Lexus NX SUV: Hits And Misses
The most affordable Lexus SUV packs a few surprises. Some good and others that could have been avoided
If you are one of those buyers who want the world to know you have made it big, then Lexus is the brand to drive. Right from that massive grille to the sharp body lines and the even sharper lights all around, it sure makes a statement on the road. And for those who like to ride higher, there is the Lexus NX. Lexus’ entry-level SUV in India, the NX will make you look back and take notice every time you see one on the road. Let's take a look at three hits and two misses of the SUV.
1. Looks To Impress
It was one of the very first Lexus’ to get the in-your-face spindle grille. And there is no doubt that the SUV looks absolutely stunning! And while the Luxury variant gets horizontal slats, the F Sport’s grille is slightly larger and features a mesh pattern with glossy black finish. Personally, I prefer the latter. Accompanying it are three full-LED projector headlamps and sharp daytime running lights with sequential indicators. Something else that will impress you is the slightly swooping roofline and the 18-inch wheels. Overall, the razor sharp styling of the NX will get you noticed even in a crowd of luxury SUVs.
2. Ride Quality
With the adaptive variable suspension (AVS), the Lexus NX is one comfortable SUV. The damper rate changes according to various driving conditions. It delivers a firm but pliant ride in the city and even on the highways. And despite its weight and tall proportions, body roll is kept well in check. While it still isn't an enthusiastic handler, it will remain comfortable inside the city for the entire family.
3. Hybrid Powertrain
The Lexus NX is only available with a petrol-electric parallel-hybrid powertrain. It consists of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors - one on each axle. Combined system power output is rated at 197PS while peak torque is under 300Nm. The NX’ powertrain is tuned to be as efficient as possible, with the system deciding which power source can help achieve that. In fact, the SUV will cruise on electric-only mode if you are gentle on the throttle. At higher speeds, however, the petrol engine is almost always on. Lexus claims that the NX can achieve a combined fuel efficiency of 18.3kmpl. In our tests, the NX300h managed 13.12kmpl in the city and 18.42kmpl on the highway. Impressive, to say the least.
1. Not for the enthusiast
The NX’s numbers are not sporty. The combined power output is 197PS and maximum torque output of 300Nm. Coming from a 2.5-litre engine along with two electric motors, this does sound less. And then there is the weight. The NX300h weighs slightly more than the competition because of the 204-cell nickel-metal hydride battery pack and the electric motors.
The steering is unnaturally heavy in Sport/Sport+ mode and does not lighten up much even if you switch to its comfort setting. And fInally, being a hybrid, the NX uses brake energy regeneration, making it very difficult to get the brake modulation right. If you are looking for a sporty SUV in this segment, the NX is not for you.
Being a full import, there’s no denying that the Lexus NX is one of the priciest SUVs in its class. Priced from Rs 54.9 lakh to Rs 60.6 lakh, ex-showroom, it is more expensive than all of its rivals. For example, the Volvo XC40 is priced at Rs 39.9 Lakh. So if you choose to get one, it will have to be a heart over head decision.
The Lexus NX makes some strong cases for itself. It looks properly sporty, it's big in size and comfortable on the inside. The drivetrain too is ample if you are looking for a calm commuter or a highway tourer. But if you are looking for some excitement, you will have to look towards Bavaria. And if you want value for money, probably Stuttgart. But if you want to make a statement with your SUV, the Lexus is it.
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