as comfortable back there as Jeremy Corbyn waiting for a bus outside a synagogue. Not only is it bereft of head- and legroom for six-footers, the door openings require Houdini-esque levels of limb manipulation. It’s a space best reserved for pre-teens – should your back-seat passengers be larger, then an NX might suit your needs better anyway.


Lexus UX Grey

Anthony Crawford from Car Advice:

We sampled both drive units at the international launch in Sweden, albeit briefly, and while there’s certainly sufficient ‘go’ in the entry-level, you’ll need to be in Sport or Sport+ (if fitted with adaptive suspension) for any real urgency off the line – or indeed pulling out of a busy intersection.

Merging onto freeways requires a solid prod of the throttle just to keep up. But that highlights a few other issues with this powertrain – like the total lack of mid-range punch where it’s most needed, and the subsequent racket from the engine that sounds like it’s under stress.

Comments
Z
Everything falls apart for me when you get to the rear. The price is good and I don’t care much about speed. Interior is clean. The CHR is the ugliest thing on the road right now and I fear if I buy this I will just keep seeing that way too high squared off behind on my UX.
Wow. It is shockingly poorly reviewed! I will have to sample that back seat, infotainment and check out the boot space of the hybrid, because those reviews sound almost too bad to be true.
  • krew
  • September 13, 2018
I can not believe the level of disinterest in the UX, though I suppose we're not part of the “urban explorer” target market.

View attachment 2972
Autoblog's review of the UX 250h is a bit more positive than most, even though it does complain about the tight back seat and even calls the inside rear door trim "cheap for a premium car":

https://www.autoblog.com/2018/09/12/2019-lexus-ux-250h-first-drive-review/
How was the CT reviewed when it came out? TBH this is a product for which reviews doesn't matter at all. People know what they sign up for when they buy an entry-level 'premium' car.
  • Joe
    Joe
  • September 14, 2018
Most of these U.S. reviews are indeed rather negative. It seems to me that the European press is far more positive.
A lot of these U.S. journalists systematically seem willing to compare any new Lexus with a racetrack ready sportscar. What do they expect?:no_mouth::confused:

This UX drives perfectly good. This car doesn't need to offer a milimeter precise steering feedback like a Porsche 911. It is not the sportiest, but very comfortable with enough power when needed. Compared to - for example - a BMW X1 with comparable engine power, it is far more refined, better finished, better dynamics due to the low centre of gravity, excellent short turning radius for city use, lower TCO, better value for money... perhaps a bit smaller on the inside (especially the trunk space). The UX is more of a crossover than a SUV.

I do however understand the eternal criticism on the multimedia & touchpad. But even regarding this item, the critics are often based on a very short usage time. If you are used to the system after - let's say - a week, for 80% of the functions it is OK. Not the best on the market, but OK.
Wining engine sound of the CVT is present, but far less than in some other (Toyota or Lexus) models and is only a bit disturbing for the short time on full power when overtaking on a motorway.

Anyway, I really think this model can be a gamechanger for Lexus in Europe as the only luxury hybrid = smart diesel alternative ;)
ssun30
How was the CT reviewed when it came out? TBH this is a product for which reviews doesn't matter at all. People know what they sign up for when they buy an entry-level 'premium' car.
I can only speak for Europe. Here it received rather disastrous reviews, with some of the reviews even speaking falsehoods about the car. One instance was so grievous that I called them out on facebook (A Danish rag complained about poor fuel economy while referring to the lifetime average).

The poor reception has consequences. Lexus withdrew from the Danish market the following year.

I had high hopes for the UX (even though I'm disappointed with the rear bar assembly not being a single piece), so I am wondering how much effort it would take to double check the negative claims that have been uttered.
UX has been one of the better reviewed Lexus products.. not sure where are you guys seeing all the negativity. Even US sites were pretty positive. Of course, it is $32k, it is 4.4m vehicle and shallow boot and 167hp engine. Once we are past that, it is nicely reviewed.

From driving.ca:

While the Lexus UX is based on the same platform as the Toyota C-HR, it’s a very different ride that’s been given the full Lexus treatment. The UX has a rosy future — there’s quality throughout, and the intriguing hybrid powertrain delivers both perky performance and excellent fuel economy.
irishtimes
There are fully-electric alternatives on the way from Jaguar and Volvo, but punitive pricing rules them out for most buyers. The UX offers a flavour of electric motoring at a price point in line with petrol and diesel rivals. That’s the lure. The high-end finish and the driving pleasure are what will get potential buyers to sign on the dotted line.
KBB

Worthy of the Lexus badge; on sale by year-end

Lexus took a little longer than others to make a subcompact luxury SUV, but the UX proves to be a worthy addition to the Japanese automaker’s stable. We suspect it will find a ready audience. As a de facto replacement for the luxury automaker’s formerly least-expensive car, the Lexus CT 200h that went out of production last year, the UX brings more of what today’s buyer’s want: the higher seating position and practicality of an SUV, available all-wheel drive, the latest safety systems, and technology like standard Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration.

We enjoyed our first sample of these pre-production versions of the Lexus UX.
cnet

On the other hand, the UX arguably offers a better value-for-money equation than its rivals, with all the technology and style some customers are looking for in what may be their first luxury car. For that reason, it's bound to be a hit with shoppers. These types of vehicles are the hottest thing going -- crossovers and SUVs already account for 69 percent of Lexus sales -- and the 2019 UX is the ideal vehicle to capitalize on that craze.
independent.ie

I happen to think that materials throughout the cabin are probably the best I've come across at this level - even down low the plastics are of decent quality. As rivals include Audi Q2/3, Mercedes GLA, BMW X1, Volvo XC40, that is saying something.

autoblog
The UX is firmly part of a newer generation of Lexus cars that really do go around corners well and ride better than their predecessors. With a seating position lower than other SUVs, the UX is more car-like to maneuver, and combined with lightweight aluminum and composite panels, Lexus claims the UX has the lowest center of gravity in its class. Either way, there is a surprising agility on twisty roads, improved further by Active Cornering Assist, which monitors the trajectory through curves and applies the appropriate braking on the inside wheels to suppress understeer.
car
There’s no doubting that if you’re in the front, at least, the Lexus UX is a cocooningly pleasurable place in which to spend time. It soothes with its comfort, quietness and air of refinement, particularly if you stick with the standard 17-inch wheels and go for a Luxury specification model.
drive au

It's too soon to make that judgment. We'll wait until we know the full details of the car and drive it on Australian roads, but the early signs are positive. Lexus has hit the target of creating a stylish and sophisticated baby SUV that will appeal to young urban professionals as well as baby boomers.
citizen co za
I really feel that the UX has everything going for it – looks, quality, technology, value for money versus standard specs.

All of which should make it Lexus’ number one seller in South Africa.
Edmunds

We say the 2019 Lexus UX is a success, especially the hybrid. With snappier performance, improved fuel economy and optional all-wheel drive, it's our choice, even with the $2,000 hybrid price premium. Can the new UX satisfy a new group of buyers gingerly easing their way into luxury car ownership? We think so.
top gear

The UX may not handle better than a BMW X1 or look as smart as a Jaguar E-Pace, but for urban-focused drivers seeking low-tax alternatives to conventionally powered cars who don’t want to pay for a PHEV or EV (and their current compromises), this capable hybrid is a compelling choice.
whichcar au

The UX might be slotting in close to the bottom of Lexus’ model hierarchy, but first impressions indicate that it’s one of the company’s most well-resolved cars – and easily its most fit-for-purpose SUV. Positioned to snare younger buyers to the brand commonly associated with retiree-age customers, the UX is stacked high with technology and mod-cons and thus holds plenty of appeal for a less wrinkly generation. The most pleasant surprise, though, is that it’s genuinely good fun to drive. This is one to look out for.
autocar uk

There could well be a very fine four-star car in the UX, but until we know for sure that production car cabins do not rattle and squeak the way the launch cars’ cockpits did and that it is priced keenly against its very capable rivals, the UX earns a solid 3.5 stars.

Rest assured it is worthy of your consideration at the very least. If we handed out star ratings based on individuality alone, this quirky-looking Lexus would surely be deserving of the full five.
automobile mag
Quick it isn’t; pulse-quickening it isn’t; and practical it may not be, but at the end of a day of driving I was surprised by how much I ended up liking the little Lexus UX. It helps that this is the first new Lexus with styling that I really get, and I’m impressed by how the designers have executed the idea of Lexus-style luxury in a small, efficient package.
AMS DE

The Lexus UX 250h fits conceptually well to Europe, which should also be the main market. The performance is quite sufficient in itself, but inferior to the power burners of the premium competition, however. For the UX is extremely economical and probably threatened in the distant future of any driving ban. Processing and equipment levels of the pre-production test vehicles were at top level.

Cant have everyone loving it, but it is certainly one of the best reviewed Lexi... pretty much all YT video reviewers mention that they think it will be great seller.
LDeleuran
... (A Danish rag complained about poor fuel economy while referring to the lifetime average).

The poor reception has consequences. Lexus withdrew from the Danish market the following year...
Interesting perspective. A Kaizen Factor article I wrote on March 2016 touches upon Lexus' retreat from Denmark. I was under the impression that it was mostly the country's onerous taxation, even on fuel-sipping hybrids such as CT, that led to Lexus' departure.
Joaquin Ruhi
Interesting perspective. A Kaizen Factor article I wrote on March 2016 touches upon Lexus' retreat from Denmark. I was under the impression that it was mostly the country's onerous taxation, even on fuel-sipping hybrids such as CT, that led to Lexus' departure.
They make decisions based on sales not media... Lexus withdrew from quite few countries then but it is also now opening again in many of those.
spwolf
They make decisions based on sales not media... Lexus withdrew from quite few countries then but it is also now opening again in many of those.
Now you've piqued my curiosity. The withdrawal from Denmark was probably the only one I was familiar with (maybe Egypt as well?). Do you have specific examples of other countries Lexus has withdrawn from? Or withdrawn only to return later?
Lexus sold 13 cars in the last year in Denmark, (it was not a full year, though). 42 cars the year prior.

The new UX and ES could do well in Denmark if it were not for the tax advantages of dirty diesels (diesel is taxed less than petrol and all hybrid components are taxed with the full 150% tax which comes after the 25% VAT!*) The official Danish Lexus website says that they are considering reentering if the market should ever seem more favorable. I applaud Toyota for trying, but that market was an uphill battle.


*I am simplifying a bit. The tax for a car is extremely complicated and factors in equipment and fuel efficiency.
Joaquin Ruhi
Now you've piqued my curiosity. The withdrawal from Denmark was probably the only one I was familiar with (maybe Egypt as well?). Do you have specific examples of other countries Lexus has withdrawn from? Or withdrawn only to return later?
Croatia and Bosnia, to return to Croatia this year. They also started Turkey recently
spwolf
They also started Turkey recently
Yes, I knew about that one. In fact, that was what triggered my aforementioned Kaizen Factor article
Joaquin Ruhi
Yes, I knew about that one. In fact, that was what triggered my aforementioned Kaizen Factor article
i do expect them to return to go everywhere in Europe again, with new UX and NX, and especially whenever new CT is introduced, they will have many vehicles to sell around $40k that is the most of EU market.

NX is first vehicle from Lexus in Europe whose sales did not drop heavily after first year.
From Autoweek's review:

Boot the (UX 250 F Sport's) throttle and you're met with adequate acceleration. No concerns of a strained neck here, but also no problem to weave through traffic or keep a spirited pace on your favorite winding road. More importantly, the engine revs both briskly and smoothly, on the refined side of the inline-four coarseness spectrum. Then there’s the sound the engine makes. Or, I should say the stereo because the F Sport uses it to add extra growl to the exhaust note in all throttle applications in the sport drive mode and even more so in sport-plus. The sound isn’t bad, but it’s also not bad in normal and eco when the stereo plays no role.

Hopping in a UX200 without the F Sport extras, it is immediately apparent the two powertrains are quite similar in performance. It was warm and dry on the test drive, so lacking all-wheel drive was a nonissue. You notice there’s a tad less torque in low engine revs, but otherwise the 200 moves as well as the hybrid. And this latest generation of CVT reacts better than before -- no long delays between more gas and more go. Non-F Sport UX’s do lean a bit more while cornering, but the difference is small and would only become worrisome if you plan to autocross it, which I think/hope not many folks would.

While cruising, the cabin is an easy place to carry on a conversation, but the UX does allow some wind and road noise to come through that doesn’t interrupt speech, but does distract. It’s quiet, but not as isolated as an Audi or Mercedes. That said, the seats are comfortable and supportive, all the switch gear is within easy reach and there’s plenty of cargo room behind the second row seats (21 cubic feet in the 200, 17 in the 250h)...

The German competitors do generally offer more engaging driving dynamics, especially the X1.
https://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2019-lexus-ux-first-drive-yet-another-slice
C
  • C
    CIF
  • September 21, 2018
I'm so disappointed that the UX will have so many supposed changes and omissions for the North American market vs Europe and other markets.

No AVS for the UX in North America? Run flat tires only for the UX in North America? F-Sport in North America supposedly will lack some things vs other overseas markets? This seems very disappointing. It's almost as if Lexus doesn't really want the UX to be a big seller in North America. It definitely seems to be a very European-focused model, especially with the slow performance and acceleration for both the gas and hybrid models. I shouldn't be totally surprised though, as this is a very entry level model, and I guess AVS should not be expected on a model like this (even though European markets will get AVS).

C
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