Lexus NX Review 2024

Lexus NX At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The latest Lexus NX is a typically sensible premium SUV. But it's not just going to appeal to your head – impressive refinement and a very classy interior makes it strong competition for the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Volvo XC60, too.

+Electric range of up to 47 miles from plug-in hybrid 450h+. Comfortable and easy to drive. Generous equipment levels. Much improved infotainment.

-Lacks the flashy image of premium rivals.

New prices start from £39,250
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The original Lexus NX was a bit of a win for the brand. Launched in 2014, it soon became Lexus' best-selling car in Europe, tempting buyers away from more obvious competitors like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. The second-generation car, on sale now, is set to build on that success – and we reckon it's got enough chutzpah to fend off fresh competition from the likes of the Genesis GV70. Read our Lexus NX review to find out more.

There are two key models available: the Lexus NX 350h and the Lexus NX 450h+. The first, in typical Lexus fashion, is a 'self-charging' hybrid; while the latter is a plug-in hybrid. That's a first for Toyota's premium brand, opening up a new audience of company car drivers or those who want to cover short journeys under electric power alone.

The entry-level Lexus NX 350h has quite a big cost advantage over the NX 450h+, with prices starting from a smidgen over £38,000. It pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to provide a combined output of 244PS. Perhaps more importantly, it's very efficient – and you don't need to bother plugging it in at night to get the best from it. Officially, it returns up to 49.5mpg in front-wheel-drive form, while the AWD model returns up to 47.9mph. Lexus models tend to perform fairly close to their WLTP figures according to our Real MPG data, too.

The Lexus NX 450h+ uses a similar setup to the plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4, pairing a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a rechargeable 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery. An electric motor on each axle means the Lexus NX 450h+ is four-wheel drive.

When it's fully charged, Lexus says the NX 450h+ can travel up to 47 miles (in varying conditions at speeds of up to 83mph) under electric power alone. That means you can enjoy refined electric running with effortless acceleration for quite an extended period.

When the petrol engine kicks in, it's pretty seamless, and only during the harshest of acceleration will you notice a bit of a thrum from the e-CVT automatic gearbox. There's enough power available that you don't need to work the Lexus NX 450h+ particularly hard to make progress. It's closer to the Volvo XC60 than the BMW X3 in the way it drives, though, meaning it's best to sit back and enjoy the comfortable ride quality.

The interior is superb – it soon becomes clear why the Lexus NX is considerably more expensive than the mechanically similar Toyota RAV4. The biggest focal point is the new 10.1-inch infotainment screen which is fitted as standard to Lexus NX F Sport and Takumi models. While you might worry that its sheer size means it's initially a bit distracting, it's actually easy to operate, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard too.

You get a generous amount of standard equipment for your money, while prices are competitive against premium rivals like the BMW X3 and the new Genesis GV70. Being a Lexus, it's also likely to be a very reliable choice, while you also get the benefit of a warranty that can be extended for up to 10 years.

We lived with a Lexus NX for three months - find out how we got on with it in our Lexus NX long term test. 

Ask Honest John

What small SUV do you recommend?

"My wife has a 71 plate Volvo XC40 2.0 litre petrol light hybrid which is a lovely car and comes highly recommended. My problem with it is that, as it's used for relatively short journeys, it manages only 27 mpg. Our shared problems with it is that, as we are both in our late 70's, doing so much via the touchscreen is very distracting and possibly dangerous and operating the satnav is beyond us, so we rely on our mobile phones - it would be a different matter if we were both 25 again. We are thinking that we should replace it with something of similar quality but without the drawbacks we are experiencing with the Volvo. We still want to be able to specify luxuries such as electric and heated seats, heated steering wheel etc. Petrol or full hybrid but not all electric would be preferred. Do you have any suggestions? "
I think you're going to struggle to find a modern, premium car that isn't heavily reliant on a touchscreen display, unfortunately. When you say you use your mobile phones, do you connect them and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? This is usually preferable to using in-built navigation. As an alternative, you could try a Lexus NX - it's a hybrid SUV that'll be more efficient than your Volvo. The NX has some handy physical shortcut buttons, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What is the battery degradation in PHEVs?

"I am considering purchasing a new Lexus NX 450+ which I expect to keep for several years. If I maximise the use of the PHEV battery, it occurs to me that PHEV batteries are likely to be more highly stressed then EV batteries. With a range of ~40 miles it could go from fully charged to empty in less than an hour and be recharged more frequently. I am assume high disharge rates and number of charging cycles both reduce battery capacity. If dealer serviced, the Lexus has a warranty cover that extends to 10 years but I can not establish the loss of capacity that would result in a free battery replacement or repair. So far the local dealer has verbally suggested less than 70% capacity would prompt a free repair, but is yet to confirm this in writing, Lexus customer services are providing opaque answers, and the information on the Lexas website is less than helpful. Clearly, some loss of capacity would be expected but given battery range is the USP of a PHEV it's important to me to understand how significant this could be and the extent of warranty cover. Are you able to advise if PHEV batteries are typically more vulnerable to capacity loss than EV batteries?"
While it is true that a PHEV battery will go through a charge and discharge cycle more frequently than an EV battery, you have more control over the operation of a PHEV battery in terms of drive modes and also how frequently the battery is recharged. It is also worth remembering that PHEV batteries are in operation far less than EV batteries - an EV cannot move without electrical power. The Lexus websites states 'In addition to the standard 3 year /60,000 mile manufacturer warranty, for NX 450h+ we also offer a 3 year / 60,000 miles (whichever comes first) with no mileage limitation in the first year in case of full battery degradation below 80% of initial capacity.'
Answered by David Ross

New car reg

"We finally have our new Lexus NX350 ready to be received very soon after waiting since Feb 2022! Given we’re one months away from September and we have been patiently waiting with multiple promises of delivery not fulfilled, can I insist it’s registered in a months time to obtain a 73 plate?"
It is unlikely you can insist that your car is not registered until the 73 plate is available, but you can certainly ask. We would suggest leaning on the dealer a little and mention the delays you have experienced in order to help your case.
Answered by David Ross

What steering wheel lock would you recommend?

"I have a Lexus NX 450+ with a tracker fitted. There was a theft of a Land Rover Discovery in our area. The vehicle had a tracker on and was stolen without the keys being taken. Before the tracker traced the car, the thieves had taken out the tracker mechanism and the vehicle could not be traced. I would like to have an additional level of protection on my Lexus. I would appreciate if you would suggest a steering wheel lock for the Lexus NX which would be the best deterrent against a car theft. Have you any alternative advice or suggestions?"
If you want a steering lock for your car that is effective as a deterrent as well as making the car very difficult to steal, we would suggest the Disklok. It's not cheap, but is very effective. Other things you can consider to add extra protection are a Faraday pouch for your keys - or even just putting your keys in a metal tin when you are at home - or adding a security post if your car is parked on a driveway at home. Add these elements together and it will make your car much less appealing as a target to potential thieves.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Lexus NX cost?