posted 5 years ago

Lexus NX 300h Review

Japanese Marque Launch New Model

Lexus do luxury well across their entire range and not one to rest on their laurels they have added to the lineup with their new model the NX.  The smaller SUV was launched in the beautiful surroundings of Vienna in Austria.

What is the spec like on the Lexus NX?

The exterior has plenty of sharp, striking lines and it definitely turned heads on the road route.  Smaller than their popular RX model it gets the futuristic looking spindle grille as seen on recent Lexus models like the IS.

The interior, as you would expect with Lexus is of a very high quality and the cabin is geared to making sure you have a comfortable drive.  The centre console is very cluttered though and reminds me too much of the ‘baby’ Lexus CT model.  On our drive, myself and a colleague counted over 90 buttons in the interior of the car.  Button overload to the extreme.

The Remote Touch Interface is now managed by a touch pad to access all the features of the centre screen which displays navigation, media, car information and the 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor (available in Premier trim).

Extra details include bottle holders with a grip base in the centre console, which will let you open a lid with just one hand, a wireless phone charging tray sits in the armrest and is ideal if you’ve forgotten to bring a phone cable and touch switches in the headlining enable you to operate the interior lights.

Surprisingly spacious, an NX full of adults will have plenty of head and leg room.  Rear seats recline and also fold down at the press of another one of those many buttons.  Boot space is of a really good size although the electronic tailgate is way too slow, in the rain you’re likely to get wet waiting for it to open.  A plus though is that the NX comes with a space-saver spare wheel as standard, any other manufacturer and you will have to pay extra.

There are five trim levels available: S, SE, Luxury, F Sport and Premier.  There is plenty of equipment ranging from a reversing camera, LED low-beam headlights and daytime running lights and dual zone climate control in S grade, to heated and ventilated seats, Mark Levinson premium audio system and a heated steering wheel on Premier models.  Top of the range Premier trim will also add a 6.2-inch head-up display featuring engine speed, navigation and audio information.

The distinctive NX F-Sport will add different styling features and suspension and also has  another button to add an odd sounding exhaust note in the cabin.  The continual booming from the sound symposer never matches how you’re driving the car so it was a good job we could turn it down.

What’s it like to drive?

Lexus were the first to introduce hybrid to the SUV market and the NX uses a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine alongside an electric motor, that combined produces 195hp with 270Nm of torque.  It has a top speed of 112mph and gets from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds. 

All Lexus hybrid models come with a CVT gearbox which in the NX can be a bit whiny when getting up to speed.  Once you’re cruising the drive suddenly becomes more relaxed and less noisy.

The NX 300h S is only available with front-wheel drive, all other models are equipped with all wheel drive.  The ride is really comfortable and there’s not much body roll, so tight, twisty roads can be driven with confidence.

Emitting just 121g/km of CO2, the front-wheel drive has an even lower figure of 116g/km and mpg figures are around the mid fifty range.

 Safety technology includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, eight airbags and all models come with a Pre-Crash Safety system and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Lexus NX price and verdict

The NX is well priced from £29,495 and the Luxury trim equivalent from a rival would cost you over £2,000 extra.  Although it has the looks, the interior could date quickly and the clustered centre console does let it down slightly.

But order books opened in May and 750 were snapped up before buyers had the chance to even drive it, so that says something about its attraction and I reckon Lexus have another hit on their hands.

Motoring.co.uk likes on the Lexus NX:

Exterior design

Hybrid engine

Price

Comfort

Motoring.co.uk dislikes on the Lexus NX:

Clustered centre console

Too many buttons

Noisy CVT gearbox