What’s the Lexus NX450h+ like inside?
The NX is the first Lexus to adopt the “Tazuna” design philosophy of minimising the number of physical controls in the interior.
In this case the number of buttons has been seriously depressed: from 78 to 45. Just as significantly, the fiddly trackpad infotainment controller has been deleted. It was a tedious thing to operate and its removal won’t see too many tears shed.
Key controls, such as setting the temperature and adjusting the volume on the 17-speaker sound system, are still physical dials, but a 14-inch touchscreen replaces many conventional switches.
The other option is to ask the car to do many of the functions for you.
Saying “Hey Lexus” activates the feature, which can then be requested to navigate to a destination, open and close the windows, make phone calls (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported) and set the climate control.
The seats are fantastically contoured and the front pair are heated and ventilated, while the outboard rear pews have heating.
Leg room won’t be an issue in the second row, but taller passengers may find the sloping roof limits headspace if they lean back. The slim rear window also limits visibility (though the camera and parking sensors compensate when reversing).
A USB and USB-C port provide power and Bluetooth connectivity up front, with a pair of USB-C ports for those down the back.
Boot space is a segment-leading 520 litres and the rear seats can be electrically folded.
What’s under the Lexus 450h+’s bonnet?
There’s a regular 2.5-litre petrol engine sitting under the hood, complemented by a pair of electric motors and an 18.1kWh battery nestled under the floor.
The engine delivers 136kW and 227Nm and powers the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.
In electric-only mode, a 124kW/270Nm motor powers the front wheels, with a 40kW/121Nm motor turning the rear wheels.
Lexus quotes a combined power output of 227Nm but doesn’t specify maximum torque.
Is the Lexus NX50h+ efficient?
The quoted combined fuel use is 1.3 litres over 100km. Testing showed that’s about right, but only for the first 100km, given most of that travel is achieved using the battery, after which the engine kicks in.
In engine-only operation, expect to see 6.-something litres/100km, depending on driving conditions.
The WLTP assesses the LX450h+ to have an electric only range of 69-76km. I easily managed 60km, despite the first 30km being freeway driving which doesn’t provide any scope for energy recuperation like urban running does.
A button to the left of the gear lever lets drivers toggle between electric and fossil fuel modes of conveyance, with a third mode using the engine to both power the car and recharge the battery.
Fully deplete the charge and it will take around two and a half hours to replenish the electrons using the supplied 7kW home charger, or about nine hours if you connect to a standard 240-volt plug.