The downsizing/forced induction route has claimed yet another industry player in what appears to be the way forward in the automotive sphere. The Lexus brand has always been synonymous to large displacement engines with top-level ride and comfort since its, but it’s all changed now with the all-new turbocharged 2015 Lexus NX.
|Name||Lexus NX 200t||Lexus NX 200t Premium||Lexus NX 200t Luxury|
|Segment||Premium Compact SUV|
|Engine||1,988cc; inline 4-cyl twin scroll turbo||1,988cc; inline 4-cyl twin scroll turbo||1,988cc; inline 4-cyl twin scroll turbo|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic|
|Max Power||235 hp @ 4,800 – 5,600 rpm||235 hp @ 4,800 – 5,600 rpm||235 hp @ 4,800 – 5,600 rpm|
|Max Torque||350 Nm @ 1,650 – 4,000 rpm||350 Nm @ 1,650 – 4,000 rpm||350 Nm @ 1,650 – 4,000 rpm|
|Price (OTR with insurance)||RM299,873.80||RM331,679.80||RM352,199.80|
|Name||Lexus NX 200t F Sport||Lexus NX 300h|
|Segment||Premium Compact SUV||Premium Compact SUV|
|Engine||1,988cc; inline 4-cyl twin scroll turbo||2,494cc; inline 4-cyl; hybrid|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)|
|Max Power||235 hp @ 4,800 – 5,600 rpm||194 hp|
|Max Torque||350 Nm @ 1,650 – 4,000 rpm||210 Nm|
|Price (OTR with insurance)||RM378,875.80||RM385,063.50|
What’s new, you ask? Besides the NX itself, the introduction of this model officially marks the premium Japanese carmaker’s venture down the turbocharging scene, bestowing the compact SUV with a newly developed 2.0-litre twin scroll turbocharged engine. But first, let’s walk through the design first, shall we?
They say beauty is subjective, but c’mon, this writer believes that, to a certain degree, we can all agree that the NX is one ravishing SUV which didn’t veer too far off from the LF-NX concept two years ago. First things first, the NX sits below the RX in terms of size, and stands at 1,645 mm tall, 4,630 mm long whereas its wheelbase measures 2,660 mm long.
From the front, this SUV gets imbued with the brand’s latest L-finesse design and dons their signature ‘Spindle’ grille with LED daytime running lights as standard. Headlights are also fully LED (low and high beam) across the range, save for the base model 200t which gets halogen high beams.
Like their newer models (read: RC 350 and RC F), the headlights are fitted with the triple L-shaped LED modules. Interestingly, as Lexus points out, a total of 78 LEDs are used for just the DRLs alone, which is also where the signal indicators are housed.
Since the order books opened last October, the F Sport variant became the most well received one of the lot, and its styling differs from the rest, starting with the mesh-design Spindle grille. Its bumper is also bolder with metallic finishing, blackened side mirrors, an exclusive 10-spoke dark metallic 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 235/55 series tyres. Panoramic roof is also exclusive to this variant.
Inside the NX is of typical Lexus fashion; classic luxury and top notch build quality smothered with soft touch materials as far as your eyes can see and hands can reach. Upon entry, the driver gets greeted with a metal-faced four-dial gauge cluster with 3D effect.
Move your eyes to the centre and you’ll find their trademark analogue clock. Audio wise, the base and Premium variants get 8-speakers; 10 in the Luxury trim and a 14-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Sound System in the F Sport and 300h variants for all your head-banging shenanigans.
Other nifty features include a Qi Wireless Charging Tray for compatible smartphones, Remote Touch Interface (RTI) to navigate the 7-inch screen, power reclining rear seats (60:40 configuration; standard on Premium, Luxury and 300h trims).
There is a total of five interior colour schemes to choose from, and all variants get leather upholstered seats, although the base model has to make do with synthetic leather. Seats are ventilated and heated across the models, but again, the base model doesn’t benefit from this feature.
Under the hood of all NX 200t variants nestles the same, all-new and the brand’s first ever 2.0-litre twin scroll turbocharged engine, producing a respectable 235 hp at 4,800 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. The quintessential century sprint is done in 7.1 seconds for this SUV, with the six-speed automatic transmission channeling drive to all four wheels.
The range topping hybrid model however, runs on the familiar 2.5-litre naturally aspirated Atkinson Cycle engine (153hp and 210 Nm) paired to two separate electric motors, making for a combined output of 194 horsepower. The front motor makes 270 Nm whereas the rear motor puts out 139 Nm of torque.
This powerplant is paired to Lexus’ e-CVT transmission that also drives all four wheels. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint is done in 9.2 seconds while managing a top speed of 180 km/h.
There are three driving modes to select from – Eco, Normal and Sport – and is standard on all three variants. Top speed is capped at 200 km/h. In the F Sport trim, you get Adaptive Variable Suspension with performance rods.
The NX rides on MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbone setup at the rear as standard. What’s different in the F Sport is it gets sport absorbers and Adaptive Variable Suspension, including an additional drive mode atop the three – the Sport+ mode.
Safety kit on the NX includes Blind Spot Monitoring system, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (both unavailable in base trim), ABS with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, rear view camera and the all important eight airbags as standard. The Luxury trim however, benefits from a bird’s eye, 360-degree view of the car via the display screen.
All Lexus NXs are fully imported (CBU) from Japan and come with a three-year or 100,000km warranty programme, whichever occurs first.Prices start from RM300k for the base model NX 200t to RM385k for the range topping NX 300h hybrid variant. There’s a total of seven exterior colours to choose from – Platinum Silver, Fire Agate, Red, Starlight Black, Sonic Titanium, Sonic Quartz and one that’s exclusive to the F Sport, Exceed Blue.
With the introduction of this 2.0L turbo engine, we can be rest assured that other models like the IS, ES and GS could very well be next in line to go down the forced induction path paved by the NX.