New PHEV option arrives alongside a welcome cabin overhaul to sustain the allure of Lexus’s best-seller into its second generation
Judged on the photo on top of this web page, you ‘d be forgiven for writing off the Lexus NX’s shift to a second generation as say goodbye to significant than your typical mid-life renovation.
Certainly, save for the addition of a new rear light bar, a spelled-out badge throughout the bootlid as well as discreetly reworked side detailing, there’s little to mark this out as the latest variation of Lexus’s biggest-selling European automobile. And that’s most likely not bad information for those in control of the firm funds; in the UK alone, the outbound NX– even at 7 years old– represent approximately a 3rd of the brand’s sales thus far this year, outselling the larger RX by a ratio of about 3:1.
So, outside at least, this is a timeless situation of evolution over transformation– even though 95% of the parts on this cars and truck are brand-new. Parked up against the outgoing model, the restyled creases as well as revamped front end are a lot more obvious additions, yet you still might miss out on the shorter overhangs, 20mm boosts in size as well as size and also prolonged tracks on both axles– substantial modifications that arise from the NX’s switch onto parent firm Toyota’s brand-new GA-K system, as utilized for the indefatigably prominent Toyota RAV4 and its practically identical Suzuki Throughout cousin.
Along with bringing the center of gravity down by 20mm and boosting general tightness by 30% for improved characteristics, this brand-new system gives the NX with its first (and also, indeed, Lexus’s very first) plug-in hybrid powertrain. Familiar from the RAV4 PHEV, the system pairs a 2.5-litre fuel engine with a 180bhp electrical motor on the back axle, as well as an additional with 54bhp at the front for a complete outcome of 305bhp, while an 18.1 kWh under-floor battery endows the crossover with an EV range of 43 miles. The entry-level NX 350h, with an acquainted however upgraded version of the outbound car’s full-hybrid system, will also be supplied.
We have actually driven a left-hand-drive early production vehicle in range-topping F-Sport trim ahead of consumer distributions getting underway in the 2nd quarter of 2022.
What’s it such as?
Right here, as we’ve located in its much less overtly superior siblings, the PHEV drivetrain stays discreetly effective as well as remarkably economical; step-off in electric setting is predictably swift as well as smooth, as well as though the fuel motor verges on the gruff side when it cuts in, there’s little substantial modification in the method the NX makes strides, the CVT transmission giving likewise direct accelerative features– just with an inevitable droning soundtrack.
A 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds makes the NX 450h+ one of the fastest crossovers of its kind, as well as though the confident 257mpg-plus economy score will certainly never ever appear on the dashboard, driving smartly and enabling the system to switch in between EV and gasoline power as it chooses must net a figure in the mid-40s, which isn’t poor going. The estimated EV array figure seems accurate, also, and it’s important to keep in mind that despite having the battery diminished, the NX 450h+ goes back to operating as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid, implying short distances at low rate can be covered with the engine off.
Besides the fostering of plug-in power, the new NX is most drastically separated inside, where Lexus’s new ‘Takumi’ (which translates roughly to ‘the reins of a steed’) style ethos has ushered in a new driver-centric cabin design, with a large touchscreen (9.8 in as common, 14.0 know greater specs) and all other controls positioned for minimal interruption on the move. One of the most welcome part of the overhaul is the combination of a brand-new operating system which is stated to be 3.6 times faster than that in the outbound vehicle. Certainly, its clean-cut user interfaces as well as glossy handling times tally with the NX’s premium billing, and assist bring it into line with the class best.
Whether the NX makes great on its manufacturer’s promise to provide the ‘Lexus Driving Trademark’ is up for debate. Lexus discussed that although the suspension geometry stays the same as various other GA-K-based cars, it has actually “re-evaluated” the components for stamina as well as rigidness– as well as contacted the solutions of expert racing motorists to provide dynamic feedback throughout the advancement procedure. The outcome? Well, there’s a pleasing degree of flexibility to the guiding, which accommodates– otherwise encourages– a passionate method to turn-in, but tough cornering establishes the suspension rocking as well as jumping on the power mid-bend is an excellent recipe for understeer.
Obviously, however, regardless of its dynamically-led designing, the NX will never be bought off the back of its credentials as a canyon carver, as well as though it is certainly fast off the mark, this is not a vehicle you will ever really feel likely to strain. Yet faithful buyers will certainly still be excited by its generally unflappable treatment of knackered British Tarmac. Any wallowing over undulations is much from overbearing, and also flaws are taken care of efficiently and also quietly, with simply a hint of a jolt through the wheel as well as seat over the worst gorges.
Should I get one?
This F-Sport auto can be found in at a large ₤ 54,800, which seems a whole lot but contrasts favourably with rivals and also really feels more reasonable the even more time you invest in the spruced up NX. This is an extensively modern and tastefully crafted proposal, with its own distinct character from its platform-mates as well as impressive performance statistics.
It’s not a driver’s cars and truck, however it doesn’t need to be, and given the success of its predecessor – with its fairly clunky infomercial system and lack of a plug-in option – it can just get on the up.