Review: Lexus NX 450h+ – A Thoughtful Fusion of Comfort and Innovation
Ok, so maybe I’m biased, but after just a week with the NX 450h+ I was more than a little bit reluctant to part ways with it again. Lexus have built a car that stands as a testament to thoughtful engineering and practical design, and in a crowded world of hybrid vehicles, it’s up there with the very best.
Ok, so on the outside, I wouldn’t say the NX 450h+ is an immediate head turner, there are curves, and elegant definitions abound, but it’s not a car you will fall in love with on looks alone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not ugly or offensive – and if you have a certain level of sophistication you’ll find comfort in its familiarity.
Inside, the car strikes a balance between function and luxury, you’re greeted by an interior that feels familiar and elevated. Lexus’s commitment to craftsmanship is evident in every detail. The super-soft plastics and meticulously stitched leather not only looked lush but feel comfortable and homely. It’s higher driving position gives you an excellent all round view of the road and despite the hi-tecit’s a car you get to grips with very quickly.
As someone who really values thoughtful design, the clean instrument panel and intuitive layout of controls brings the NX 450h+ bang up to date. USB C connections and seamless Android/ Apps Car integration on the huge infotainment screen look great and are future proof additions (at least for a while anyway). It’s a space where form and function harmonise seamlessly and a place you could happily spend a lot time in. Plus the ability to save the position of the drivers seat for 3 different people is totally awesome if you are tall and your partner is small. Or vice versa. I should say the rear seating area might feel a bit snug with four adults onboard, but when considering the car’s other overall positive plus points, for someone with a young family it may not be a big consideration.
The car I tested (NX450h Plug In with F Sport Prem Plus Pk) comes complete with 360-degree camera reversing cameras, that visualise the car from a birds eye perspective. My brain hurts when I try to figure it out how they do it, but its a big upgrade on the usual back end camera that doesn’t tell the full picture.
Under the hood, the NX 450h+ boasts a commendable hybrid system, combining a 2.5-litre hybrid Atkinson cycle engine, front and rear electric motors, and a high-capacity lithium-ion battery. Off the blocks this blend translates into slightly sluggish acceleration figure (0-62mph in 6.3 seconds), but on the move the battery does allow for quick and robust acceleration, similar to what you’d experience in a fully electric vehicle, while also improving fuel efficiency.
This enables the car to cover longer distances using electric power alone, making it more efficient and refined overall. If you’re driving to work reasonably close to home, it’s possible to rely mostly (or totally) on electric power to do it, but if you like to go further afield too while leaving range anxiety at home the advanced hybrid powertrain, will also tick that box.
The seamless transition between its electric and cycle engine modes is seemless and the car effortlessly adapts to various driving conditions, providing a balanced and intuitive driving experience.
The incorporation of the intelligent E-Four electric all-wheel drive system will add a layer of confidence, especially in wet and challenging driving condition. Extra stability and control is always welcome and directly connected to enhancing the driving experience, which can be for some hybrids a bit underwhelming.
Charging the NX 450h+ is straightforward, with the battery reaching full capacity in about 2.5 hours using a 230V/32A connection and the 6.6kW on-board charger. This practical approach to charging underscores the vehicle’s user-friendly design, catering to the demands of daily usage.
The Lexus NX 450h+ is a commendable choice for those seeking a hybrid vehicle that balances comfort and innovation. While it may not boast extravagance, it offers a sensible and well-thought-out driving experience, making it a practical option in the competitive hybrid market.
Car reviewed – Lexus NX450h Plug In with F Sport Prem Plus Pk. Price from £44,430.
For more info visit www.lexus.co.uk