When the Lexus UX first debuted, its lackluster performance was more than a little disappointing. Considering this, a refresh for 2023 has us all hoping that Lexus made enough substantive changes to make this little subcompact crossover a more dynamic, appealing option. Happily, in many cases, they have. The biggest change of all is the fact that the Lexus UX is now only available as a hybrid. Powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder, with front and rear electric motors to make it all-wheel drive. Combined power coming in at 181 hp.
What this all means is that the new UX model is faster than the previous generation. Especially with the F Sport treatment, where Sport mode will deliver better reaction times from the engine, faster throttle inputs, smooth power delivery and good acceleration. There’s enough there to get around slow traffic on the highway, and scurry away from red lights turned green. It’s good, but when compared to many rivals, unfortunately it’s still behind the mark.
On the inside, the little Lexus features faux-leather, textured plastic panels and a generally dark motif. A red and black interior trim option is available for those looking for more color. Another welcome update to the 2023 model is a larger, optional 12.3” touchscreen. It’s bright and big, especially in the small cabin. Oriented atop the dash and toward the driver. Thankfully, it’s also much easier to use than the previous system. Less distracting and more responsive and intuitive. As is the reputation with Lexus, the cabin is upscale and very well-built. Add in the quiet, comfortable ride and you’ll discover it to be a great place to pass the time in. Just don’t be too slow to jump in and risk ending up in the back seat. Where you’ll find leg and knee room to be quite limited.
The 2023 Lexus UX 250h is undoubtedly much better than it was before. Its faster, more fuel-efficient, comfortable, refined and sporty. It could still benefit from the added power of a turbocharger. A route that its more performance focused rivals, like the Audi Q3 have successfully taken. Handling and general sportiness could be pumped up as well. Especially with the F Sport trim. The UX 250h is undoubtedly on the right track though, and with a few extra enhancements to these areas, Lexus could have something really special.
Starting MSRP: $35,340.00