Truth be told, it’s still hard for us to call the Lexus UX 250h an SUV, but that’s technically what it’s classified as by the brand. In fact, the UX is Lexus’ most-affordable vehicle currently in the lineup. And while it might not be as big as other hybrid SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, we can say that it does well in serving its purpose as being an affordable luxury vehicle, even if it is on the small side. All things considered, does that mean that the Lexus UX 250h is the best hybrid SUV on the market?
The Lexus UX 250h does have a good powertrain
One of the main takeaways from spending time with the Lexus UX 250h was that the hybrid powertrain was surprisingly smooth. We have actually driven its predecessor, the Lexus CT 200h, in the past and came away disappointed, mainly because that car used the same engine as a Toyota Prius. After all, who would want to spend on a Lexus-branded car that has the same engine as a cheaper Toyota? Especially a Prius.
That’s probably why we were pleasantly surprised when driving the UX 250h, we admittedly had low expectations when stepping into it. But fortunately, this new hybrid utilizes a newer 2.0-liter engine that’s paired with two electric motors that spin the front wheels. But what’s even more impressive is the system incorporates another electric motor in the rear differential to power the rear wheels, effectively making it an all-wheel-drive car. Whether it’s an SUV or not, it sure is more capable than your average hatchback. In total, the system produces 181 horsepower, and its fuel economy is rated at 41 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway.
Space is rather limited
The main reason we were confused as to whether or not the UX 250h is actually an SUV is that it’s small in stature, has a relatively low ride height, and is low in interior and cargo volume. However, it is based on the same platform as the Toyota CH-R, so it makes sense that the car is small, but if anything, it’s more of a crossover than an SUV. Regardless of what it is, we found the interior space to be generous upfront, but a little tight in the rear seat area, although it does seat five. We just recommend only seating five small adults, or perhaps children, as anyone over six-feet-tall will have issues.
The UX 250h gets great mileage and is capable, but is it the best?
We could pontificate all day as to whether or not the Lexus UX 250h is an SUV or a crossover, but the truth of the matter is that for what it is, it’s great. It returned a spectacular real-world fuel-economy average of 50 mpg with our combined driving and kept us comfortable during a quick, 100-mile day trip. But is the best hybrid SUV? Technically, for the money, it isn’t, since there are more affordable alternatives from both Honda and Toyota. But if you’re looking for a smaller hybrid with a premium feel and luxury badge, then the Lexus UX 250h could be the best choice for you.