Lexus NX Review logo

Lexus NX Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Posh and frugal family SUV”

Best bits

  • Quiet and economical hybrid engine
  • Excellent built quality
  • Spacious and practical

Not so great

  • Sluggish CVT gearbox 
  • Feels a bit detached to drive
  • Infotainment system is a faff

Read by

Lexus NX right exterior

Overall verdict

Lexus NX front interior

On the inside

Lexus NX front exterior

Driving

Lexus NX rear exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus NX boot open

Prices, versions and specification

Overall Verdict

"According to Lexus, the story behind the name of its new NX is that it stands for 'nimble crossover'. This is, after all, a smaller counterpart to the big Lexus RX 450h that's designed as an alternative to the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3."

Lexus NX right exterior

It's a neat looking design. Lexus says it wanted to give the NX more 'emotional appeal' and while it's far from handsome, those sharp lines work well to create a sophisticated look. The front end echoes the Lexus IS saloon but according to Lexus, 90 per cent of parts used are unique to the NX.


Like all Lexus models, there's no noxious diesel engine in the range. Instead, Lexus offers an NX 300h hybrid that uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine alongside an electric motor. It's designed to be efficient with claimed fuel economy of 54.3mpg in the majority of models and CO2 emissions of just 121g/km.


While it looks good on paper with a total of 195PS and a 0-62mph time of fewer than 9.5 seconds, the NX 300h is hamstrung by its epicyclic CVT gearbox which can make for a noisy driving experience unless you're feather-footed. Even gentle acceleration is accompanied by continuous engine whine. 


This is a shame because acceleration noise aside, the NX is a good SUV. It's incredibly refined, beautifully built and has a superb quality interior. It's also spacious with good room in the back and a decent boot. And as with all Lexus models, standard equipment levels are very high with top models coming with pretty much all the bells and whistles.


The NX is the first Lexus model to feature a Pre-Crash Safety system and Adaptive Cruise Control as standard on all versions. Other firsts for a Lexus include a wireless charging tray for easy charging of smartphones and a new Remote Touch Interface with a touchpad control that replaces the awkward mouse controller. 


An NX 200t model, with a new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol with 235PS, joined the line-up in 2015 and comes with a six-speed automatic. However, it was later dropped from the lineup.


Is the Lexus NX right for you?

The Lexus NX is right for you if you’re looking for a posh SUV with build quality to rival a nuclear bunker and an interior that’s spacious enough for four adults and their stuff.


Okay, so the Lexus isn’t an engaging car to drive, but it’s very quiet and comfortable and the petrol-electric hybrid motor fitted to most models means it is also very cheap to run. 


What's the best Lexus NX model/engine to choose?

The Lexus NX is best sampled in basic 300h form. 


That gets you a petrol-electric hybrid engine that’s great on fuel and has decent performance and even the basic model comes with loads of equipment including a fake leather interior, LED headlights, electrically adjustable and heated seats and an eight-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


What other cars are similar to the Lexus NX?

There are plenty of alternatives to the Lexus NX if you’re planning on buying a mid-sized SUV.


The Mercedes GLC is one such example which has a posh looking interior that puts even the NX in the shade. The BMW X3, meanwhile, is sportier to drive, while the Audi Q5 is more comfortable. All are available with diesel engines that are a better bet then the Lexus hybrid system if you often drive on the motorway. 


Learn more

Lexus NX front interior

On the inside

Lexus NX front exterior

Driving

Lexus NX rear exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus NX boot open

Prices, versions and specification