RAV4 hybrid a cheaper and better version of Lexus UX 250h?

Roseville, Calif.- At first glance, one wonders if the 2024 Lexus UX 250h is a sport utility vehicle or a hatchback.

It’s easy to be fooled since the classy 250h has a roofline that rises in height and can easily be classified as a hatchback. For the record, the Lexus UX 250h is a subcompact luxury hybrid SUV whose roofline helps differentiate it from competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLB-class and BMW X1.

While we like the latest version of the UX 250h, we also recognize its most significant rival could be its cousin – the venerable Toyota RAV4 hybrid, which happens to be our favorite small SUV. Critics could point out the RAV4 hybrid is a cheaper and better version of the UX 250h.


Offered at a lower base price ($31,800), the RAV4 has greater head and leg room than the UX 250h, which starts at $35,600. The RAV4 also delivers more performance, going 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds, compared to the UX (8.2 seconds). The RAV4 also features a huge cargo area (37.5 feet) that more than doubles the UX 250h. Fuel economy for the two hybrids is identical (38-41 mpg).

It’s no wonder sales of all versions of the RAV4 are huge. Last year’s sales of 434,943 was the second best all-time mark since being introduced in 2005. The two versions of the UX 250 accounted for sales of 11,846 in 2023.

We recognize the good and bad with the Lexus hybrid. What stands out regarding the UX 250h is its physical appearance, cool interior makeup, and its fuel efficiency. The lightweight vehicle weighs between 3,483 to 3,605 pounds and can travel an estimated 412 miles on one 12.5-gallon tank.


interior 2024-Lexus-UX-250h

While performance is merely average, the UX 250h has the stability to zip around corners, maneuver adroitly into small parking spaces, and handles itself well on challenging roads in a sporty fashion. Note the 250h F Sport trim model features a performance package that can amp up the performance.

We found the performance of the base model more than adequate in our travels. The 250h engine is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder with 181 horsepower (12 more hp than the standard UX 250). It goes 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds.

Among the standard driver safety features are forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, road-sign recognition, lane-tracing assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Virtually unchanged in all facets for 2024, the UX exterior features an angular front end, an hourglass grille, cool lightning bolt-like headlights, and an LED light bar that stretches across the full width of the tailgate. The interior is stylishly configured, has plenty of techie qualities, and enough room for two or three people to load up and head out on a road trip.

2024 Lexus UX 250h

  • Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 181 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 38-41 mpg
  • Price estimate: $35,600 to $44,400
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 6 years/unlimited; corrosion: 4 years/unlimited


While the interior layout is impressive, not everything is perfect. The 8-inch infotainment system is not user-friendly for the driver. It can be distracting due to its unintuitive touchpad.

Although the vehicle seats five, more than two people in the back seat is a squeeze. The seating is comfortable up front and there’s also adequate room (for two) in the back.

While the RAV4 hybrid is our top pick when it comes to small SUVs, there’s lots to like about the 2024 UX 250h as well. It’s an attractive subcompact that provides a fun ride and delivers excellent fuel economy.

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