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The 2023 Lexus UX 250h is the smallest crossover in the luxury automaker’s lineup. As such, it’s also the most affordable new Lexus, with a base MSRP of $36,425. Its price tag may attract buyers looking for a relatively affordable way of putting a new luxury vehicle in their driveway, but Edmunds says for what’s offered, the UX 250h’s cost is tough to justify.

The 2023 Lexus UX 250h has its strong points

A white 2023 Lexus UX against a white/silver background
The 2023 Lexus UX | Lexus

The 2023 Lexus UX 250h is powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter inline four hybrid engine delivering 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, making it short on power compared to the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, VolvoXC40 or Cadillac XT4. However, as the only hybrid in its segment, it is by far the most efficient among its rivals, with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined.

In its base trim, the 2023 Lexus UX offers a seven-inch touchscreen (without Lexus’ difficult-to-use touchpad control), synthetic leathery upholstery, an EV Drive mode, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and a folding tonneau cover. Additionally, the UX sports Lexus’ handsome styling and a suite of safety features.

Edmunds credits the UX’s impressive efficiency, long list of standard features, and agility around town thanks to its small stature. But the publication’s praise for the UX doesn’t go far beyond those aspects.

The UX 250h’s price, practicality, and performance drag it down

The 2023 Lexus UX 250h’s hybrid system may be efficient, but its performance is unlikely to raise any eyebrows. Edmunds notes the 2023 UX is comfortable for cruising, but the crossover is “very slow.” It takes a “leisurely” 10 seconds to scoot from 0-60 mph and has noticeable body roll. The reviewers also took issue with its brakes, which are difficult to modulate. To boot, “the engine kicks up an unpleasant racket when you ask for power.”

Edmunds says the UX is not particularly fun to drive as it’s “sluggish and feels heavier than others in its class.”

The reviewers also criticized the UX’s overall practicality, stating its high cargo floor cuts down on usable storage, and the glovebox and center console are small. Additionally, its back seats are “cramped.” Edmunds underscores that Lexus’ rivals are more accommodating for passengers and their stuff.

The review also mentioned the UX 250h also lacks the typical higher driving position of a typical SUV.

The Lexus UX 250h’s starting price is well below that of its competition, but Edmunds says the dollars it demands is “hard to swallow” given its lackluster performance and that its Toyota Corolla roots — the model from which it’s based — show in its on-road experience.

The review notes the UX250h will likely leave buyers “disappointed” for general value-for-dollar. Edmunds’ mid-range tester neared the $40,000 mark, and for that kind of money, buyers could opt for a base midsize Lexus RX. Edmunds suggests buyers might be more pleased with a well-equipped Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for about the same money, even in its cheaper base guise.

Edmunds recommends the mid-range Premium trim for those who can overlook the 2023 UX 250’s flaws to put a new, hybrid luxury crossover in their garage for a relatively affordable price. The Premium model carries an MSRP of $38,950 and includes a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen, a premium stereo system, a power liftgate, and heated/ventilated front seats.

Does the 2023 Lexus UX 250h indeed have a price that’s too hard to swallow? It appears so.


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