Enjoy the cabin, endure the ride
Top of the line Sport Luxury is priced from $73,270. Based on Toyota’s RAV4, its build and finish quality are first-rate, as is the impressive cabin with all mod-cons including satnav. Styling has a polarising effect but at least it stands out. Warranty, at four years/ 100,000km, is a little better than most. Servicing for three years costs $1490, intervals are six months/10,000km.
Cushy cabin and comfortable seats will please many. There is reasonable rear legroom and the decent-sized boot accommodates a space-saver spare. The dash and console, however, carry a daunting array of information and controls, then there’s the tiny trackpad that directs the onscreen cursor — which isn’t easy to use at the best of times let alone when the car is in motion. The Mark Levinson 14-speaker audio is outstanding.
Five stars from ANCAP with a score of 35.39/37, and it rates highly for pedestrian protection. As with many brands, some advanced driver aids are reserved for higherspec variants. It gets active cruise control, rear-view camera and autonomous emergency braking, the latter working up to 60km/h.
Fails to impress here, with too much turbo lag and choppy ride over anything but the best surfaces, with plenty of tyre noise thrown in. It’s got some stonk, though, with 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo (175kW/350Nm) turning all four wheels. There are Eco, Sport and Sport+ drive modes but even in Sport+ it exhibits too much body roll. The dash from rest to 100km/h takes a quickish 7.1 secs and we returned 8.6L/100km after more than 400km. A digital speedo would be handy.
ALTERNATIVES Infiniti QX30 Premium, from $56,900
More like a plush and highriding hatch, it benefits from Benz underpinnings. Drivetrain is 2.0-litre turbo (155kW/ 350Nm), seven-speed twinclutch auto and all-wheel drive. Auto stop-start assists with claimed 6.9L/100km. Warranty is four years/ 100,000km. Service intervals are 12 months/ 25,000km and cost will be $1625 over three years.
Audi Q3 Quattro TFSI Sport, from $57,500
Sporty SUV shares a platform with the excellent VW Tiguan. All wheel drive with a 2.0-litre turbo (155kW/300Nm) turning a seven-speed twin-clutch auto. With auto stop-start, it uses 7.7L/100km. Warranty is three years/unlimited km and service interval is 15,000km — cost over three years will be $1590.
Thanks but no thanks. The NX tries hard but needs to get the basics right.