2023 Lexus UX250h F-Sport First Test Drive Review: Luxury Crossover Baby Steps

013 2023 lexus ux250h f sport


The whole picture of Lexus ux

Strong Points

  • A well-built cabin with a sense of luxury
  • Thoughtful switchboard layout
  • Quiet and comfortable ride


  • Lacks the sportiness of the F-Sport badge
  • Limited second row legroom and kneeroom
  • More expensive than most competitors

When the Lexus UX first hit the market, we called it Lexus UX for its lackluster performance and subpar user experience. The 2023 revamp has fixed some of his previous UX issues, but it made me wonder if Lexus really made enough substantive changes to its entry-level luxury subcompact crossover. . To find out, we borrowed the top model of the 2023 UX range, the UX250h F Sport Handling, and examined its pace.

The biggest update to the 2023 UX is now a hybrid-only model. Its sole powertrain is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four combined with front and rear motors (for all-wheel drive) and a continuously variable transmission. A transmission producing a combined 181 horsepower (the non-hybrid UX200 was dropped from the line-up).

driving dynamics

Better performance was expected for the UX F Sport model, but in fact, clicking Sport mode makes the engine a little more responsive to throttle input, with smooth power delivery and decent out-of-line acceleration. As expected, the 2023 UX F Sport is quicker than the less powerful UX200 we tested last time, offering enough quickness to reach highway speeds and dramatically traverse slow traffic.

But compared to most rivals in its class, it’s not that fast. It may be closest to the Audi Q3 (45 TFSI) quattro with a 2.0-liter turbo four that has 47 more horsepower than the UX. The 300-pound-heavy Q3 takes him from standstill to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, making him 0.4 seconds faster than the UX.

Dynamically, UX also lags behind most of its counterparts in the segment. The test team reported that the front of the UX couldn’t really get a sense of what his tires were doing through the steering wheel, and that his brake pedal didn’t feel much when stopping suddenly. doing. Its 255-wide tires exhibited wheelspin on the jagged edges of the UX F Sport’s performance envelope and didn’t solve the problem. On the plus side, the team found the chassis to be sufficiently stable and the braking system consistent throughout.

The F-Sport’s adaptive suspension was also somewhat problematic. Previously, he didn’t like how the UX rode (he explained that the standard suspension was jarring on rough roads), but the F Sport suspension definitely went too far in the opposite direction. Body control is decent, but the feedback from the chassis is greatly diminished by the damping, compromising its dynamic ability.

The F Sport trim doesn’t dramatically update the sportiness of the UX, but it helps the model shine in another way. For one thing, the adaptive suspension promotes a comfortable ride. This is something most UX buyers appreciate. And since it’s only offered as a hybrid, you get the efficiency benefits. Audi, BMW and Volvo competitors have EPA ratings all well below their UX numbers, with UX AWD 10 mpg higher on the highway and 20 mpg higher in city than the 2023 Q3.

live with it

The UX F Sport test vehicle we rode had a black-on-black color motif in the cabin, which we liked, but you can see how some people see it. Lexus also offers a model with red and black interior trim if you’re looking for something darker. Generally speaking, it’s a lovely place.

Much of its loveliness is due to its updated infotainment suite. Our test car came with his optional 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s the perfect size for this small cabin and sits above the dashboard towards the driver. The interface is easier to use than the previously unloved Lexus touchpad, and there’s even a volume knob that’s been moved out of the center console (one of our previous complaints). I wasn’t too happy with having to work with it, but at least the on/off switch is now center-stacked.

Our test UX included standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, four USB-C ports, and a 10-speaker sound system, along with the sharpest, most visible head-up we’ve ever used. It also included an upgrade that included one of the displays.

Spend hours in the UX F Sport’s comfortably reinforced seats, while the standard powered front offers a wide range of height adjustment. The seats are also heated and ventilated using the vehicle’s available F-Sport handling kit. It also adds 18-inch wheels, roof rails, rain sensor wipers, LED fog lights, cornering lights, a contrasting black roof, auto-leveling headlights and auto-dimming side mirrors.

The F-Sport handling trim also comes with an interesting feature called Active Sound Control. Strangely enough, it often doesn’t sync with the actual engine or transmission. However, if you’re not feeling it, it’s easy to disable. There is a button to the left of the steering wheel on the dashboard.

Standard 2023 UX features include an electronic parking brake, external LED lighting (head, tail and daytime running lights), and electronic folding side mirrors. The feature suite Lexus Safety System + 2.5 is also standard. Wireless charger, semi-automatic parking system and hands-free power liftgate are optional.

Space is limited after the first line, similar to the previous UX. Competitors like the 2023 Volvo XC40 have several inches more rear legroom and headroom than the sweep-roofed Lexus crossover, and resemble a lower, wider hatchback than a traditional upright SUV. The UX offers more cargo space, but he has 1.7 cubic feet more than his 20.7 Cube on the XC40, digging an under-floor cubby in the back.

Price and target audience

The UX250h F Sport is the top trim in the 2023 lineup, with sticker prices ranging from $40,350 to $45,320 including the handling package. A few other necessities brought our test vehicle to $48,005.

That number is on the high side of the class, $410 more than the similarly-equipped 2023 Volvo XC40 Ultimate AWD. ), the UX touchscreen is over 3 inches larger than the XC.

While not a dramatically improved model, the refreshed 2023 UX250h ticks many of the entry-level luxury SUV shopper’s boxes. In F-Sport handling trim, it’s a comfortable and efficient ride with a touch of visual flair. This model comes with great standard features and features available, and the new touchscreen is a triumph after years of annoying touchpads (12.3 inches plus the standard There is also his 8.0 inch unit).

No, with its comfort-focused adaptive suspension, simulated engine sounds, and dynamic driving experience to the limit, the UX F Sport doesn’t have much sport. But the daily commute is calm, and the 2023 update brings the UX closer than ever to the level of quality normally promised by the Lexus badge, not to mention saving you money on fuel, making it one of the smartest choices. . in class.

How nice! Detail is?

Lexus UX 250h AWD F Sport 2023 spec
Base price$40,350
tested price$48,005
vehicle layoutFront-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
engine2.0L ported and direct-injected Atkinson-cycle DOHC 16-valve I-4, plus two permanent magnet front and one induction rear electric motors
Power145 hp @ 6,000 rpm (gas), 107 hp/7 hp (electric); 181 (comb)
Torque (SAE NET)139 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm (gas), 149/40 lb-ft; 152 lb-ft (comb)
transmissionContinuously variable auto (fr), 1-speed auto (rr)
Vehicle weight (F/R DIST)£3,626 (57/43%)
Wheelbase103.9 inches
length x width x height177.0 x 72.4 x 59.8 inches
0-60 mph8.2 seconds
quarter mile16.3 seconds @ 86.6 mph
Brakes, 60-0 MPH122 feet
lateral acceleration0.82g (average)
MT Figure Eight27.6 seconds @ 0.60 g (average)
EPA City/HWY/Comb Fuel ECON41/38/39 mpg
EPA Range, Com413 miles
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