2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport Review by David Colman +VIDEO
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2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport - Good handling and elegant interior
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
The UX we drove was nicely done. In particular, its elegant interior proved quiet, comfortable and sybaritic, with exceptionally plush front seats, and a well staged array of instruments and control buttons. We particularly appreciated the typical luxury touches we've come to expect from any Lexus product: the small analog clock styled like a Cartier tank watch, the subtle brushed black aluminum dash surfacing, and the nifty side button activation of the center console storage compartment. From a livability standpoint, the UX rates high grades, with enough luxury flourishes to justify its substantial price increase over the Toyota C-HR. We especially appreciated the optional ($600) power rear door with kick sensor to command operation when your hands are full. And the heated F Sport steering wheel equipped with paddle shifters ($150) looks like it belongs in the cockpit of a race car, with its fat rim covered with lovely perforated black leather.
Lexus couples the gas and electric motors to a Hybrid CVT transmission which operates through either a console-mounted stick or the paddles adjacent to the steering wheel. Manual selection of engine speed range is available through either source. No matter how much effort you invest in selecting your engine speed, you will find the UX lagging behind the competition in the 0-60mph run, with a time of 8.6 seconds. In other words, you'll be beaten at every stop light grand prix by sedans like the Honda Civic and Mazda 3, as well as price competitive crossovers from Mercedes and Audi. The lack of straight line mojo is rather disconcerting since the UX250h is surprisingly agile on back roads thanks to its F Sport components. Leading the F Sport equipment parade are 18x7J alloy rims equipped with run-flat, all-season tires that put up an unexpectedly good show on curvy roads. The Bridgestone Turanza EL 450 tires (225/50RF18) stick well enough to make you attack corners with more verve that you might expect in such a tall (60 inch) vehicle.
The UX250h is rather a mixed bag. If you liked the polarizing looks of the C-HR, you'll love the similar in-your-face brashness of the UX. Good handling and fine attention to detail almost compensate for a lack of sheer speed and a deficit of outward vision.
2019 LEXUS UX250h F SPORT
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 41MPG City/38MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $42,785
HYPES: Excellent Mileage, Lovely cabin
GRIPES: Weak Acceleration, Poor Outward Vision
STAR RATING: 8 Stars out of 10