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Lexus comes to compact party with new NX


LEXUS has been known for two types of vehicles throughout its time in South Africa: luxury sedans and big, imposing SUV’s. Now, with the premium manufacturer seeking a more diverse buyer, entering the compact SUV market was a great decision, which it has done with the new NX.

The looks

Design is a big deal in this segment and from initial impressions the NX doesn’t disappoint. It looks like a toned-down version of the LF-NX concept, unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Much like other Lexus models, the NX has what the brand calls a spindle grille, while the new LED headlamps and daytime running lamps form an L-shape. From the side profile this model features flared arches and angular lines to create a sporty impression. It has a spindle-inspired look at the rear near the number plate recess, while another L-shaped set of lights round off the rear.

The top-of-the-range F-Sport model comes with a honeycomb-textured spindle grille, a deeper bumper with a metallic-coated lower section and 18-inch alloys in a burnt metallic finish, while the EX model gets dual-spoke 18-inch alloys and the lower-spec E grade model is shod with 17-inch multi-spoke alloys.

Interior wise

Lexus claims the NX is class-leading in terms of leg room with 962mm at the rear, while the hip point for the front seats is the lowest in the segment. There’s 500 litres of luggage space and 1 545 litres with the rear seat folded, as well as space under the luggage board in four storage boxes. There’s also mid-tray, a utility box, storage bin for sunglasses, and door pockets with bottle holders.

New turbocharged motor

This model is a big deal for Toyota/Lexus as it ushers in an era of downsized turbo-petrol engines. The new 2.0-litre turbo motor in the NX provides 175kW/350Nm. This means it goes from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds thanks - in no small part - to a pre-loaded front differential. The model is quite economical too, with claimed consumption figures of 7.9 litres/100km.

Transmission and AWD

The new engine is mated to a sequential-shift six-speed torque converter automatic transmission paired with an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. The NX also has what the brand call Lexus Sport AI (artificial intelligence) shift control, which changes the shift pattern of the gearbox, according to road conditions and driver intention, with models such as Driver-intention Control, Sudden Braking Downshift Control and G-AI Shift Control.

The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system features Dynamic Torque Control by making use of electronically controlled coupling on the rear differential housing to control the front/rear torque split between 100:0 and 50:50.

Hybrid model

There’s also the NX 300h in the range, which makes use of the familiar 114kW/210Nm 2.5-litre engine and CVT gearbox with an electric motor which produces 105kW/270Nm. This means the 0-100km/h dash comes up in 9.2 seconds and top speed is capped at 180km/h.

Suspension system

The all-new NX features two suspension systems. The E and EX models have a spring and damper suspension system, while the F-Sport grade uses a newly developed Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system. Both systems feature a highly rigid MacPherson strut-type suspension at the front, while the rear consists of compact trailing arm double-wishbone suspension.

The AVS set-up in the F-Sport controls the damping force of the shock absorbers in response to driving and road conditions, to provide handling stability and a comfortable ride in a range of conditions.


The NX comes with daytime running lamps, reversing camera (all models except E grade) front fog lamps, electronically controlled braking, Emergency Brake Signal, vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control (TRC), ABS brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), as well as Hill-start Assist Control. There are also eight SRS airbags including dual front airbags, front side and curtain shield airbags as well as a driver’s knee bag and front passenger cushion airbag. 

What do I get?


  • Headlight cluster – LED for low beam and Halogen for high beam / LED DRLs
  • LED taillights
  • Front fogs and driving lights
  • 17-inch multi-spoke alloys
  • Smart Entry
  • Cruise Control
  • Electric steering column adjustment
  • Leather multi-function steering wheel with paddle shift
  • Power windows/mirrors
  • Auto headlamp levelling
  • Touch-sensitive cockpit lighting in overhead console
  • Overhead console
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Eight-speaker display audio with large 7.1-inch screen
  • 4.2-inch Multi-Information display
  • Bluetooth
  • Stop & Start System


  • 18-inch split-spoke alloys
  • Auto-retractable heated outside mirrors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Electro chromatic rear-view mirror
  • Heated front seats
  • Lexus Remote Touch System
  • EMVN (Electro Multi-Vision Navigation) display system with 3D SatNav and reverse camera
  • Park distance control
  • Active Sound Control (Hybrid only)


  • 18-inch “turbine” F-Sport alloys with high-gloss burnt metallic finish
  • Mesh Spindle Grille
  • Deeper front bumper treatment with contrasting metallic silver lower section
  • Full glossy black cladding for outside mirrors
  • Auto-retractable heated outside mirrors with reverse shift, memory and electrochromatic function
  • Headlight cluster – Full LED
  • Linear illumination style for the DRLs which also double up as turn signal lamps.
  • Sunroof (one-touch tilt and slide with jam protection)
  • F-Sport nomenclature
  • F-Sport smooth leather upholstery (with sport seats)
  • Wood trim garnish
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Extra Sport+ Mode available in Drive Mode Select (DMS) thanks to Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)
  • Boost Meter – measures turbocharger pressure levels and displays info in Multi-Information Display
  • G Sensor – measures the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal forces and displays info in Multi-Information Display

Warranty and pricing

All NX models are covered by a four-year/100 000km warranty and service plan.

NX 200t E R539 900
NX 200t EX R579 900
NX 200t F-Sport R659 900
NX 300h EX R633 000


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