Lexus’ first-ever subcompact crossover, the UX, has been reviewed by former Top Gear co-presenter Rory Reid – and, apparently, he wasn’t that impressed with it.
Reid drove the 250h version, which uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and one or, in AWD guise, two electric motors, for a combined output of 181 horsepower.
We’ll start with the positives, which include its modern looks and well executed cabin that sports soft touch materials and, in upper trim levels, lots of gear. There’s a high-end sound system with an amplifier and a subwoofer, and awesome door close noise that’s been taken to the extreme by the Japanese brand’s engineers. Users won’t be disappointed in the rear legroom or headroom either. The boot, though, is on the small side compared to some of its rivals, but that’s the price to pay for the sleek styling.
On paper, performance is not bad either, with Lexus claiming around 8 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) acceleration. The low driving position, sporty badging of the F Sport models and a few other features could trick some into thinking that it’s made for sporty driving. But it’s not. Which brings us to the downsides, which are quite a few.
The reviewer bashed the active sound control system, which mimics the sound made by a car with a manual transmission, while the UX uses a CVT. Then, there is no perfect CVT out there, not even the one in Lexus’ small crossover. After that comes performance, which is underwhelming once you put your right foot down.
Reid’s conclusion was far from flattering: he said that the UX is pretty much a fancy Toyota Prius, with an upmarket look. Of course, buyers could do worse when choosing a car in this class, but they could also do better. In the end, it all comes down to what one is looking for, but if it’s an exciting drive, then they’re better off without the UX.