Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 05 Nov 2018
The Japanese are obsessed with providing attention to detail and producing products which are impeccably well engineered. The Lexus brand is further adding to its comprehensive portfolio with the latest-generation NX model.
This latest-generation version of the NX model has been visually improved with striking new headlights and the distinctly Lexus bold grille design. Smoked body parts and alloys also add visual taste and form part of its F-Sport styling appeal.
The NX is a mid-size luxury SUV which competes against the likes of the European based Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace for instance and is available with either turbo petrol motor or even hybrid-electric driven option. All NX models except the entry-level derivative feature an all-wheel-drive system, and owing to an impressive chassis, the vehicle holds the road incredibly well. Impressive ride height also makes for great driving on the likes of gravel surfaces.
Gone is the previous 200t badging, replaced with a more muscular sounding NX300 badge, with the 300 representing the kind of power which it outputs, similar to that of a 3.0-litre engine. The 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol motor with peak outputs of 175 kW and 350 Nm has enough more than adequate power with the Lexus feel nimble on its toes. All the power is directed through a 6-speed automatic gearbox, with paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.
Lexus has always been an automaker which is big on technology and the facelifted NX certainly doesn’t disappoint. The vehicle comes standard with climate control, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, wireless charging, keyless entry and go, heated & ventilated leather seats, a 10-speaker dynamic range sound system, full satellite navigation system, automated tailgate and LED headlamps. All of this is bundled with its wealth of safety systems which includes ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and even Trailer Sway Control Mitigation and finally as part of the F-Sport package you get Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The central command multimedia system is large and very visually impressive. Control is via a “laptop” style trackpad, which takes some getting used to, however, the system encompasses modern technology with a wealth of media sources and crisp display. Voice control is also available.
The NX300 builds on what was always an impressive mid-size luxury SUV. Blending classic elegance with modern edges and lines, the NX300 F-Sport is a real head-turner. A beautifully appointed cabin with classical analogue clock and premium materials help to make this easily one of the best vehicles to drive within its class.
NX300 E – R599,900
NX300 EX – R677,300
NX300 F Sport – R789,700 (As Tested)
NX300h EX – R746,700
The Lexus NX is sold with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty. E-grade versions receive a Lexus Distance Plan service plan