Wednesday 24 January 2018

New SUV from Lexus to start from just under €45,000

First Look: Lexus NX

The new Lexus SUV
The new Lexus SUV
Geraldine Herbert

Geraldine Herbert

THE new compact SUV from Lexus, the NX 300h, is likely to be priced from under €45,000 when it gets here later this year. However, exact pricing and spec details will be out around its October arrival.

The NX will join the market's fastest growing segment right now. The segment is dominated by the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the Range Rover Evoque, while Porsche and Mercedes have both recently introduced rival models.

The NX is a production version of the LF-NX hybrid, the concept shown at Frankfurt, and while not quite as bold a design as the original concept suggested, the signature Lexus grille, flared arches and sculpted body combine to make this a distinctive car.

On sale here in October, the new NX will be positioned below the only other SUV in its line-up, the RX 450h, and is likely to account for one-third of all Lexus sales both in Ireland and in Europe.

Powering the NX 300h is a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to give a total power output of 192bhp. Lexus is aiming for emissions of just under 120g/km, giving it the edge over rivals, and that would mean a combined economy figure of 5.2 litres per 100km or 54 mpg and annual road tax of €190.

Outside, the exterior is chiselled, muscular and masculine. In a market where the compact SUV is the ultimate fashion accessory, Lexus showrooms are not likely to resonate to the sound of high heels just yet with this car.

Inside, the upmarket feel continues and the sporty car-style cabin features a chunky, racy sports steering wheel and contrasting black and red stitching – a feature Takeaki Kato, chief engineer of Lexus NX, was keen to stress was intended to appeal to women.

It is also packed with technology new to Lexus including a wireless charging tray for mobile phones and the first application of a new touchpad-operated infotainment system, available as an option.

As with the competition, the NX is a road-biased SUV rather than a serious off-roader. Although it will be available with all-wheel drive, Lexus expects front wheel models to make up the lion's share of total sales.

There will be five trim levels including an F SPORT version, which will add items such as spindle grille, front lower bumper, aluminium wheel, unique interior colour, ornament panel and sport seat.

Indo Motoring

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