All-new NX will take the fight to its German rivals in 2022 with crucial improvements to refinement, dynamics and technology.
Lexus has announced that its all-new NX midsize SUV will go on sale in Australia in January 2022, detailing the engine line-up and what each equipment grade will include.
Marking the second generation of Lexus’s best-selling model, the new NX will be available in three familiar grades known as Luxury, F-Sport and Sports Luxury.
The entry-level Luxury grade will be paired with the petrol NX 250 exclusively, while the turbo-petrol NX 350 will be available only in F-Sport guise and the petrol-hybrid NX 350h in either F-Sport or Sports Luxury trim levels.
The 2022 NX is new from the ground up and rides on an enhanced version of the new-generation GA-K platform that underpins the highly praised Toyota RAV4. Lexus says the new NX will offer increased performance, fuel efficiency and refinement over its ageing predecessor.
Kicking off the NX range is the Luxury grade, with its fresh exterior styling garnished with standard 18-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, tail-lights and fog lights.
Moving inside, the NX Luxury offers convenience features such as a power tailgate and power-adjustable steering column along with luxury features including heated eight-way electric front seats and dual-zone climate control.
Thankfully, Lexus has moved away from its divisive touchpad control system and instead uses a 9.8-inch touchscreen in the NX Luxury with DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The NX F-Sport enhances its sporting credentials with additional front and rear chassis bracing for keener handling, and adaptive variable suspension offering multiple drive-mode settings.
Lexus has made sure the NX F-Sport looks the part with a more aggressive bodykit, 20-inch alloy wheels, and advanced tri-beam LED headlights. The interior gains sportier seats with both heating and fan-cooling.
NX F-Sport buyers also gain a larger 14.0-inch centre touchscreen, wireless phone charging, a head-up display, 360-degree camera and touch-sensitive steering-wheel controls.
The range-topping NX Sports Luxury builds on this equipment list with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, though buyers will need to select an AWD powertrain to option a sunroof and a heated steering wheel – while Intelligent Park Assist is reserved for the hybrid NX 350h exclusively.
While it has yet to receive an official safety rating from ANCAP, the NX has taken a step forward in the level of standard active safety technology on offer.
Key advances include emergency steering assist which can provide additional steering inputs during a sudden evasive manoeuvre to avoid an accident.
The AEB is capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists during the daytime and can now prevent turning into oncoming traffic at an intersection.
Other safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, safe-exit assist, a full suite of parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring.
Lexus offers the entry-level NX 250 with a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, shared with the recently introduced ES 250 sedan, and pairs it with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic that sends power to the front wheels.
This engine produces 152kW of power and 243Nm of torque, and uses 6.9L/100km on the official combined fuel cycle.
The NX 350 opts for a beefier 2.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with 205kW/430Nm sending drive to all four wheels.
Lexus expects the NX 350h hybrid to be the best-selling variant, however, and it’s not hard to see why with the popularity of the related Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Using the aforementioned 2.5-litre engine paired with a series of electric motors and a lithium-ion battery, the NX 350h achieves fuel consumption of around 5.0L/100km on the combined cycle, according to Lexus.
Buyers can select the NX 350h in either front- or all-wheel drive, and the system is capable of producing up to 179kW of power in both options – a notable 15kW increase over the RAV4 Hybrid with AWD.
Lexus will likely add an NX 450h+ variant to its line-up in the future, which will act as the range-topping powertrain option and debut a plug-in hybrid model in its line-up for the first time.
The NX450h+ uses the same 2.5-litre engine as the 350h, with a front and rear electric motors that feed off an 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery to provide up to 75km of electric-only driving range.
North American versions of the NX 450h+ claim a combined power output of 227kW and a 0-97km/h time of 6.0 seconds. Fuel economy in hybrid model is rated at 2.8L/100km in hybrid mode according to North American figures.
Official pricing for the new Lexus NX is expected to be revealed closer to when it goes on sale in January 2022.
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