Lexus has introduced the second generation NX and while the exterior seems more of an evolution rather than revolution, everything else is pretty much new, including Lexus' first plug-in-hybrid model.
Lexus has just introduced their new all-new NX, the first model of Lexus' next-generation range, which heralds in a new design, new infotainment systems, and a significantly broader range of powertrains.
Since the 2022 NX is part of the next generation range, it expectedly comes with multiple new powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid, but most importantly, a brand-new touchscreen infotainment system, which replaces the cumbersome touchpad linked infotainment system of the previous generation.
Riding on the much-coveted TNGA-K (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, the new NX is developed under the concept of "Vital x Tech Gear." This concept combines vital dynamism (Vital) with advanced technology (Tech).
When it comes to the NX's exterior styling, the looks seem to be more of an evolutionary change rather than a new design, but we can't blame Lexus for this as the NX probably has the best application of Lexus' iconic spindle grille.
The headlights are now a cohesive unit, with the daytime running lights being brought up into the headlights instead of being a separate illumination member. Following the current trend of linking taillights together, the second generation NX now also features taillights with a horizontal bar connecting them to each other.
Then there is the overall look of the new NX. It's more of a sculptured and softer look than an angular and aggressive one seen in the older version. There's also a beautiful new bodyline crease that runs from the front fender and kicks up to meet the C-pillar.
However, the most noticeable exterior change comes at the rear as Lexus has decided to ditch its traditional round emblem for a written one. We suppose all new generation Lexus' will follow this treatment under the new generation design, though the round Lexus logo at the grille will remain.
If the outside is an evolution, the inside feels like a revolution because Lexus has changed one thing that people hated the most in the NX: its unimaginative touchpad infotainment system. The new NX now sports Lexus' latest Interface touchscreen infotainment system, which has been designed in-house.
The huge 14-inch screen you see in the photos is optional, and most will probably get a 9.8-inch screen as it is standard. As you can see, the screen is positioned towards the driver and integrated well into the design of the dash. It just seems to flow nicely into the centre console. The best thing is there are still physical knobs for the climate and music control.
For the rest of the interior, it's pretty much what you have come to expect from Lexus, except for this new feature called Digital Latch. Instead of mechanical latches, the NX gets electronically operated doors where through a press of a sleek button, the door opens. The exterior door handles use a button too, but don't worry, there is a failsafe mechanism just in case the electronics fail.
Although NVH in a Lexus is already considered one of the best around, Lexus were keen to point out that they have improved the NVH in the new NX by stating that airflow and wind noises seeping into the cabin is now 15% less. They have also enhanced the materials used for sound dampening insulation.
Lexus will initially offer the NX with four different powertrains, three of which are new to the SUV. At the bottom of the pile is a 2.5-liter inline-4 paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission found in the NX250. It produces 203hp and 250Nm and will send all of its power to the front wheels (AWD is optional).
Then there's the NX 350, which utilises a new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 275hp and 430Nm. This mill will also be paired to an eight-speed auto and it comes standard with AWD.
Next up are the two hybrid models, both of which build off of the NX250's engine. The AWD NX 350h pairs the engine to two electric motors, one of which independently drives the rear wheels. It has a total output of 239hp, and will hit 120km/h in 7.2 seconds, a second and a half quicker than the previous NX350.
The most powerful of them all is the NX450 Plus which is Lexus' first plug-in-hybrid car. Lexus says the NX 450h Plus makes a total of 302hp and has a 0-120km/h time of 6.0 seconds. The NX 450h Plus has a full electric range of 60 kilometres, and it can gain a full charge in two and a half hours on a 240-volt supply when using the optional 6.6-kW charger.
The new NX adopts the evolved and enhanced Lexus Safety System+, coming with:
- pre-crash safety with enhanced intersection assistance
- front cross-traffic alert with display animation of the direction of the approaching vehicle
- radar cruise control now with an ALL-SPEED FOLLOW FUNCTION which basically provides preliminary deceleration that prevents sudden approach to the preceding vehicle and enhances the sense of security
As usual, the Lexus Safety System + also includes lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, lane change assist, road sign assist, launch delay notification function, and proactive driving assist.
There are also new security, safety and convenience systems, which include:
- E-LATCH SYSTEM - Replacing the latch/unlatch mechanism of the door with electrical control by switches delivering a smooth door operation and effortless feeling.
- SAFE EXIT ASSIST (WITH DOOR OPEN CONTROL) - When exiting the vehicle, the system uses the sensors of the Blind Spot Monitor [BSM] to detect vehicles approaching from behind, including bicycles. If the system determines that there is a possibility of a collision with an open door or an alighting occupant, the indicator in the outer mirror will light up to alert the driver. The world-first system notifies the occupants with a buzzer, flashing indicator in the outer mirror, display on the meter, and voice notification.
- ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGY ADVANCED PARK (WITH REMOTE FUNCTION) - The support situations have been expanded to include in perpendicular parking situations, forward parking, backing out of a parking space, and pulling out of a parking space. In addition, by operating a smartphone with a special application installed from outside the vehicle, the driver carrying a smart key can remotely parallel park, and exit the vehicle. The system also supports forward and backward movement when removing luggage from the trunk.
- DIGITAL KEY - By installing a special application on the smartphone, the smartphone can be used as a key for vehicles that have this function. If you carry a smartphone, you can lock, unlock, and start the engine without operating the screen, and even if you own several cars that are compatible with the digital key, you can operate them with only one smartphone. Digital keys can be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely.