The Lexus NX was Lexus’ first foray into the compact premium SUV market. Featuring an angular design language, with strong body lines and prominent contouring and underpinned by the iconic Lexus spindle grille. For 2018, the chic NX receives some minor cosmetic surgery and tweaking of its standard specification roster.
Cosmetic enhancements have freshened up the exterior appearance without altering its sporty, dynamic demeanour. All models receive front styling refinements, with new headlamps, a bold new front grille utilising a chrome frame, altered side grille, bumper and lower bumper elements. At the rear are new LED combination lamps.
As part of Lexus’ global strategy, the ‘200t’ moniker (signifying a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine) has been replaced by ‘300’. The 300 badging references offering an equivalent power output to that of a 3.0-litre power plant – adopted to achieve parity between the petrol – and hybrid engine models’ badging convention. The badging has been changed to NX 300 in E, EX and F Sport iterations respectively.
The gateway E-grade model now adopts a 2WD drivetrain (FWD), with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The change to 2WD from AWD provides a reduction in fuel consumption and vehicle weight. The EX and F Sport derivatives retain the AWD configuration and 6-speed automatic transmission.
The existing 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘4-pot’ engine remains (on NX300 variations), offering 175 kW with 350 Nm on tap between 1650 and 4000 rpm. The twin-scroll turbocharger delivers a wide-spread of torque assisting with effortless acceleration.
The Hybrid-powered NX300h, uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. This petrol plus electric coupling delivers a total system output of 150 kW. The Hybrid strives for ultra-smooth running and exemplary fuel efficiency – it’s particularly suited to high-density urban commutes.
In F Sport guise the NX packs an even greater visual punch. The spindle-grille ‘frame’ is finished off in a striking black chrome effect, which ties in with the dark F-mesh grille. The brushed-aluminium-effect lower apron creates a sporty appearance and ties all the frontal design elements together. Graphite-coloured vent trim on the edges of the bumper accentuate the powerful stance and F Sport identity.
The Drive Mode Select feature on F Sport models comprise Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport + and newly-added Custom modes. Sport + interfaces with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to increase dampening and allow for more dynamic handling. The custom mode allows drivers to personalise the powertrain, electric power steering, AVS and air conditioning settings.
Pricing: NX 300 E – R 599 900 / NX 300 EX – R 677 300 / NX 300 F Sport – R 789 700 /NX 300h EX – R 746 700
The latest NX models are set to reach Lexus dealerships in January 2018.
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