Lexus NX 200t: Sporty, luxurious and loaded with latest technology

 29 Mar 2017 - 13:12

Lexus NX 200t: Sporty, luxurious and loaded with latest technology
Pic: Qassim Rahmatullah / The Peninsula

By Pramod Prabhakaran | The Penisnula

Lexus has made a grand entry into the growing compact crossover segment with a sporty and feature-rich NX 200t. The NX has all the luxury and finesse one expects from a Lexus vehicle in addition to a very sporty and modern feel due to its stunning exterior and well-crafted interior.

Lexus have packed the NX with all the latest technology you will ever want inside a car. At a starting price of QR164,000 for a 2017 Model, its worth every riyal if you could afford it.

They have wireless charging tray for compatible mobiles and tablets, navigation system which can be controlled by a hi-tech touch pad, head-up display, blind spot monitor, lane departure alert, dynamic cruise control and much more. But what amazes most drivers is the Panoramic View Monitor. This is a very cool feature which surprises many as it gives a view from the top of the car, making many wonder how they managed that. A few friends were so sure that the image was beamed from a satellite. 

This system combines video from four cameras mounted to the front and rear sides of the vehicle, offering a view of everything happening around the car, including blind spots. The display is automatically adjusted based on gear-stick operation, with the system able to display enlarged views from above the vehicle. The feature, introduced into a Lexus vehicle for the first time, helps the driver avoid other vehicles and pedestrians approaching from the sides.

Even the colour heads-up display was a welcomes change from many other manufactures as you can control what should be displayed in the screen and its well placed in the windshield it doesnt distract the driver at all.

Exterior and interior

The exterior of NX more angular and brash than usual Lexus designs and is definitely a head-turner. It has a more muscular and sporty feel to it, which is nice for a crossover utility vehicle. The NX is also slightly bigger than most new models and a little smaller than some established competitors.

NX 200t exudes a lot of confidence with its spindle grille, L-themed headlights and a body that appears carved from a single chunk of metal. Front and rear flares fuse with the diamond-shaped body at the spindle grille, and innovative LED headlamps and daytime running lamps firmly express Lexus’ bold design language. 

A roofline peak towards the back of the vehicle provides ample headroom and accentuates the side profile, creating a tight silhouette. Lexus has designed a new range of 17-inch and optional 18-inch alloy wheels specifically for the NX 200t, with designs that evoke exotic sports cars rather than SUVs. The wheels are housed in bold, flared wheel arches that set the vehicle in a crouching, muscular stance. 

The NX 200t features numerous firsts in a Lexus, including keyhole-less outside door handle; power reclining and power folding 60:40 split rear seat; cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold, a Wireless Charging Tray for compatible phones and devices; the new Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with a touch pad and a Pre-Load Differential to control differential torque.

The look and feel of Lexus luxury detail begins before you enter the NX 200t. A single LED elegantly streams a welcoming beam of light along the top of the handle and also to the ground as the driver approaches the vehicle. The vehicle also encompasses an innovative outer mirror and a world-first door handle mechanism with hidden key barrel. The gap between the handle and the cover has been eliminated and the keyhole has been removed, realizing a seamless and dynamic design. 

According to Luxus, this keyhole-less construction is a world-first for a straight pull type door handle. A touch sensor type Smart Entry system is available, conveying an excellent appearance and operability compared to a conventional push-button type system and this adds to the luxury appearance.

Once you step into the car you will feel happy and ready to go. The traffic on Corniche or West Bay will go through your mind as the luxurious interior is designed very aesthetically that it will please everyone. All the controls are placed very intuitively and are easy to reach even when you are driving. 

The new touch pad system which controls all the navigation and music will need a little getting used to. But position of the touch pad is perfect that accessing it while driving is no problem at all and even the person on passenger seat can use it without trouble.

The center console is framed by bold silver-coloured architectural elements and featuring kneepads on both sides. Leather-wrapped metal over high contrast metallic colours provides visual depth. The NX 200t dashboard and console continue the Lexus concept of display and operational zones. The seats, inspired by sports car design, coddle driver and passenger as you’d expect from a Lexus. 

Driving-related switches such as the Drive Mode Select switch, VSC OFF switch, and EPB switch are grouped together on the console, enhancing the operability and visual recognition.

The rear of NX 200t offers more than enough leg space and it offers a world first with a power folding 60:40 split/recline rear seat. The reclining angle can be adjusted using switches located on the sides of the rear seat. The rear seat can be folded or returned using switches located on the sides of the rear seat, driver seat and inside the luggage compartment.

The NX 200t possesses the lowest hip point in the segment, increasing overall headroom. The quilted pattern of the seats and varied pad thickness express the crossover intention of the vehicle. 

The 53-inch luggage hold can take care of all your monthly shopping plus a few school bags and also a golf bag. Storage in four compartments beneath the cargo floor provides space for keeping valuables out of sight.

Drive and power

Lexus NX offers very good handling and driving dynamics. It is quick on its feet with good acceleration, sporty on its take off and firm on the road with smooth transmission.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder port and direct-injection turbo engine that produces produces 235 hp at 4800 - 5,600 rpm with35.7 kg-m of torque from 1,650-4,000 rpm.

This is the first-ever turbocharged engine for a Lexus. The new engine comes with a world-first combination of water-cooled cylinder head integrated exhaust manifold and twin scroll turbo charger. To minimize turbo lag, the four-into-two exhaust manifold system pairs cylinders according to their expansion or compression stroke to reduce pumping losses and eliminate exhaust gas interference. This results in improved acceleration response and wide torque band.

The Drive Mode Select dial on the center console lets the NX 200t driver tailor the vehicle’s responses and driving feel to suit driving conditions or just the driver’s mood. The system adjusts parameters for multiple systems, including throttle response and the power steering assist curve.

A newly developed shock absorber, capable of controlling even the smallest micro-level fluctuations, contributes to excellent stability and ride comfort. Additionally, the NX 200t features a new Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) that is capable of variable control in 30 stages.

The NX 200t with all-weather drive introduces Dynamic Torque Control AWD to provide maximum traction and cornering stability. The system continuously controls torque transfer between the front and rear wheels, using sensors for vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, throttle angle and yaw rate.  

For the first time, a pre-loaded front differential (and yaw rate feedback control on AWD versions) ensures optimum grip, control and agility. Under light loads, and when there is a low speed difference between the left and right wheels during cornering, the pre-loaded differential ensures straight-line stability and acceleration performance. At higher speeds, it operates as an open differential.

The NX 200t is the first Lexus to offer a Qi Wireless Charging Tray inside the console box: just placing a compatible smartphone or tablet in the tray will recharge its battery. The charger can be turned on or off by pressing the power button. When a Qi compatible mobile device is placed in the charging area, charging begins and the indicator color changes from green (standby) to amber. When charging is complete, the indicator color changes from amber to green.

The Lexus NX 200t is also available with a colour head-up display which projects a range of frequently checked information on the lower windshield glass in the driver’s line of sight, including vehicle speed, tachometer, audio system, navigation system and more.

F SPORT

The F SPORT variant promises a special driving experience with its aggressive looks such as a grille that’s even bolder than on the standard model. Exclusive wheels, cabin styling and trim and bolstered sports seats add to the F SPORT repertoire in the NX 200t. How much added sportiness you want in the F SPORT ride depends on the wheels you choose. A 10-spoke 18-inch alloy design combines black paint on the lateral edges with a luminous machine-brushed finish and features 225/60R18 all-season tires. The second design, with a dark metallic finish and high-gloss Y-shaped spokes, uses lower profile 235/55R18 summer tires.

Body-hugging, quilted NuLuxe seats are exclusive in the F SPORT, which offers an exclusive interior color, Rioja Red. The driver grips a perforated F SPORT steering wheel and brushed metallic gearshift. The unique instrumentation and drilled non-slip aluminum pedals and footrest were inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. The tachometer red line is even more clearly marked in this model.

The NX 200t F SPORT is also available exclusively with a Multi Information Display which heightens your driving experience by displaying a G sensor with steering angle, accelerator opening and brake hydraulic pressure bars in addition to a turbo boost meter with oil temperature and pressure gauges.