Lexus NX (2014-present)

Sharp-edge design and hybrid power makes the Lexus NX a unique family SUV

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Excellent reliability
Hybrid power is an alternative to diesel
Luxurious interior

Weaknesses 

Unsettled ride at slow speeds
Complex dashboard software
Batteries reduce boot size
Best New Discount

Lexus NX Estate 300h 2.5 premier 5dr cvt [sunroof]

Total RRP £45,435

Your quote £39,849

You Save £5,586

There are plenty of luxury family sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to choose from, including the BMW X3, Range Rover Velar, Jaguar F-Pace, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC

But if you want to avoid remortgaging your house to cover the fuel costs, then you'll need to opt for a diesel version, as the petrol cars use so much fuel.

Unless you buy a Lexus NX, that is. Under the bonnet of the sharply-creased SUV is a petrol engine combined with batteries and an electric motor, which combine to provide power with improved efficiency. This hybrid set-up delivers diesel-like fuel economy in official tests, as well as low CO2 emissions of 121g/km, which makes the NX more affordable for business users. Starting at around £35,000, it's around the same price as the BMW X3.

The NX offers more than a hybrid system too: the NX ranks as one of Britain's most reliable cars and was awarded the maximum five star safety rating in 2014 after crash tests by Euro NCAP.

Outside, the car's jagged edges look futuristic and distinctive but inside is less revolutionary. All trim levels (apart from the base SE) have leather upholstery and there’s a good-sized screen in the dashboard. This was 7in on earlier NX models but increased to 10.3in after an update in early 2018. The screen is controlled using a touchpad, similar to one you might find on a laptop computer. It's an improvement on the mouse that's used in other Lexus models, but not as simple to use as the dial you'll find in a BMW, Mercedes or Audi. If it all seems a bit much then you can find a less-luxurious SUV for less - such as the similarly-sized Nissan X-Trail, Ford Edge or Land Rover Discovery Sport

Those cosseting seats and spacious legroom do make the Lexus NX an excellent place to spend a long journey. Behind the passengers, the boot space is less impressive because the hybrid batteries are stored underneath. The 475-litre capacity is 75l less than in a BMW X3 and 175l smaller than you'll find in a Jaguar F-Pace.

The batteries also add to the weight of the car, which tips the scales at around two tonnes when loaded up. This means that the NX is not nimble. The car also hesitates when you want to accelerate hard, as the gearbox, motor and engine co-ordinate to boost power. As a result, the Lexus is best driven calmly, without racing through corners. For a more involving and sporty drive, choose a Range Rover Velar or BMW X3.

The NX is best on long, straight motorways with a smooth surface. Unfortunately, there aren't too many of those in Britain. Over potholes and rutted surfaces, it feels curiously unsettled, which gets worse at slower speeds.

For fuel economy, the opposite is true. The NX's hybrid system works extremely efficiently in stop-start traffic, where energy that's usually lost during braking is recovered and used to charge the batteries. They then drive the motor during acceleration to reduce fuel use, or can power the car for up to a mile on electric power alone. However,  at steady motorway speeds, you're essentially just running on petrol power, wich can result of fuel economy of less than 30mpg.

The regenerative braking that is so important for topping up the batteries does make using the brakes a little hit or miss – not literally, thankfully, but it makes it harder to apply just the right amount of pressure, so stopping can feel a little too sudden at times. it's not particularly uncomfortable but does reduce your confidence in the car's grip and stability.

Even without hybrid power, the Lexus NX is a decent choice of premium family car. But as one of the few vehicles of its size to offer a genuine alternative to diesel, it's an SUV that's as up-to-date as its design.

Last Updated 

Monday, January 8, 2018 - 22:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
475 litres
Width: 
1845mm
Length: 
4640mm
Height: 
1645mm
Tax: 
£160 in first year, £140 thereafter

Lexus NX Prices

Lexus NX F-Sport

300h 2.5 f-sport 5dr cvt [prem nav/pan roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,848

You could save up to: £5142

300h 2.5 f-sport 5dr cvt [premier pack/pan roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £39,448

You could save up to: £5542

300h 2.5 f-sport 5dr cvt [premier pack/sunroof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £39,448

You could save up to: £5542

300h 2.5 f-sport 5dr cvt [premier pack]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,548

You could save up to: £5442

300h 2.5 f-sport 5dr cvt [premium nav]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £34,948

You could save up to: £5042

Lexus NX Luxury

300h 2.5 luxury 5dr cvt [prem nav/pan roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,999

You could save up to: £4936

300h 2.5 luxury 5dr cvt [premium nav]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,099

You could save up to: £4836

Lexus NX Premier

300h 2.5 premier 5dr cvt

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,949

You could save up to: £5486

300h 2.5 premier 5dr cvt [pan roof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £39,849

You could save up to: £5586

300h 2.5 premier 5dr cvt [sunroof]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £39,849

You could save up to: £5586

Lexus NX SE

300h 2.5 se 5dr cvt [premium nav]

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £31,299

You could save up to: £4636

300h 2.5 se 5dr cvt [premium nav] 2wd

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol/electric hybrid
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £30,399

You could save up to: £4536