Luxury compact SUVs make up the fastest-growing area of the car market, thanks to their elevated driving positions, spacious interiors and perceived safety advantages. Not all cars are equal, though, and while many offerings could be described as conservative in their styling, the Lexus NX defies most trends. Imposing, thoroughly modern and absolutely distinct, the soon-to-be-facelifted NX with its unmissable spindle grille, tick-esque daytime running lights and daring angles guarantees exclusivity when compared with alternatives like the Q5, X3, Macan, Discovery Sport and XC60.
1. While others wait in the pipeline - it’s the original hybrid SUV
Another facet of the NX which immediately sets it apart from other premium compact SUVs is that Lexus has refreshingly simplified the engine choices between a 2.0-litre petrol version called the NX 200t and a Full Hybrid version badged the NX 300h. A bold but intelligent approach at a time when petrol and hybrid cars are becoming more popular. Lexus is, after all, a world leader when it comes to hybrid cars, and the NX remains the go-to choice in a market where German rivals’ hybrid versions are predominantly still in the pipeline.
2. Opulent finishes and incorporated tech aren’t expensive extras – they’re fundamental
Supreme comfort is an inseparable part of Lexus’ DNA, with soft, beautifully finished and impressively supportive leather seats, ‘shimamoku’ hand-finished wood inserts, S-Flow air conditioning and other examples of high-quality craftsmanship proving NX highlights. Audiophiles will be typically left stunned by the remarkable sound reproduction achieved by the Mark Levinson Premium Audio system. An array of other technologies are also tastefully incorporated, from a colour head-up display and a wireless charger to Lexus’ intuitive TouchPad infotainment controller. Alternative SUVs may offer similar standard and optional features, but in a Lexus, genuine opulence is met by true character.
3. All the latest innovations come as standard
Lexus NX trim levels extend from S and SE to Luxury and F Sport, with pricing commencing at £33,145. All are fitted as standard with a reversing camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Crash Safety, plus Normal, EV, Eco & Sport driving modes, enabling the NX driver to customise the experience to suit their mood.
4. Industry leading numbers - MPG high, emissions low
With more compact dimensions than the RX, Lexus’ original hybrid SUV, the NX 300h’s 197hp equips it to perform strongly while emitting an impressive 116g/km CO2 and returning up to 56.5mg. The introduction of a brand new 238hp 2.0-litre petrol engine, visually distinguished by twin aluminium exhaust tips, opens up the delights of NX ownership to customers seeking a more traditional and powerful engine, reflected in a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.1 seconds.
5. It gives you all the space an SUV should
Families and adventure-lovers tempted to indulge in a Lexus NX will be reassured in knowing that although the car’s boot in ‘seats up’ mode is bettered by some rivals, the 1,520-litre space opened up inside this cosseting Japanese car when the rear seats are lowered is firmly on a par with most alternatives. Towers of trailers, boats and other loads are now accommodated for by the NX, capable of towing up to 1.5 tonnes if specified with four-wheel drive. Interior space for both passengers and their luggage is in abundance, while the commanding driving position makes the RX a relatively easy car to drive and manoeuvre.
Lexus’ values abound
From company car drivers smitten with the two-wheel drive NX 300h’s class-leading CO2 emissions and BIK rating, to personal buyers and leasing customers tempted by the SUV’s driving experience and superb safety records, all can be confident in Lexus’ reputation for reliability. The NX stands out as the sector’s individualistic and characterful choice.