The entry-level model misses out on four-wheel-drive, which is a disappointment. It also doesn’t get hill-descent control, an essential in a car like this.
The engines include a hybrid, which pairs an electric motor with a 2.5-litre petrol unit for 195bp. That sounds like enough, but it lacks power. Worse still, the automatic gearbox creates a racket that grates.
The 200t petrol model that develops 235bhp is a better bet. Even so, it has its inadequacies – for example it’s sluggish to react. However, it weighs less than the hybrid, which helps to boost its agility. Its 6-speed automatic transmission is worthy, too, and helps with cruising and acceleration.
In terms of running costs, the hybrid returns a respectable 56.5mpg. That’s respectable, not as frugal as the Land Rover, a car that itself is far from class-leading. The petrol engine, meanwhile, returns 35.8mpg. That doesn’t sound too disastrous, but it will be hard to achieve such numbers.
Inside, the Lexus NX boasts a funkily designed dashboard, supportive seats, and lots of upmarket materials. The cabin is luxurious, solidly built, and comes with a smart infotainment system that’s controlled via a touchpad.
It’s a practical car. A raised driving seat ensures good visibility, and the steering wheel comes with lots of adjustability. Anyone sat in the back will find their headroom is limited by the raised seats. But a lack of a raised transmission tunnel means middle seated passengers get an easy ride for once.
The boot measures 475-litres, which is way smaller than the Land Rover and the Jeep. It measures 580-litres in other countries, but here in Britain we get a space-saver spare wheel. You decide what you’d rather have.
Lexus – £31,145 – £44,400