The NX is the best-selling Lexus in Europe – 175,000 since 2014 – and also one of the most important models globally. Thus the second generation has been completely redesigned starting from the GA-K platform, which for the first time also includes the plug-in hybrid. On the new NX, waiting for the 100% electric version scheduled for 2023 – you can choose between this and the full hybrid Toyota version 4.0 already seen on the RAV4, available in both two and four-wheel drive. The NX 350h has 242 hp, accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.7 seconds and consumes 5.6 l / 100 km with CO2 emissions of 127 g / km. The NX 450h + rises to 306 HP and drops to 6.3 seconds in the stop sprint, with approved fuel consumption of 0.9 l / 100 km and 20 g / km of CO2. Data obtained with the fully charged 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery, thanks to which the Japanese SUV can travel up to 76 km (98 km in the city) without ever turning on the internal combustion engine and still reaching 135 km / h.
The two hybrid powertrains share the 2.5 petrol Atkinson cycle and the front electric motor. In the “plug” and integral version there is a second electric unit at the rear which is used more in the first case and less in the second, since the accumulators have different dimensions. In other words, the hardware is almost the same, but the software makes a difference. In this regard, the new Lexus D-SUV looks like something out of a science fiction film: at the center of the dashboard stands the 14 “touchscreen that merges with the instrumentation screen, while the infotainment system is based on a new platform. connected to the cloud, which makes it as fluid as a high-level tablet and includes the voice assistant. Then there are the touch controls on the steering wheel that when used are shown on the head-up display where you can look at the many options without distracting yourself. The hi-tech continues with the 64-color ambient lighting and the “e-latch” electronic door opening system.
Among its features is that of being able to cancel the release if it detects a vehicle or a bike approaching from the rear.
In addition, there is the updated suite of driver assistance systems, which includes the best available on the market and in which the advanced pre-collision system that works in conjunction with automatic emergency steering stands out. All this without counting the many gadgets on board, the customization possibilities and the 17-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. If you like technology, this is the car for you. Speaking of external dimensions, however, they have only grown by a couple of centimeters per side and the trunk guarantees at least 545 liters in all versions. An almost surreal silence reigns on board, the 4-cylinder is felt only by asking it for all the power (the infamous scooter effect is now a distant memory) and in general the pace is that of a flying carpet.
This is not to say that the NX is too soft.
Indeed, the Japanese average SUV is always pleasant, although sporty driving is not its specialty, also because when the gas pedal is depressed, the roar of the 4-cylinder is very present in the passenger compartment and it is certainly not a noble “sound. “. In any case, playing with the engine brake adjustment (6 levels) you can easily find the preferred one, up to the one-pedal-feeling. Also for this reason the gearbox does not have the classic B gear (Brake) that is usually found on the Toyota Group hybrids. In short, driving the Lexus NX is always pleasant and very relaxing, although the driver’s seat is not particularly suitable for taller than average people. This happens both because the seat is mounted quite high and cannot retract to the limit of the rear seat, and because the pedal set is quite close to the driver and does not go very deep inside the engine hood.
The result is a fairly compact ergonomics, all too much considering the external dimensions of the car.
Lexux NX – the card
What is that: belonging to the D-SUV category, it is the first plug-in hybrid from Lexus and shares the powetrain with the Toyota RAV4
Dimensions: length 4.66 meters, width 1.86 m height 1.67 m, pitch 2.69 m
Trunk: 545 liters
Motor: plug-in hybrid, 2.5 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle, plus two electric motors, total power 306 hp
Exchange: automatic, planetary with continuous variation of the ratios
Traction: integral on-demand without drive shaft
Advantages: efficiency, performance, finishes, comfort
Defects: very small driver’s seat, complicated steering wheel controls
Production: Kyushu, Japan
Prices: The Lexus NX hybrid price list starts at 58,000 euros, while that of the plug-in goes up to 65,000 euros, net of discounts and promotions