Although it is a popular and well-known luxury brand, some Lexus vehicles fall just short of expectations. According to U.S. News, the 2021 Lexus UX Hybrid has three significant shortcomings that detract from an otherwise good vehicle. Here’s everything you should know about the UX Hybrid before deciding whether it’s the right fit for you.
What to expect from the 2021 Lexus UX Hybrid
The 2021 Lexus UX Hybrid starts at $35,100 and features a 2.0-liter inline-four engine that makes 181 hp. It gets 41 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway, giving it an excellent fuel economy for its class. It seats five and has 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row.
This vehicle comes standard with an extensive list of safety features, including lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, and blind-spot monitoring. It also features a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and a 7.0-inch display screen.
The UX Hybrid’s biggest flaws
The Lexus UX Hybrid has three significant flaws: limited amounts of cargo space, sluggish acceleration, and unintuitive infotainment controls. It is these shortcomings that led reviewers to call this SUV just “decent” despite the many areas where it performs well. In fact, it ranks second-to-last on the U.S. News list of “9 Best Luxury Hybrid and Electric SUVs for 2021”
When it comes to the infotainment system, the difficulty stems from the fact that the driver must operate it using Lexus Remote Touch, a controller that is similar to a laptop’s touchpad. Reviewers found that this was challenging to use while driving, although they do praise the fact that there are physical knobs for both climate and audio functions.
The 21.7 cubic feet of cargo room is the next downside as this sizing is low for the segment. That being said, U.S. News does point out that the UX Hybrid has more cargo space than the non-hybrid version. This is thanks to the new rear cargo deck board, which comes standard on the UX Hybrid.
Finally, this SUV was dinged for its sluggish acceleration. It takes 8.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, making it less pleasant to use for highway driving.
It’s worth noting that these problems aren’t new: The 2020 UX Hybrid had almost the exact same issues. Test drivers observed that the infotainment screen had a tendency to overcorrect, forcing the driving to spend longer navigating to the correct menu and ultimately pulling focus away from the road. The 2020 model also had an even smaller cargo area, and its brake pedal was finicky and difficult to operate smoothly.
What the UX Hybrid gets right
Even with all these issues, the Lexus UX Hybrid is by no means a bad option. While it may be near the bottom of the list of 2021’s best luxury hybrid and electric SUVs, it did still manage to make the list — and for good reason.
The starting price of this vehicle is one of the lowest in its class, making it an excellent pick for anyone who wants a more affordable luxury option. It offers some of the best fuel efficiency in the segment, which saves the driver even more money in the long run. The UX Hybrid also has an impressively long list of standard features, meaning that you could feasibly stick with the base model and still be satisfied.
All of this, combined with an impressive 4.5/5 predicted reliability rating and the highest possible safety rating from the NHTSA, make the 2021 Lexus UX Hybrid an appealing choice. However, if you need a vehicle with a significant amount of cargo space or a more powerful ride, this may not be the best pick for you.