2022 Lexus UX

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2022 Lexus UX Review: SUV For Urban Exploring

The Lexus UX seems like a godsend in comparison to its predecessor. The previous entry-level model was a pretty poor attempt at cashing in on the brand's hard-earned reputation. It was slow, horrible to drive, and the styling was absurd. It looked like two completely different cars were welded together in the middle. The sales figures proved that the US market did not respond well to this hybrid hatch, which is why Lexus needed to rethink its strategy.

Luckily, the compact crossover boom gave Lexus the answer it was looking for. Instead of a hatch, it needed to do something more off-roady. To give it a unique selling point, it added a hybrid powertrain. But is it enough to beat competition from the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40?

Read in this review:

2022 Lexus UX Changes: πŸš™What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Lexus UX?

Lexus is not making any big changes to the 2022 UX. But it is offering more color combinations inside and out for the 2022 model year. Two new exterior paints are added: Cloudburst Gray and Grecian Water - the latter only in combination with specific interior colors, notably Black, Birch, and Birch with Lapis. Nebula Gray Pearl is no longer offered. The plastic overfenders can now be color-coded to the paint on the base model if you pay extra; other trims get color-coded fender flares as standard. There are other small exterior changes, like the removal of the F Sport badging on the liftgate.

Pros and Cons

  • Beautiful interior
  • Hybrid is frugal
  • Aggressive styling on F Sport models
  • Packed with standard features
  • It feels premium
  • Some interior controls are tricky
  • Back seats aren't spacious
  • Naturally aspirated engine lacks grunt
  • Looks sporty, but isn't

Best Deals on UX

2022 Lexus UX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
UX 200
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$33,150
UX 250h
2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$35,350
UX 200 F SPORT
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$35,490
UX 250h F SPORT
2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$37,690
UX 200 Luxury
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$38,190

UX SUV Exterior

Lexus has a fairly recognizable design language these days, standard across all of its models. The UX has a prominent spindle grille, angular headlights, and a single light bar at the rear. In-between, you get sharp, angular lines. It may be too much for some, but if you want to stand out in the most hotly contested segment in the USA, you have to give people something to think about. All UX models have 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-LED headlamps, LED taillights, and daytime running lights. The F-Sport takes it a step further by adding more aggressive front and rear bumpers, unique alloys, and LED fog lights. The overfenders are color-coded to the paintwork in all but the base car.

2022 Lexus UX Front View Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Rear View Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Front Angle View Lexus
See All 2022 Lexus UX Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In terms of size, the Lexus UX is somewhere in the middle compared to other luxury compact and subcompact crossovers. It stands 177 inches long with a width of 72.4 inches with the side mirrors folded in. A height of 60.6 inches and a 103.9-inch wheelbase gives the UX large overhangs. You can easily spot it from the front, with that massive grille and bumper. From this, we can conclude that the UX was never intended to do any real off-road activity. The gas-only UX weighs 3,307 pounds, while the heavier hybrid models have a weight of 3,605 lbs.

  • Length 177.0 in
  • Wheelbase 103.9 in
  • Height 60.6 in
  • Max Width 72.4 in
  • Front Width 61.0 in
  • Rear Width 61.0 in
  • Curb Weight 3,307.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

With such striking lines, you want a color that emphasizes the design. Even after removing Nebula Gray Pearl from the palette, the UX is still available in a wide variety of hues. The UX looks good in every color, except for black, which dulls its sensuous curves. The full color lineup includes Eminent White Pearl, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Redline, Nori Green Pearl, Cadmium Orange, Ultra White, and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. Cloudburst Gray Pearl is new this year, as well as Grecian Water. Not all trim levels are offered in all colors, but the Lexus online configurator will divert you to the right model if you desire a specific color, rather than a specific model. Some exterior colors also limit the available interior color schemes.

  • Atomic Silver
  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Grecian Water
  • Redline
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Nori Green Pearl
  • Cloudburst Gray
  • Ultra White
  • Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0

UX Performance

The UX's design writes checks neither of its engines can cash. The 200 models are equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine, producing 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Most of the power is only available near the redline, so you have to stomp on the throttle if you want decent progress. Anything less than full throttle results in a tepid response. The 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 8.9 seconds is slower than all of its main competitors.

You'd expect the hybrid 250h to offer better performance thanks to an additional electric motor, but you'd be disappointed. It only adds an extra 12 hp (181 hp), but it also adds 300 lbs. The result is a 0-60 mph sprint time of 8.6 seconds.

Around town, the lack of performance isn't as noticeable, but it can become frustrating when merging or overtaking on the freeway. It's one of those cars you have to get used to. You have to adapt to it, rather than the other way around.

It's a pity the UX isn't powered by a small capacity turbocharged engine, as it would have suited it so much better. And it's not a case of Lexus not having access to such an engine. The Toyota C-HR, with which the UX shares a platform, is available with a sweet turbocharged triple in other countries.

2022 Lexus UX Front View Driving Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Gauge Cluster Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Wheel Lexus

Engine and Transmission

Both the 200 and 250h are equipped with the same 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. It's an advanced powertrain that employs various technologies to keep it as light as possible. The goal was frugality over performance, so the result is 169 hp and 151 lb-ft. The addition of the electric motor on the 250h takes the power up to 181 hp, but Lexus doesn't supply a torque figure for this particular engine.

Both engines are mated to what Lexus calls a 10-speed continuously variable transmission, or CVT as it's known colloquially. A CVT transmission doesn't have gears but rather mimics the effect of a gearchange to make it feel more like a traditional torque-converter automatic. In any case, customers in the market will likely not care whether it has ten gears or a hundred.

Fortunately, Toyota has more experience with CVT transmissions than most manufacturers, and the result is a CVT that's not as annoying as you might expect. It does a good job at city speeds, but it's less adept at freeway speeds. Merging and overtaking can be a daunting task, but it's a case of learning to cooperate with it, especially if you want the best fuel consumption results. To get rid of that annoying CVT drone, Lexus pumps some fake engine noise into the cabin. We're not huge fans of these systems, but we have to admit that they work well when the alternative is listening to a strained four-pot/CVT combo when travelling at top speed..

The standard 200 models are all front-wheel-drive, while the 250h models are all-wheel-drive. It's not a traditional all-wheel-drive system as we know it. There isn't a prop shaft sending power from the front-mounted engine to the rear wheels. Instead, the battery is mounted in the rear, and an electric motor powers the rear axle when needed.

  • Engines
    2.0L Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

While some of the models in the range may have the word "sport" in their name, the Lexus UX SUV is about as sporty as a British Bulldog. It was built for comfort rather than speed. This bias towards comfort suits the nature of the car perfectly because, as mentioned earlier, it's no ball of fire.

The steering response is excellent and spot-on for city driving. At higher speeds, it can feel a bit artificial, but we're willing to forgive that since the UX is not a speed merchant. Push it to the limit and it will understeer, which may annoy enthusiasts, but is much safer than the alternative.

The F Sport is equipped with a stiffer suspension, but it doesn't add any sportiness to the mix. It also doesn't spoil the ride quality, which begs the question: Why have it at all? The standard suspension setup is perfectly suited to the UX.

The all-wheel-drive model is interesting, as mentioned earlier. With no mechanical coupling, the rear wheels are driven by the electric motor only, and only at speeds below 43 mph. Any higher than that, and it reverts to a front-wheel-drive gas car. It makes sense in town in low-grip situations, but we can't help but wonder what happens when the battery is fully drained and the conditions are still bad.

UX Gas Mileage

The UX 200 has EPA-estimated figures of 29/37/32 mpg for city/highway/combined. That is an impressive set of numbers given its dimensions and engine size. The 250h hybrid does even better, with EPA-estimated mileage of 41/38/39 mpg. You can see the electric motor at work at slower speeds within the city, while the benefits are less pronounced on the highway. Still, it remains a remarkable achievement compared to non-electrified configurations, especially because it has 300 extra pounds to carry around. The 200 UX has a 12.4-gallon tank and an estimated range of 397 miles. The 250h has a smaller 10.6-gallon tank, but thanks to the added efficiency, it can do an estimated 413 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 29/37 mpg
* 2022 Lexus UX 200 FWD

UX Interior

The quality of the cabin more than makes up for the lackluster performance. It's a beautifully executed design, angled towards the driver to give it a sportier feel. You'd be forgiven for mistaking images of the interior for those of a Germanic luxury SUV, but there is just enough Japanese quirkiness to put any doubt to rest. You won't find a single piece of tacky plastic in there, and as a result, it feels like it will last decades.

Since the focus is on comfort, Lexus includes a lot of luxury kit as standard. Dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel and shifter, and eight-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar support are just some of the standard items. The level of luxury you get will depend on how much you're willing to spend. F Sport models offer more bolstering on the seats, while Luxury models get LED-illuminated air vent knobs. The latter sounds silly and gimmicky, but once you get used to driving with it in the dark, you start wondering why all cars don't have it.

2022 Lexus UX Dashboard Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Front Seats Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Gear Shifter Lexus
See All 2022 Lexus UX Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

With compact crossovers, it's always the same story. Loads of room in the front, but limited room for rear passengers. In the UX, it's more of the same. The dark interior makes it feel even more cramped than it is. The front legroom is fantastic at 42 inches, and headroom is also good. However, moving up the trim levels will see you lose a few inches of headroom in the font, which is further hampered when you spec on the available moonroof. The rear legroom is a mere 33.1 inches, while headroom is 36.3 inches. Even a less "premium" vehicle like the Kia Soul offers more space front and rear.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.1 in
  • Front Head Room 37.2 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.3 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The plastics in the UX are either soft-touch or high quality. There are some brushed aluminum inserts on the air vents, steering wheel, and shifter, just to break up the black and dark gray interior. The base model offers a choice of four dash and seat color options. Rather than real leather, base models are upholstered in NuLuxe synthetic leather. If someone didn't tell you, you'd never be able to tell the difference. The most striking options include Glazed Caramel seats and the Birch seats with a Lapis Blue dash. In F Sport models you can go the whole nine yards and order a black dash with Circuit Red Seats.

UX Trunk and Cargo Space

Thanks to a different cargo arrangement in the hybrid model, its cargo capacity goes up from 17.1 cubic feet to 21.7 cubic feet. While still not class-leading, it is closer to the BMW X1's 27.1 cubic feet. The question is, why is only the hybrid equipped with the adjustable cargo board? According to Lexus's website, the 200 models still have the smaller 17.1-cubic-foot trunk. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split, offering more space for odd occasions. Luxury models include a power liftgate as standard, which makes loading cargo easier. Interior storage consists of a small glovebox, slim door pockets, a center armrest storage bin, and dual front cupholders.

2022 Lexus UX Front Seats 1 Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Rear Passenger Seats Lexus
2022 Lexus UX Interior Overview Lexus

UX Infotainment and Features

Features

Lexus has a reputation for including loads of features, even on its entry-level models. The UX is no different. The base specs include keyless entry with push-button start, remote engine start, selectable driving modes (Eco, Sport, and Normal), Wi-Fi connectivity, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, and a leather steering wheel and shifter. Even the standard safety features list is impressive, including ten airbags, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. The Luxury trim adds LED-illuminated air vent knobs, rain-sensing wipers, a power sunroof, auto-dimming side mirrors, and a power liftgate with gesture control. The F Sport trim comes with LED fog lights, cornering lamps, paddle shifters on the steering wheel, active sound control, and an eight-inch driver-information display.

Infotainment

The Lexus UX comes standard with a seven-inch color LCD. The screen is on the small side, but all the latest connectivity features are included as standard. All UX trims get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Lexus Enform remote system with Google Assistant, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and Sirius XM. A Lexus six-speaker Premium Sound System is standard across the range.

A 10.3-inch display is an optional extra, as is dynamic voice command, wireless charging, a head-up display, navigation, and an eight-speaker premium sound system. Interacting with this system isn't very intuitive, though. Lexus still insists on using a touchpad controller, rather than a simpler touchscreen interface. Thankfully, the volume and tuning knobs for the sound system are separate and easier to access.

UX Problems and Reliability

The very first Lexus, the LS 400 sedan, is well-known for its solid reliability. One famously got to a million miles simply by following the basic service schedule (and replacing a few parts along the way). Lexus cars tend to be extremely reliable, no doubt because of their Toyota roots and the UX has remained remarkably recall free, except for one slight niggle on the 250h in 2019. The 2020 and 2021 models were recall-free, as well as the 2022 models so far, at the time of writing.

Last year, the UX scored 81 our of 100 overall in the J.D. Power survey, with 80 for quality and reliability. The UX comes as standard with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a one-year/10,000-mile maintenance plan. The hybrid components are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles

UX Safety

A safety review of the Lexus UX range saw it earn an overall rating of five stars from the NHTSA. It's worth mentioning that it only received four out of five stars in the frontal crash subcategory. The IIHS named the 2021 UX a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS did not test the hybrid separately, but since the two models are almost identical, it will likely hold up just as well in a crash.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

The traditional safety kit includes ten airbags, a rearview camera, ABS, stability and traction control, as well as a rigid body with multiple crumple zones. Unlike so many other manufacturers who expect you to pay extra for advanced driver assistance systems, Lexus includes its Safety System 2.0 as standard. This comprises frontal-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, road-sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and intelligent high-beam assist.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Lexus UX a Good SUV?

There's not much wrong with the UX. It competes in a segment that's all the rage right now, and it does so with unique and striking Japanese design. On the inside, it offers a quality interior that easily rivals the German top dogs, and you get almost every luxury and safety feature as standard. Sure, it's an entry-level compact crossover, but it's a Lexus first and foremost. We're glad Lexus didn't cut corners, as it would have done damage not just to this car, but to the whole brand.

Our biggest gripe is the underwhelming powertrain options. All of its rivals offer more power and better performance. Having said that, it depends entirely on what you're looking for in a car. If its performance, the BMW X1 would do a much better job. But if fuel economy is high up on the list, the Lexus' consumption figures can't be ignored.

The refined ride, impressive fuel economy, luxury, and safety features make up for the lack of grunt, and we think the UX is more than good enough to put on your test-drive list if you happen to be shopping around in this segment.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Lexus UX?

The base price of the Lexus UX 200 is $33,000. The 200 UX F Sport goes for $35,340, while the Luxury model will cost you $38,040. On the hybrid side, the 250h AWD has an MSRP of $35,200, followed by the 250h F Sport AWD costing $37,540. The top-spec 250h Luxury AWD comes in at $40,240. These prices exclude the delivery, processing, and handling fee of $1,075.

2022 Lexus UX Models

You can choose between normal gas-powered or hybrid Lexus UXs and both of these flavors are available in three trims: Base, F Sport, and Luxury. The gas-powered models are motivated by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 hp and the UX 250h hybrid models add a battery and electric motor to that for a total of 181 hp. The gas engine drives the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission in all models, but hybrid models send their electric motors' assistance to the rear axle at speeds of 43 mph and less, turning them into all-wheel drive vehicles.

Even the base UX 200 comes fully equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-LED headlights, remote keyless access and push-button start, remote engine start, dual-zone climate control, eight-way electrically adjustable front seats, NuLuxe leatherette upholstery, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shifter. The infotainment system's screen measures seven inches and it includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice commands, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, SiriusXM, Wi-Fi, and a six-speaker audio system. Standard safety and driver-assistance features include ten airbags, forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, road-sign recognition, and automatic high beams.

The F Sport trim adds unique F Sport wheels and front and rear bumpers, LED fog lights with cornering lights, color-coded overfenders, sporty suspension settings, paddle shifters, bolstered F Sport front seats, aluminum pedals, active sound control, and an eight-inch driver-information display.

The flagship is the Luxury and it additional gets a gesture-controlled hands-free liftgate, acoustic front side glass, a power tilting/sliding sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a memory system for the driver's seat and mirror settings, and heated and ventilated front seats.

See All 2022 Lexus UX Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The base trim has one package, as well as a few standalone options. The Premium Package retails for $1,515 and adds Washi interior trim, rain-sensing wipers, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, color-coded overfenders, as well as heated and ventilated front seats.

The F Sport trim can be ordered with a $975 Premium Package, or a $2,390 Luxury Package. The former adds rain-sensing wipers, a power moonroof, and heated front seats. The latter adds a memory function for the driver's seat, a power liftgate with gesture control, heated and ventilated front seats, and side mirrors that dim automatically and tilt down when you reverse.

The Luxury has no optional packages, as it already includes most of the above. There are several standalone features that can also be added to the other models. These are auto-leveling triple-beam adaptive LED headlights with washers, fog lights, and cornering lights for $1,660, a color head-up display for $500, a wireless charger for $75, and a heated steering wheel for $150.

πŸš—What Lexus UX Model Should I Buy?

The UX 250h F Sport is the sweet spot in the range. The hybrid powertrain is well worth the additional $2,200. It's a tiny bit faster, way more frugal, and comes with the added benefit of all-wheel-drive. The reason we'd have the F Sport over the base 250h is the bolder exterior, as well as the few other additions. We'd also add the Luxury Package, which requires you to add the 10.3-inch split-screen multimedia display with navigation. The result is a $43,205 compact crossover (including delivery), which seems like a steep price. But try to add some of the standard features this car has to its German rivals and see how quickly you get to $50,000.

Check out other Lexus UX Styles

2022 Lexus UX Comparisons

Lexus NX CarBuzz
Lexus RX CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Lexus UX169 hp29/37 mpg$33,150
Lexus NX 203 hp26/33 mpg$37,950
Lexus RX 290 hp19/26 mpg$45,570

2022 Lexus UX vs Lexus NX

The UX has the same problem as every other premium compact crossover out there. Add a few more dollars and you can have a larger, seemingly better car. In the case of the UX, the top-spec 250h Luxury AWD comes in at $40,240. The 2022 Lexus NX 350 AWD has an MSRP of $41,550. The NX 350h AWD hybrid version is $41,050.

The NX 350 and the 350h are interesting rivals because they're just as lavishly equipped from the base upward. The NX 350 comes with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-pot, good for 275 hp and 317 lb-ft. The 350h hybrid comes with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine and an electric motor, 240 hp, and EPA-estimated figures of 41/37/39 mpg city/highway/combined, matching the UX 250h AWD.

And since Lexus isn't afraid to include luxury features as standard, the base NX comes with synthetic leather, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, and an eight-inch multimedia display boasting the same features as the UX.

The NX is also better to drive and is more spacious than the UX. We'd rather buy one of these, especially because it is significantly more powerful without any economy penalty.

See Lexus NX Review

2022 Lexus UX vs Lexus RX

The RX and RXh are two steps up from the UX, but pricing starts at $45,320, while the hybrid pricing starts at $48,020. That's only a moderate leap in price compared to the UX. The RX has a 3.5-liter V6 producing 295 horsepower, while the hybrid has a total system output of 308 hp. It's much thirstier than the UX, thanks to the old-school V6 engine, but it is silky smooth and will get to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. It's also worth pointing out that the RX is one of the most comfortable cars in existence - not just in its segment, but out of all cars on sale today.

The RX dwarfs the UX and has the same specification level, including power-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, and driver assistance systems. Once again, you have to decide whether it's worth sacrificing fuel efficiency for more space. For us, it's an easy choice.

See Lexus RX Review

Lexus UX Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 Lexus UX:

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