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2020 Lexus UX: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 3 days ago U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a road: 2020 Lexus UX© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. 2020 Lexus UX

The 2020 Lexus UX places in the bottom half of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings. It offers a comfortable ride and plenty of features, but the UX isn't as powerful or agile as many of its competitors, and its technology can be frustrating to use.

The 2020 Lexus UX is ranked:

Is the Lexus UX a Good SUV?

Yes, the Lexus UX is a good luxury subcompact SUV. It gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class, and it rides smoothly over rough roads. The seats are comfortable, the interior looks great, and lots of helpful features come standard.

The UX does have some problems, however. Its engine feels underpowered at times, and there are some low-rent materials scattered throughout the cabin. Most notably, few class rivals have more frustrating infotainment systems.

Lexus also offers the UX Hybrid, which we review separately.

Should I Buy the Lexus UX?

You'll probably like the UX if you want a comfortable luxury crossover with plenty of standard and available features. What's more, since this Lexus costs less than most class rivals, it provides plenty of bang for your buck. If you want all-wheel drive, you'll need to buy the hybrid model, as the gas-only UX only comes with front-wheel drive.

However, the UX finishes behind many rivals in our class rankings because it has some notable shortcomings, as mentioned above. If you are considering the UX, you may also want to check out options such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus UX?

The Lexus UX debuted for 2019, so you may have trouble finding any used models. If you do, they won't be much different from the 2020 model, as there are only a couple of notable changes for this year. Android Auto now comes standard in the UX, and blind spot monitoring is now available.

Be sure to read our 2019 UX review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 UX review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lexus UX Cost?

The UX 200 carries a base price of $32,300, which is one of the lowest starting prices in the class. Prices rise as you climb the trim ladder. The UX 200 F Sport has a starting MSRP of $34,300, and the UX 200 Luxury starts at $37,500. Most class rivals' top trims cost considerably more than the UX Luxury.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

Lexus UX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or BMW X1?

The BMW X1 is an all-around better SUV than the Lexus UX. It's more powerful and more fun to drive, though the UX gets better fuel economy. The X1 has a stylish interior with plenty of passenger space and a larger cargo hold than the UX. BMW's iDrive infotainment system is also more user-friendly than the UX's interface.

Which Is Better: Lexus UX or Audi Q3?

The Audi Q3 sits above the UX in our luxury subcompact SUV rankings, and with good reason. It has a beautiful interior with ample passenger space, and the MMI infotainment system is one of the best in the class. The Q3 can't match the UX's fuel economy ratings, but it's more powerful than the Lexus. It also handles well and rides smoothly.

UX Interior

How Many People Does the UX Seat?

The UX can seat five people, though four is more realistic for most situations. That's because the rear seats aren't as spacious as those in some rivals, so you probably don’t want to put more than two people back there at the same time. On the flip side, it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and both rows of seats have ample headroom for most adults.

UX and Child Car Seats

The UX has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. There’s also an upper tether for the rear middle seat, which has the ability to borrow lower anchors from both sides. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system its top rating of Good+ for ease of use. All of the anchors are easy to find and connect and can’t be confused with other hardware. 

UX Interior Quality

This Lexus looks stylish inside, but opinions differ about the materials quality. Some reviewers say the UX looks and feels like its more expensive brethren, but others say there are some low-grade, even cheap, materials.

UX Cargo Space

As raw totals go, the UX's 21.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats isn't bad for the luxury subcompact SUV class. That's enough space for some carry-on luggage or grocery bags. The raked tailgate and high cargo floor can both cause issues when loading large or heavy items, though.

UX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, the Lexus Remote Touch interface, six speakers, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and four USB ports.

Available features include a moonroof, wireless device charging, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 10.25-inch screen, navigation, and an eight-speaker audio system.

The infotainment system leaves a lot to be desired. Some of the controls are in unusual locations, such as the audio knobs on the center console. The system's menus are complex, and the Remote Touch controller is an unwieldy way to make selections.

UX Performance

UX Engine: Uninspiring

The UX features a 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Don't expect to be wowed by this powertrain. This vehicle will get you from point A to point B, but it takes its time. Most class rivals are more powerful and deliver better acceleration. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting continuously variable automatic transmission.

UX Gas Mileage: Numbers Look Great

When it comes to fuel economy, this Lexus wins the day. Its ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway sit well above those of many competitors.

UX Ride and Handling: Easy to Drive

The Lexus UX provides a smooth ride, absorbing road imperfections with ease. It's highly maneuverable, making it adept at navigating city streets and tight quarters. It handles competently on winding roads, though it isn't particularly fun to drive.

UX Reliability

Is the Lexus UX Reliable?

The 2020 Lexus UX has a stellar predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Lexus UX Warranty

Lexus covers the UX 200 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

UX Safety

UX Crash Test Results

The 2020 Lexus UX earned the highest rating of Good in all six tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was named a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest honor. The UX also received the highest rating of Superior for its standard front crash prevention features. Headlight ratings depend on the trim. Models equipped with standard headlights received the worst rating of Poor for how well they illuminate the road ahead, while those with triple-beam LED headlamps earned the top rating of Good.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 UX an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The UX earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations.

UX Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and lane trace assist, which helps keep the vehicle centered in its lane. Some of these features are part of the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0.

Available active safety features include a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

UX Dimensions and Weight

The UX is 14.8 feet long. Its curb weight is 3,307 pounds.

Where Is the Lexus UX Built?

Lexus builds the 2020 UX in Japan.

Which Lexus UX Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the UX 200 in three trims: base, F Sport, and Luxury. All models feature a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Most buyers should stick with the base trim. The performance upgrades in the F Sport don't make the UX much sportier, and just about any feature offered in this Lexus can be added to the base model.

If you are looking for all-wheel drive, you'll need to check out the UX Hybrid, which we review separately.

UX 200

The UX 200 carries a base price of $32,300. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, the Lexus Remote Touch interface, six speakers, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and four USB ports.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane centering assist, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. Some of these features are part of the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0.

For $1,675, you can add the Premium package, which includes a moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

There are a number of features you can add individually, and they cost as little as $75 up to more than $2,000. These include a moonroof, a hands-free power liftgate, wireless device charging, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 10.25-inch screen and navigation.

UX F Sport

The UX 200 F Sport starts at $34,300. The F Sport comes with the same standard tech features as the base trim, and it adds a few performance upgrades. These include an F Sport-tuned suspension, front sport seats with added side bolstering, and a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters.

The Premium package is available in the UX F Sport, though it costs $1,475 and doesn't include ventilated front seats. For $2,890, you can get the Luxury package. It includes all of the features in the Premium package, plus a hands-free power liftgate and ventilated front seats. As with the base trim, you can add several features individually as well.

UX Luxury

The UX 200 Luxury is the top trim, and it starts at $37,500. In addition to the base trim's features, the UX Luxury comes with a hands-free power liftgate, a moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 10.25-inch screen and navigation.

There are no packages available with the Luxury trim, but a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, wireless device charging, and a heated steering wheel can be added individually.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

The Final Call

The 2020 Lexus UX is a smooth-riding small crossover with a comfortable, stylish interior. It has a few drawbacks, though, like its unwieldy infotainment system. It also doesn't really have any areas where it clearly stands above its rivals, except in fuel economy. Add it all up, and the UX sits in the bottom half of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings. It's a good vehicle, but there are better options out there for most buyers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2020 Lexus UX review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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