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The Lexus NX is a luxury mid-size SUV that manages to combine its striking good looks with a sprightly drivetrain.

06 Apr 2018


The Lexus NX is the answer to buyers who are looking for a compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) that can give them the best of everything - good looks, luxurious cabin and a lively drivetrain.

While the argument here is that all of these can be subjective to individuals, the Lexus NX that you see here has gone under the knife to further reinforce its strengths to make it one of the most compelling cars in its segment.

With the F Sport variant, you'll get blacked out side mirrors

So what has changed?

The changes begin with the car's nomenclature. The old NX200t moniker is now replaced with the NX300 for the turbocharged petrol model, allowing for the convention of NX's lineup to be a tad simpler, since the hybrid variant will continue to keep its original NX300h badging.

Also simplifying things are the minor changes to the car's sheet metal. The aggressive spindle grille has been tweaked to spread broadly downwards and is now flanked by air intakes that sport a similar design as the grille.

Headlamps have also been modernised and updated while taillights have been stretched out for a more dynamic appearance, and they now come with sequential turn signals as standard across all the different sub-models.

Side air intakes share the dame design as the spindle grille

That's all then?

Not exactly. Updates, too, have been made to the NX's cabin to help the car keep up with its segment peers like the Audi Q3, the BMW X3 and the Volvo XC60.

For instance, the centre console is now cleaner and more modern, thanks to the reduction of switches and a change in switch style. More obviously, the infotainment system has been upsized from 7.0-inches to 10.3-inches, which allows the car to be placed right at the forefront in its segment.

Infotainment screen has been upsized to 10.3-inch

Elsewhere remains the same as before - comfortable and luxurious without losing its sporty vibes in the F Sport trim. In this case, soft leather materials abound while fit and finish remain to be exceptional. Run your fingers over any part of the cabin, including areas where you would hardly come across, and you will not come across anything sharp or jagged.

Lexus even included a detachable vanity mirror along the armrest just to uphold its luxury image. And even this has been so seamlessly integrated, for goodness' sake.

What about the sporty vibes you were talking about?

The hugging red hot seats and driver-focused cockpit wraps around the driver, giving the impression that it's a sports car you're piloting rather than a luxury compact crossover.

Cabin remains to be a comfortable and luxurious place to be

But more than just sporty seats is the perky drivetrain that matches the NX's dynamic handling. The 2.0-litre four-pot turbocharged powerplant churns out 234bhp and 350Nm of twisting force to all wheels via a smooth and precise six-speeder in a punchy manner.

It will not leave you bewildered like how, say, a Porsche Macan will, but the 7.1-second century sprint from the Lexus NX is nevertheless respectable.

More than that is the way the car dances on twisty tarmac even when pushed harder than usual through a series of bends. It manages to oppose the inherent handling limitations of an SUV, albeit with a steering that loses communication early.

500 litres of boot space will easily see to your weekly needs

Essentially still a Lexus... and then some

With the F Sport variant, the car can get a little stiff even on Normal mode, which may not go well with Lexus' buyers. But it is never to the point of discomfort. In fact, we enjoyed the car most on Sport S+ mode (only available on the F Sport variant), where the accelerator is at its most responsive and the suspension at its stiffest.

Regardless, the car doesn't disappoint whether it's cruising on the highway or potting around town. The NX remains to be very capable of a comfortable and luxurious drive that keeps external noises well at bay. From the well thought out ergonomics to the stitching on the dash and seats, it becomes quite clear that this Lexus isn't just one of your everyday SUVs.

2.0-litre turbocharged engine is a gem of a unit

At $236,800 (as of 6th April 2018), the feisty-looking NX300 F Sport that you see here is not only over $40,000 cheaper than the bigger Lexus RX brethren, it's just as powerful and spacious as its full-sized SUV sibling, which makes this the perfect answer to buyers indeed.
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Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for Lexus NX 300

Price

: $237,800

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Twin Scroll Turbocharged Dual VVT-iW & D-4ST

Engine Cap

:

1998cc

Horsepower

:

174kW (234 bhp) / 5600 rpm

Torque

:

350 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7.1sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Fuel consumption

:

12.7 km/L

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