In-depth reviews

Lexus NX SUV - Engines, drive & performance

With three motors, the NX 450h+ is smooth and has plenty of power

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

The car is very quiet when accelerating and, while refinement takes a hit when the petrol engine is called upon, the transition between the two power sources is at least very smooth. The second-generation NX sits on Toyota's all-new TNGA-K platform, which is also found under the Toyota RAV4, Toyota Highlander and Lexus ES.

Our UK drive demonstrated that the new Lexus NX is quite similar to the RAV4 in some respects. The NX’s steering is pleasantly direct and well-weighted, and the way the car accelerates isn’t vastly different either. Part of the reason you’ll pay more for the Lexus is that it’s much more refined and comfortable than the Toyota. That would ordinarily mean plenty of body roll but the NX generally manages to resist this when you take corners quickly. Nevertheless, enthusiasts are likely to be better served by the BMW X3 if they want an SUV that’s exciting to drive.

Lexus NX hybrid engine

The standard NX hybrid is pretty similar to the old model, with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors. Zero-to-62mph takes 7.7 seconds and this combination works very well around town, where it’s easy to make steady progress. The powertrain is less ideal if you ask for extra performance and bursts of acceleration, because the CVT gearbox holds the petrol engine at high revs. Even the paddles behind the steering wheel only do a mediocre job of replicating the gearchanges of a traditional automatic. 

Plug-in hybrid engine

The NX 450h+ isn't short on power, thanks to a total of 302bhp from a similar powertrain to the hybrid. This helps it get from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds and the electric motors alone have plenty of punch to get the NX smartly off the line. It’s not a car aimed at enthusiasts but the quick acceleration comes in handy when you want to overtake or get up to speed on a motorway slip road.

Recommended

Lexus NX SUV review
2022 Lexus NX
Lexus NX
10 Mar 2022

Lexus NX SUV review

Have You Considered

Skoda Karoq SUV review
2022 Skoda Karoq cornering
In-depth reviews
18 Jul 2022

Skoda Karoq SUV review

Peugeot 3008 SUV review
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Peugeot 3008
12 May 2022

Peugeot 3008 SUV review

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022
MG ZS EV - front
Best cars
8 Aug 2022

Top 10 best electric family cars 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?
Hero image
News
11 Aug 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022