Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid Vs Self-Charging Hybrid

Which Lexus NX is right for you?

Lexus NX PHEV vs Self-charging

The latest generation of Lexus NX is available as a self-charging hybrid, the Lexus NX 350, and for the first time a plug-in hybrid, the Lexus NX 450. But which is right for you, the PHEV or self-charging hybrid? Find out more in this guide from Inchcape. 

The All-New Lexus NX

The Lexus NX now in its second generation was launched in early 2022 and is a midsize luxury SUV. The previous generation was Lexus' best selling model in Europe, so Lexus has pulled out all the stops with this new model to ensure its success. 

The Lexus NX features sharp and striking styling with the recognizable Lexus grille, origami body creases and LED lighting technology such as the rear light bar which gives a smart look as well as a night time signature. The overall look is completed by the sloping roof line which provides a couple like silhouette. F Sport trim adds further to the style on offer with a sporty body kit, larger alloy wheels and LED headlights with quad design elements.

Inside the new NX is unrecognizable to its predecessor with a well thought out design, premium materials and comfortable seats. In addition the NX is packed with technology with a large central touchscreen supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

The Lexus NX is available for the first time with both self-charging and plug-in hybrid options. Discover the model in more detail and which engine you should choose in our guide.

Click below to view the Lexus NX model page.


Lexus NX PHEV vs Self-Charging

The main difference between the Lexus NX 350h self-charging hybrid and the 450h plug-in hybrid is the size of the electric battery and how you charge it. 

The self-charging model has a smaller battery which does not need to be plugged in, instead it is charged by the engine whilst driving and from capturing energy normally wasted when slowing down. This means the self-charging model requires little effort to get the most out of. The electric motor is not as powerful as the one found in the PHEV but is designed to allow the NX to drive at slow speeds on electric alone for short distances which helps reduce fuel consumption. 

Whereas the PHEV variant has a much larger battery which is also recharged via driving and braking but to keep the battery charged to a higher capacity it needs to be plugged in. Whilst you could drive the model without ever plugging it in you won't benefit from the incredible efficiency and power available if you do. The PHEV can drive up to 47 miles on electric power alone and can achieve over 300mpg. Another benefit of the PHEV is the combined power output of the electric and petrol motors of 309bhp which allows the NX 450h to accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds.

Learn more about electric and hybrid cars with Inchcape.

Driving The Lexus NX

The Lexus NX has an excellent driving position with good visibility forwards and large wing mirrors. The NX provides a luxury feel with suspension capable of ironing out almost every bump and road imperfection, this combined with the seats and excellent sound insulation give a relaxing and premium driving experience. The steering is accurate with a nice weight which makes driving enjoyable and predictable. 

The hybrid element further adds to the enjoyable driving experience of the Lexus NX providing a silent driving experience when in EV mode. The plug-in hybrid NX can spend more time in EV mode and can drive up to motorway speeds without needing to use the petrol engine, thanks to its larger battery and more powerful electric motor, which gives this variant a more sophisticated feel.

Both models pick up quickly with a responsive feel due to the electric motors assisting but the PHEV is much faster and feels it in the real world. It is hard to choose which is more fun to drive, but the self-charging model is 200kg lighter giving a more nimble feel even though it is slower than the more powerful 450h. Brake feedback on both variants is great with a smooth and predictable action despite the brake regeneration taking place.

Finally, the NX is maneuverable for its size with a 12.4m turning circle whilst the optional 360 camera makes it even easier to park and drive through tight spaces.

Experience the Lexus NX for yourself by arranging a test drive at Inchcape Lexus.



Lexus NX Design

The Lexus NX design is an evolution of the previous generation with the same overall striking design, sharp lines and a coupe like silhouette. The NX retains the recognizable 'Spindle' grille whilst the updated LED headlights and rear LED light bar add to the drama of the design. 

F Sport trim further adds to the dynamic design with F Sport bodykit, large alloy wheels in dark grey and upgraded LED lighting technology.  

The Lexus NX is available in a range of colours including subtle shades such as Graphite Black Metallic, Sonic Grey Special Metallic and Sonic Titanium Special Metallic as well as more striking colours which flatter the design such as Sonic White Special Metallic, Terrane Khaki Metallic and Blazing Carnelian Special Metallic.

The exterior design of the Lexus NX stands out for all the right reasons. 

Discover the entire Lexus model range with Inchcape. 

The interior of the new Lexus NX combines everything you could want from a car interior; premium materials, technology, luxury and customization. The interior can be specified with contrasting colours and metallic and wood trims to make it feel even more special. If you are purely looking for luxury then the Takumi pack provides the most premium experience with wood trim and Mark Levenson Hi-Fi. The F-Sport trim comes with two-tone interior, sports seats, sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals. 

The interior is well built and feels like it has been designed to last. All Lexus NX come with a 7" digital driver's display and either a 10" or 14" central touchscreen. Both touchscreen options are easy to use but the larger display is quicker and features sharper graphics. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and there are still physicals buttons and knobs to make it easier to control certain functions whilst on the move. 

There are clever touches throughout such as the e-Latch door handles, head-up display and a concierge climate system which automatically turns on the heated seats and steering wheel when it's cold. 

Discover the entire Lexus model range with Inchcape. 

Lexus NX Specification

The NX comes with plenty of standard equipment.

Standard equipment includes:
  • 18" Machine Finished Alloy Wheels
  • Tahara Upholstery
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Intelligent Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • 9.8" Touchscreen Display
Discover the latest Lexus offers at Inchcape Lexus.

F Sport adds dynamic styling features inside and out.

Standard equipment in addition includes:
  • 20" F Sport Alloy Wheels
  • F Sport Leather Trim
  • F Sport Styling Pack
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Adaptive High Beam System
Discover the latest Lexus offers at Inchcape Lexus.

Inspired by Japanese craftsmanship. 

Standard equipment in addition includes:
  • 20" Machine Finished Alloy Wheels
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Leather Upholstery
  • 17 Speaker Mark-Levinson Sound System
  • 360 Camera System
  • 14" Touchscreen
  • Ventilated Front Seats
Discover the latest Lexus offers at Inchcape Lexus.


Charging the NX 350 vs NX 450

As mentioned the self-charging model charges the battery whilst on the move and when slowing down, so does not charging by the driver. 

Whereas, the PHEV can also recuperate energy whilst on the move but not enough to fully charge the battery so it needs to be plugged in to benefit from PHEV motoring. The 18.1kWh battery of the PHEV model can be fully recharged in 2 hours and 45 minutes using a wallbox. The NX has a second flap at the rear of the car which looks like a fuel cap but under this is where you plug in the cables to charge the car. 

Discover the entire Lexus electric and hybrid range with Inchcape.

Lexus NX Technology

Lexus Interface System incorporates more connected and user friendly multimedia and technology into the interior of the NX. The system supports over-the-air updates so that it can continue to evolve and become even more useful. The cloud-connected system can update the navigation system continually and using secure data from the Lexus app can retain and apply your personal settings for a personalized experience.

The Lexus Interface System includes a standard 9.8-inch touchscreen, and an optional 14-inch touchscreen. Both touchscreen sizes are enhanced with Lexus' latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) to make it as easy to operate as possible. The system also has a voice-activated Virtual Assistant which features language recognition to allow the driver to adjust settings on the move. The touchscreen also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. 

Finally, the system features a digital display in front of the driver which can be customized with the driving mode and by the drive to show what is important to driver. 

Experience the technology of the Lexus NX for yourself at Inchcape.

The digital key lets you use Bluetooth to lock and unlock the NX and give access to up to seven people so you don't need to lend them your car's key. You can also use the Lexus app to start and stop the NX's engine, however you will need the car key in order to put the car into drive and to move it. 

If you specify the PHEV you can also use the app to pre-heat or cool the interior whilst the car is still plugged in charging so that when you get in it is the perfect temperature.

Experience the technology of the Lexus NX for yourself at Inchcape.

The Lexus NX is the first model to come with the e-Latch electronic door release system, the system replaces the traditional door handle and replaces it with an intelligent push button handle.

Designed to be easy to use the electric handle has a smooth and simple motion inspired by the traditional fusuma sliding paper screen room dividers in Japanese homes.

The operation of the internal door handle is linked to the car's blind spot monitoring system to provide a safe exit and prevent the door opening if other vehicles or cyclists are detected from the rear. It is expected to reduce 95% of accidents caused by door openings.

The system can be over-ridden by pulling the handle twice, rather than pushing.

Experience the technology of the Lexus NX for yourself at Inchcape.

Lexus has designed the Lexus Safety System + to address key free causes of accidents: frontal collisions, unintended lane departures and night time accidents. The system incorporates a range of innovative systems:

  • Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection (PCS) - detects other vehicles and pedestrians on the road and ahead and warns the driver if there is a high likelihood of a collision. If the driver does not make evasive action in time then the system will apply the brakes and steering controls to reduce the collision force. 
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) - works as regular cruise control does but if the traffic ahead slows down so will your car to keep a safe distance to prevent a crash.
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) - alerts you should the car begin to leave the lane without you indicating first.
  • Adaptive High Beam System with BladeScan - the headlights are cast onto two blade-shaped mirrors which rotate to create shadows to protect oncoming traffic and other road users from your high beam whilst also lighting up as much as the road as possible. 

Experience the technology of the Lexus NX for yourself at Inchcape.




The PHEV version makes more sense if buying through a business or as a company car as the low emissions and electric only range mean the 450h has an 8% BIK which is much lower than the self-charging version which has a BIK rate from 30%. This combined with the excellent MPG of over 300mpg mpg could make the PHEV model the perfect business vehicle. 

For the 450h PHEV:
  • Company car tax at 20% is £950 per annum meaning a monthly cost of £79.16.
  • Company car tax at 40% is £1,901 per annum meaning a monthly cost of £158.41.
Browse the latest Lexus business offers at Inchcape.

Lexus NX Practicality

Unlike some of its rivals the Lexus NX is just as practical no matter if you choose the self-charging version or the PHEV version with its larger battery and motors. 

The seats are really comfortable in traditional Lexus style and they're heated as standard. In the rear the floor is almost completely flat which provides plenty of foot space for three adults, whilst the stylish sloping roof line does not impact head room. The outer rear seats also come with Isofix anchors as standard.

Each door has a large storage bin, there is a large central cubby with cupholders and a further storage area with sliding cover. The glovebox is lined with felt and offers plenty of extra space.

The Lexus NX has a good sized boot of 521l and 1,436l with the rear seats folded down. The boot is a good shape and has a flat loading floor and metal scuff plates to make it easier to load heavier items without damaging the car. There are also storage areas, hidden under boot floor cubby, foldable parcel shelf and power points.

Be the first to know about Lexus' upcoming models. 


Which Is Right For You?

When choosing between the self-charging and plug-in hybrid variants for the Lexus NX it is important to break down your needs and priorities. 

The self-charging hybrid may the best option if you want to reduce running costs but cannot plug the car in frequently or want a lower purchase private/monthly payment.

Whereas, the plug-in hybrid version offers much better economy and power if you can charge it frequently and as a result it has a much lower BIK rate saving company car drivers. You may never use the petrol engine in daily life and only need it for longer drives.

No matter which variant you choose you're guaranteed a stylish and premium SUV packed with technology and a superior customer experience. The upgraded infotainment system and technology makes the 2nd generation NX a huge improvement on the previous generation and a worthwhile upgrade. Plus, the 10 year warranty provides excellent peace of mind.

Enquire now for the latest offers, to ask any questions or to book a test drive.