With the end of the pandemic in sight, many are making travel plans and shopping for new quality vehicles. If you’re in the market for a small entry-level luxury SUV that gets good gas mileage, take a closer look at the 2021 Lexus UX.
Sure, like its crossover peers, the Lexus UX is essentially a raised hatchback wearing the SUV label. But even its base model has enough going for it to earn it two important distinctions from Consumer Reports. What distinctions did it earn? What else does it have to offer? Let’s dive in.
The 2021 Lexus UX
The base 2021 Lexus UX is front-wheel drive with a more or less vanilla driving experience. Its suspension deserves mention because it takes the blows well and makes for a steady, comfortable ride on most roads. Though the cabin is well insulated from wind and engine noise, the engine makes its presence known when accelerating.
On the inside, seating in this small SUV is low and roomy — at least up front. The back seat isn’t as spacious, and the low seats have passengers in the back sitting with their knees slightly elevated. Still, the cabin is visually appealing with solid, user-friendly controls and some nice luxury touches. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and blind-spot alerts are standard.
The Lexus UX doesn’t offer a lot of cargo space, but the back seat folds down to add more. It does offer the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 standard, which adds great safety features like automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. The system can detect pedestrians and cyclists at any time of the day or night.
If you want all-wheel drive, the only model that offers it is the hybrid UX 250h. The hybrid powertrain provides solid acceleration for urban driving and gets impressive fuel numbers with 37 mpg overall.
At the end of the day, the 2021 Lexus UX offers great advanced standard safety equipment and great fuel efficiency. It’s also the only small entry-level luxury SUV to get a Consumer Reports recommendation and Green Choice designation.
The CR Recommended designation
Consumer Reports‘ CR Recommended program has been helping consumers shop wisely for the last 85 years. Using a comprehensive system of independent research, consumer input, and thorough testing, the CR team evaluates thousands of products each year to help hold manufacturers to a higher standard. When you see a CR Recommended icon on a product like the 2021 Lexus UX, you can trust it has met the consumer site’s criteria for performance, reliability, safety, and value.
With a high overall score of 81 out of 100, the latest UX earned a CR recommendation. It performed well on the CR road test and got a solid 4 out of 5 for predicted owner satisfaction. More important, it earned a perfect 5 in predicted reliability and fuel economy.
A luxury SUV with great gas mileage? It’s true. CR conducts its own independent fuel-economy tests using what it calls a precise fuel-flow measuring instrument spliced into a given vehicle’s fuel line for testing. CR’s testers conduct two runs on different circuits to mimic city and highway driving.
The Green Choice designation
The 2021 Lexus UX also earned a Consumer Reports Green Choice designation. This new distinction offers a way for CR to provide consumers with guidance on buying a new vehicle.
The Green Choice designation is shown with a green leaf icon in CR’s reviews. In a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the designation identifies vehicles producing the fewest greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions.
The 2021 Lexus UX earned this distinction, meaning the EPA certified the SUV as being among the 20 percent lowest-emitting passenger vehicles for its model year. The UX earned an 8 out of 10 in greenhouse gases and a 7 out of 10 in smog. Combined with its stellar fuel economy of 32/42/37 city/highway/overall, the 2021 Lexus UX is an excellent entry-level luxury SUV for those looking for a high-quality vehicle while looking out for the environment.