Lexus NX 200t / NX 300h

Carpedia

Jan 30th, 2020

Lexus NX 200t / NX 300h

The Lexus NX is a series of compact luxury crossovers that sits below the mid-sized Lexus RX. Introduced at the Beijing International Automotive Show in 2014, the Lexus NX had more edges and accents to it than the current RX and sported the now-familiar corporate spindle grille. The NX was designed to carry that grille, with the angles carried through the whole design. Although based loosely on the Toyota RAV4, the Lexus NX only shared a few of its components.

The Lexus NX was available as either a front-wheel drive or as an all-wheel drive. It entered a market segment with a price that's competitive with the BMW X3; yet, it is more aggressively designed and features a host of standard equipment that its German counterpart only offers as optional. When the NX premiered, only the 300h was available. The NX 200t followed a bit later. 

The NX comes as a 5-door SUV with room for five passengers. Luxury level is in keeping with other Lexus models and packs a suite of safety features and creature comforts as standard equipment. Enhancement packages are available but can also be found in the higher trim levels as standard. 

Lexus NX 300h

The NX 300h is available in Australia as the F Sport Hybrid (AWD), Luxury Hybrid (AWD), Luxury Hybrid (FWD), and as Sports Luxury Hybrid (AWD). All models come with a camera and radar-based safety features together with several airbag systems. The higher models feature standard leather trim and Mark Levinson 14-speaker sound system.

A 2.5L 2AR-FXE inline-four (114 kW, 210 Nm) petrol hybrid engine coupled to a planetary gear continuously variable transmission (CVT) powers the NX 300h. The combined action of the petrol engine and the front electric motor brings the total power output to 145 kW. The AWD version comes with a rear-mounted 50 kW electric motor that provides additional traction to the rear.

Its top speed is 180 km/h, and acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 9.2 seconds. Fuel consumption is advertised at 4.2 L/100km of combined city and highway driving; however, test figures come closer to 6.7 L/100km. In an AWD version, CO2 rating is at 121 g/km and 116 g/km for the FWD version. The NX 300h is not a plug-in hybrid, and consequently, the electric motor only activates at short intervals.

Lexus NX 200t (NX 300)

The next variant to arrive in the market is the NX 200t that packs under its bonnet a turbocharged 2.0L 8AR-FTS inline-four petrol engine rated at 175 kW and 350 Nm of torque. All trim variants are linked to a 6-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Trims available in Australia are the F Sport (AWD), Luxury (AWD), Luxury (FWD) and the Sports Luxury (AWD).

In AWD form, the 200t consumes fuel at the rate of 8.4L/100km of combined city and highway driving. As to performance, it would only take 7.2 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h. The NX 200t was renamed the NX 300 in 2018, although it still existed as a down-market offering of the NX 300h. The NX 200t still had the same luxury feel and adequate power with the first-ever turbocharged variant from Lexus.

The Next Generation NX

The Lexus NX is the second best-selling model from Toyota’s luxury sub-brand. It is slated to debut by 2021 and will be produced in Ontario, Canada. There is also news of redesigning the whole lineup. Speculations are also rife about the controversial spindle grille - whether Lexus will retain it or not. Regardless of the criticisms on the design of the grille, Lexus has prevailed in the market. The NX surpassed the BMW X3 in the US, albeit by a very slim margin.

With the Lexus UX already released since 2018, the NX is no longer the smallest crossover. Reports say it will not be using its current platform but most probably use a lengthened GA-C platform similar to the UX. We will find out soon enough what new features and engines will the new release bring.

Reliability and durability have always been the strongest points of Lexus models, not to mention luxury that’s not ridiculously overpriced. The UX is a subcompact crossover, so the NX remains an excellent choice if you want a roomier CUV. It will continue to be sought-after by buyers looking to get hold of a secondhand luxury vehicle.

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Fred Cajulis