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2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport offers rare combo of luxury, power and fuel mileage Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 23 July 2019 23:55 Written by
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The 2019 Lexus UX250h hybrid is a bit of a unicorn, offering speed, fuel mileage and luxury. The 2019 Lexus UX250h hybrid is a bit of a unicorn, offering speed, fuel mileage and luxury. Photo courtesy of Lexus

If you want to talk about categories that are exploding in the past few years, subcompact SUVs are probably at the top of the list. On the higher end of things, nearly every luxury automaker has one these days (BMW, Cadillac, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Infiniti, to name a few), so you need to do something to stand out.

Lexus’ entry in this segment is the UX, which stands out in a couple of ways.

First, new for 2019 is a hybrid version of the UX, which is unheard of in this segment.

Also, you can opt for an attractive F Sport package which spices up the exterior and the performance.

I recently spent some time in a 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport, which featured both the hybrid engine and the F Sport package, and I’m back with a full report.


As usual with the new Lexus models, the UX 250h features a very sharp design, including a unique taillight setup in the rear, and a powerful, standout grille up front.

It’s somewhat small inside (it is a subcompact), leaving limited space for back seat passengers. But it’s not overly uncomfortable. Also, the back row can be lowered to increase storage space.

You will find high-quality, soft-to-the-touch materials inside, as should be expected in a luxury car of this level.

The UX features aluminum roof rails; heated outer mirrors, and an automatic dual-zone climate control system with rear vents.

The F Sport package brings an edgier look to the UX, offering: 18-inch F Sport wheels with run-flat all-season tires, F Sport seats, F Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, F Sport shift knob, aluminum front door scuff plates, aluminum pedals, and an 8-inch multi-information display, plus unique front and rear bumpers and an F Sport grille insert.

An optional F Sport Premium Package features a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers and heated front seats.


Powering the 2019 Lexus UX 250h is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder hybrid engine, paired with a continuously variable transmission. Total system output is 181 horsepower.  

The UX 250h comes is offered in both FWD and AWD versions.

Hybrids are traditionally not known for being the most exciting rides, but the UX hybrid drives a ride other hybrids can’t match. It can step up and be quite powerful when you need it to be, and performs smoothly in the turns.

Actually, in a bit of a twist, the hybrid version of the UX is actually a bit more sporty and powerful than the non-hybrid version. Opting for the F Sport package also will improve the performance of the vehicle and overall feel of the driving experience.


When it comes to safety, the Toyota/Lexus family is always among the best in class. The UX is no exception — offering 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The standard Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 includes: Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and road sign assist. A rearview camera is standard, and connecting your phone to the vehicle for streaming audio and phone calls is a breeze.

The Lexus Multimedia infotainment system features a 7-inch color display. It is compatible with Apple CarPlay, but not yet with Android Auto.

As usual, the most troublesome area on the tech front for Lexus is the infotainment system. The mousepad setup in the UX to move around the screen is not ideal, and difficult to maneuver.

Furthermore, the unique setup in the center console for controlling volume and channel for your audio through a series of dials and buttons placed on a curved area is also challenging.

Most rivals of the UX have systems with more user-friendly designs, so this is an area where they need to make improvements going forward.

On the plus side, you get a high-quality, 6-speaker Lexus premium sound system. Three months of satellite radio come free. There is also Lexus Enform Wi-Fi (4GB), with a 1-year trial included, Lexus Enform Remote (1-year
trial included) with Smart Watch and Alexa Skill Integration, and Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 (Complimentary) with Amazon Alexa compatibility.

Other options include: Power rear door with kick sensor, rear cross traffic alert with braking, wireless charger, and blind spot monitor.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the all-wheel drive 2019 Lexus UX250h that I tested were 41 city/38 highway/39 combined; I averaged at least 40 mpg during my time in the vehicle.
In the non AWD version, it’s even better, with 43 city/41 highway/42 combined.

These are excellent numbers in the class — to be exact, they are the highest combined fuel mileage available on any SUV that is not an Electric Vehicle. So this is a clear win for Lexus in the segment vs. all subcompact crossover opponents.

My test vehicle was priced just under $41,000; the base price on the UX hybrid is about $34K, and the UX hybrid with F Sport package starts around $36K. The non-hybrid UX starts closer to $32K. These numbers compete well in the segment and will help draw customers, as several competitors start at many thousands more.


The Lexus UX 250h enters a growing segment of luxury subcompact crossovers, battling the BMW X1, Cadillac XT4, Audi Q3, Infiniti QX30, Volvo XC40, and several others.

Outside of its infotainment system, the Achilles heel of the Lexus lineup, the UX competes very well in all areas against the litany of competitors.

As an overall package, it really stands out due to being the only hybrid in the field, something I’m sure the others will start to emulate to try and catch up soon.

If you’re OK with the subcompact size, and want something with strong tech that’s fun to drive and also is fuel-efficient, the 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport is pretty much the only game in town.

===== can be found
on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport 
  • Price as tested: $40,910 (starts at $36K)  
  • Best feature: Excellent fuel mileage, sharp design, safety features
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury crossover buyers seeking a tech-savvy, fun ride with great fuel mileage
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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