2014 Lexus NX prices announced

  •  Lexus NX to cost from £29,495
  •  Plush SUV will come with a hybrid and a petrol engine
  •  First cars set to be delivered to customers in October

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The Lexus NX SUV is now available to order, and we've had a chance to look around the car to tell you more about it.

What is it?

Lexus's NX is a new large SUV that will sit below the RX in the model range.

How good are its rivals?

Its most obvious rivals are the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque, but the company thinks buyers of more mainstream SUVs will also be tempted to upgrade.

It will need to be seriously good to beat our current favourite – the BMW X3 – which is spacious, good to drive and has a range of efficient engines.

What engines can I choose from?

Lexus will offer only the NX 300h hybrid from launch, while a turbocharged petrol NX 200t will be available from March 2015.

NX 300h models use a 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor powertrain that produces 195bhp. The hybrid will have CO2 emissions below 120g/km and average fuel economy of up to 54.3mpg.

Early next year, UK customers will be able to buy the 235bhp NX 200t with a six-speed automatic gearbox. It will be offered only in four-wheel-drive F Sport guise.

What equipment does it come with?

The NX 300h gets the full range of five trim grades - S, SE, Luxury, F Sport and Premier. S trim is front-wheel drive only, and all other models have four-wheel drive as standard.

Entry-level cars come with eight airbags, LED low-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and digital radio.

SE cars get larger alloy wheels, heated front seats, integrated roof rails and and automatic wipers.

Stepping up to Luxury adds tinted rear windows, parking sensors and keyless entry. It also allows you to specify a power-operated tailgate and wireless smartphone charging pad.

F Sport trim gets the auto tailgate and charging pad as standard. It also includes full LED headlights, stiffer suspension and unique sports seats.

Top-spec Premier adds premium sat-nav, a 360-degree camera system, lane-keep assist and a heated steering wheel.

How much will it cost?

The entry-level NX 300h S costs £29,495. SE cars are priced from £31,495, Luxury starts at £34,495 and F Sport costs £36,995. Range-topping Premier spec costs £42,995.

What options can I add?

Basic sat-nav (£995) is available on all trims bar Premier, but the premium sat-nav is also an option for F Sport. It gets a new touchpad controller that replaces the 'joystick' seen in high-spec Lexus IS saloons, and costs £1995.

F Sport and Premier cars can also be specified with Adaptive Variable Suspension for £750.

Anything else I need to know?

Lexus says it has focused on creating a spacious, versatile cabin. Having sat in the NX, we can say that there's certainly enough legroom for two adults in the back – but those over six foot will be a bit cramped because of the low roofline. The high transmission tunnel between the front seats means it feels more like sitting in a jacked-up coupe than a large SUV, too.

Markets outside the UK get a large boot space that beats a BMW X3 for capacity, but UK cars miss out on some of this due to a standard spare tyre. We'd guess that buyers here will get around 430 litres of space.

The first UK customer deliveries of the Lexus NX 300h are expected in October.

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