The NX stands out as a clever hybrid compact crossover accommodating up to five passengers. It competes with formidable rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Volvo XC40, and BMW X3 in the market.
Surrounding the elevated grille, a complex arrangement of headlights and sizable air vents catches the eye. While the side profile might appear deceptively simple at first glance, a closer examination unveils intricate details in its angles and curves.
During our extensive week-long test drive, we had the chance to experience the NX 350h Luxury model, which boasted the refined Cloudburst Gray hue and featured 20-inch alloy wheels as an optional upgrade, available for an additional $1,300.
At the heart of the interior lies a 9.8-inch touchscreen, strategically positioned within easy reach for most drivers. The majority of surface materials are molded plastics, but they are tastefully presented in vibrant and appealing colors.
The power source for this vehicle originates from a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine, which is paired with an ECVT transmission and bolstered by two electric motors. This combination yields a total power output of 240 horsepower, which is 35 horsepower less than what you’d find in the standard NX 350 model.
Exclusively equipped with all-wheel drive, the NX 350h model achieves this by placing one electric motor on each axle. Nonetheless, its primary mode of operation is as a front-wheel drive, with the rear electric motor engaged during initial acceleration or when additional traction is required.
Thanks to its hybrid system, the NX 350h achieves a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds, similar to the latest Prius, and boasts a top speed of 124 miles per hour. However, this power, while sufficient for city driving, might feel a bit sluggish when carrying a full load or navigating uphill.
The steering provides adequate feedback, and the brakes, although strong, can be touchy—a common characteristic of regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles. The seats prioritize comfort and offer excellent visibility from their elevated position, making blind spot checks straightforward, aided by the inclusion of blind spot monitoring.
The 2024 Lexus NX 350h Luxury variant, which we had in our garage for a week here at CarFanatics Blog, initially carried a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $48,795. However, after factoring in the cost of several optional features, the total price surged to $56,430.
When comparing these vehicles, the edge can be given to the NX and QX50. The Lexus NX effectively bridges the gap between the smallest models offered by most competitors and their slightly larger counterparts.
For comparison purposes, it can be placed in the same category as models such as the BMW X1 and X3, along with the Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLC.
Among its closest rivals, one should consider the Infiniti QX50. While it offers advanced technology, it is equipped with a rather unimpressive turbo-4 engine. Alternatively, there’s the Volvo XC40, renowned for its playful design and a premium-priced electric vehicle version.
On the other hand, Mazda’s CX-50 provides many similar amenities to Lexus vehicles but at a somewhat lower price point, even though it tends to be a bit noisier.