Lexus NX Review – Should You Buy One in 2022?
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With this second generation NX, Lexus has brought us a strikingly styled premium mid-sized SUV that’s unafraid to go its own way when it comes to cars of this kind. It’s still one of the only models in its class that can’t be ordered in diesel form, offering instead a beautifully refined and highly efficient petrol/electric hybrid powertrain, now available in PHEV Plug-in as well as self-charging forms. If you’re choosing in this segment, most of the magazines will tell you to buy something German. But if this revitalised NX appeals, you may well feel that you know better. And you could be right.
Market and Model
Expect a starting price for the NX 350h self-charging AWD model of around £40,000 in base form, with prices up to around £55,000. The three equipment grades are base NX, ‘F SPORT’ and ‘Takumi’ and within these, there are various pack options you can specify. You’ll be paying quite a lot more for an NX 450h+ plug-in model – in the £51,000-£61,000 bracket. You do at least get lots of equipment for that. Including the latest Lexus multimedia platform that meets customer priorities for fast, intuitive on-board connectivity. It introduces smart services, including a cloud-based navigation system, via the car’s data connection module (DCM). This provides real-time journey information and traffic updates without using up the customer’s data plan. There is also a new “Hey Lexus” assistant, which responds to natural voice commands, as if you are conversing with the car.
This NX is Lexus’s first model to feature the third generation of Lexus Safety System+, equipping it as standard with a comprehensive package of active safety and driver assistance features. These include further expansion of the brand’s Pre-Collision System capabilities so that motorcycles and some solid objects in the car’s path, such as trees, walls and utility poles, can be detected. It also gains a new function that identifies collision risks with oncoming traffic or crossing pedestrians when making a turn at a junction. With these developments, the Pre-Collision System can recognise and help to avoid 36 per cent more accident scenarios than previously.
The NX has been a very significant car for Lexus, the first generation version generating over 170,000 European sales, most of them customers new to Lexus. This second generation model, 95% of which is completely new, is tasked with continuing that the brand’s growth across Western markets. So Lexus needs the NX – and needs it to do well. For that to happen, this car has to offer more than the traditional attributes that spring to mind when you think of this brand, things like reliability, quality, refinement, technology and great dealer back up. Of course, the company’s proud of the reputation it’s built upon these virtues, but it’s well aware that for this model to succeed against well-established rivals like those from BMW, Volvo, Mercedes and Audi, worthiness isn’t enough. Lexus needs desirability. It needs design flair. It needs excitement. It needs….. an X-factor.
Take a close look at this enhanced NX and increasingly, you find yourself agreeing that this is just what’s on offer here. That might not necessarily mean you’ll want one. It’s obviously not intended for the few who regularly want to get their tyres muddy in this segment. Nor will it really suit family-minded driving enthusiasts. And the NX may still be a little too individual to sell in the kind of numbers its maker would like – but then that’s all part of its appeal. It’s not perfect but it’s never boring. And in a market sector that’s getting just that little bit stale, it’s a breath of fresh air.
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