Lexus is adding a new front-wheel-drive version of the UX250h for 2023.
The UX is now offered only as a hybrid, as the gas-only UX200 has been dropped.
The 2023 UX starts at $35,850 and will go on sale in the U.S. this month.
After Lexus announced earlier this year that the 2023 UX lineup would include only the hybrid model, it's now saying that there will be a new front-wheel-drive version of the UX250h. (All-wheel drive was previously standard on the hybrid.) This change means that the UX250h is now less expensive and more efficient. It starts at $35,850 and achieves an EPA combined rating of 42 mpg combined compared with the AWD model's 39 mpg rating.
The FWD UX250h has essentially the same powertrain as the AWD model, only it does without the third electric motor that powers the rear wheels. Both versions use a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine and produce a total of 181 horsepower. All-wheel drive is now a $1400 option, and trim levels include Premium ($38,310) and two F Sport variants. The F Sport Appearance ($38,310) has just the visuals, while the F Sport Handling model ($43,280) also gains adaptive dampers and other suspension tweaks, along with sport seats and a different steering wheel.
The hybrid still isn't quite as cheap as the discontinued UX200 model, which had a 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-four and a continuously variable automatic transmission. That version started at $34,525, meaning the UX's base price goes up $1325 for the new model year. In our testing, both versions got to 60 mph in a sluggish 8.6 seconds.
Other tweaks for 2023 include a larger infotainment screen, a reconfigured center console, and some new connectivity features. Lexus also says it improved structural rigidity and added run-flat tires. The 2023 UX250h will go on sale sometime this month.
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