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What is unique about the Lexus UX
First, there are multiple models of the Lexus UX, like the UX 250h, that offer a few variables. The UX 250 H is known for offering a hybrid powertrain, meaning that it can be powered partially by the built in battery and primarily by gasoline. The Lexus UX is considered a crossover SUV, meaning it is not quite full size but should still fit 5 people comfortably. The engine isn’t all that big, as it features a 2.0-liter turbocharged motor.
You’ll feel what makes the Lexus UX special more on the highway and in the city, as well as in situations where safety matters. The Lexus UX 250 H has nimble handling which is perfect for taking urban corners and parallel parking what isn’t a small vehicle. The inside is also nice and quiet so you can have some inner peace - at least in your vehicle.
The UX is powered by a continuously variable transmission. While these kinds of transmissions are often a problem at around 100,000 miles, we don’t see many, if any complaints about the CVT as installed by Lexus - meaning that it might simply be better designed.
For safety, systems like adaptive cruise control will keep you at the right distance on the highway, and blind spot monitoring is a nice feature to give you an alert before you switch lanes.
You’ll also find the front seats comfy and of course, the rear seats offer some space though we wouldn’t call this a 5 person family vehicle.
Lexus UX Problems
While we have the goal of telling you about problems you could experience with a Lexus UX SUV, we have to put one thing out there: Lexus does a very good job making high quality vehicles and is regularly in the top 5, if not the top 2 for customer satisfaction and overall reliability alongside their sister company, Toyota. Their high markings are the result of building vehicles that last a long time, and because customers like the dealership experience ranging from sales to service. I’ve known several people who have driven Lexus vehicles for multiple decades.
You’ll soon learn why; The Lexus UX has very few problems, and most are generalizations admittedly based on people’s opinions.
We often use CarComplaints.com as a solid reference for how often people complain about specific issues with a vehicle. Believe it or not, the Lexus UX isn’t even listed on the site.
Infotainment system problems
The Lexus UX uses a touchscreen infotainment system that on occasion, might not respond quite the way you expect, or sometimes at all. Reports of issues like having unresponsive buttons were not especially common, but represent a problem common amongst all vehicles with built in touchscreen technology: they can work 99% of the time, but the 1% is the part you notice.
We do have one recommendation for people who are experiencing frequent issues with glitchiness or slowness in their infotainment system: reboot the screen. Sometimes simply resetting helps a lot! These problems can include when the user uses Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as the touch screen is still used while operating from the phone’s software.
Fuel Economy Issues
Given that many Lexus vehicles like the UX have excellent build quality, they also tend to weigh a bit more than other vehicles of the same size - all while having a powerful engine. Some users have complained that they tend to get less than the EPA estimated gas mileage, even with the hybrid drivetrain on.
Fuel economy issues are not uncommon during the cold - and happen to all cars. Another potential issue is that fuel economy ratings are based on fairly slow, even driving, which not even people experienced with vehicles like myself tend to follow 100% of the time.
We’ll be clear on one thing here, along with the fuel economy issues: The Lexus UX is not meant to be a race car. It wouldn’t be able to achieve up to 29 miles per gallon city or 37 miles per gallon highway if it packed a powerful, roaring V8. Instead, the base model Lexus UX accelerates to a fairly tepid 8.7 seconds from 0-60.
Is this fast? No. Does it have other qualities like a quiet, refined ride and lots of cargo capacity that make up for it? Probably. If your vehicle feels slower than normal, we suggest taking it to Lexus service to see if something like the Mass Airflow sensor is working, or if there are other issues with the engine.
Some drivers have reported small problems with the suspension, mostly of the opinion that they think the Lexus UX rides a little rough, especially for the rear passengers. Given that the Lexus UX is considered a luxury SUV, this might be more of a preference of the driver and passengers.
The problem here is probably related to less than great streets and potentially includes problems with not having the right air pressure in the tires.
Lexus and the NHTSA issued a recall for issues relating to the brake booster pump, which may suddenly stop working properly due to engineering issues. We didn’t read any particular reports of drivers actually experiencing problems with the brake booster pump or the automated emergency braking, so Lexus may have been out ahead of this problem.
Should I buy a Lexus UX 250 H?
In many ways, the complaints we reported aren’t a big deal. The Lexus UX 250H does a pretty good job of being a safe and reliable vehicle, so we can’t say that you are likely to experience a vehicle breakdown in the first couple of years.
Whether or not you choose the Lexus UX 250h is more a matter of preference. Lexus has vehicles in their lineup that can go faster and are about the same size as this Lexus, so the only question is how much you want to spend and what kind of performance you want.
As always, we recommend getting a pre owned Lexus UX 250H inspected before buying it. Most reputable dealers won’t have an issue with you taking the vehicle off the lot for a few hours while you get a more complete look. One of the reasons to do this is that dealerships don’t often offer a more complete inspection than what the law requires, and in some states, the law doesn’t require much.
On the new end, the starting price for a Lexus UX model is about $35,000, which in truth isn’t bad for the kind of vehicle you get, at the size you get. Do know that the UX isn’t considered an especially high end model with Lexus, and if you want additional power you’ll probably spend at least a few thousand dollars more. Consider the Lexus UX a good, comfortable car for a good, comfortable starting price.
We’ll be fair and offer a couple of additional competitors for options; The Toyota Prius also offers a hybrid or electric drivetrain at a similar starting price point, and you also have many other crossover sized SUVs with hybrid or otherwise smaller engines that can provide great gas mileage.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding