If you’re looking for a high-end crossover, Lexus is a brand that should be on your shortlist because it always offers an excellent lineup of SUVs. But as the number of options has increased, making a decision has become harder. Let’s take the example of UX and NX. Both vehicles are available with innovative, turbocharged hybrid drivetrains.
Both vehicles are equipped with a smooth CVT gearbox. Both provide amazing specs and incredible looks. However, which one is better to choose? In this article, we will compare the Lexus NX and Lexus UX in a variety of ways so that you can go into the dealer with a better understanding of their differences and similarities and ultimately make a more informed decision.
Which Design is Better?
The Lexus NX is a compact crossover that can comfortably carry up to five people. It features sharp LED headlights, geometric style lines on the side of the body, pointed LED taillights, a small rear window opening, and Lexus’ somewhat unpopular corporate grille, which is quite massive and occupies the majority of the vehicle’s front end. The Lexus NX is certainly something you’ll adore if you enjoy the busier styles that several Japanese automakers are now pursuing.
The Lexus UX shares the same features as the NX. The UX is simply a smaller, subcompact version of the NX with a virtually identical front end, a fairly contemporary side profile, and a small rear window opening. However, the back end is significantly modified, with a single-frame rear light bar replacing two individual taillights and sportier-looking exhaust valves. Like the NX, the UX can accommodate a total of five passengers.
If you appreciate the design of the NX, you have no reason to dislike the UX. Both of these crossovers follow the fairly crowded corporate design language of Lexus, and as a result, they both appear quite contemporary. However, the UX’s design has fewer components, which, in our opinion, makes it look better. Some may consider them overly sporty and extravagant, but for others, this is exactly what they want in a luxury vehicle.
Cabin and Cargo Capacity
The Lexus NX offers legroom of 42.8 inches (1,087 mm) and headroom of 38.2 inches (970 mm) to the front-row occupants. Passengers in the second row get a headroom of 38.1 inches (968 mm) and a legroom of 36.1 inches (917 mm). The trunk holds 25.5 cu ft (722 L) of cargo, and when the back seats are folded, there is a cargo volume of 54.6 cu ft (1,546 L).
The Lexus UX provides front-row passengers with 42.0 inches (1,067 mm) of legroom and 37.2 inches (945 mm) of headroom and second-row passengers with 33.1 inches (841 mm) of legroom and 36.3 inches (922 mm) of headroom. It is considerably less spacious than the NX, with a cargo volume of 21.7 cu ft (614 L).
Both of these crossovers can seat five people, but the slightly larger NX offers a little more cargo space as well as better front and rear head and legroom. Additionally, the Lexus NX rides a little higher, providing you with greater ground clearance. If you often drive with more people, the bigger NX is the better choice.
Engine Power and Fuel Efficiency
The standard Lexus NX300 model has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes standard with a CVT automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive can be upgraded for a fee.
Lexus also makes a hybrid model called the NX300h. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, one in the front and one in the back. The engine is paired with an automatic CVT gearbox, which sends power to the front wheels of the crossover. Together, they give the system a total output of 197 hp.
The Lexus NX300 has an EPA-certified fuel efficiency rating of 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 25 mpg. The AWD variant boasts the same city and highway stats but gets 1 mpg less overall due to the marvels of rounding. The Lexus UX300h achieves marginally higher mileage, with ratings of 33 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.
The standard Lexus UX200 is equipped with a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. A CVT automatic gearbox is mated to the engine, sending power to the front wheels. This gearbox performs admirably and includes a real first gear to help with quick launches.
Additionally, there is a hybrid UX 200h model with a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder, two AC electric motors, and a 1.4-kWh lithium battery. Due to the two electric motors on the rear axle, this configuration allows for all-wheel drive at speeds up to 45 mph and a total system output of 175 mph.
The EPA has certified the Lexus UX200’s fuel efficiency rating at 29 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. The Lexus UX200h outperforms these figures by a wide margin, achieving remarkable ratings of 41 mpg on the highway, 43 mpg in the city, and 42 mpg overall.
Both of these SUVs have just one gasoline engine option and one hybrid engine option. There is a lot of similarity between these efficient powertrain lineups. But given that the NX is a larger car, it makes sense that it has greater power. AWD is also a choice for the gas-powered NX, but it’s only available on the 200-h hybrid UX.
The Lexus NX300 is “a very comfortable highway mile-muncher,” with a smooth ride and slightly sporty handling. However, the powertrain is a bit sluggish and wheezy, and the hybrid is no exception. However, it does a decent job of being efficient, quiet, and comfy, which are some of the most important factors in this area.
Both the Lexus UX200 and UX200h have “surprisingly nimble and alive” handling, with responsive steering and good body control that avoids feeling overly sporty. The smooth and quiet ride is a plus, but the lack of all-wheel drive in the non-hybrid version is a major drawback. Overall, this crossover has a Lexus-like driving experience, but it also has extra entertaining elements that are normally lacking in Lexus vehicles.
With quiet interiors and smooth, modestly athletic rides, the NX and UX are both quite forgettable from behind the wheel. If you want a comfortable, quiet, and well-built luxury car and don’t mind giving up a little speed for better gas mileage, you should check out the NX and UX.
The Lexus NX has a standard widescreen infotainment screen that runs Lexus’ ENFORM system, which is referred to as “tedious and finicky in operation,” making it challenging to use while driving due to the console-mounted touchpad. Now, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also supported.
The list of standard safety equipment also includes automatic high-beam control, lane departure warning with steering assistance, and dynamic radar cruise control with pre-collision braking.
The Lexus UX’s widescreen infotainment display is operated via the same touchpad found in the NX’s center console. This combination is “awful and far too distracting to use while driving.” Additionally, the car does not yet feature Android Auto, but it does have Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.
Pre-collision warning with pedestrian recognition, night vision, lane keep assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and road sign assistance are among the standard driver assistance features.
Both of the vehicles have a complicated center console touchpad that is difficult to operate. It’s hard to navigate while the vehicle is stationary, and fiddling with it while driving can be dangerous. Initially, Lexus was against putting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in their cars, but now most of the newer models support these features. The UX is the latest model and offers more cutting-edge features.
Which One Costs More?
2023 LEXUS NX PRICE LIST
- 2023 Lexus NX 250: $40,205 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus NX 350 AWD: $43,965 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus NX 350 F SPORT HANDLING AWD: $49,065 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus NX 350h AWD: $43,805 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus NX 450h+ AWD: $58,655 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus NX 450h+ F SPORT HANDLING AWD: $59,905 MSRP
2023 LEXUS UX PRICE LIST
- 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid 250h: $36,490 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid 250h Premium: $38,950 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid 250h F SPORT DESIGN: $38,950 MSRP
- 2023 Lexus UX Hybrid 250h F SPORT HANDLING: $43,920 MSRP
Lexus UX vs. NX: The Final Verdict
These two crossovers are very similar to one another. Both have four-cylinder base engines and hybrid options, sleek, contemporary designs and cost about the same. We would advise choosing the Lexus UX if you believe you can get away with driving a smaller car and prefer having higher fuel efficiency. It is a bit simpler to drive and park than the NX and costs less to buy and operate.
However, if you frequently need to transport cargo, have a small family or a dog, or need plenty of passenger space, the NX might be the best choice for you. However, the cost to buy and operate it will be higher. The hybrid AWD system in the UX is only effective up to a certain speed and isn’t quite as efficient as the actual AWD system available in the NX. So, if you enjoy having AWD and live somewhere with harsh winters, keep this in mind.