Of all the cars that I drove this year, I found the Lexus NX 350h to be the most charming. Earlier this year, we took the NX on a long road trip to Uttarakhand, and throughout the trip, I thoroughly enjoyed every second with the Lexus. In fact, it won that comparison test and was declared the best in its segment, owing to a combination of factors, such as design, efficiency, quality, and comfort. I think that the combination of a luxurious interior, a long list of standard features, that beautiful red colour, and its aggressive look work very well in its favour. The Lexus is quite nice to drive too, save the rubber band effect of its CVT gearbox. And its hybrid powertrain made sure that despite my aggressive driving style, we ended up getting a double-digit fuel efficiency figure.
Of course, our annual test is a different piece of cake altogether, but I must say that the Lexus did exceedingly well here too. Of course, it scored very highly in terms of design, quality, refinement, and comfort. And it wasn’t surprising at all, given the Lexus’ attention to detail whether it’s the design – I particularly love the spindle grille and the rear taillights – or the creature comforts inside the car – the Mark Levinson stereo system is spectacular. However, it didn’t score very well in terms of drivetrain – mostly because of the CVT gearbox – and the ride quality, which, on its large 20-inch wheels, can be a bit harsh.
On the other hand, the NX 350h scored quite highly in the X-Factor category, owing to its hybrid tech and excellent design. After all, who doesn’t want an efficient green SUV that looks good and is well-built too? But, then, it didn’t do very well in the value-for-money category, given that it’s more expensive than most of its competitors. Overall, shy of the winning scores by just a point or so, the NX 350h demonstrated its capabilities and was highly respected by all members of the jury.
- Lexus NX 350h (Lap Time – 01:13.1)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||4|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||16|