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.
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.
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.
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?
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|