Should You Step up From the Toyota C-HR to the 2022 Lexus UX?

The 2022 Toyota CH-R and the 2022 Lexus UX are in many ways the same crossover. They are on the same platform. They both are stylish. They both get excellent fuel economy. The C-HR is the least expensive crossover on a Toyota lot, while the UX is the least expensive Lexus.

Toyota is making good use of its midsize platform. Toyota calls it the TNGA, or Toyota New Global Architecture, and the platform underpins several cars, including the C-HR, Camry, Corolla, and a Prius, as well as the Lexus UX.

While the UX and the C-HR are built from the same architecture, they are different crossovers.

The 2022 Lexus is luxury, while the 2022 Toyota is funky fun

Two Toyota C-HRs | Toyota

The UX is the least expensive way to put a Lexus in your driveway. The UX starts at $33,450 and can go past $40,000 depending on options. Lexus is a luxury brand and the UX doesn’t embarrass the brand on that front. It has all the interior goodies you would expect from a Lexus, including the power rear door with a kick sensor, and the Premium Package offers a moonroof, heated, and ventilated seats. It’s all packaged in a neat, but not flashy, package that is understated like other Lexuses.

The CH-R is funky. It’s inexpensive. starts at $24,130 and has styling that is more expressive than the UX. The C-HR has front and rear spats, canard wings, and stabilizer wings built into the taillights. It’s designed to channel air and control wind turbulence, but it also gives it a unique look. All of the controls on the interior, like in the UX, are canted toward the driver. Toyota calls it the “MeZONE,” It’s not a sports car, but it looks like one from the driver’s seat.

Both are rated as Top Safety Pics from the IIHS.

They’re fuel-efficient, but not quick

The Toyota C-HR has a 2-liter four-cylinder mated to a CVT transmission. The engine makes just 144 horsepower on premium fuel. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t, but the C-HR weighs just 3,300 pounds. Toyota says the C-HR gets an estimated 29 miles per gallon combined, and up to 31 on the highway. But it takes about 10.5 seconds for the C-HR to reach 60 miles per hour. It is not available as a hybrid.

The 2022 Lexus UX is fuel efficient, too, especially if you order it as a hybrid. The Lexus has a 2-liter four cylinder, but it’s tuned for 169 horsepower in the base model, and up to 181 with the added power from a hybrid electric motor. Speaking of that electric motor, it doesn’t just add boost, it can add a boost to the rear wheels, making this front-wheel-drive crossover an all-wheel-drive crossover. The UX, depending on trim, can reach 60 miles per hour in about 8.5 seconds. It is also available in an F-Sport package that, while not any quicker makes it more entertaining to drive.

Consumer Reports says one is MUCH better

2022 Lexus UX by the beach
2022 Lexus UX | Lexus

When it comes to the scoring the CH-R, Consumer Reports gave it a score of 58, which ranks it on the low end of the compact crossover scale. While it earned high marks for good fuel economy, of course, that was about it. Consumer Reports said it has “horrendous visibility” and “too much wind noise.” Also, it was dinged for the motor’s lackluster performance. Overall, the predicted owner satisfaction is a one out of five. Ouch.

Considering the two are very similar crossovers, the 2022 Lexus UX gets a Consumer Reports score of 71, and a predicted owner satisfaction of a three out of five. It could be the leather, or it could be the better handling, but the Lexus ranked much higher in nearly all categories.

RELATED: 4 Reasons Not to Forget About the Cheapest Lexus, the UX