Saying hello to our new Lexus NX300h long-termer
A brand new Lexus NX has just come into my custody and I feel like the girl who got all of the toys. First impressions have been fantastic, although I'm yet to see the benefit of its hybrid credentials.
This car looks seriously futuristic with striking lines, angular LED lights and that blue paintwork. On the inside it's a perfectly paired combination of luxury and technology. Compared to many cars, the interior can feel encroaching but it offers an element of security while driving.
Sitting in the NX for the first time you are surrounded by buttons, something which has become a bit of anomaly in cars these days, but it really adds to that spaceship feel. Once you've adjusted your seat to your preferred position it will memorise this, so that every time you get in a press power it adjusts perfectly.
Getting comfortable is extremely easy too, with electric adjustment on the seats and steering wheel, plus heated seats and even a heated steering wheel. A life saver on these freezing mornings!
Lexus likes to use a range of alternative ways to direct you around its infotainment system. Rather than a touchscreen or buttons it uses a touchpad – something you'd expect to see on a computer from the late 90s.
That said, it's very easy to use. Colleagues and friends have tried it and the result is completely baffled faces, but it's the sort of thing you adjust to. The Lexus screen is something else that looks daunting on first glance, but I'm finding that there's method in the madness and, once you've adjusted to that, things become easy to use.
Another great touch which adds to the premium feel of this car is the Mark Levinson speakers. The sound in this car is incredible, and already in our short time together I've been known to drive the long way home to play just a few more songs.
I've also got to admit that I'm already finding the electric driving addictive. I'm desperate to get my miles per gallon up and use electric only power as much as possible. With a few long drives, I'm struggling to improve on 32.8mph although the claimed combined is 54.3mpg.
The CVT gearbox is a bit irritating too, as it doesn't have quite the drive you'd want and acceleration feels particularly sluggish, which is only worsened by the unpleasant engine note.
Model: Lexus NX300h
Engine: 2.5-litre petrol hybrid
Max speed: 112mph