So, you are in your mid-twenties or early thirties, successful, with a good career, young family, and with aspirations for your future. You are earning a good income, and now in a position to be able to start enjoying the rewards of your success.
Top of the list will be the car that you drive, will it reflect your status, how will it be perceived, is it exclusive, is it built to exacting standards, will it boost your self-esteem, will you feel passionate about it, so let’s see how the Lexus’s new NX 350h will score when compared with these criteria?
Lexus is known for having a reputation for producing a range of top-quality vehicles, and as such they were an obvious choice for inclusion.
Now following a revamp, the Lexus NX 350h has taken a huge stride forward both technically and visually.
So, when we talked to the team at Lexus and discussed that we were producing features on luxurious aspirational motoring they immediately volunteered one for us to work with, as they were currently redefining their target groups with an emphasis on a younger market.
So here is what we found:
Kerb Appeal: The NX hybrid, a car that anticipates your approach after dusk by illuminating door handles and highlighting obstacles such as puddles or tripping hazards.
The NX 350h has a sleek powerful aura, a striking design, predator-like front grille and sharp sporty looks that continue with the sloping coupe style roof giving bodywork lines that demand attention. A SUV that refuses to fade into the background, handsome, stylish and contemporary looks – a real head turner.
The NX 350h will make you rethink SUV’s, yes there is a place for the functional in a premium motor, but not all will grab the plaudits and the attention, like the Lexus.
Handling: With its light, rigid bodyshell it’s an absolute pleasure to drive, it leaves the driver feeling connected to the road giving what can be described as a taut but comfortable drive.
The adaptive suspension, the electronically controlled differential keeps weight distribution perfectly balanced 50:50 and firm dampers and performance brakes makes the 350h more responsive when cornering, there isn’t much body roll in the corners either allowing you to get that last piece of performance out of this SUV.
Off-road the NX continues to impress again the suspension smooths out the bone jarring bumps making for an impressive ride.
Inside: Driving position is excellent bringing all the major controls into the drivers reach, while the driver is seated low this does not impact on forward visibility and add to that parking cameras which display on the central infotainment screen.
There is plenty of leg room for front seat passengers, a good size glove box and space in the centre arm rests provide storage, rear seat passengers meanwhile get a comfortable amount of legroom and a surprising amount of head room and although the boot is not overly large the back seats can be folded down.
There is also Lexus Voice Assist, AI and the cloud working together in the clever Lexus Voice Assistant, which means no struggling with buttons while you’re concentrating on the road ahead. This newly developed “Hey Lexus” voice assistant understands natural language and the context of statements such as “I’m hungry” or “I’m cold” and can even recognise which passenger is speaking. You can activate vehicle features like ambient lighting or search the internet without taking your hands off the wheel.
Infotainment: The latest NX model is packed with new tech. The new infotainment system is faster and the new touchscreen is definitely an upgrade on previous models. Wireless Apple CarPlay is available but Android users will have to plug their phones in for Android Auto, which is surprising. That said, you may find that a wired connection is more reliable and easier to use than a wireless one, so it’s not the end of the world.
The 360-degree panoramic camera view for parking is a really handy option giving a birds-eye view of the car, it’s easier to park and great for keeping the wheels in good condition.
Safety: The car sports a long list of safety features including, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) which maintains a set distance between the NX and the vehicle ahead, even if that vehicle varies its speed and lane departure warning as standard Feelings of safety and protection are raised to new levels with the improved
At night, AHB uses the same camera as Lane Keep Assist to detect oncoming vehicles and automatically dip the high beam headlights. This reduces the chance of accidentally dazzling other drivers and lets you concentrate on the road ahead.
Lexus Safety System+. Debuting on the new Lexus NX is e-Latch with Safe Exit Assist electronic entry and exit system. This is linked to the car’s Blind Spot Monitor to warn of any traffic or cyclists approaching from the rear. If it detects a risk, it will trigger a warning light and buzzer, and cancel the door unlatching
Conclusion: In our opinion the Lexus NX 350h ticks all the boxes for luxury. How it’s perceived, just looking at it and sitting in it, then to drive the car you cannot find fault with the design, the product, the technology, build quality, and the cars overall luxurious feel. I can honestly say it’s been a long time since we have enjoyed driving a car as much as we did the Lexus NX 350h. It was a pleasure to drive on the motorway, in town and city as well as taking it off road and is ideally suited to the target audience of younger aspirational drivers