The new Lexus NX SUV is now available to pre-order in the UK, where prices start at just over £38,000. The comprehensively overhauled model gets updated bodywork, fresh technology and – according to Lexus – much-improved dynamic capability.
Although the basic image is similar to its predecessor, the new model is in fact based on completely different underpinnings. Lexus’ new GA-K platform is the basis for the new car, and Lexus says the switch gives the new NX “a more rewarding connection” between the driver and the car.
Lexus has also made much of the new infotainment system that is debuting on the next-generation NX. After Lexus’ current system has attracted so much criticism from the motoring press, the new version is said to “transform performance” with an operating system that makes it “as smooth and simple as using a tablet”.
UK customers get a choice of three different core trim levels and two powertrains, although some upgrade packs muddy the waters for consumers. It’s probably better to think of the range as a five-tier ladder, with some trims offering more similarities than others.
Firstly, though, there’s a choice of hybrid powertrains to choose from. The £38,300 starting price will get you the 350h, which pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a ‘self-charging’ hybrid system. Working in much the same way as the old NX’s hybrid powertrains, it comes with all-wheel drive as standard and produces 239 bhp. That’s enough for a 0-62 mph time of 7.7 seconds.
Alternatively, you can go for the 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain, which is labelled 450h+. Also combined with all-wheel drive as standard, the 302 bhp system allows the car to travel more than 40 miles on a full charge. When the battery runs dry, you can either recharge as you would with an electric car, or carry on using the petrol engine.
When you put your foot down, however, the car will use the electric- and petrol-powered motors together to accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 6.3 seconds. But more importantly, the hybrid powertrain is expected to keep carbon dioxide emissions low, which will keep company car drivers’ tax bills in check.
Once you’ve chosen a hybrid system, it’s time to pick a trim level. The basic NX is only available with the 350h powertrain and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, the new 9.8-inch infotainment system and man-made leather upholstery. Front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and heated front seats are also thrown in, along with a 10-speaker Pioneer audio system and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology.
If you so wish, you can upgrade your NX with the addition of the Premium Pack, which adds £1,000 to the asking price and gives you the chance to specify plug-in hybrid power. Just as importantly, the pack adds privacy glass, keyless entry and a heated steering wheel, as well as wireless phone charging and electrically adjustable front seats.
Or you can choose the Premium Plus Pack, which starts at £45,800 and gives you 20-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display and real leather upholstery. You also get heated rear seats and front seats that are both heated and ventilated.
Above that sits the F Sport trim level, which comes in at £47,300 and gives the mid-size SUV a sporty makeover. You get some black exterior trim including a mesh front grille, as well as adaptive suspension and sporty metal pedals. Otherwise, though, the specification is similar to that of the Premium Plus Pack.
If you want more kit, therefore, you have to go for the Takumi. That starts at £51,800 and comes with all the F Sport accoutrements, plus a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, a sunroof and automated parking technology.
Those who wish to place an order can go online to pre-order the vehicle, indicating their preferred Lexus dealer. The dealer will then contact them to take a fully refundable £500 deposit, and will then be in touch when demonstrators become available. The first customer cars are expected to arrive in January 2022.