Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Luxury in America, at least traditionally, has not been about limits. Rarely is prestige sold in small packages, with at least part of the pitch being the conservation of resources.
That's what sets the Lexus 250h Hybrid apart. It does exactly that, and it does it very well.
The UX 250 is the smallest of Lexus' three crossovers. The big one is the RX, the middle one the NX. And the lower-case "h" at the end? That stands for "hybrid".
The 2020 Lexus UX 250h combines an electric motor and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine to make 181 horsepower. That's routed through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and the UX250h comes standard with all-wheel drive. As you're probably guessing, it's not fast. Figure a standing start to 60 miles per hour somewhere in the mid-8 second range. But that's not slow for this class of car (it was more than adequate on steep roads in the Sierra Nevada mountains of El Dorado County, California) and the fuel economy payoff of the hybrid is remarkable. The gasoline-only version of the UX 250 gets an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon city and 37 highway. The hybrid bumps that up to 37 city /41 highway.
There are three trim levels of the 2020 Lexus UX 250h, base (just called UX 250h), Sport, and Luxury, which is our test vehicle. Base price for the Luxury trim is $39,550. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see the full list, but among the highlights on the standard equipment list is a six-speaker Lexus premium audio system with a 10.3-inch color display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice command, Siri Eyes Free and Lexus Enform, dual-zone climate control and a moonroof.
Our tester also had some extra-cost options---$75 for a Qi-compatible wireless phone charger, $500 for a head-up display, $1,660 for triple-beam LED headlamps with auto-leveling, washers, LED fog lamps and cornering lamps, $565 for parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert with braking, $595 for the Cadmium Orange paint, $150 for a heated steering wheel, $280 for all-weather floor liners with a cargo mat and $300 for a leather key glove, wheel locks and a rear bumper applique'. With $1,025 delivery processing and handling fee, the as-tested price comes to $44,700.
Best of all, for that price, you get Lexus' quiet ride and refined road manners and its unshakable reputation for reliability. The 2020 Lexus UX250 h is an object lesson in good things coming in small packages and quality not being purchased by the pound.