NX smartens up for 2018

A mid-life refresh has come for the smallest Lexus SUV.
Friday November 24, 2017

By Richard Bosselman

STYLING and specification changes accompanying the facelifted NX medium sports utility are accompanied by price tag tweaks.

A mid-life facelift coming almost three years after the model was launched here also delivers a revised chassis tune.

However, the bigger push is in upgrading infotainment and safety equipment.

Price changes are also evident. Lexus New Zealand did not respond to questions about this, however comparison of tags attached to the original format models with those applying to their direct equals suggests the base editions have copped the biggest hit – with a $5000 lift – whereas the high-end Limited and Sport variants are now just $100 dearer.

The NX continues to be available with a duo of powertrains – a 175kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder tied to a six-speed automatic, or 147kW 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder/electric hybrid with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

However, the former has been renamed NX300 – replacing NX200t – while the latter remains NX300h. The entry hybrid is now all-wheel-drive, having previously been front-drive.

All model grades now feature the Lexus Safety System Plus package in its updated format and also now have trailer sway control. Blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert have been added to the entry level. 

The updated editions also score a 10.3-inch centre screen (up from 7.0-inch), a wider view for the rear camera, improved parking sensors and infotainment touchpad response, plus a Custom mode for the Drive Mode Select System.

The 2018 range is identified by new styling cues, which include a new gloss-back multi-block grille, bi-LED headlights, L-shaped tail-light bezels and front/rear bumpers.

The chassis of every NX now features firmer rear bushings, and rear stabiliser bar stiffness has increased by 22 percent on NX300h and 19 percent on NX300.

In provided comment, Lexus NZ boss Paul Carroll said: “NX continues to be a very important part of our range. It contributed to a quarter of our total sales in 2016, and half of those were the increasingly popular electric hybrid model.”