Is the Lexus NX 450h+ the Right Version of This Luxury SUV?

It might be difficult to get through the name, but the Lexus NX 450h+ could be the outstanding small luxury SUV that offers you an amazing drive.

When searching for the ideal trim level of a vehicle, you’ve got to weigh the pros and cons and find out which one makes the most sense. The 450h+ trim is nearly $15,000 more than the 350h model, which makes you take a step back and think about what you get for this amount. At the 450h+ trim, you’re going well beyond the good enough area of this SUV and into a model that could actually be useful and enjoyable on the road.

What Comes Before this Impressive Trim?

When reviewing the Lexus NX models, you’ll quickly realize you want to skip the base 250 model if you can. This base version of the NX could be accurately described as a gussied-up Toyota RAV4. The same base engine found in the Toyota lurks under the hood of the NX 250, giving you only 203 horsepower.

Of course, you could leave the 250 behind and step into the first of the hybrid models at the 350h trim level. This model delivers 240 horsepower from a traditional hybrid powertrain, which allows the NX to hit 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds. This sounds like it’s kind of slow, which it is. The regular NX 350 hits the same mark in 6.6 seconds.
If these trims don’t offer enough power, maybe they also don’t have enough features to make them right for your drive. That brings us to the trim level we’re talking about today.

What Does the Lexus NX 450h+ Bring to the Table?

This trim level of the NX is a plug-in hybrid version that delivers an estimated 37 miles of electric driving range. The build offers some sporty upgrades to make this little luxury SUV stand out and bring an impressive level of driving performance. The plug-in powertrain of this impressive Lexus SUV hits 304 horsepower and gives you the quickness to sprint to 60 mph in only 6.0 seconds. The 450h+ has electric motors on both axles, which allows this small SUV to have standard AWD and plenty of power for a satisfying and fun drive wherever you want to go.

Is this a Performance-Oriented SUV?

For the most part, this Lexus NX is not a performance-oriented luxury SUV. It has a suspension that’s not made for corner carving but for compliant driving over flat corners, where it can be the luxury crossover that we love and admire. This means you’ll have a comfortable ride wherever you go. Just because it’s made for mostly regular driving doesn’t mean it’s missing an edginess to it. The 450h+ has both Sport and Sport+ modes to improve the ride and steering, which can make it a little more exciting than in Normal mode.

How Do You Get Sportier Looks for this Lexus SUV?

The Lexus NX offers an F Sport Appearance package as part of the mix, This package delivers better exterior styling and aesthetics to make it more aggressive and impressive on any road. The sportier look you find doesn’t change the interior, which is already pretty spectacular.

What Will You Find in the Cabin of this SUV?

The Lexus NX 450h+ brings a large 14-inch touchscreen that offers the infotainment system you’re sure to enjoy when you’re out on the road. Lower trims have a smaller screen, which is certainly one reason to step up to this higher trim level with standard AWD. The infotainment system is quick, reliable, and responds immediately to your inputs.

It’s Possible Lexus Got Too Techy with the NX?

Regardless of the trim level, you desire for this small and active luxury SUV; you’ll find a couple of items that make you look at the NX quizzically. There are some unmarked buttons on the steering wheel, which many people wouldn’t except on accident. These buttons control the functions you see on the head-up display. It might take you a few weeks with this luxury SUV to learn how to use these buttons before you get used to them.

Another strange feature of the Lexus NX lineup is how the door handles work. These handles both offer an electronic release and a mechanical function, and we’re not sure why both are offered. This could truly be adding tech just for the sake of putting more tech inside a vehicle. The purpose of the electronic function is to ensure the doors don’t open when a vehicle is in the blind spot, but that function operates whether you use the electronic operation or the mechanical function.

Is the NX Large Enough?

You don’t get more room in the Lexus NX 450h+, but the entire lineup of NX luxury SUVs is a little larger in the current model than the previous generation. Either way, this is a small SUV with tight dimensions. This might not be the right SUV for you to take your family for a drive, but if you treat it as a great vehicle for you and a date to enjoy some time together out on the road, it could be perfect for you. The small cargo area expands when you fold down the rear seats, which makes it even more useful as a great SUV for a single person or a couple.

Is the Price Increase Worth the Added Features?

The jump from the Lexus NX 350h to the Lexus NX 450h+ is nearly $15,000. Is that enough to justify the PHEV system, added horsepower, standard AWD, a larger touchscreen, and better sprint time? You don’t get much else for your money in this SUV, but if most of your driving is 37 miles or less, you’ll hardly ever use any gas.

This PHEV is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, which could make a difference. Mostly, this trim level seems to be a status symbol; is that enough of a reason to step up to this top trim of the NX?

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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