I love testing hybrids and electric cars, I try to understand the technology because I find it fascinating! So I was excited to drive and review the Lexus UX 250H, a small, hybrid SUV, and put it through our BabyDrive testing!
My first observation was how incredibly tiny the boot is on this thing! It is sooooo shallow and not even deep enough for a reusable shopping bag without removing the parcel shelf which itself was super flimsy and kept coming undone at the sides and falling into the boot anyway. It was more like a windscreen shade than a parcel shelf!
My second rant is the media system controls…
The touchpad I get I have used before, am not a great fan of but manageable, the introduction of rollers and buttons on the end of the central console box lid was, to be honest, a step too far for me, with a screaming child as well!! I presume over enough time you must get used to it all or you buy the car before having your child so you have the time and brain space to work it all out, because once you have your baby you certainly won't! I found the controls unnecessarily complicated to use and while driving I had to keep looking down at them away from the road.
With those two things off my chest, the Lexus UX 250H hybrid was a very enjoyable car to drive! The silent start is disconcerting to begin with, and then you get very used to the peace and quiet of the drive! I am also a bit of a geek and love watching the screen that shows the battery/engine power usage as I drive along! I love the idea that one day you can drive your child to sleep and sit while they nap with the engine running without spending a fortune on fuel and polluting the environment. The Lexus UX is someway towards that but I did find the engine kicked in after not very long.
There are two sets of ISOFix points and three top tether anchorages in the rear seats and I could fit two child seats, without room between them for me to sit.
Space in the back is tight with the two child seats installed and I found that because I'm only 162cm I could comfortably sit in front of a rear-facing child seat but anyone 180cm or taller would struggle.
When you have two child seats installed in the back you do get some visibility out of the back window, between the two seats.
Storage inside the cabin is quite good; the front has a good sized central console and glove box and two cup holders that will hold a re-usable and disposable coffee cup, there is a cordless phone charging tray and 12V socket and the door bins will hold a large refillable water bottle.
In the back, there are two practical sized cup holders, a single map pocket and wells in the door handles.
The boot held ten shopping bags with the parcel shelf removed and all four sized strollers fitted in the boot with varying numbers of shopping bags.
One of my favourite features about the Lexus UX 250H is that the lane departure warning is a vibration in your steering wheel rather than an alarm which adds to the quieter and calmer journey.
My second favourite feature is that you can lock and unlock the doors with a touch of the door handle rather than having to hunt around for the key in your bag. I found this saved me a lot of time and stress when carrying my daughter and her entourage of things to and from the car!
I find the media system in the UX 250H really confusing to use, it doesn't have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and I found the variety of controls down in the central console made it hard to navigate.
The reversing camera image has a nice, clear image and you can mute the parking sensor beeps by pressing the OK button on the left on the steering wheel.
Overall I found the Lexus UX 250H to be an enjoyable, smooth and quiet BabyDrive with a very pleasant interior. The boot and interior space is compact, to say the least, so I would suggest waiting until your kids are of the age/size that they are forward facing as the rear-facing child seats really make it feel cramped inside and perhaps by then they will be out of the bigger prams and strollers too because the boot space is minimal as well!
The Lexus UX 250H is yet to be tested and scored by ANCAP. It comes with eight airbags, both front passenger and driver get frontal dual-stage airbags, knee airbags and side airbags. As well as left and right full-length airbags giving protection to rear outer seated passengers.