"Little" and "luxury" have a hard time co-existing in American minds. Houses, cars, diamonds, boats---bigger means more expensive and more expensive means luxury.
Or so it went. There's a new generation of luxury buyers coming into their peak earning years who realize that luxury is an experience, not a physical measurement. If a small crossover SUV that gets good gas mileage makes sense for them, then why can't there simply be a luxurious version of that?
That's where the 2019 Lexus UX 250h comes in. It is the smallest of Lexus' three crossovers---the big RX, the medium-sized NX, and now the UX---and there are a lot of good things that come in this small package.
The one I drove for a week was UX 250h F SPORT. The "h" stands for hybrid---meaning it has a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor that work together to produce the right blend of power sources for any given condition. The payoff is in gas mileage. The UX 250h gets an EPA-estimated 41 miles per gallon in the city, 38 on the highway. Pure gasoline UXs are available too, but the fuel economy drops to 29 city/37 highway. If most of your driving is in town, you'll save quite a bit of money getting that extra 12 miles to the gallon, making back the two-thousand dollar premium for the hybrid pretty quickly.
The base price of the 2019 Lexus UX 250h F SPORT is an even $36,000. And for that price, you get the hybrid powerplant we just talked about, 18-inch F SPORT wheels with run-flat all-season tires, LED fog lamps, and special F SPORT seats, front and rear bumpers and grille. There's also an electronic parking brake, a six-speaker Lexus premium sound system, its own wi-fi hotspot, smart watch and Alexa skill integration, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, and smart key access with pushbutton start.
The test car also had some extra-cost options:
- Blind spot monitor ($500).
- Wireless phone charger ($75).
- Windshield de-icer ($100).
- Navigation system with 10.3-inch color display, voice command, an upgraded eight-speaker Lexus premium sound system, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and a power tilt/telescope steering wheel ($2,200).
- Parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert with braking ($565).
- A power rear door with kick sensor ($600).
- Premium Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint ($595).
- F SPORT Premium Package with moonroof, rain-sensing wipers and heated front seats ($975).
- Heated F SPORT steering wheel with paddle shifters ($150).
With $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line came to $42,785.
If you're looking for practicality and economy along with luxury---and know that those are not mutually exclusive things, the 2019 Lexus UX 250h F SPORT may be exactly what you're looking for.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicles featured in Mike's Car Review are provided by the manufacturer's press fleet, and delivered with a full tank of gas for a one-week evaluation. No other consideration is given in exchange for these reviews.