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Are you thinking about buying a Toyota Prius but want something a little more upscale? In that case, a Lexus hybrid could be in order. But considering there are a few hybrid models in the Japanese luxury automaker’s lineup, which one is the cheapest?

2023 Lexus UX250
2023 Lexus UX250 | Lexus

The cheapest Lexus hybrid is a little sportier than a Toyota Prius

2023 Lexus UX250 interior
2023 Lexus UX250 | Lexus

The cheapest Lexus hybrid model you can currently buy is the 2023 Lexus UX 250h. It has a starting price of $35,850 and tops at around $44,680. For reference, the Toyota Prius starts at around $25,000 and ends up at around $33,000 for the highest trim level. That means you’ll spend a lot more than you would for Toyota’s hybrid golden child, but the UX’s luxurious interior and the larger engine could be worth it for some buyers.

For 2023, Lexus made some chassis and suspension improvements to enhance the car’s ride quality and handling performance. But if the standard suspension setup isn’t sporty enough, buyers can opt for the F-Sport package, which includes adaptive dampers.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain that produces 181 hp, which is more potent than the one found in the Prius. Don’t expect crazy performance, though; Lexus estimates that the UX 250h can get up to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. But that’s still faster than the Prius, which takes over 10 seconds to get to that speed.

As for fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the UX250h can achieve up to 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Not as good as the Prius, but the suspension and power upgrades can make up for the mileage deficit if you want a more engaging drive.

The 2023 UX 250h has some tech-savvy updates

2023 Lexus UX250
2023 Lexus UX250 | Lexus

In addition to minor suspension tweaks, Lexus gave the UX 250h a few tech-savvy in-cabin features. A new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is placed closer to the driver and has a brighter resolution than the outgoing model. Drivers can also talk to the system via voice commands by simply saying, “Hey, Lexus.”

As for the other tech features, wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay are present, and over-the-air updates to the system are now possible. Other standard features include dual-zone climate control and power-adjustable seats. If you want a more luxurious experience, then heated and ventilated seats can be added in addition to a head-up display and nicer leather upholstery.

Is the Lexus UX 250h worth the price of entry?

2023 Lexus UX250 rear
2023 Lexus UX250 | Lexus

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We think so. Considering the 2023 Lexus UX 250h has a more upscale feel than the Toyota Prius in almost every area, it could be worth the extra money spent. The second-cheapest Lexus hybrid model is the NX, which starts at around $43,000.

It’s a little larger, but it only averages around 39 mpg combined. So, if you really want a bargain luxury hybrid that’s good on gas and costs less than $40,000, the Lexus UX 250h is the one to get.