Review by Veeno Dewan
The new 2019 Lexus UX Hybrid CUV is an edgy, fashion forwards CUV aimed at offering high technology, bold looks and fuel economy. First up the UX has distinctive razor edged styling that melds CUV and hatchback formats. With it sleek, wind cheating looks and gaping grille it is identifiably a Lexus – even though it’s based on the Toyota C-HR. The UX250 arrives in normally aspirated 2.0L four cylinder or as the Lexus UX250h hybrid as tested.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder gas-powered engine used in the UX250H offers 181 horsepower and is paired with Lexus’s self-charging hybrid system – that doesn’t require a plug to recharge the hybrid battery. This is a pretty unique package offering excellent fuel economy with Natural Resources Canada granting the 250H a 6.0 L/100 combined fuel rating grade, that’s a figure unmatched by any other premium sub-compact crossover. The all-wheel-drive UX 250h pairs the 2.0-liter I-4 with three electric motors – one added to the rear axle, for what Lexus calls eAWD. The UX 250h can also run assisted, or pure electric mode, and EV mode in stop-and-go highway traffic. .
Safety is high with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 suite of safety systems as standard, interior wise the UX250 is a stand out with a neat, beautifully executed cabin. The layout is clean, and the look aesthetically pleasing, I loved the tan leather trim and seats. The very nice “washi” trim is beautifully done. Occupant and driver room is good upfront, although six footers will be squeezed a bit in the back.
On the road, visibility all-around is good, although the thick B-pillar makes for rear blind spots. Give it some gas and the UX 250h accelerates quickly on electric power alone. There is an absence of noise and even when the gas engine kicks, it’s muted thanks to plenty of sound deadening. The UX 250h feels stable and well centered thanks to the hybrid battery pack and the rear motor giving it a lower center of gravity. The different drive modes help in performance; Eco mode damps the throttle responsive, while Normal is the default. In the Sport modes, shift and throttle parameters change to provide more lively performance. It a very pleasant, easy CUV to drive.
To sum up, the Lexus offers a lot of value here —I can very well see it appealing to millennials and the eco conscious looking for a cool, urban friendly CUV. Highly recommended.
2019 Lexus UX250h priced from: $39,700. Price as tested with options/Freight – $47,097