The 2020 Lexus UX 250h is a pretty good start. Lexus’ first compact crossover is based on its hybrid powertrain to achieve exemplary fuel economy and make a difference with its rivals.
That’s the paradox of Lexus. Recognized for the quality of its products and its hybrid signature, a bias in the air of time, the luxury brand of Toyota still struggling to win in Europe against the three behemoths market (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes). A situation that could well change in 2019, thanks to the arrival on the market of the UX, a compact recreational vehicle in tune with the face of the European market. Lexus plans to increase its volumes by 25% to reach 100,000 units in Europe.
2020 Lexus UX 250h Overview
Not content to ride the hybrid wave, the UX fills a gap in the range and is at the heart of the market for recreational vehicles, between the CT 200h sedan and the NX SUV that claims the status of big brother. From the latter, the UX follows the piquant and demonstrative style that will distinguish it from its competitors that are the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, the Jaguar E-Pace, and the Mercedes GLA. Like the star-studded crossover, the 2020 Lexus UX 250h is more like an elevated sedan than an SUV with a 160-millimeter ground clearance. If he takes the lead in the category in length (4.49 m), it can not compete with the German models in livability to the rear seats. 2020 Lexus UX 250h wheelbase of 2.64 m is identical to that of the Toyota C-HR which its platform GA-C owes a lot. The UX differs from its cousin in its increased rigidity due to the combination of gluing and welding and the possibility of grafting an adaptive suspension, optional on the UX F Sport finish and standard on high-end versions.
All in all its logic to seduce the European motorist, the UX relies on significantly improved ergonomics. The center console is now driver-oriented as at BMW; the characteristic NX control forest has faded; 7 or 10.3-inch center screen inspired by a tablet. To navigate the menu, the cursor moves with a finger on the touchpad located on the central tunnel. Despite the presence of a force feedback, it will take a little practice before pointing the arrow on the desired function. As for the choice of materials and their assembly, it meets the same concern for requirements as other Lexus models and thus distances itself from its rivals.
2020 Lexus UX 250h Interior
If space is generous to the front seats, we can not say the same for the back seat really designed for two people and access really cramped. The UX is mostly handicapped by the volume of its trunk, making at least 80 liters (277 liters) at the C-HR due to the integration under the floor of the 12-volt circuit battery. However, the engineers hope to reach 300 liters at the launch of the vehicle in early 2019. In terms of technology, the crossover Lexus has nothing to envy to its competitors and receives the head-up display, illuminated aerators, and battery driving aids, including the Safety + pedestrian night detection system, day cyclists only. The Executive version is even entitled to the panoramic camera (360 degrees) and the famous Mark Levinson 668-watt hi-fi system. An installation that will be used to hide some aerodynamic noise above 100 km / h because, for the rest, the 2020 Lexus UX 250h is a model of silence.
2020 Lexus UX 250h Performance
Here lies its first asset compared to its competitors, the UX relies on its fourth-generation hybrid technology to start on its electric motor. The 146-horsepower, 2-liter, 146-horsepower Atkinson 4-cylinder engine comes alive with a second electric machine only when the battery is drained or when power is required. It sets a new fuel efficiency record of 41%, thanks to a high volumetric input (14: 1), variable intake timing and optimized double D4-S (direct and indirect) injection. In practice, we never drive very long in the silence of the electric propulsion but operating strategies prefer this module. The battery placed under the bench is recharged very quickly.
In a descent, the system can shut down the engine up to 115 km / h. At the whim of the kilometers that go into a soothing atmosphere, we are especially struck by the perfect engine-transmission tuning that is characterized by the disappearance of the runaway characteristic of the 1.8 liters C-HR. Certainly, despite its 178 horsepower cumulative, the 2020 Lexus UX 250h can challenge the superiority of German in terms of agility and performance due to a high mass, despite wings, a hood and aluminum doors. The uninformative direction and no reminder in the city and the delicate braking to dose do not contribute to the dynamism of the UX.
He is credited with 8.5 seconds to reach 100 km / h. But at a time when motorists are tracking the costs, the crossover could well pocket the bet. Its standardized consumption of 4.1 l / 100 km is worth it to escape the penalty (96 g / km of CO2). Even the four-wheel drive E-Four (+ 1,500 euros) shines with its sobriety, claiming 4.6 l / 100 km (106 g of CO2). This model adds a third electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Delivering only 7 horses, it only activates the all-wheel drive up to 70 km / h.
2020 Lexus UX 250h Verdict
Lexus has been slow to come up with a compact recreational vehicle, but it comes at the right time with an unparalleled UX on the market due to its hybridization. Its sobriety which exempts it from malus, its remarkable comfort, its neat completion, its generous endowment, and its enticing forms could bring it the favors of a clientele aspiring to the change. It will then be necessary to turn a blind eye on an all-wheel-drive operating at low speed and on a really reduced loading space.