2020 Lexus UX 250h

Definitely an urban vehicle
July 23, 2020 Updated: July 23, 2020

Lexus defines the UX as an urban crossover. The UX was designed to attract demographic group called Xennials. They are folks born in the mid-1980s, placing them in the mid 30’s now.

The 25 million Xennials in America are comfortable with technology, enjoy urban dwelling, want comfort, but still expect good gas mileage in a car. Voila! UX 250h.

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Looking from the side of this compact cross over. (Courtesy of Lexus)

This hybrid version of the UX is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine assisted by an electric motor for a combined 181 horsepower, coupled through a continuously variable transmission for maximum efficiency.

Lexus estimates a 0-60 mph sprint in 8.6-seconds, while achieving a gas mileage of 38 mpg highway and 41 mpg city for a combined 39 mpg.

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The rear has a clean look. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Steering and suspension are adequate. Now if you want to drive 600 miles to visit grandma, UX may not be the best choice. However, if you live in an urban area or the suburbs, UX would be the perfect choice.

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The distinct connected tail lamps that also works as a lip spoiler. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 safety technology suite features Pre-Collision System that detects pedestrians and bicyclists, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Road Sign Assist, Intelligent High Beam, Lane Tracing Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. These features are wonderful when treading through a highly traveled, narrow, possibly congested urban environment.

In the government’s NHTSA 5-star safety ratings, the 2020 Lexus UX scored a “5-star” in overall safety rating and side crash ratings, and a “4-star” in frontal crash and rollover ratings.

Automatic Dual Zone Climate Control keeps the entire cabin cool and comfortable. The 10-way power heated/ventilated driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar support together with 8-way power heated/ventilated front passenger seat provide a tremendous quality atmosphere. But the seat size took away from my front seat comfort.

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The interior of the UX. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The 60/40 split fold-down back seat provides a flexible shuffle of seating space for cargo space. The leg room in the back is marginal, measuring 33.1 inches.

UX is loaded with technology. The feature roster includes Lexus Enform, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa skill, Voice Command, and Siri Eyes Free. There is a 7-inch Multi-Information Display in the gauge cluster to show essential driving data and menus, such as the speedometer and driver assist controls. Plus a smart access entry system with push button stop.

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Main infotainment system touchscreen. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Once locked, it took more effort to get back into the car through the any door other than the driver’s door. I’m sure it is a safety measure, but not very practical if you need to load something in the rear seat area.

The whole UX package rests on 18-inch aluminum wheels wearing all-season tires. Its outside looks is supported by an array of convenient functions, including heated outside mirrors, door handle courtesy lamps, tail gate lights, Bi-Beam LED Head Lamps, and a stylish moonroof. My test UX was attractively coated with Eminent White Pearl paint.

The UX is not rugged in appearance or ready to compete with Jeep for off-road leverage. To me it appears to have the DNA of a crossover and SUV if there is such a creature.

Although the UX is loaded with technology, it frankly is too sophisticated to use in such a small cabin space. The complexity keeps getting in the way of accessing desired functions. Symbols and icons are too hard to read and identify, and the item you need is positioned too close to a feature or option you may not need. Not a good marriage!

While stopping to get some gas, it took several fellow travelers and me some time to locate the inside gas cap release. It is located way into the darkness left of the steering wheel near the floorboard. I think.

The Lexus UX 250h hybrid starts at $34,500, which is $2,200 over its conventional gasoline-powered sibling.

Lexus New Vehicle Limited Warranty
48 months/50,000 miles Basic Warranty
72 months/70,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
96 months/100,000 miles Hybrid Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.