Lexus NX - Used Car

Review

Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid, face
Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid
Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid, side
Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid, rear
Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid, dashboard
Lexus NX 300h F-Sport hybrid, tailgate

THE top selling model in the premium Lexus range is the medium-size NX 4x4.

Although there was a pure petrol version for some time in the range, by far the majority of models come with the company's well-proven self-charging hybrid drivetrain, because it works so well, giving low emissions and very economy.

On top of that, the superb build quality and excellent reliability of Lexus cars gives them an almost unrivalled reliability, and excellent residual value over time.

The drive system has a 2.5-litre petrol engine plus an electric motor and battery.

It is not a plug-in hybrid, but one where the battery is recharged by the main power unit on the move, and by decelerating or braking.

At slow speeds up to 30 miles an hour, and with a very gentle right foot on the accelerator, the NX can be powered solely by the electric motor, helping towards that good economy and low emissions.

As speed increases, the petrol engine cuts in seamlessly to provide the power and recharge the batteries.

This setup could be used to improve performance, but that's not what the NX is all about. This is a 4x4 that can achieve up to 54 miles per gallon according to government tests, which has to be pretty fantastic considering that it's powered by petrol.

Drive is to all four wheels through a continuously variable and superbly smooth automatic gearbox that helps make it beautifully simple to use and to live with.

And it's also beautifully made, very well equipped, refined, comfortable car that takes much of the stress out of driving in these days of endless traffic.

The 2.5-litre engine is completely inaudible unless provoked for a blast of acceleration, and even then, it's completely seamless since there are no gearchanges. Zero to 60 miles an hour takes 8.9 seconds, so it's no slouch.

Some models have an adjustable synthetic engine note that feeds in on acceleration, but it's not very realistic, and much better turned off in my opinion.

Sit into the opulent, heated and cooled leather driver's seat, put the gear selector into D and put your foot down on the accelerator - it's as easy as that.

There are Sport and Manual settings for the gearbox, but in such a relaxed car, I would say they are almost superfluous, since few owners are ever going to use them.

There are also five settings for accelerator, steering and other controls, including Normal, Eco, Sport and Sport+.

Sport turns a large economy meter in the digital binnacle into a tachometer, but makes only a marginal different to performance or the feel of the car.

Acceleration is good from any speed, but a hard shove on the loud pedal can take a noticeable split second to have some effect at times.

During a few drives in different models economy has been a real 36mpg, which is not bad for a 4x4 weighing this much.

I would say that means most owners should be able to achieve 40+mpg.

There is a fair amount of bump-thump on rougher surfaces from big wheels and low profile tyres, but this is the only intrusive sound during driving in town and it rolls over speed humps very easily.

Body roll is well controlled by the sophisticated suspension system so it also takes corners with decent balance and a confidence-inspiring level of grip.

The NX is sophisticated and smart and it comes with so much kit it has almost everything that most people would want.

That includes a superb sound system, those sumptuous electrically adjusted leather seats, a huge boot with 60/40 fold flat rear seat and a leather covered and heated multifunction steering wheel.

Even the steering column is electrically adjusted, and it also comes with a wide range of electronic safety devices, auto headlights and high beam, auto folding mirrors and sat nav.

Pay about £20,700 for a '20 20-reg 300h E-Four, or £24,750 for a '21 21-reg F-Sport Hybrid E-Four.

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