Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints

Does an affordable price tag justify buying a UX 250h F-Sport? Read on to find out

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The Lexus UX 250h is a subcompact crossover SUV, that launched in the United States in late 2018. The UX 250h aims to compete in the "affordable luxury" crossover class. Since its debut, the UX 250h has only sold over 51,500 units in America. That might seem like a low number, but it means very little to those who want to buy an "affordable luxury" subcompact crossover SUV.

I had the keys to a UX 250h F-Sport for a week and was able to determine if it has what it takes to be a justifiable affordable luxury vehicle. If you would like to know if it indeed is, then please, let’s go through this together, shall we?

Exterior Styling

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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The exterior design of the UX 250h is elegant. It is not too flashy but it isn’t simple either. The front fascia is not aggressive as a luxury vehicle should be but it is very nice to look at, especially the headlights. The side profile has a few prominent lines that stand out, but there are a few together that stick out the most. They’re the sunken lines, that you find above the wheels.

As for the rear, the UX 250h has a singular brake light that looks to connect both sides. The taillights protrude out to give definition to the backend of the crossover. This entire unit, especially at night time, gives the UX 250h that final stroke of the brush with its elegance. It is my favorite detail of the UX 250h.

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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The only issue I do have with the exterior styling is that I feel that the rear wing could extend out just a few more inches. With it being so short, it seems as if there is no point in it existing. The wing, in a sense, looks like it was just an afterthought. Honestly, I would have just made it a bit longer.

As many of you might know, the UX 250h shares the same platform with other Toyota’s such as the Corolla and C-HR. But that does not mean the dimensions are entirely the same. The UX 250h is 177 inches long, 72 inches wide, and 61 inches tall. The wheelbase is 103.9 inches long. It sits on 18-inch F-Sport alloy wheels with run-flat tires, filled with nitrogen. The optional color on my tester: Ultrasonic Blue Mina 2 * with Obsidian roof is worth $595.

Exterior Dimensions
Length 177 inches
Width 72 inches
Height 61 inches
Wheelbase 103.9 inches

Interior Design

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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Where the exterior of the UX 250h is elegant, the interior has a blend of edginess alongside its elegance, especially in this red and black color scheme. As for the metal, and plastic, they blend well with the leather to create a luxurious environment. What adds to the sense of luxury is the vast number of available features.

Take for instance the "Drive Mode" control. It’s placed as a dial on one side of the instrument cluster opposite the traction control. Then there is the infotainment sensor that reads my inputs if I do not feel like reaching for the buttons. Speaking of which, my favorite feature is the location of the radio controls right at the edge of the center console.

My only issue with the UX 250h is that it comes with paddle-shifters, which are unfortunately made out of cheap plastic. Manufacturers who take pride in their vehicles, use either carbon fiber or metal as their paddle shifters. Plastic ruins it entirely.

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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As for seating and cabin space, you can seat four full-sized adults behind each seat. It might not look like much but I am over 6 feet tall. I can fit in each seat without any issues. For front leg room, the UX 250h offers 42 inches of space. For rear leg room, the UX 250h has 33.1 inches of space.

Then there is the trunk volume. The UX 250h has a mere 17.2 cubic feet of space with the back seats in place. With the back seats down, the UX 250h offers 21.7 cubic feet of space. To put that into perspective, you could fit a couple of suitcases and then some in the trunk, for a vacation with the seats up. Fold the seats down and you could fit a couple of souvenirs without the family.

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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Cargo Room
Cargo Room
Seats Up 17.2 cubic feet
Seats Down 21.7 cubic feet

Comfort and Convenience features That Stand Out

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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  • Auto dual-zone climate control with rear vents
  • Powered and heated front seats (part of a packing worth $975)
  • Heated tilt and telescoping steering wheel with paddle shifters ($150 option)
  • Heads-Up display ($500 option)
  • 10.3-inch infotainment system with navigation, voice command, destination assist, trials, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and 8-speaker Lexus Premium sound system ($2,200 option)
  • Infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • Heated outside mirrors

Safety Features That Stand Out

  • 10 airbags
  • ABS with electronic braking force distribution and brake assist
  • Lexus Safety 2.0 Pre-Collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, and road sign assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Overall safety score from the government of "5 Stars" with "4 Star" ratings going frontal crash and rollover. "5 Star" ratings go to only side crash

Performance

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine works with a hybrid system that produces a mere 181 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The power goes to all four wheels through the CVT automatic transmission. Acceleration is completely useless getting up to highway speeds.

As for gas mileage, thanks to the hybrid system and an abstemious engine paired with my driving habits, I averaged 31 miles per gallon. I had already traveled 152 miles on the trip meter and had a range of another 160 miles left in the tank. Speaking of the fuel tank, it only holds 10.6 gallons.

You should expect excellent ride comfort on the UX250h, especially because it is a Lexus product. You get a softly tuned suspension setup, not ideal when you’re going hard into corners. Driver modes really do not matter. Steering is tight yet straight and direct. With things dampened considerably in the name of luxury, sadly, there is no feedback from the tires.

The only plus side is that the UX 250h is not only great at getting from A to B, but it is alright for long drives. Braking is great but you can feel the weight transfer when trying to come to a stop at highway speeds. From 70 miles per hour to zero, the UX 250h stops in just 158 feet.

2022 Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Specifications
Model Lexus UX 250h F-Sport
Engine Type 2.0L Naturally Aspirated 4-cylinder w/ Hybrid
Drive Type All-wheel drive
Transmission CVT-Automatic
Power 181 hp
Torque 221 lb.-ft
0-60(mph) 9.4 seconds
Quarter-mile 16.9 seconds
Top Speed 110 mph
Braking Distance (70-0) 158 ft.

Key Issues I Had With The UX 250h

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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The UX 250h is a great vehicle for all purposes when it comes to luxury and comfort. My main issue is that Lexus badged it as an "F-Sport." There is unfortunately nothing sporty about the "F-Sport" in the UX 250h. The build sheet says suspension tuning, but the ride doesn’t change regardless of the drive mode selected. The UX 250h is just soft throughout the drive.

No matter if you’re going into corners or down a straight road, the UX 250h manages to take them as if it were on clouds. Sure, it’s great for long drives, but if I wanted to have fun tearing through some corners, especially with a vehicle that has "Sport" somewhere in the name, well the UX 250h falls short.

Having "Sport" tagged with the name of a vehicle such as the UX 250h and not being sporty is like buying a snow plow attachment for your truck and finding out it is just a shovel. The "F-Sport" badge/title should be only placed upon actual sporty vehicles. It would have made more sense on the C-HR

Pricing, Warranties, And Competition

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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So, how much does this 2022 Lexus UX 250h F-Sport cost? After adding everything up from a starting price with already installed options of $37,540, the total price with options comes to $43,035. The starting price of a Lexus UX 250h is $35,750. The price difference between my tested model and the base price is $7,285. The options on my model from the starting price with already installed options is a difference of only $5,495. That is not too bad and considering the prices of other vehicles, it is quite affordable for some luxury.

2022 Lexus UX 250h Price
Price
Lexus UX 250h Base Model $35,750
Lexus UX 250h With Installed Options $37,540
Lexus UX 250h F-Sport $43,035

Warranties for this Lexus 250h are intriguing. The UX 250h comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile basic coverage warranty. A 6-year/70,0000-mile powertrain coverage warranty. A 6-year/Unlimited-mileage corrosion perforation warranty. An 8-year/100,000-mile hybrid component coverage. Finally, a 10-year/150,000-mile hybrid battery coverage warranty. To my knowledge, this UX has some of the better warranties I’ve seen with modern cars. Plus, the UX 250h has Toyota parts, and they’re good for their reliability.

As for competition, the UX 250h has to compete with the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and the Volvo XC40. The Audi Q3 has a base price of $36,400. The BMW X1 has a starting price of $35,400. And the XC40 has a starting price of $35,100. The price difference of the competition compared to the UX 250h is not much, but I know which vehicle I would rather throw away and no, it is not the Lexus.

2022 Lexus UX 250h Competition Prices
Price
Lexus UX 250h With Installed Options $37,540
Audi Q3 $36,400
BMW X1 $35,400
Volvo XC40 $35,100

Conclusion

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints
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So, does the UX 250h have what it takes to be a justifiable purchase for an affordable luxury vehicle? To sum it up in a word, I say ’Yes’ it does. It is a shame that I don’t see many of them on the road, but I do understand the appeal of some competing models in its class. But for me, I wouldn’t buy a UX 250h if it had the "F-Sport" badging all over it.

In my experience of reviewing vehicles, I would much rather prefer the BMW X1 or the Volvo XC40. The X1 because BMW makes comfortable, yet sporty vehicles, that are great for long-distance driving, and the Volvo because it comes from a manufacturer known for its safety.

Charles North VI
Charles North VI
About the author

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