The new generation Lexus NX has currently passed our editorial test. Its first-generation effort recorded very decent sales figures, and this premium SUV with a robust design, a well-crafted interior and a hybrid drive became quite popular.
With the second generation comes an updated exterior appearance, the long-awaited new infotainment in the interior, and the long-time specialist in hybrid drives has also given the new NX a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
However, we tested the well-known and proven NX 350h hybrid with E-Four all-wheel drive and the highest LUXURY TOP equipment.
The exterior appearance of the new NX continues to remain faithful to the basic principles established by the first generation. These are primarily the balanced basic proportions of the car, which are further shaped by individual sufficiently dynamic and robust parts.
The front part is dominated by the fairly typical voluminous mask reaching deep into the front bumper, as well as dynamically shaped front Quad LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights of a characteristic shape.
The rear part is again characterized by the innovative lighting of the car. The horizontally oriented lamps are very effectively and attractively connected by a light line across the entire fifth door. The massiveness of the rear part is lightened by a very elegant element, where the side parts of the rear bumper are significantly cut and thus let the voluminous rear wheels stand out. A very nice detail that together with the short rear overhang of the body simply looks very good.
The side profile gives the car enough robustness and, thanks to the relatively low silhouette of the roof, also a very dynamic character.
In terms of exterior design, the second generation of the Lexus NX therefore adheres to the automaker’s clearly defined signature, which has been very legible and clearly pleasing for a long time.
The first look at the interior clearly reveals that even the second generation NX offers quality materials and first-class workmanship. However, the main and long-awaited shift comes within the infotainment itself. The graphically outdated and not entirely intuitive infotainment is simply gone, and the interior of not only the new NX suddenly revives a completely new contemporary graphic environment. In the case of the top version we tested, it is a 14″ display that forms a prominent feature of the entire dashboard.
In the case of the new generation, the announced infotainment display is complemented by a fully digital instrument panel, as well as an optional head-up display, which in the case of Lexus now functions as another display (with a very good graphic resolution), through which the functions are controlled using the controls on the multifunction steering wheel. In this case, it is a very smart and user-friendly solution that does not distract you from what is happening on the road.
The on-board infotainment display is integrated into a rather bulky “plate”, which is connected in shape to the digital instrument panel and also elegantly connects to the central tunnel. The start button or classic circular air conditioning controls are then placed within this surface, inside which the set temperature is clearly displayed.
Within the interior, I must also mention the opening of the doors, the NX does not have classic handles, but in addition to the mechanical handle, it primarily offers electric controls that must be pressed and, together with the application of appropriate pressure to the door, they will open. In this way, Lexus monitors the safety of not only you, but also of passing cyclists, for example.
The top equipment of the car pampered us with absolutely excellent Mark Levinson equipment with 14 speakers, as well as very comfortable seats that offered heating and ventilation functions.
The interior space of the cabin is more than sufficient, as part of the luggage compartment you can count on 545 liters of basic volume, if the backrests are folded down, the second generation will offer 1436 liters of volume.
Offered motorizations and driving impressions
Even the Japanese, longtime specialists in hybrid drives, had to react to the situation that has been prevailing for a long time in the field of electrified drive systems. In the second generation, the Lexus NX also comes in a plug-in hybrid version bearing the designation 450h+. This version is then able to drive up to 76 km purely on electric energy.
However, we got our hands on a classic hybrid, i.e. a car with the designation 350h, which shares its powertrain, as well as the entire chassis platform, with the hybrid Toyota RAV 4 .
The basis of this hybrid is a 2.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder that cooperates with a continuously variable e-CVT transmission and an electric motor located in front. In the case of the four-wheeler tested by us, a second electric motor is added to the rear axle, which exclusively takes care of its drive. The electrical energy for both electric motors is stored in a lithium-ion battery located under the back seat of the car, i.e. with minimal overlap into its interior.
Numbers aside, the power of the gasoline four-cylinder has grown between generations to 139 kW, and the torque value to 239 Nm. The front electric motor will offer 134 kW of power and 270 Nm of torque, while the rear electric motor will offer 40 kW of power and 121 Nm of torque. As a result, the total output of the hybrid drive reaches 179 kW (244 hp).
The NX 350h is therefore a classic hybrid that is recharged only as part of recuperation or with the help of gasoline engine. The ideal environment for this hybrid powertrain is traditionally the city, where the NX tries to make maximum use of electric energy. All driving around the city, queues or standing at traffic lights can be easily managed purely on electric energy, which you have generated in a certain part through previous recuperation.
With the new generation, the connection of the gasoline engine is noticeably smoother and in most cases you don’t even notice it. The noise reduction of the engine in the direction of the cabin is also very exemplary, the motorization makes itself known only when the gas pedal is pressed more sharply, here comes the traditionally not quite pleasant monotonous sound coming from the cooperation of the revved-up four-cylinder and the continuously variable transmission.
The Lexus NX can be a little sporty, but its advantages are completely different, above all it is a calm and deliberate drive, during which you let yourself be spoiled by the comfortable chassis and the pleasant environment prevailing in the interior of the car.
In terms of chassis, the NX is based on the TNGA-K platform, which it shares with the Toyota RAV 4. The car’s chassis is comfortable, with excellent noise reduction and not at all wobbly, it is easy to read and quite confident in corners, all this on 20″ wheels.
The consumption of the car then depends on the environment in which you will move with it and, of course, also on your driving style. The comfortable tuning of the Lexus NX rather lends itself to a defensive driving style, and in combination with city traffic, you are able to comfortably reduce fuel consumption below the 6-liter mark. Personally, during the week-long test, I consumed around 7.0 liters per 100 km.
Lexus NX continues to be a full-fledged premium SUV, its new generation comes with a noticeably more handsome exterior, which has continued to maintain sufficiently robust and very elegant proportions. The interior is still dominated by high-quality materials and first-class workmanship, and now the infotainment, which is contemporary and graphically very well processed. Let’s add a classic hybrid or a new plug-in hybrid, which has been tried and tested for years, to a very pleasant appearance and a comfortable interior.
The current price list of the Lexus NX 350h offers a promotional offer, in which you can purchase this car with 4×4 drive and COMFORT PLUS equipment from CZK 1,341,400 including VAT. The next equipment level PRESTIGE TOP (4×4) starts at 1,566,400 CZK. The promotional offer is then closed by the tested top equipment LUXURY TOP (4×4), which is available from CZK 1,746,000 including tax.
As part of the promotional offer, you can also purchase the plug-in hybrid version 450h+ in EXECUTIVE design from 1,729,600 CZK. The sporty F SPORT TOP version is available from CZK 2,051,600 and the top-of-the-line LUXURY TOP equipment from CZK 2,060,800 including VAT. The current offer also includes the WALLBOX LEXUS, which you get for free with all equipment.
Source: Author’s text
Image source: Author’s own photos