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On the road the NX is pure Lexus. Silent, comfortable, composed. We first sampled the 300h and I was pleasantly surprised by the weight of the steering – the electric assistance is not as intrusive as many in this class and allowed for much tighter control. It also made the NX less busy on the straight highway stretches. The heft in the steering was doubly surprising when we got into the F Sport later on – that felt lighter by comparison. These were pre-production models so I would bet money that the hybrid gets more assistance before it hits the showroom. Shame really.
No matter the drivetrain, the NX gets MacPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear. In the hybrid the sub-frame cradle is inverted to allow space for the batteries.
In either case, the NX handles superbly; surprisingly so. It is agile and nimble, with only the slightest tinge of body roll. Understeer is almost non-existent, in fact the NX is completely neutral and almost perfectly balanced – at least it feels that way. Changing direction is effortless and the car is composed over most normal bumps.
And that’s not even the F Sport model! F Sport models get upgraded adaptive variable suspension. The system has been upgraded from other Lexus models and now responds in just 20 milliseconds (down from 80) over 30 separate levels of stiffness – up from eight. If I’m honest, I couldn’t feel the difference. What I could feel, was complete surefootedness. We made several passes over a mid-corner pothole just to see if it would upset the NX 200t F Sport – no matter the speed, the NX cleared the obstacle with total aplomb.