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Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year 2023: Lexus NX

The Lexus NX is the Auto Express 2023 Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year with the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan commended

Lexus is no stranger to Auto Express victories, but this is the first time the premium brand has taken back-to-back wins in our New Car Awards. However, if the distinctive and desirable NX is anything to go by, then this won’t be the last
time the Japanese firm achieves such a feat.

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Beautiful craftsmanship and award-winning customer service are Lexus trademarks, but the NX adds head-turning style, sumptuous comfort and a range of powerful-yet-efficient hybrid powertrains into the mix. While the traditional ‘self-charging’ set-up will appeal to private buyers, the plug-in 450h+ is the pick of the line-up. With its unruffled 2.5-litre petrol engine and a large 18.1kWh battery, it offers around 40 miles of near-silent EV running and a company car tax-busting eight-per-cent BiK rate.

Regardless of engine choice, you get the same mature and easygoing driving experience that prioritises relaxation and refinement for stress-free progress. The soft suspension soaks up bumps and potholes, while wind and road noise are kept to a hushed minimum. That said, the NX still feels precise and composed through the corners, while the four-wheel-drive 302bhp 450h+ packs hot hatch-humbling pace.

Yet it’s the Lexus’s interior that’s the real star, with its sumptuous finish, supremely supportive seats, advanced tech and a list of standard kit that would shame a luxury limousine. It has the brand’s best infotainment system yet, particularly if you opt for the Link Pro upgrade that packs a 14-inch screen with crisp graphics and excellent connectivity. It’s taken Lexus more than a quarter of century, but with the upmarket NX it finally has a machine to take on and beat Europe’s best.

Our choice

Lexus NX 450h+ Premium Pack with Link Pro (£55,900)

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This plug-in version looks pricey on paper, but factor in its extra standard kit and it’s actually not much more expensive than the slower and less efficient self-charging AWD equivalent. You can expect to pay around £889 a month over three years, following a £6,590 customer deposit that includes £1,000 from Lexus.

Commended

BMW X3/iX3

A facelift last year has kept the X3 firmly in contention, while its choice of mild-hybrid, plug-in and all-electric powertrains means there’s something for everyone. All versions deliver engaging driving dynamics and strong refinement, while the cabin blends premium appeal with family-friendly practicality.

Porsche Macan

If driving thrills top the wishlist for your premium SUV, then look no further than the Macan. It’s approaching its 10th birthday and there’s an all-new model just around the corner, but its blend of performance and pace remains unrivalled. Practicality is also decent and the build quality is top notch.

You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Stay right up to date with the latest from the world of cars in 2023 and beyond, follow Auto Express on social media...

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