Review: 2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport

Lexus calls the UX 250h a crossover SUV with best-in-class turning radius and fuel efficiency. We call it a luxury hatchback with crossover aspirations. Yes, you can get an AWD version of the UX, but the ability to distribute traction doesn’t make it a crossover SUV. Nonetheless, the version of the Lexus UX 250h 2023 we’re reviewing – F Sport Handling AWD – is a stylish luxury crossover SUV that offers a number of features found in many SUVs in its price range, but when you think of it as a hatchback valued, there are few in its price range on the American market.

Nonetheless, with a blend of style, luxury and performance in a package uncommon in the crossover class, the Lexus UX 250h might be more appealing to those who want to experience fuel efficiency and luxury without getting into a £5,000 vehicle. Be sure to check out the video below as it gives you an in-depth look at the features and performance of this quasi-SUV.


The Lexus UX 250h features plenty of creases and creases that complement the triangular theme that Lexus embarked on a few years ago. These days, the spindle grille has found its mojo after being unceremoniously smeared onto the nose of every Lexus, not unlike 20 years ago when Audi decided it needed to increase the size of its grille exponentially. As such, the UX 250h sometimes comes across as a mini-Lexus RX with enough utility for a quick trip to Whole Foods thanks to 17.1 cu-ft behind the second row, but keep your Home Depot shopping list limited to tools and glue.

For its target market, the US 250h comes across as a bit sportier, although we’re not the target market and opinions may vary. Nonetheless, the UX 250h can appear sportier as you step up the trim levels from the base, which include color-keyed “over-fender” wheel arch bulges, a more aggressive front fascia and a black contrast roof, the latter two being hallmarks of both F Sport models, styling and Handling. Both F Sports are also fitted with 18-inch F Sport alloy wheels, which differ subtly from the 18-inch on the base and UX 250h Premium models.

The color selection is no help for the undecided as there are nine colors to choose from. If you opt for the UX 250h F Sport Handling, the color choices are limited to six, with Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 being the color of our test car.


2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport (Photo by Dustin W. Johnson)

The interior of the 2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport Handling is a mix of (surprise!) luxury and sport. The F Sport Handling model adds very attractive sports seats with unique upholstery, as well as racing-inspired instruments, aluminum pedals and door sills on the front doors, perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob and more. The cabin has enough legroom and headroom for front and rear passengers, although we wouldn’t recommend three in the back unless they’re very familiar with each other.

All UX 250h models except the F Sport Handling have a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but the F Sport Handling has a 12.3-inch upgrade; it is available as an option on the UX 250h Premium. Likewise, all models except F Sport Handling feature a seven-inch color multi-information display (aka “dashboard”), while essential information for F Sport Handling is presented in a one-inch larger display.


2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport (Photo by Dustin W. Johnson)

All versions of the Lexus UX 250h are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 181bhp – for such sporty claims it seems more of a bench warmer. Like most hybrid powertrains, it’s mated to a continuously variable transmission that makes for smooth acceleration, although no one would accuse it of being brisk. In fact, Lexus’ own tests suggest that the FWD version is faster than the AWD version, which is contrary to most cars. The EPA has rated the UX 250h at an estimated 41 city, 38 highway and 39 combined mpg, which is fairly generous for a car disguised as an SUV.

A shining side of the UX 250h F Sport Handling is its sport-tuned suspension, which offers a firm yet comfortable ride, with the Handling model offering more riding modes to give credence to its appropriate name. The steering feels precise and responsive, making it easier to maneuver in tight spaces compared to the average crossover. Our UX 250h F Sport Handling was also available with all-wheel drive, which is optional on all UX models.


The Lexus UX 250h F Sport Handing comes with a range of features including:

  • Wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Premium audio system with 10 speakers
  • Available WiFi and other connected technologies
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Automatic dual-zone climate control with rear air vents
  • Adjustable rear loading area
  • Electric sunroof
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink
  • Lexus memory system for driver’s seat and exterior mirrors
  • Active noise control
  • shift paddles


A range of security features also includes:

  • 10 air bags
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist with Steering Assist
  • traffic sign help
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect
2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport (Photo by Dustin W. Johnson)


Overall, the 2023 Lexus UX 250h F Sport is a fine luxury subcompact but a lackluster crossover SUV. Some may be drawn to its unique blend of performance, style and efficiency, but don’t expect utility beyond your typical hatchback. The UX 250h F Sport Handling model adds a sporty touch to the interior and sometimes its driving feel, while the hybrid powertrain offers a smooth but unexciting driving experience. With its advanced safety features and excellent fuel economy, the UX 250h F Sport is a solid choice for people looking for a luxury small car, but if you need practicality and fun to drive, there are more traditional crossover options that can fill the spot.

Click above to watch a full review on YouTube

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