The Lexus NX, one of the boldest luxury-utility vehicle designs on the road, makes all-weather handling a bigger part of the picture by making all-wheel drive standard on the NX 300h hybrid for 2017.
That’s a boon to value, and so is the newly standard Scout® GPS Link, for the standard Display Audio system. With the app on the driver’s smartphone, navigation maps and turn-by-turn directions appear on the car’s central display screen. It’s one more way that Lexus helps keep its vehicles in tune with its customers. An advanced and highly versatile integrated Lexus Navigation System remains an option.
Design: Mold-Breaker Beats Cookie-Cutter
From its dramatic spindle grille and L-themed LED headlights to a body that appears carved from a single chunk of metal, there’s no mistaking the Lexus NX for anything else in its class.
The crouching, muscular stance stems in part from providing good ramp-over angles for light trail driving, and also having the highest point of the vehicle set back toward the rear of the roof. A sharply raked tailgate and integrated spoiler are punctuated by Lexus’ signature L-shape light clusters featuring seamless LED illumination, and the tailgate detailing echoes the spindle grille design.
The right lighting can enhance a scene in a movie, and likewise can add drama to an already dramatic vehicle design. The NX models use LEDs for the low beam headlamps and halogen bulbs for the high beams. The NX 200t offers optional Premium Triple Beam LED headlamps.
The LED theme continues with side mirrors that house turn signal lights. And, a single LED elegantly streams a welcoming beam of light along the top of the door handle and to the ground as the driver approaches the vehicle.
NX 200t: Turbo Performance and Efficiency
The NX 200t’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 235 hp at 4800-5,600 rpm with 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,650-4,000 rpm. The D4-S injection system, which uses a combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors, helps ensure ample power and crisp responsiveness at all engine speeds. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence-Wide (VVT-iW) optimizes torque throughout the engine speed range and allows the engine to start in the Otto cycle and then run in the more fuel efficient Atkinson cycle at cruising speeds.
The sequential six-speed automatic transmission uses Torque-Demand control logic to calculate required engine torque to deliver quick response and exhilarating acceleration feel. The G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system enables more spirited driving by selecting the optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to g force.
As in other Lexus models, the driver can choose preferred driving responses using the Drive Mode Select dial on the center console. The system adjusts parameters for multiple systems, including throttle response and the power steering assist curve. The default setting is Normal. Sport mode sharpens responses, and ECO mode helps enhance more fuel-efficient driving.
NX 300h: Luxury Goes Green
As one would expect from the luxury hybrid leader, the Lexus NX 300h emphasizes efficiency with 33 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 31 mpg combined EPA-estimated fuel economy.
Lexus Hybrid Drive has long been the platinum standard for seamless hybrid performance, high efficiency and proven dependability. The NX 300h’s system combines output from a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a small high-torque electric motor through its unique transmission. The system varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both as needed. The result is a combined 194 system horsepower.
Regenerative braking changes the electric motor to a generator that captures the kinetic energy of the wheels when the brake is applied, storing it in the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery pack. In EV drive mode, under certain conditions, the NX 300h can run solely on the electric motor for up to 0.6 miles at lower speeds (below approximately 25 mph). A Hybrid System Indicator and fuel consumption indicator, located in a 4.2-inch TFT screen, help coach the driver to operate the vehicle as economically as possible.
For 2017, the NX 300h makes the Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
Handling That’s as Sharp as The Design
The foundation for the vehicle’s handling agility and ride comfort is a highly rigid body structure that makes extensive use of hot-stamped high tensile steel along with aluminium. The Lexus NX uses MacPherson strut front suspension and a trailing arm double wishbone rear suspension that separates the coil springs and dampers to help optimize agility, control and ride comfort.
For the 2017 NX 200t, All-Weather Drive helps provide maximum traction and cornering control. Taking input from various sensors (vehicle speed, steering speed and angle, throttle angle and yaw rate), the system continuously monitors and actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels, as needed, via an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. Under most normal driving conditions, the system operates in front-wheel drive mode and can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels when extra traction is needed.
NX 200t F SPORT Revs Up Performance
The NX 200t F SPORT grabs the senses with its amped up design, handling performance and even its sound. A grille and front lower bumper that are even bolder than on the standard model give it an almost sinister appearance. The L-mesh black grille integrates with a metallic coated lower bumper molding and black side mirrors match the grille.
Special 18-inch wheels and F SPORT suspension tuning put an edge on handling. Enjoy the sound of an engine revving? The Lexus NX 200t F SPORT obliges with Active Sound Control (ASC), which brings some of the engine note through the speakers and enhances it, with volume adjustable by the driver.
Body-hugging, quilted NuLuxe sport seats are exclusive to the F SPORT, which also offers an exclusive interior color, Rioja Red. The driver grips a perforated leather F SPORT steering wheel and brushed metallic gearshift.
The F SPORT’s unique instrumentation was inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. The driver can view real-time performance with the Lexus-first G-Force meter “G-ball” in the Multi Information Display. The G-ball moves in response to the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal forces. The MID displays the peak force in each direction. Display bars indicate the steering angle, throttle opening angle and brake pressure. The MID also provides a turbo-boost display.
Interior: Sports Car Design, Sport-Utility Function
Even having the raised driving position of an SUV, the NX cockpit evokes the feeling of driving a sports coupe. The center console is the focal point, framed by bold silver-colored architectural elements and featuring kneepads on both sides.
The NX driver faces a sculptured metal-faced four-dial gauge cluster with 3D speedometer and tachometer displays. Gauges in the F SPORT feature full-length illuminated needles. A 4.2-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD in the center of the instrument cluster provides a full-color Multi Information Display (MID). When you change drive modes using the Drive Mode Select switch, illumination in the MID changes color – red for Sport mode, for example. The MID can also display phone and audio information.
Lexus Luxury, by Design
The NX cabin is offered in five variations. The Base model, along with the Comfort and Premium packages, feature perforated Crème, Flaxen or Black NuLuxe inserts with smooth bolsters and Dark Umber trim. It’s a modern look that respects the brand’s renown for elegance.
The F SPORT package exclusively offers perforated Black or Rioja Red NuLuxe, each accentuated by metallic trim. The F SPORT seats feature black accent strips with perforated NuLuxe seat inserts and smooth bolsters. Genuine leather in Crème or Black distinguishes the Luxury package, which also trims the cabin with Linear Black Shadow Wood.
The NX offers a choice of available heated or heated / ventilated front seats. Renowned Lexus detailing shows in the front dome lights and map light that illuminate at the light touch of a finger. Footwell lighting accentuates the luxury ambience.
Room for Life
Designers carved out maximum space with the NX design. There is plenty of room to carry your passengers and gear – or anything else. Storage in four compartments beneath the cargo floor provide space for keeping your valuables out of sight. There’s a place for everything throughout the cabin, including a large glove box and console box, a console mid-tray, utility box, sunglasses holder, two front and two rear cup holders and front and rear door pockets.
The standard 60:40 split/recline rear seat can be upgraded with a power-folding option. You can lower or raise the seats individually using switches on the instrument panel, on the side of each rear seat or within the luggage compartment. The available power liftgate, which includes memory height, likewise can be operated by switches on the instrument panel, door and wireless remote.
A 60/40 split rear seat helps make the most of the cargo area, where an auto-retracting tonneau cover also resides. A power folding and reclining rear seat is available, too.
Premium Audio Standard
Lexus reset expectations for premium mobile audio decades ago, and the NX melds that tradition with the needs of today’s digital audio formats. The standard Display Audio includes HD Radio™, Bluetooth® audio streaming, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio. Cache radio can pause live radio for up to 15-minutes, for later listening. It’s great for saving a favorite song.
Standard Lexus Premium Audio uses an eight-channel amplifier with a digital signal processor to restore high notes lost through compression. It plays through eight speakers, or an upgrade system that adds a center dash mid/high speaker and a subwoofer mounted in the liftgate.
The multimedia system, accessed through a high-resolution seven-inch screen, provides a multitude of capabilities and also offers the Lexus Navigation upgrade that includes predictive traffic information, including detour preview, ETA calculation and low-fuel coordination with nearby fuel stations.
Navigation also includes the subscription-free Lexus Enform® App Suite and features 3D map views.
Anyone who’s used a smartphone or tablet will feel immediately familiar with the Remote Touch Interface (RTI), which uses a touchpad with palm rest in the center console. The RTI helps the driver access various functions while staying focused on the road. The front-seat passenger can also easily operate the RTI.
For Apple iPhone® users, Siri® Eyes Free Mode puts select Siri technology at your service. Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and more. Those with a Qi-compatible smartphone or other device can leave the charging cord home; the NX offers an available Qi wireless charging tray inside the console box.
Lexus Enform Keeps You Connected
Complimentary for one year on all 2017 Lexus models, Lexus Enform Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, and Stolen Vehicle Notification. The Lexus Enform response center operates 24/7/365.
The Navigation option also brings an array of valuable services in the form of the Lexus Enform®App Suite. This veritable in-car personal concierge includes Lexus Enform Destination Services. Use voice-enabled apps to search the Internet through Destination Search, make restaurant reservations through OpenTable®, order movie tickets via MovieTickets.com™, listen to Internet radio, (including Pandora®, iHeartRadio and Slacker), search business reviews on Yelp®, and check in on Facebook Places™.
With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the vehicle using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Once registered, the app can operate remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.
With Lexus Enform Service Connect, the NX can also send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer.
What’s New for 2017
- NX Hybrid offered in All-Wheel Drive only (FWD model discontinued).
- Lexus Display Audio adds Scout GPS Link.
- Available optional 18-inch wheel design.
- Exterior colors: Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 and Molten Pearl added to NX F SPORT models
- Advanced construction techniques include laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding that help provide enhanced overall body rigidity.
- Acoustic glass windshield.
- Double-wishbone rear suspension.
- Electric Power Steering System.
- Standard 17-inch wheels (18-inch available).
- High- and ultra-high-tensile steel body structure.
- Eight SRS airbags, including a dual stage driver’s airbag and knee airbag, dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger airbag, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
- Whiplash-Injury Lessening front seats.
- Headlight off-delay.
- Backup camera.
- Theft-deterrent system.
- 10-way power driver’s seat; 8-way power front passenger seat.
- Dual-zone automatic climate control.
- Power tilt and telescoping steering column.
- Power windows with one-touch up/down and jam protection on all windows.
- Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with 7-inch screen display audio controller and 8 speakers.
- Available Lexus Navigation System with Remote Touch Interface (RTI) and Lexus Enform App Suite.
- 4.2-inch full color multi-information display including audio, fuel consumption, navigation, tire pressure, outside temperature, odometer, trip meter and shift position.
- 48 month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
- 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
- 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
- Hybrid System Warranty coverage is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, and covers the following components: hybrid control module, hybrid battery control module, hybrid battery and inverter with converter.
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