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The hybrid-only mid-sized Lexus NX is challenging the likes of the new Volvo XC60, Range Rover Velar and Audi Q5 among others, but is it up to the task?

A mid-size SUV. No premium manufacturer’s range is complete without one.

The German manufacturers have the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan. Britain has the Land Rover Range Rover Velar, and Sweden has the recently-launched, second-gen Volvo XC60. It should give some picture how congested the field is that the Lexus NX finds itself in. 

The NX's looks aren’t to all tastes, but it certainly isn't bland

It arrived in the UK in two forms - petrol and hybrid forms - but now is only available with Lexus’s petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. And as we’ll discover, it is, for better or worse, unafraid to look, feel and drive differently from the accepted segment norm.

Chief among those differences is that it’s the only car in the sector not offered with a diesel engine. 

Just like other Lexus models, there is a premium price tag to be had. The NX300h in flagship Premier specification costs almost £44,500, which would buy you not just the more expensive models in the BMW X3 range but even a lower-spec BMW X5.

Is the new Lexus worth such a premium? We’ll find out in this review.

Lexus NX 2014-2021 First drives