Lexus Reveals New NX Crossover

What am I looking at?

Lexus's new entry to the crossover market, the NX. The alert amongst us will be aware of the current Lexus SUV, the RX, but it's hardly as ubiquitous as competitors from other aspirational and prestige brands like the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. The NX aims to redress this balance.

Pitched below the RX, the NX is largely based on parent company Toyota's new RAV4 and should be competing in a category that sees it face off with the BMW X3 - apparently Lexus does not like to pick easy battles.

What powers it?

There's three engines tabled for the NX's launch. The first is a conventional, naturally aspirated petrol dubbed the NX200 - there'll be a turbo petrol too in the NX200t, a first for the marque. The last, and possibly most important, is a petrol-electric hybrid in the NX 300h - likely the same unit found in the IS300h and GS300h, producing 217hp.

All models will get a choice of front and all wheel drive, though full powertrain details won't be available until after the car's official launch in Beijing at the weekend.

How much will it cost me?

It's too close to the car's conception to get an accurate fix, but its market positioning would suggest that you're not going to get much change from 30,000 for the cheapest NX and, trim depending, pushing through 45,000 for the bells and whistles at the top of the range. It's not due to go on sale until late this year and prices will be available nearer the time.

Regarding trims, Lexus's preview images clue us into the fact that the NX fits existing specification themes. The hybrid will be a standalone level, while the non-hybrids ought to be available as SE, Luxury, F Sport (pictured) and Premium trims.

Anything else?

Lexus has gone to lengths to disguise the humble Toyota origins inside and out, with a sports car themed interior to match the current corporate exterior. They've upped the tech too, with an updated version of the Lexus Remote Touch Interface with a touch pad control; a Panoramic View Monitor and a comprehensive multi-information display. This includes, in a first for Lexus, a G-sensor - which seems a rather optimistic trinket for an SUV.

Any alternatives?

Well, aside from the aforementioned BMW X3, there's a whole nest of premium compact SUVs circling the waters for which the Lexus is aiming. First of these will be the Audi Q5 and its pricer and higher performance sibling the Porsche Macan. The big gun of the group though is probably, for now, the Range Rover Evoque - though it gives something away on size to the NX and doesn't offer a hybrid option.

Aspirational doesn't have to mean expensive though, and the NX could be given a run for its money by the VW Tiguan and Volvo XC60 - it's a tight segment.

In a line..?

A hybrid SUV in a pretty sharp suit - one to watch.

comments powered by Disqus