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The 2023 Lexus UXh Goes Hybrid Only

Autoweek 5/13/2022 Wesley Wren
The 2023 Lexus UX removes the traditional powertrain and pivots the UX exclusively to hybrid power. © Lexus The 2023 Lexus UX removes the traditional powertrain and pivots the UX exclusively to hybrid power.
  • The 2023 Lexus UX pivots exclusively to a hybrid powertrain.
  • Lexus stiffens the UX's shell with 20 more spot weld points, and revises the suspension and steering to take advantage of a stiffer body.
  • The Lexus UXh will go on sale this summer with pricing still TBD.

The Lexus UX might not set the sales charts ablaze for Lexus, but it’s a great entry point for the brand in a highly competitive space: the subcompact luxury crossover. With that in mind, the Lexus UX needs to show prospective buyers what Lexus represents, hopefully drawing them deep enough into the brand to spring for a Lexus LX 600 down the line.

After a handful of years in the market, Lexus is giving the UX a serious update. Alongside interior changes, the Lexus UX is moving exclusively to a hybrid powertrain for 2023. This pivot might seem like a huge shakeup for the UX lineup, but actually it just means Lexus is cutting the base-model UX 200 from the lineup and now making the UX 250h the new floor for the nameplate.

That means the only powertrain will be the 2.0-liter I4 that works with the two-motor hybrid system, which currently powers the 2022 Lexus UX 250h. In 2022, this combination was good enough for 181 hp and 39 combined mpg.

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Joining the powertrain shakeup is a revised cabin. The old infotainment system is out and is replaced by a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen media system or an optional 12.3-inch touchscreen. Judging by the photographs, Lexus did away with the UX’s touchpad controller and the hand-rest controls on the center console, but the shift to the more modern touchscreen will probably be welcomed by many.

The ’23 Lexus UX should perform better than the current models, too. Lexus revised the steering calibration, stiffened the shell and revised the suspension tuning. The updated Lexus sees 20 more spot welding points in the structure to make it more rigid than the outgoing model. A Lexus F-Sport Handling package should make it more nimble and stable and comes with performance dampers and the Lexus Active Variable Suspension system.

Ultimately, these changes shouldn’t move the needle too far on the invoice. Of course, the base price will probably rise because of the removal of the Lexus UX 200 from the lineup, but the price should stay underneath $40,000. We’ll see official pricing soon because Lexus says these ’23 UX 250h models are going to hit dealers this summer.

Is removing the Lexus UX 200 a good idea? Tell us your thoughts below.

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