There are things that Lexus does extremely well with interiors, and not following the herd is one of them. No, it does not fit such soft or, seemingly, dense plastics and rubbers as, say, Audi or BMW, but it counters with novel surface finishes.
Where a German car would have a matt plastic that gives slightly to the touch and materials that are meant to look flowing and natural, the Lexus has highly technical grains and deliberately modern slashes of wood and metal. It’s like an automotive equivalent of a Casio G-Shock watch: premium in a way that no one else does it. And we rather like it for that.
We quite like the driving position, too. It’s widely adjustable and brings with it a small, pleasingly sculpted, thick-rimmed wheel. Most of the ergonomics are good, but where German premium alternatives have sought to minimise buttons on the dashboard, Lexus has studiously ploughed on.
In general, that’s fine – and there are some sweet touches, too, such as the removable mirror on the centre console – but in places it can look and feel overly fussy.
The small parking brake button, augmented by ancillaries, is a case in point, as is the latest infotainment controller. Incorporating a touchpad, it’s an improvement on the mouse-like operation of its predecessor, but it’s still slightly clumsy compared with the best in the class.
Along with the hardware, the software has had an update. Our phones connected easily, the navigation is efficient and the audio system offers the high-quality sound that we’ve come to expect of a Lexus. There’s DAB radio and enough auxiliary sockets to float an iPod.
Generally, accommodation is fine elsewhere. Lexus claims that the NX has the longest load bay in the class with the rear seats folded, but if you occupy rather than flatten them, you’ll find rear accommodation acceptable and front passenger space good. Oddment storage is decent, too – and by popular demand, there is a spare wheel. It’s a space saver, but infinitely better than nothing.
Of the six available trim levels, opting for the entry-level S model will get you dual-zone climate control, manually adjustable front seats, a 7.0in infotainment system with DAB, and Bluetooth connectivity. Go for the step-up SE trim and you'll find heated seats, auto wipers and lights and four-wheel drive.
The mid-range Sport trimmed NX gets heated front seats, 18in black alloy wheels, a sporty bodykit and a Tahara upholstery, which is a synthetic leather material.