The Lexus NX has been designed to catch the eye, styled to convey cutting-edge presence on the road. It marks the first time that Lexus has produced a premium compact crossover, but with sharp looks and state-of-the-art technology it fits beautifully into the marque’s range.
The Lexus NX comes with a choice of two powertrains – the efficient petrol-electric hybrid system in the NX 300h, or the sporty two-litre turbocharged petrol unit in the NX 200t. Five trim levels are available, from the entry-level S that comes with a range of standard features, through the SE and Luxury models, the driver-focused F SPORT and the range-topping Premier version. All models are packed with technology for both safety and comfort.
The aim for Lexus engineers was to produce a compact crossover that was agile, stable and responsive. The heart of the NX 300h is the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, which produces 195bhp from its 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor. The power goes to either the front wheels in the NX 300h S, or to the all-wheel drive system in the rest of the range through an E-CVT transmission.
For those looking at a more performance-focused experience, the NX 200t sports Lexus’ new two-litre petrol turbo engine, which sends 238bhp to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Lexus has aimed for stable, responsive handling but with excellent ride comfort. In the all-wheel drive models, the front wheels use power from the hybrid powertrain while the rear wheels are driven by a second electric motor.
Every model features Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system, which optimises the various handling and safety systems and ensures that they’re all working with each other for the best performance.
In the F SPORT models, the latest generation of the Adaptive Variable Suspension system is available, which adjusts damping force dependent on driving mode. The driver can stiffen it for reduced body roll or relax it for extra comfort.
Although it’s a crossover, the interior of the Lexus NX has been designed to give a sports car experience, built around the driver. Cabin quality is firmly in the premium sector, and there’s plenty of head and legroom for up to five people. Heated and ventilated front seats are available and electronic adjustment of the seats is dependent on the model specification.
The dashboard has been designed with dual zones. The upper section contains the instrument panel and dash displays, while the controls and latest Remote Touch Interface touch-pad are in the lower portion.
Available features include a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen, as well as a wireless-charging tray for mobile devices. The NX 200t F Sport features, for the first time in a Lexus, a G-sensor and boost meter, reflecting its performance focus.
Other available creature comforts available include dual-zone climate control in every model, DAB digital radio and USB multimedia playing through either an eight-speaker audio system or premium Mark Levinson audio system, automatic wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
The NX isn’t just designed to look good. It’s eminently practical for the weekly routine and an active weekend, and adds luxury touches to enhance the experience.
The tailgate, which is powered on the F Sport models, opens for easy access to the NX’s 475 litres of bootspace. The flexible interior design means that space can be increased to 1520 litres by folding the 60/40-split rear seats forward.
More storage compartments are located under the boot floor and throughout the passenger cabin.
There are a total of eight SRS airbags in every NX, but are also a number of active safety innovations. All models have Adaptive Cruise Control, which keeps a set distance from the vehicle in front right down to a stop, while Lexus’ Pre-Crash Safety system reduces the risk of an accident occurring in the first place.
Lexus has a long-established reputation for hybrid technology, and the NX uses that experience to keep running costs low. The hybrid NX 300h S will return a fuel economy of 56.5mpg on the official combined test cycle, with other models returning 54.3mpg. The carbon dioxide emissions from the exhaust are low enough to qualify for free road tax in the first year, and from £20 after that.
Stop-start technology in the petrol-powered NX 200t reduces fuel use when the car is stationary in traffic, keeping the fuel economy to 35.8mpg on the combined cycle, with annual road tax set at £225 after the first year.
Prices for the full hybrid NX 300h begin at £29,495 for the two-wheel drive S model, with the first all-wheel drive SE model priced at £31,495. The Luxury trim grade has an on-the-road price of £34,495, while the driver-focused F Sport costs £36,995. The range-topping NX 300h Premier is priced at £42,995.
The petrol-engined Lexus NX 200t is available exclusively in F SPORT trim, and includes heated electric leather front seats, wireless smartphone charging capabilities, and the latest safety technologies in its £38,095 on-the-road price.
For further information about the NX, visit the designated section of the Lexus UK website, or leave a comment below and we’ll contact you to arrange a test drive.
*Prices correct as of 17/9/15