These days, it seems everybody wants a crossover. Whether we realize it or not, we are all opting for cars that still have that “up high” quality while still being fuel-efficient and easy to park. Enter the Lexus UX– the smaller, cuter Lexus CUV.
But will it scratch the hot hatch itch? Is it as adorable to drive as it looks? Is it the sub-$40k luxury ride you’ve been dying for? Kinda…
From the outside, it is hard to tell the difference between the UX200 and the UX250h. Look:
Of course, the 250h is far more adorable because it comes with dogs. But that’s beside the point.
The UX has those funky tail lights that are, for better or worse, a part of the Lexus/Toyota design language. However, in this case, they are far less offensive than say..the Prius Prime.
The one thing that these two cars really have in common is the unique, undeniably Lexus sense of luxury. It is something this brand does very well. The cockpit is cozy and all of the surfaces are solid and well turned out. At an MSRP of $32,000 and $36,000 respectively, it is hard to find a luxury automaker that makes you feel so posh. Bravo!
With a 2.0L, 4 cylinder engine cranking 169hp and 181hp in the hybrid, this is hardly a race track whip. This is vaguely acceptable in the UX200, but when the UX250h adds the word “Sport”, Mama expects a little action.
Instead, what I received were obnoxious, fake engine noises that made me constantly feel that I was being tailed by a rude sportbike. Because the manufactured sounds didn’t even match the actual engine revs, I figured a tailgating motorbike was the only logical explanation. Sadly, the truth was far, far worse.
Things don’t get a whole lot better in the Infotainment department. Oh wait, there’s CarPlay..yay! But after that, it’s a hot mess. Check this out:
Basically the Infotainment is a messy melange of a throwback (analog clock), an odd-shaped screen (is the lack of symmetry annoying you too?) and print that’s far too tiny to read. But it gets worse, for you’re supposed to control all of that with this:
No, not the shifter. That’s fine. It’s the damn trackpad. It’s basically the automotive equivalent of a prom queen. It may look pretty but is also insanely sensitive, prone to spontaneous outbursts and impossible to control. Note how it’s strategically placed next to the cupholder. That’s so your hot coffee and your charging cable both have equal opportunity to shake stuff up when you least expect it. Great.
If you can get past the trackpad and aren’t expecting a super sporty ride, both UXs are great little hatchbacks. The UX200 will average you about 33mpg, while getting you from A to B in comfort. Plus, the storage capacity is just fine for a starter ride.
The UX250h F Sport, on the other hand, will average almost 40mpg, thanks to the hybrid technology. And, for the extra $4,000, it is a much better driving car and you’ll save that in gas. Plus, your friends will love it:
Just watch out for that pesky motorbike on your tail.