Lexus UX review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Lexus UX 2019 RHD badge detail
  • Lexus UX 2019 front tracking shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD rear tracking shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD badge detail
  • Lexus UX 2019 side panning shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 rear left panning shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 headlamp detail
  • Lexus UX 2019 front tracking shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD rear tracking shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Lexus UX 2019 RHD badge detail
  • Lexus UX 2019 side panning shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 rear left panning shot
  • Lexus UX 2019 headlamp detail
What Car?’s UX deals
New car deals
Save up to £2,916
Target Price from £25,960
Save up to £2,916
or from £264pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £31,497
Leasing deals
From £391pm

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The entry-level UX starts off looking like good value for a premium family SUV, but the level of standard equipment isn't anything to write home about. It's only when adding on option packs, such as the Premium, Premium Plus or Tech and Sound Packs that you start to build in the luxuries that count. While these packs hike up the price to something matching a top-spec Volvo XC40, it does get you a very well equipped car.

For instance, the Premium Plus Pack includes leather seats, privacy glass, bigger 18in alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, keyless entry and a powered tailgate. The Tech and Sound pack includes the parking sensors, electric seats and high-end hi-fi that we've mentioned in the previous sections. Premium Pack Pro and Takumi (only on F-Sport) add even more kit, but have a price tag to match.

Every model comes with Lexus’s Safety System Plus package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and road sign detection – a longer list of safety kit than is standard on the X1. An optional driver assist pack with blind spot monitoring, upgraded front and rear parking sensors plus a system to warn you of things crossing your path as you reverse are optional on UX and F-Sport and standard on Takumi.

The Volvo XC40 is one of the safest cars in the class, according to its Euro NCAP results, and the UX isn't quite up with it. Although it's not far off the Volvo in terms of adult and child occupancy protection, it falls quite short for pedestrian safety. That said, it still gets five stars overall. 

Lexus regains some serious ground for reliability over rivals such as Range Rover and Volvo, though. As a manufacturer it finished in first place in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, which covered 30 manufacturers. Volvo finished mid-table and Land Rover was second from bottom.

So while the UX's three-year/ 60,000-mile warranty is far from generous, chances are you'll not need to make use of it. The UX’s hybrid components and battery are covered for five years, but a 60,000-mile cap still applies.

The UX also deserves some praise for its relatively affordable running costs. In our fuel economy test it managed 47.7mpg, which was much better than a diesel XC40 or Range Rover Evoque could achieve. That was on a mix of roads, but if you drive mainly around town you can expect even better results, because that is when a hybrid is most efficient.

Another benefit of being a hybrid is low company car tax bills. Official CO2 emissions of just 120g/km mean it will cost you substantially less than any diesel or petrol rival of a similar price and size. That said, if you're a cash buyer the UX will depreciate a little quicker over three years than an XC40 or Evoque, and generally that makes PCP finance payments higher, too.

Overview

The hybrid-powered Lexus UX could be an interesting alternative to established premium family SUVs, with distinctive looks and a very efficient hybrid system. However, it's only the promise of good fuel economy, cheap company car tax, and Lexus's excellent reliability that appeal. The driving experience is so-so, the infotainment system is poor, while practicality is shocking for a family SUV when it comes to rear-seat and boot space. As a result it's impossible to recommend over a petrol or diesel powered Volvo XC40 or Range Rover Evoque, and if you want a hybrid SUV you'd be better off with a larger Toyota RAV4 for the same money.

  • High-quality interior
  • Low CO2 emissions
  • Pleasant performance around town
  • Cramped rear seat space
  • Tiny boot
  • Poor towing ability
New car deals
Save up to £2,916
Target Price from £25,960
Save up to £2,916
or from £264pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £31,497
Leasing deals
From £391pm