There’s not a lot of praise for the way the NX drives on any front – those expecting a Lexus-like wafting experience will be particularly disappointed.
Lexus won’t offer a diesel with the NX, so if you’re after efficiency you can opt for the NX300h hybrid, a 2.5-litre petrol with an electric motor attached. You’ll have seen this combination before in other Lexus models – the IS and GS have both used it – but in the NX a second motor is attached to the rear axle to provide four-wheel-drive.
You’ll probably dislike the CVT automatic in the Hybrid because it’s quite droney and not a lot of fun when you want to accelerate, but it is remarkably hushed at steady speeds. It will also run for about a mile on electric mode alone, but you’ll probably not see the claimed fuel economy figures easily.
The Lexus NX drives alright but it's not as cosseting over bumps as you think and not as confidence-inspiring as the best in class
If you prefer a more conventional powertrain then select the NX200T, which comes equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol. The 235hp unit accelerates the NX to 62 from rest in 7.1 seconds via the six-speed automatic gearbox. This unit is unlikely to find many homes in the UK, however, as many buyers will be put off by the mediocre 35.8mpg fuel efficiency and 183g/km CO2 output.
The ride is always on the harsh side of firm, but better on motorways than it is around town, where it will clatter along poorly maintained roads in a most unhappy fashion.
It doesn’t equal a decent trade for a sporty cross-country driver’s car either. The Lexus stays relatively flat and composed in corners and the light steering doesn’t give you much confidence on very twisty roads.
You’re better off avoiding the higher specification models with adaptive dampers and leaving Sport Mode well alone. This seems to be the way to make sure the ride is acceptably firm rather than unpleasantly so.