This week I'm behind the wheel of the 2022 Lexus UX 250h, a compact SUV that's easy to love. The UX delivers Lexus' hallmark luxury, comfort, ride, handling and more in an entry-level package that feels anything but entry-level. Plus, as a hybrid, the 250h also offers outstanding fuel economy.
My 2022 model wears the F Sport badge. Its sporty status denoted by its attention-grabbing bright Redline hue, along with its large unique F Sport mesh-patterned grille, LED fog and cornering lights, and revised F Sport front and rear bumpers with jet-black trim.
Unlike the Black Line Edition I reviewed last year, instead of blacked-out wheels, the F Sport rides on 18-inch F Sport alloy wheels (with run flat tires.) You'll find aluminum rails on the top and a wing-type spoiler at the rear to help with aerodynamics. The tail end also features cool full-width taillights with a sequence of 120 LEDs. Blue Lexus badging proclaims its hybrid status.
The 2022 UX 250h pairs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder hybrid engine to deliver 181-horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard. Acceleration is okay and you'll get a fantastic 39 mpg combined thanks to the hybrid engine, but I'd love a bit more power.
A roomy-for-a-compact-SUV interior greets you and there's no "break-in" factor here. I felt immediately at home in its well-designed and user-friendly confines surrounded by the Lexus craftsmanship you expect along with premium materials and nice switchgear. The F Sport Luxury trim features soft-touch materials on the dash and upper door panels, along with some plastic. There's a bit of glossy black here and there, but you're not inundated by it.
F Sport-exclusive front sport foam seats are a highlight in terms of their combination of support and comfort. They also keep you in place quite satisfactorily. Lexus says they're made "a highly supportive integrated-foaming technique first developed for Lexus F models." They are on the narrow side as you'd expect in a compact SUV. Both F Sport front seats are heated and ventilated.
The F Sport perforated leather-trimmed and heated steering wheel with paddle shifters feels and looks great. You'll have to reach for controls for both traction and drive modes that are integrated above the steering wheel on each side. The F Sport also features a retractable 7-inch digital driver cluster inspired by the Lexus LFA Supercar.
There's not a lot of tech going on the center stack. Lexus sticks with more traditional switches here, great for people who don't like touch-sensitive controls. The center console is home to the gear shift knob and various controls including ones for Auto Brake Hold and the electronic parking brake.
On the center console, I found myself using Lexus' newer palm-style controller to control the infotainment system, more so than the Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface. Both control the infotainment screen - which in this vehicle is the larger, optional 10.3-inch screen with available navigation and exceptional Dynamic Voice Command. The system works great and the graphics look terrific too. It also upgrades the sound system to an 8-speaker premium system. The screen's rear view camera has ok resolution, but it could be larger. The system is compatible with non-wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. Other technology features include 2 USBs in the center console area and a wireless charger. Cabin connectivity features include 4 USBs total a 4G hotspot and an optional wireless charge
The F Sport Luxury package also includes a moonroof, power rear door with kick sensor, and auto folding side mirrors with memory.
The UX is a very head-room friendly small SUV, even in the manual 60/40 split rear seat. There's a bit more plastic on the door panels in the second row. But passengers will also find comfortable seating, cushy headrests and a drop-down center armrest with cup holders. It could be tight though for three people. As far as cargo space goes, there was more than enough room in the back for my needs and the UX 250h has an adjustable rear cargo deck board.
Ride and Drive
The UX offers a terrific and enjoyable ride and drive. The F Sport suspension tuning delivers an engaging ride and handling is great especially in sport mode. I also give a lot of credit to the 18-inch wheels that are more rigid than standard UX wheels. The wheels coupled with the all-wheel drive system performed impressively when I was caught in a severe thunderstorm while in the UX 250h. Wow was the ride confident on slick roads in the middle of torrential rain. The tires really gripped the road, helping to diffuse a nail biting driving situation. The UX's smooth suspension also handles potholes well and and the UX has an easy to maneuver turning radius.
The 2022 model features Lexus 2.0 (the 2023 will upgrade to the Lexus 2.5 safety suite.) This model has Pre-collision with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beams, Road Sign Assist. It also comes with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert along with an optional colorful, east to read head-up display.
Options on this trim are aplenty and include: the F Sport Luxury package ($2,390), wireless charger ($75), head up display ($500), 10.3-inch Lexus Enform w/ Navigation and Dynamic Voice Command ($2,200), Intuitive Parking Assist ($565), heated F Sport Steering wheel ($150.)
All in all this is a fun SUV to zip around in and feel quite at home in, too. It's engaging to drive with a sporty factor, but it's also comfortable, too, as an enjoyable daily driver. And I think it's priced just right as equipped, coming in just shy of $45,000.
- What I liked most: The overall sporty yet comfortable experience the UX 250h delivers along with its interior.
- What I would change: More hybrid horsepower and Lexus, there should be no extra charge for a wireless charger and the F Sport steering wheel.
- MSRP: Base price: $37,540. As equipped: $44.495.
- Fuel Economy: 41 city/38 highway/39 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4,016 miles.
- Weight: 3,605 pounds. (AWD).
- Spare Tire: Run Flat Tires.
- Length-Width-Height: 176.97” long/72.44” wide/59.84” high with roof rail.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 10.6 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Official Color: Redline
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
2022 Lexus UX 250h F Sport in a few words: A terrific gateway to the Lexus brand.
- Warranty: 4-year, 50,000 mile basic new vehicle warranty; 5-year, 70,000 mile powertrain; 8-year, 100,000-mile hybrid component; 10-year, 150,000 mile battery.
- Final Assembly Location: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
- Manufacturer's Website: Lexus