MEET LEXUS NEW NIMBLE CROSSOVER, THE NX

Published on July 5th, 2015

The NX is a brand new nameplate for the Lexus family. The NX 200t features a new turbocharged engine that is the first for Lexus and its the most compact when compared to their RX, GX and the LX models. The NX is a result of five years’ development and the work of 2000-pax of Toyota and Lexus engineers.

There were loads of meticulous attention to detail paid to every part of this vehicle. There is a lot to say about the NX but there a three things that you need to know. One, its aggressive styling is unlike anything else you’ll see on the road. Next, there are innovative features inside out. And its fun-to-drive personality comes with the efficient fuel economy.

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The NX 200t is Lexus’ first turbocharged model featuring a new 2-litre 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed transmission that puts out 235 horsepower and 258 pounds of torque.

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The turbo engine was bench and dyno tested and driven for more 600,000 thousand miles as part of the development process. That is more than four times the circumferences of the planet.

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Every angle and the character lines on the NX’s exterior is deliberate and straight in-your-face. The Lexus signature spindle grill is prominent and headlamps fit right in the sheet metal like puzzle pieces.

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Three projector LED low and high beams are complimenting the standard LED daytime running lights and turn signals that are chiseled into the bumper. The NX comes with an uniquely shape LED fog lamps with metallic bezels which completes it aggressive front end.

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As we move to the profile, we can see muscular arches connected to a high belt line and strong character edging. The power side mirrors are heated and the aluminium roof rails come as standard. The roof line created an athletic silhouette and contributes to the ample headroom inside. It has a spoiler with a slightly upturned lip that helps improve the aerodynamics. The dark tinted panoramic glass roof gave the NX its premium and sophisticated look.

When you at the rear of the NX, you’ll notice the sculpted jewel like LED tail lamps enhanced with the future proof black exoskeleton design. Lower at the rear, dual exhaust pipes has been adopted for the first time on a Lexus utility vehicle. These diamond-shaped superbike-inspired exhaust pipes matches nicely with the fog lamps on the front with its design continuity.

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The NX is already fun to drive and the FSport takes it a step further. Like all other Lexus FSport models, this one also comes standard with a little bit of attitude. Rightfully so, as it has many exclusive features that set it apart including a bolder front end with a matched pattern grill and a very aggressive lower bumper. Unique fog lamps are equipped with cornering lamps that automatically lights up when you switch on the respective signal lights or turn and has the signature black side mirrors for the sportier FSport variant.

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FSport badging on the fenders and rear lift gate are to remind the other NX that you have the sportier version that comes in the 18 inch split five spoke wheels and a sports tuned suspension with front and rear performance dampers to enhance the vehicle control. The colour you see here is called the Sonic Titanium and it has six other colours to choose from but the Exceed Blue Me is exclusively for the FSport model if you do fancy it.

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All of the other innovative features on the NX is well thought off in the design process especially to the parts where everyone uses and probably takes for granted, which is (wait for it) the NX door handles. Did you know that Lexus design team took three years of development and ten handmade prototypes to become what it is today as beautiful and yet functions just right?

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The engineers tried various knobs and handles by visiting furniture stores and did extensive research on how people reach for and grip door handles. The result is what you see here is a new door handle design that features a hidden key barrel and integrated door access illumination. Now that we mentioned it, I am pretty sure you are going to gaze a little bit more on door handles the next time around. On all the other cars as well!

In most vehicles, puddle lamps is found in the side mirrors but the NX incorporates the LEDs in all of its four door handles, lighting up the ground surrounding the vehicle as the driver approaches with the Smart Card key. If the engineers paid so much attention to the door handles, just think about all the research and time they put onto the rest of the NX.

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For that you’ll have to go into the interior of this 2015 Lexus NX. The interior cabin lights uses the touch sensitive that eliminates the need to fumble around in search for a switch or button in the dark. Then you have the Qi wireless charging tray in the armrest that works with compatible devices. No wires or port to worry about but there is a USB port and an auxiliary jack and the 12v power port in there as well for other devices. Although it is useful in many ways, the Qi charging tray charges quite slowly when compared to the cable plugged in the USB port but it is handy every when you forget to bring your cables. The available navigation system that now features an all new remote touch interface with touchpad, double tap or push down to select and pinch to zoom in and out, just like a smart phone’s surface navigation inclusive of the haptic feedback that can be adjusted in the personalised settings.

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An advance voice recognition system that you train to help understand your commands comes with a nice voice of a polite English woman where language and pronunciation is concerned. Other noteworthy equipment includes, a new leather trimmed steering design, a fixed 7-inch screen that is paired with the human machine interface that handles the audio and other settings. Also the Drive Mode select dial that customised the fun to drive experiences, dual auto climate control, electronic parking brake and brake hold function comes as standard. Most competitor don’t even offer this electronic parking brake that comes in the NX. Eight way powered front seats with two way lumbar supports the driver with ventilated front seats, journeys will definitely be comfortable all the way. The NX also thought of the cup holders that allow you to open the top with one hand amongst other cool features when your are in the cabin. And you’ll love the analog watch in the middle that made the NX a classy urban mid size SUV today.

The NX has a long list of safety features that includes eight standard airbags with driver’s knee airbag and all new front passenger seat cushion airbag, available blindspot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, rear camera with dynamic grid line guides which comes as standards across the variants. Another Lexus first is the Panoramic View Monitor which displays an image like a bird’s eye view, combining a seamless images from 4 cameras on the front, rear, right and left so the driver can see the areas around the NX.

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The NX is as versatile as it is innovative with its 60/40 folding rear seats and adjustable recliners with its power folding rear seats. The NX boot space area is amongst the largest in the segment and can accommodate up to four golf bags, laid down horizontally, try finding that in other competitive models. You can’t take advantage of that storage space if you can’t get to it, therefore Lexus tonneau cover is easily folded and can be stored under the boots space floor panels freeing loads of more space to carry. Even the power lift gate has a height adjustable memory feature that you can program to fit your reach which proves handy if you have a shorty girlfriend, or brother or wife, or somebody.

The FSport model fun-to-drive personality is seen through its unique LFA inspired high tech interior that includes bolstered sports seats with distinctive stitching, G-meter and turbo boost gauge, perforated leather wrap steering wheel with paddle shifters, perforated leather wrap gear knob, black headliners, unique interior trim, aluminium sports pedals and scuff plates. The signature Dark Rose is the exclusive interior colour choice for many as their favourite and active sound control that audibly enhances engine notes for that fun-to-drive experience works just fine within the interior limits. And speaking of audio, the NX is fully equipped with 14 speakers Mark Levinson Premium Sound System which is a tradition Lexus has with the audio maestro over the years making the NX a truly a mobile orchestra to soak up the sound beyond the NX’s interiors.

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At the price tag of RM379k on the road including the insurance, we will see the future to be in favour of this “Nimble Crossover” as the new nameplate NX suggested. It will take the market share of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and even the new Mercedes GLA where machine to machine is concern. From here you can see the brilliance of Lexus engineers since the NX was revealed at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 20, 2014, the NX shares a small portion of parts with the Toyota RAV4 primarily related to the structure and wheelbase, while the styling, suspension parts, engines, interior, and level of luxury and craftsmanship are unique to Lexus. Quite the controversy really when you are taking on the other big giants in the SUV market. Well, that is Lexus taking on the challenge.

Words: Jeo

Photos: Haznajims

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