SOME fine plug-in hybrids are available these days – and the Lexus NX 450h+ might just be the pick of the bunch.

The second generation NX ushered in a new era in Lexus design, offering electrified powertrains and advanced technologies.

The luxury brand was already making use of the proven ‘self-charging’ hybrid tech from its parent company Toyota, but the NX 450h+ went a step further by becoming Lexus’s first ‘plug-in’ hybrid.

Whatever mode you drive in, it’s a vehicle that offers exceptional efficiency, along with high levels of quality and refinement.

Dunfermline Press: The Lexus NX on test in West Yorkshire

The 450h+ operates in all-electric mode by default, then switches to self-charging hybrid operation when the battery is depleted.

This set-up gives the vehicle greater efficiency than its competitors, many of which revert fully to the combustion engine once the battery has lost charge.

As well as the efficiency, the powertrain also offers sprightly performance, with the sprint to 62mph taking 6.3 seconds - which feels swift for a mid-size SUV.

High levels of torque and an all-wheel drive system give the 450h+ a sure-footed feeling when cornering, with the excellent grip levels coming in handy when snow hit this week.

Lexus’s reputation for reliability is also a plus point - something reaffirmed by a warranty of up to 10 years. This is made up of an initial three-year manufacturer warranty, followed by up to a further seven years of service-activated warranty.

Dunfermline Press: The Lexus NX basking in the West Yorkshire sunshine just days before this week's snow arrived

Once inside the cabin, you’re met with plenty of premium materials, excellent craftsmanship, ambient lighting and an overriding sense of luxury.

The car features the ‘Lexus Driving Signature’ – a focused and intuitive driver’s cockpit designed with the new Tazuna architecture concept.

To help keep the driver’s attention focused on the road ahead, the main sources of information – the multi-information display, multimedia screen, gauges, meters and optional head-up display – are grouped so they can be read at-a-glance.

The head-up display can be used in three modes to show different levels of information. Touch tracer switches on the redesigned steering wheel can be used to change or

update the contents of the multi-information display without having to look away from the Road ahead.

Dunfermline Press: The Lexus NX on test in West Yorkshire

The cabin layout is also cleaner, with the number of switches has been reduced from 78 to 45. One quirky feature is the internal door handles, which you press in rather than pull out to open the doors. It takes a little getting used-to.

Use of the Lexus Global Architecture K platform has provided more cabin space and a generous load compartment. Compared to the previous generation NX, overall

length has increased by 20mm, the wheelbase by 30mm, the width by 20mm and the height

by 5mm.

The platform allows for wider front and rear tracks, which adds emphasis to the car’s powerful stance.

In terms of looks, the front is notable for the hallmark Lexus spindle grille, which plays a more integral role in the design and is now in a more upright position.

Its lines flow back to accentuate the long bonnet, while the long and sleek front-end contrast with a condensed rear section with its short overhang and powerful haunches.

The bodywork presents contrasting curved surfaces and sharp angles.

All in all, it's not hard to see why this superb all rounder has scooped numerous awards.

Lexus NX450+ PHEV

ENGINE: 2.5-litre petrol, with 355.2-volt battery
POWER: 305bhp total output 
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds and max speed of 124mph
EMISSIONS: 21-25g/km
TRANSMISSION: E-CVT all-wheel drive
ECONOMY: 256.8-313.8mpg 
PRICE: From £53,300