We went to Vienna to drive the new Lexus NX writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The crossover bubble seems to be far from bursting and Lexus are the latest to join the fray with their new Lexus NX. Designed to compete with Range Rover’s Evoque, the Porsche Macan and the BMW X3 the NX sits below the RX in the Lexus range.
First impressions of the Lexus NX? The NX promises to wow buyers with what is unquestionably the most distinctive styling in the segment. While instantly recognisable as a Lexus the front is dominated by the vast spindle grille which dwarfs the LED headlights and L-shaped daytime running lights. Look beyond the flared arches and sculpted body and there are some very elegant touches such as the door handle with a hidden key slot and integrated lighting.
What about the interior? Inside this aggressive-looking NX is a beautifully minimalist cabin. Soft-touch materials are offset by a metallic trim and the quality throughout is excellent. There are plenty of practical features, including a split-folding rear seat and more novel additions including a Mark Levinson hi fi and a wireless charging pad for smartphones.
And behind the wheel? Under the bonnet of the NX 300h, is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with one or two electric motors, depending on whether you choose two-wheel or four-wheel drive. We drove the F SPORT AWD at the launch.
Lexus NX in the city: Around the city the NX is smooth, refined and quiet. Although spacious inside it feels small on the road and is simple and easy to manoeuvre.
Lexus NX on the motorway: Take it outside the city and the NX is not quite as sporty as its exterior might suggest. The CVT gear box is noisy when overtaking and road noise is slightly more intrusive than you would expect but overall it is a comfortable cruiser.
How Much? Prices start at €43,950 for the entry level Eco trim with front wheel drive. Running costs promise to be low and official figures suggest that the NX returns 5.1 litres per 100km on a combined cycle with CO2 emissions of just 123g/km.
What about my options: Offered in front and all-wheel drive versions, there will be six trim levels to choose from.
3 words to describe Lexus NX: Angular;Polarizing,; Green
|Eco FWD €43,950|
|S-design FWD €45.950|
|Dynamic FWD €48,950|
|Executive FWD €50,950|
|Executive AWD €52,950|
|F SPORT AWD €57,950|
|Premium AWD €57,950|
30th September, 2014