The Lexus UX crossover seems to be forgotten about. It’s the least expensive way to put a Lexus in your garage. The UX name is for “Urban Explorer,” and there are certainly worse ways to spend time in urban traffic than in a luxury SUV like this. While it may be the cheapest Lexus, it’s a solid value.
A lot of people forget that Lexus makes the UX. While BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and the Audi Q3 were vacuuming up all of the small luxury crossover money, it took Lexus until 2018 to show off the UX, and until 2021 to introduce it.
The littlest Lex is the Lexus version of the Toyota CH-R or Corolla, but the transmission and motor are tuned differently. The UX makes more power in every comparable version and offers a lot more luxury for not much more money.
The UX is the cheapest Lexus
The UX, especially in base UX200 trim, is the cheapest Lexus you can buy new, starting at $34,225. It has the same giant Lexus grille that the $100,000 LX SUV has, so you can impress the neighbors. But like the Toyota, it is one of the most inexpensive to own with a 32 miles-per-gallon combined.
However, sometimes you have to spend some money to save some money. The hybrid version is about $2,0000 more but gets a combined 39-mpg for the hybrid version.
The 2022 Lexus UX can be all-wheel-drive and a hybrid
For $34,225 you can snap up a UX250h that gives you two huge benefits: all-wheel-drive and a hybrid system. The 250H uses Toyota’s interesting all-wheel-drive system that does the obvious thing and simply puts an electric motor under the back hatch to power the rear wheels. When the computer senses slip, it simply turns on the back motor. That means that the UX is a front-wheel-drive SUV, until you need it to have some four-wheel-drive traction.
You can get (a bit) more power in a 2022 Lexus UX
The base 2022 Lexus UX has a 2-liter naturally-aspirated four cylinder – no turbos here – that is mated to 10-step CVT. It’s not much fun. Depending on which tests you read, it takes the base UX almost nine seconds to hit 60 miles per hour, which in the luxury SUV world is an eternity. But, step up the F-Sport, which has the handling package, or the 250h hybrid variants, it drops about a half second off that time and crucially makes it much more fun to drive.
Lots of luxury for the price
In keeping with its mission to keep you comfortable while you’re exploring your urban environs, the UX has a ton of tech. You can get Alexa integration with Android Auto. Like a fighter plane, or a Corvette, you can order a color heads-up display. Most of the interior is driver-focused and the infotainment screen, HVAC controls and more are tilted toward the driver so nothing is out of reach.
It may be the cheapest Lexus, but it doesn’t have to feel like it. For $2,390 you can order the 2022 Lexus UX Luxury Package on the F Sport version that adds a power rear door with a Kick Sensor, you don’t have to use you r hands to open the tailgate, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, and memory system for the driver’s seat and mirrors. The Premium Package for $1,515 adds rain-sensing wipers, a moonroof, and heated seats to non-F UXs.