The 2022 Lexus UX is the brand’s smallest and least-expensive model in its lineup. It’s based on the Toyota CH-R and comes in two different flavors: gas-only and hybrid. I have driven both iterations of the UX over the past year and have a pretty good grasp of what this little SUV has to offer. In my observation, the hybrid model is the better way to go. Here is why.
The 2022 Lexus UX 250h comes with an all-wheel drivetrain
The 2022 Lexus UX has six different trim levels; three for the non-hybrid model and three for the hybrid. However, one leg up that the hybrid model has over its gas counterpart is that it comes standard with an all-wheel drivetrain. So, if you live in an area that sees snow during the wintertime, then the UX 250h is the one to get. The UX 200, on the other hand, is only available in a front-drive configuration.
As far as which of the three trim levels to choose from, it really depends on your visual taste. Upgrading to the F Sport trim from the base model mainly adds some sporty exterior trim and suspension enhancements and a “performance gauge cluster.” After that, upgrading to the Luxury trim gives you a power rear door with a kick sensor and other luxury touches like illuminated air vent handles.
Having driven the F Sport trim more than the others, I agree with Car and Driver in that it could be the best value. The front seats are sportier and well-bolstered, it has a cool motorized gauge cluster, and the optional Premium package adds a lot. That package includes luxuries like heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, nicer interior materials, and a sunroof. Also, the sporty suspension adds a bit of driving engagement without beating you up when the road gets rough.
The hybrid model gets far better gas mileage (no surprise)
Another reason that I suggest choosing the Lexus UX 250h over the 200 is that it gets better gas mileage. Of course, there’s no surprise there considering it’s powered by a 181-hp 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s mated to an electric motor. Together, this combination is able to achieve an EPA-estimated 38 mpg in combined driving. In my real-world testing, I averaged 37 mpg.
The UX 200, on the other hand, is also powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 169 hp. According to the EPA, this version is able to achieve up to 32 mpg in combined driving. That’s not too far off considering my real-world findings resulted in an average of 30 mpg. Case in point, if you want better mileage, buy the hybrid model.
The UX 250h offers a better value for the money overall
Considering you’ll get the same amenities and luxuries in either Lexus UX guise, it’s safe to say that the UX 250h is the better value between the two. Price-wise, the 2022 UX 200 carries a starting price of $34,225 while the UX 250h starts at $36,425. In an apples-to-apples comparison, you’re essentially paying an extra $2,200 for a hybrid powertrain with all-wheel drive and better fuel economy. And while it may take a while for the fuel savings to make up for that extra money spent, I think it’s still worth it. Especially if you have a long commute every day.
Otherwise, you’ll still get the same tech-rich features like Apple Carplay/Android Auto, a Lexus premium sound system, and an available 10.3-inch infotainment display. In that case, go for the hybrid model, you won’t regret it.