Lexus NX 350h

Premium Plus

Lexus NX 350h, 2022, side
Lexus NX 350h, 2022, front
Lexus NX 350h, 2022, rear
Lexus NX 350h, 2022, interior
Lexus NX 350h, 2022, rear seats
Lexus NX 350h, 2022, boot

TAKE a quick glance at the latest Lexus NX and it looks remarkably similar to the previous model.

A bit more rakish, slightly more honed...but immediately recognisable.

A more detailed study shows it to be 20mm longer and 20mm wider with a longer wheelbase and the front is better integrated while rear has the now fashionable full width light bar. The more you look at it, in fact, the more pretty it looks.

The story's similar inside thanks to one of the plushest cabins you'll find in anything this side of six figures. A huge 14-inch screen takes pride of place and works so much better than the old touchpad controlled system of the old car.

Even the door handles, inside and outside, adopt a new operation and open with a fingertip touch. Very slick, very high end. Cabin build quality is first rate with perfect fit and the use of high grade materials, plenty of practical storage space and a general air of prestige.

Lager than before then, but marginally more compact than rivals Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC, it manages to carry almost as much cargo - 520 litres - and passengers are well catered for with ample head and legroom.

The generation two NX is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol hybrid, which is actually 25 per cent more powerful than before. It feels much livelier, with sharper throttle response and this is borne out by improved acceleration figures - 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. Top speed is 124mph.

Lexus has remained faithful to the CVT automatic gearbox which might not be to everyone's taste, particularly when revs soar. Steering wheel paddle gearchange is fitted which makes you feel in greater control.

Ride is much improved with smooth, absorbent travel over even poor surfaces. It has an ability to soak up bumps yet avoids the flip side of coin ie excessive body roll. It remains taut yet pleasantly compliant.

Intelligent four wheel drive guarantees grippy roadholding even in slippery conditions. The steering, though precise enough, doesn't feed a lot of road info back to the driver.

If the self-charging NX 350h is driven carefully it's quite reasonable to expect close to the 50mpg mark. A heavy right foot is likely to see consumption rise to around the 35mpg mark. Dial up ‘Sport' on the rotary knob and reactions are sharpened but you'll inevitably use more fuel.

Refinement is high on the list of NX qualities. There's very little wind or road noise and the engine only becomes harsh towards the rev limit. The luxurious cabin with its deep, well shaped seats add to the feeling of well-being.

The 350h Premium Plus is appropriately well equipped with heads up display, leather upholstery, electric controlled and heated seating and power tailgate. The top version also gets opening glass panoramic roof.

FAST FACTS

Lexus NX 350h Premium Plus

Price: £53,300

Mechanical: 2.5-litre, 4 cyl, 241bhp petrol-hybrid engine powering 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 7.7sec

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: 35

C02 emissions:133g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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