If you’re looking for an all-wheel drive crossover, there are no shortage of choices. And in this red-hot segment, manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to make sure that their offerings shine. Now, given how well equipped even entry-level vehicles are today, we thought it might be interesting to compare the Lexus UX to the Honda HR-V.
Because while they’re aimed at different demographics, you might be surprised at just how well they stack up against each other.
The video and the full transcript follow below. That said, you shouldn’t buy a car without a thorough test drive. So if you’re deciding between the Lexus UX 250h and the Honda HR-V, visit AutoNation.com to find a nearby dealer.
In this corner, we have the Lexus UX 250h. This compact crossover sports a hybrid drivetrain and all the luxury you’d expect from a Lexus. It’s all new for 2019.
Next, we have the Honda HRV. For 2019, the popular people mover gets refreshed exterior styling, two new trim levels, and updated infotainment options.
Both the Lexus and the Honda are strong competitors, so let’s take a look at the engines, cabins, infotainment, and price to determine a winner.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Powertrain
First, let’s look at the powertrains. The Lexus UX250h is powered by a combination of a 2.0-liter engine and four electric motors, and is rated at 175 horsepower. All-wheel drive comes standard on hybrid models, and even with power going to all four wheels, it delivers an impressive EPA rating of 41 miles-per gallon city, and 38 highway. Opting for the F Sport package gets you a six horsepower bump, along with a sport-tuned suspension and unique wheels. All UXs come with a CVT, though there is a mechanical first gear to improve initial acceleration.
In comparison, the HR-V is equipped with a 141-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. All wheel drive is a $1,400 option on every trim level save top-spec Touring models, where it comes standard. Front-wheel drive models earned a rating of 28 miles-per-gallon city, and 34 highway, while all-wheel drive models come in at 27 city, 31 highway. A CVT is the only available transmission.
While neither the Lexus or Honda are going to deliver spine-tingling acceleration, we think that the UX 250h’s more powerful engine and great gas mileage give it the win here.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Cabin
Now, let’s look inside the cabin. Lexus makes some of the finest interiors in the business, and the UX is no exception. The upholstery is a synthetic leather, and while it’s not the real thing, it still has a supple, upscale feel. The seats are well bolstered, and the wide center console gives the UX a cockpit-like feel. While it will seat up to five passengers, given its relatively small footprint, the rear seats will likely prove cramped for larger adults. There’s just over 17 cubic-feet of space behind the rear seats, but they fold in a 60/40 split to accommodate more cargo.
While it doesn’t have the luxurious feel of the Lexus, the cabin of the Honda is also a nice place to be. Cloth seats are standard, but leather is available on upper trim levels. The layout of the controls is intuitive, the seats are comfortable, and the back seat feels a little roomier than the one in the UX. Where the HR-V really shines, however, is cargo space. There’s 24.3 cubic-feet of space behind the rear seats, but fold them down, and that expands to 58.8 cubic-feet. Another neat feature is that the rear seats also fold up, allowing outdoorsy types to stash a mountain bike or other gear with ease.
While the environs might not be as upscale as the Lexus, we feel the Honda’s rommier cabin and fantastic cargo capacity make it the winner here.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Infotainment
Infotainment is an important aspect for today’s buyers, and the Lexus comes standard with loads of attractive features, including a seven-inch screen, six-speakers, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and three USB ports. Buyers can also opt for an upgraded package with a 10.25-inch screen, navigation, and an additional two speakers. That said, neither of the displays are touchscreens. Drivers use Lexus’ Remote Touch technology to navigate from the center console, and while it works fun after you get used to it, the system simply isn’t as intuitive as the touchscreen interfaces we’ve gotten used to.
Given that it’s aimed at a different demographic than the Lexus, the Honda’s standard features are more spartan. There’s a five-inch display, a single USB port, and Bluetooth, but if you’re looking for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you’ll want to upgrade to the seven-inch touchscreen, which also includes navigation, a six-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. The touchscreen interface is intuitive, and after complaints from customers and critics, Honda has brought back a proper volume knob, so you won’t have to use a screen-based slider to raise or lower the volume.
This is a close contest. Even though it requires an upgrade, the Honda’s infotainment system is far more user friendly, and also supports Android Auto, while the Lexus does not. So we’re giving the infotainment win to Honda.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Safety
From a safety standpoint, both the Lexus and the Honda are excellent choices. Because it’s a brand-new model, the UX hasn’t yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That said, it comes standard with a robust list of safety tech, including lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Since Lexus has historically excelled in crash tests, we expect the UX to fare well they’re released.
In comparison, the Honda earned a five-star overall safety rating during National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing. But some of the more advanced safety technology, like automatic emergency braking, is optional equipment.
While both the Lexus and the Honda are safe vehicles, we think the long list of standard safety tech in the UX makes it the winner here.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Price
Now, it’s time to talk price. The Lexus UX 250h starts at $34,000, and as we explained previously, it comes standard with a wealth of technology and safety features. Opting for the F Sport package will bring the price up to $36,000, and the upgraded 10.3-inch display is a $2,220 option. Springing for the top-of-the-line Luxury trim level will get you everything you’d expect to find in a luxury vehicle, including heated and cooled front seats, a power moonroof, and a power rear liftgate for just a hair over $40k.
While the Honda HR-V starts at $20,520, since we’re comparing it to a luxury vehicle, it we’re going to look at the features of the Touring trim, which comes with all-wheel drive, and a host of other standard features, including keyless entry, leather-trimmed, heated front seats, a 180-watt audio system, and LED headlights. It’s important to note that even if you go hog wild, and check every option box, you’re not going to crest $35 with the HR-V. In our opinion, that makes it a serious value.
While we appreciate the long list of standard features on the Lexus, we think buyers will be able to score many of the same creature comforts, for less money, by carefully looking at the Honda’s option packages. So we’re going to give Honda the win on price.
Lexus UX 250h vs Honda H-RV: Overall
It’s not lost on us that we’re kind of comparing apples to oranges in this match up, given that Lexus is a luxury brand, and competes more with Acura than Honda. But that said, we’re going to give the win to the Honda here. Because while neither of these vehicles will blow you away with power or driving dynamics, the Honda is able to play the luxury game nearly as well as the Lexus for a lot less money, and it also boasts better interior and cargo space.