The face lifted Lexus NX has been shown at the Shanghai motor show, with significant changes on the suspension, as well as styling and interior tech tweaks. Relaxed rear and front styling keeps the NX up to date with the rest of the Lexus range, while the lights have been tweaked to contain LC-derived detail. A new wheel design has also been added. Inside, the infotainment display has grown to 10.3-inch, up from 7, and the touchpad controller has been updated for added comfort and ease of use. Lexus has coated most of the controls and switches in a metallic finish too. Tech tweaks include upped amperage on USB chargers, a larger wireless smart-phone charger and an automatic tailgate operated by a wave of a foot under the rear bumper.
Lexus rights that the handling and ride of the NX – two areas which our reviewers deemed needing development – have been revised with updated suspension tuning, as well as now being fitted with adaptive variable suspension derived from the system in the LC-500 sports coupe. Sound deadening has also been improved, and a raft of safety kit has now been made normal on the BMW X3 rival. The NX is Lexus’ lowest SUV on sale internationally, with the model positioned below the popular RX. The RX was freshly launched in India as the RX 450-h hybrid along with the Camry-based E-S 300-h hybrid sedan and the range topping Land Cruiser-based LX 450-d.
The rear gets a lower, wider bumper to improve the NX’s stance, and revised tail-lights that incorporate ‘L’-shaped lenses more effectively. There are also larger chrome-tipped exhausts, an underbody spoiler and two new designs of 18in alloy wheels. The cabin has a number of updates, including a larger central dashboard screen (up from seven inches to 10.3 inches), simpler and less cluttered controls for the air-con and heating, and a new design of analogue clock. Lexus’s remote touchpad has been made larger, and it gets a reshaped palm rest to improve wrist comfort, while the wireless phone charging tray has also grown, to reflect the trend towards larger smartphones. Lexus has also integrated the head-up display into the top of the instrument panel, so cars with this feature have a smooth dash that’s identical to non-HUD models.
Other new features include heating controls for the rear-cabin occupants, metallic satin finish on many of the key switches, and a sensor under the rear bumper that allows you to open the rear hatch by waving your foot underneath the car. Under the skin, the NX’s powertrain remains broadly the same. The non-hybrid NX 200t will continue to be offered with its four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, but Lexus says its badge will change to become simply NX 300 – a reflection, the firm argues, of the adoption of turbo motors in other models in the range. The bulk of sales will continue to be taken up by the hybrid NX 300h, however, and this car’s hybrid set-up – a mix of electric motors and a 2.5-litre petrol engine – is unchanged.