Lexus decided to surprise us during the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show with the latest version of its fantastic NX crossover. This model, which has been a sounding sales success while competing with BMW and Mercedes-Benz crossovers, had already very modern look and set of features, something that this luxury Japanese brand is used to offer.
The 2018 NX represents, as the updated model also does, a step forward in the carmaker’s nonstop modernization of the lineup. Its sharper, edgier look is a rational move for this brand, which has always been betting on futuristic designs.
Let’s see what this refreshed model has to offer.
A Small Adjustment
On a specs level, the 2018 NX will remain almost the same. Nonetheless, Lexus decided to make a small adjustment on the current NX200t model, which is the one packing a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. This trim level will now be called NX300, possibly in order to simplify things.
The NX300h trim will remain the same: no changes and keeping the gas-electric setup. It’s also expected to all trims to keep the 6-speed automatic gearbox and both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive layouts available as always.
The suspension was updated and, according to the carmaker, it will now be capable of providing a notably smoother ride and turns-in. Also, adaptive dampers will be present in this refreshed model, but we have no certainty about their nature: are they going to be included as standard o optional?
Sharp as a Knife
The NX crossover was already looking sharp and modern; so, imagine how it looks like now. This refreshed 2018 version is bringing a new front fascia. Using the same large grille, there are new air intakes that dramatically alter the view.
On the sides, a new set of wheels will try to seduce those customers that weren’t already convinced about this Japanese crossover. Finally, on the rear end, the 2018 NX will feature slimmer taillights that will look absolutely stunning, especially at night. The rear bumper also suffered its deserved quote of updates, giving it a notably different form.
If you are willing to pay a little bit more for the F Sport package, the black mesh grill and an exclusive set of wheels will take place. This package is present on the current model, so it was improbable to leave it behind this time.
Once inside the cabin, the 2018 NX is determined to offer outstanding luxury and comfort, trying hard to beat its German competitors, renowned experts in these matters. In the current model, lavishness is clearly present, while this new, refreshed version decided to not make massive changes onboard.
The update includes metallic finish for many elements, like knobs and buttons. The HVAC has been entirely redesigned. Lexus also decided to bring a new, larger central display with 10.3 inches of size. Yes, it will be optional but a worthy one as the current is quite disappointing due its ineffective interface.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Lexus NX is a deserved upgrade for what was good already. With a more attractive design, at least for most observers, and slight changes to enhance comfort, this new model could give a lot of trouble to German crossovers.
The price will probably be the same as this year’s model, at US$36,260 for the base model.