Lexus NX

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

IT has to be said that this week’s cool test car is one mean-look­ing mo­tor.

The new Lexus NX 300h com­pact crossover could eas­ily be a Bond vil­lain’s char­iot of choice with its strik­ing an­gu­lar lines and men­ac­ing front end (Lexus de­scribe the styling as ‘mus­cu­lar’)… and it would be ideal for sneak­ing up on 007 too be­cause, be­ing a hy­brid, it can mo­tor along in si­lence in elec­tric ve­hi­cle mode.

Mind you, the NX is re­ally one of the good guys be­cause that hy­brid lay­out means it is sav­ing fuel… and the planet.

The cool out­side look con­tin­ues inside with the an­gu­lar cen­tre con­sole, jut­ting out from the stylish dash­board, and there are enough gad­gets to keep your av­er­age su­per-vil­lain happy.

There are three driv­ing modes, Eco, Nor­mal and Sport. You can also drive on elec­tric mo­tors only up to 30mph.

Then there’s DAB ra­dio, sat nav, rear cam­era with all round park­ing sen­sors, elec­tric heated leather seats, cruise con­trol, key­less en­try and start, power tail­gate, all-round il­lu­mi­nated door han­dles with ‘pud­dle lights’, ABS, brake as­sist, trac­tion con­trol and tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing.

One clever de­vel­op­ment is the fact the car boasts two elec­tric mo­tors so 4x4 driv­ing is avail­able in all modes.

Con­ven­tional power comes from a 2,494cc petrol en­gine which, with the elec­tric mo­tors run­ning too, can de­liver almost 200bhp mean­ing a re­spectable 0-62 time of 9.2 seconds and top speed is 112mph.

Con­sid­er­ing it has that 2.5-litre petrol power plant (which takes over from the elec­tric mo­tors at 30mph or when you put your foot down hard) and it is not a light car (1.9 tonnes), mpg is re­spectable at more than 55 on a run and, as it is a hy­brid, almost the same around town (53). CO2 emis­sions are more im­pres­sive at just 121g/km.

It has street pres­ence in spades, is very com­fort­able and well equipped, has rea­son­able per­for­mance and fuel econ­omy and prices are not bad too – start­ing from £29,495 for the two-wheel drive S model through SE, Lux­ury (our test car) and F-Sport top­ping out with the Premier ver­sion from £42,995.

●● The new Lexus NX

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