Test Drive: Lexus NX 300h
Benfield blogger and copywriter Chris Knox gets behind the wheel of Lexus’ crossover SUV.
Let’s get one thing straight from the off. This Lexus NX 300h is dope. Not my words, but most likely the words of Mr Will.i.am, who is a big fan of the car and is plastered over much of the publicity material for the car.
In fact, the rapper looms so large that Lexus seem to have been inspired by his angular shaped head in the design of the NX as well as his streetwise attitude and almost geeky fascination with technology.
There’s no denying that the petrol powered NX is a bit of a head turner and takes the current trend for multi-dimensional bodywork to the ultimate extreme. The NX is spiky, yet chunky, rugged, yet refined. It’s a car that extraverts will definitely want to be seen in. The rest of us will like it too.
This is Lexus’ attempt to break into what some may say is already an over saturated crossover market. So, with cars such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 firmly established as class leaders, the NX needs to have much more going on than catwalk model cheekbones.
The good news is that it has. This, the all-wheel drive Luxury mid-range model, has style and comfort at the top of its list of priorities, with a panoramic sunroof adding a definite sense of drama to proceedings. As do the extra silver trim inserts, soft touch materials and high-spec touch pad infotainment control.
The driving position is perfect and, when you finally get over how comfortable your backside feels against the luxury heated leather trim, you’re greeted with the kind of dials that are the mainstay of Swiss watch manufacturers.
Further touches that place this model of the car firmly in the luxury category include electrically adjustable seats and front and rear parking sensors. Safety features are further bolstered by Lexus’ Pre-Crash Safety System, which uses millimetre-wave radar technology to detect objects ahead – applying the brakes and tightening the seatbelts when required. Throw in 8 airbags and you’ve got a Euro NCAP 5 Star rating.
One of the biggest differentiators with the 300h version of the NX of course is that we are dealing with a hybrid. The combination of a hybrid powerplant and CVT automatic gearbox provides a relaxing ride that is near silent at low speeds. And, as well as keeping you ‘down with the kids’, reduced CO2 emissions (116g/km for the two-wheel drive model and 121g/km for four-wheel drive) mean that this will serve you well as a cost effective company car with low benefit in-kind car tax, a factor that has already helped it carve out a place in the market.
With standard features such as alloy wheels, daytime running lights, hill start assist and electric parking brake underpinning a plethora of higher-end spec in the Luxury model, including rear privacy glass and smart entry, the Lexus NX 300h certainly demands your consideration. What should push it over the line for business owners is that benefit in-kind car tax.
For more information or to take a test-drive, give us a call at Lexus Leeds on 01132 511 411 or come into the showroom at Domestic Road, Holbeck, Leeds, Yorkshire LS12 6HG.