2020 Lexus UX Hybrid

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Review: Who Says A Hybrid Can't Be Fun?

by Michael Butler

As premium manufacturers try and take a slice of every pie they can, the Lexus UX Hybrid finds itself as the smallest hybrid SUV on offer in the premium segment, adding a dose of electrification to the subcompact UX. But small isn't always bad, and in the UX's favor, it's one of the most premium-feeling cars in a highly contested subcompact segment, and it's got class-leading levels of fuel economy and safety as well. The UX 250h is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with dual electric motors that produces a total of 181 horsepower. Power is sent to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission. The feature-rich Lexus UX Hybrid goes up against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and Mini Cooper Countryman Hybrid.

Read in this review:

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 UX Hybrid?

The 2020 UX gets a bunch of new features for 2020. This includes Android Auto functionality on all trim levels, updated Enform trial periods for Remote, Wi-Fi and Service Connect, as well as new standard driver assistance features such as rear cross-traffic alert available with a blind spot monitor (previously park assist).

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive interior quality
  • Impressive standard features
  • Good fuel economy
  • Small dimensions make it easy to maneuver
  • Not the best infotainment system
  • Rear legroom is on the tighter side
  • Limited rear cargo space
  • Unrefined 2.0-liter engine
  • Looks are divisive

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
UX 250h
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$34,500
UX 250h F Sport
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$36,500
UX 250h Luxury
2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$39,700

UX Hybrid Exterior

The UX is a subcompact luxury crossover SUV with an eclectic exterior design that might not be to everyone's liking, but at least it's different from the rest of the coma-inducing subcompact crossover class. Standard exterior features include bi-LED headlamps and LED taillamps, as well as a concealed exhaust. Luxury models add a power tailgate with a kick sensor, while the F Sport adds F Sport-tuned suspension, unique front, and rear bumpers, grille and badging, and LED fog lamps and cornering lamps. All models roll on 18-inch wheels as standard.

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Front View Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Front Angle View Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Side View Lexus
See All 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 2020 UX Hybrid lives up to its subcompact name with a total length of 177 inches, a wheelbase of 103.9 inches and a total height of 59.8 inches with the roof rails and without the shark fin antenna, or 60.6 with the antenna. Width comes in at 72.4 inches. The UX weighs 3,605 pounds. While the same in stature to its not hybrid sibling, the UX Hybrid weighs a good 300 pounds more than the gas-fed UX.

  • 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

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Nebula Gray Pearl
  • Silver Lining Metallic
  • Atomic Silver
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Redline
  • Autumn Shimmer
  • Nori Green Pearl
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Ultra White

UX Hybrid Performance

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Front View Driving Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Rear View Driving Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Engine Lexus

Engine and Transmission

Powering the UX Hybrid is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine that is paired with a two motor-generator hybrid transmission with a planetary differential. The first permanent magnet motor functions as a generator for the engine starter, and controls engine speed, while the second helps drive the wheels and takes care of regenerative braking. Total power output is a modest 181 hp. Power is sent to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission and an electronic all-wheel-drive system. Lexus claims a zero to 60 sprint time of 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph. We found the UX to be a pleasure to drive around town despite its lazy sprint times, and out on the highway, it was able to keep up with traffic without much hassle.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The UX is the first Lexus car to be built on the Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform, which means the UX gets a super-rigid structure, which is always a good base to create a good-handling car on, and also features a lower center of gravity more akin to a traditional hatchback. Combine this with retuned suspension, the stability of an AWD system, and precise steering, and you have yourself a subcompact crossover that offers a positive driving and handling experience. Steering is accurate and masks the somewhat lethargic response from the engine with its ability to change direction quickly and offers good feedback. The F Sport model feels refined despite its stiffer suspension setup, but neither trim should be treated as sports cars; they're still high-riding crossovers.

UX Hybrid Gas Mileage

The UX Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class, thanks to an efficient 2.0-liter gas engine and electronic hybrid system, and as with similar hybrid vehicles, the UX prefers to be driven in city conditions where it returns better fuel economy, as opposed to highway cruising where the AWD system tends to suck down more fuel. The EPA rates the 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid at 41/38/39 mpg city/highway/combined. With a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the UX Hybrid should be able to travel for up to 413.4 miles. Competitors such as the Mini Countryman Hybrid can only offer a combined reading of 27 mpg, while the RAV4 Hybrid gets closer with 41/38/40 mpg.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    10.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 41/38 mpg
* 2020 Lexus UX 250h AWD

UX Hybrid Interior

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Dashboard Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Center Stack Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Gear Shifter Lexus
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Seating and Interior Space

The interior of the UX Hybrid can feel tight for taller passengers, especially in the rear. But the seating setup is a comfortable one: front passengers get eight-way power adjustability, and headroom in the front is 37.3 inches - dropping to 35.8 with a moonroof, 36.6 with F Sport seats, and finally down to 35 inches with the sport seats and moonroof fitted. In the rear, headroom measures 36.3 inches. Legroom is a spacious 42.1 inches in the front, but gets a little restrictive in the rear with only 33.1 inches of space.

  • 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

UX Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

The compact dimensions of the 2020 UX Hybrid might make it easy to pilot through tight city streets, but it comes at a cost - trunk space is compromised to an extent. The UX Hybrid offers a total of 17.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which isn't an impressive number to start with, but feels even smaller thanks to a narrow trunk opening and high liftover height. You should be able to fit a folded electric scooter and a few rolled-up yoga mats in the back of the UX. Thankfully the 60/40-split folding rear seats offer some more space.

Small items can be stored in a large center console storage box, a decently sized glovebox, and dual cupholders. Those in the back get a seatback pocket on the passengers' side, and there's also a set of cupholders.

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Trunk Space Lexus
2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Rear Angle View Lexus

UX Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

We commend Lexus for including such a generous amount of standard features on the UX Hybrid. Base model cars get dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way driver lumbar support, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, as well as an electronic parking brake. You also get SmartAccess with push-button start/stop, and Drive Mode Select with Sport, Normal and ECO drive modes. Luxury models add comfort features such as heated and ventilated front seats, a memory system for the driver's seat and outside mirrors, wirelessly powered LED-illuminated air-vent knobs, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, and a power rear liftgate with kick sensor. The F Sport UX 250h focuses on the performance side of things with its bolstered front sports seats, paddle shifters, and performance-inspired gauges. Active driver safety features include pedestrian detection, lane tracing assist, and lane departure alert, while Luxury models add blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rain-sensing wipers.

Infotainment

The standard infotainment fitted to the UX Hybrid consists of a seven-inch touchscreen display that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, as well as Lexus Enform Wi-Fi with a 4GB/three-month trial. You also get Lexus' Enform App Suite 2.0 with Lexus Enform Remote, Bluetooth streaming, voice command, four USB ports, and a seven-inch color LCD multi-info display. The standard sound system consists of six speakers. Luxury models get a 10.3-inch split-screen display with navigation and eight speakers. We found the system to be clumsy at times, especially when using the touchpad system, but it delivered the goods otherwise.

UX Hybrid Problems and Reliability

While there have been no recalls issued for the 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid, there has been one issued for 2019, affecting certain 2019 UX 250h models. The recall was issued for a brake booster pump that could fail, leading to a loss of braking assist. Lexus will cover the UX with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, while the hybrid system gets 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
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles

UX Hybrid Safety

The UX Hybrid offers good safety ratings overall, with The NHTSA awarding the 2020 model a five-star overall rating, as well as five stars for side crash tests - both frontal crash and rollover tests scores were noted at four stars out of five. And, while the IIHS are yet to test the 2020 model, the previous year scored a Top Safety Pick Plus award. One reason for these excellent scores is Lexus' inclusion of its Safety System+ 2.0 that includes lane departure warning, road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. The standard 10-airbag system includes a front knee airbags and rear-seat side airbags.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid a good SUV?

Small hybrid SUVs are popping up all over the place, and to get noticed, manufacturers are pulling out all the stops. The 2020 UX Hybrid is a perfect example of how competition drives excellence; it offers the best fuel consumption statistics of any non-plug-in hybrid thanks to its high-tech twin electric motor setup and frugal 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. Combine this with small proportions and a rigid new platform, and you have yourself an entertaining and highly maneuverable car, especially in F Sport guise where it gets sport-tuned suspension bits. The interior is one of the best in its class and feels as luxurious and refined as its larger siblings in the Lexus lineup. Great standard features and safety ratings mean the UX Hybrid is perfect for smaller families with young kids. Back seat space might be limited, and the infotainment system isn't the most intuitive, but it's a highly capable package overall.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid?

Lexus is a luxury brand, and the UX Hybrid reflects that positioning in terms of price: the base model of the range, the 250h will set you back $34,350, which does not include registration, tax, or a destination fee of $1,025. Next up is the F Sport version which includes uprated suspension and styling bits, and will cost $36,350. The priciest trim is the 250h Luxury, which adds navigation, a power moonroof, heated and ventilated seats, and more for $39,550.

See All 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Trims and Specs

🚗What Lexus UX Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

The 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid is one of the best in its class, so no matter which model you go for, you're going to come out with an eco-friendly winner. Despite Lexus' push to sell the UX as a sporty crossover SUV, which it kind off gets right, we see the UX Hybrid as more of a compact luxury car that is nimble and fun to drive around town. For that very same reason then, we would forego the F Sport model, and go for the Luxury trim. The base model already comes packed with features, but the Luxury trim steps things up significantly, without blowing the price tag out of proportion. So what do you get? The same drivetrain as the rest of the range, but more luxury. Inside, there's a new 10.3-inch split-screen display, heated and ventilated front seats, Washi interior trim, as well as a power moonroof, a power rear liftgate with a kick sensor, and LED illuminated air-vents. It's stylish, luxurious, and almost just as fun as the F Sport.

Check out other Lexus UX Styles

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Comparisons

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Toyota
Lexus NX Hybrid CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Lexus UX Hybrid181 hp41/38 mpg$34,500
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 219 hp41/38 mpg$28,350
Lexus NX Hybrid 194 hp33/30 mpg$39,420

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular non-pickup car on sale today and is loved by nearly half a million people in the States alone who bought one in 2019. The Hybrid version of the much-loved RAV4 comes with a justifiable price hike and a significant jump in fuel economy, which is its biggest selling point, in our opinion. The RAV4 hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine and a duo of electric motors. The gas motor produces 176 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque while the electrics offer an additional 118 hp and 149 lb-ft for a total of 219 hp. Fuel economy is rated at 41/38/40 mpg city/highway/combined. We adore the RAV4's list of standard safety features, good looks, and spacious trunk and cargo storage. It's also an affordable option when compared to the more luxurious Lexus. However, the RAV4 suffers from an unrefined engine, boring driving dynamics, and road noise that creeps into the cabin. If you can live without all the niceties on offer in the Lexus, then the RAV4 should be the perfect fit, and the more practical one, too.

See Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid vs Lexus NX Hybrid

The NX 300h costs a good chunk of change more than the smaller UX 250h, but as it turns out, it doesn't bring much more to the table. The NX 300h gets a larger 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder engine and three electric motors that produce a combined output of 194 hp. This results in a zero to 60 time that's slower than the UX, and worse fuel consumption figures of 33/30/31 mpg city/highway/combined. Continuing on to the interior, the NX offers less trunk capacity. On the road, the NX offers the same refined driving experience but doesn't feel as nimble around town. We do prefer the NX's exterior styling, and we appreciate the long list of standard features and excellent safety ratings, but we think that its lack of cargo space, complicated infotainment system, and limited rear legroom holds it back. In the end, the UX 250h will be the better buy, as despite being smaller, it presents as better value for money.

See Lexus NX Hybrid Review

Lexus UX Hybrid Popular Comparisons

2020 Lexus UX Hybrid Video Reviews

Check out some informative Lexus UX Hybrid video reviews below.

$34,500 - $39,700
Price Range (MSRP)
Lexus UX Hybrid