LEXUS NX 300 F SPORT 2018 QUICK TAKES
TESTDRIVENOW OVERVIEW: LEXUS NX 300 F SPORT 2018 QUICK TAKES
The Lexus NX 300, formerly known as the NX 200t, remains one of the sharpest luxury-utility vehicle designs on the road with newly added standard equipment to all models in 2018 for even more value for the money.
A Sport-Utility Vehicle with New Features for a Busy Lifestyle
Although the NX 300 offers a raised driving position, the vehicle’s cockpit still evokes a sporty driving experience with new features to complement a busy lifestyle.
The newest include the Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment, Lexus Enform Wi-Fi with 4GB of space (subscription complimentary for the first year) and a power back door with kick sensor available as a standalone option. Additional options include: a reimagined Luxury Package with Electrochromic mirrors and reverse tilt and memory mirrors; Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert; and an updated Comfort Package with driver and passenger heated and ventilated seats.
A driving experience that is never ordinary, the NX driver faces a sculptured metal-faced four-dial gauge cluster with 3D speedometer and tachometer displays. Gauges in the F SPORT feature full-length illuminated needles. A 4.2-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD in the center of the instrument cluster provides a full-color Multi Information Display (MID).
A change in drive modes using the Drive Mode Select switch triggers a colored illumination in the MID– red for Sport mode, for example. The MID can also display phone and audio information.
A Sportier Design for the NX 300
To stand out on the road, the 2018 Lexus NX features dynamic styling updates to the exterior and interior design.
Caviar is added as an exterior color, as well as Glazed Caramel and Rioja Red (non-F SPORT models) for interior colors. For an even sportier look and feel, the NX 300 base model receives an updated front grille with two additional grille lines integrated with the lower bumper, a larger fog light opening below the front headlights, the addition of chrome accents on the lower rear bumper and updated tail lamps.
The crouching, muscular stance of the NX stems in part from providing good ramp-over angles, while also having the highest point of the vehicle set back toward the rear of the roof. A sharply raked tailgate and integrated spoiler are punctuated by Lexus’ signature L-shape light clusters featuring seamless LED illumination, with tailgate detailing that echoes the updated spindle grille design.
The LED theme continues with standard power folding outside mirrors that house turn signal lights. And, a single LED elegantly streams a welcoming beam of light along the top of the door handle and to the ground as the driver approaches the vehicle.
For the interior design of the NX 300, the center console remains the focal point with a standard eight inch multimedia screen with the option of a 10.3-inch screen with Navigation and a second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) that’s 30 percent larger for better control to make menu selections easier. Additional interior updates for 2018 include: updated climate control buttons; new metallic accents on window switches and climate control switches; an updated clock with GPS; and updated round dial climate control switches for temperature, fan, and mode selection.
NX 300: Turbo Performance and Efficiency
While the NX’s straight-line performance will essentially remain the same, significant improvements have been made to the vehicle’s suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. Also, new shock absorbers improve the quality of the NX’s already smooth ride. But the biggest new change to the NX’s chassis is the available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), now based on the advanced system found in the LC 500, which offers a range of up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments (up from 30) for enhanced control and overall handling stability.
The NX 300’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 235 hp at 4800-5,600 rpm with 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,650-4,000 rpm. The D4-S injection system, which uses a combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors, helps ensure ample power and crisp responsiveness at all engine speeds. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence-Wide (VVT-iW) optimizes torque throughout the engine speed range and allows the engine to start in the Otto cycle and then run in the more fuel efficient Atkinson cycle at cruising speeds.
The sequential six-speed automatic transmission uses Torque-Demand control logic to calculate required engine torque to deliver quick response and exhilarating acceleration feel. The G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system enables more spirited driving by selecting the optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to g force.
As in other Lexus models, the driver can choose preferred driving responses using the Drive Mode Select dial on the center console. The system adjusts parameters for multiple systems, including throttle response and the power steering assist curve. The default setting is Normal. Sport mode sharpens responses, and ECO mode helps enhance more fuel-efficient driving.
NX 300h: Luxury Goes Green
As one would expect from the luxury hybrid leader, the Lexus NX 300h emphasizes efficiency with 33 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 31 mpg combined EPA-estimated fuel economy.
Lexus Hybrid Drive has long been the platinum standard for seamless hybrid performance, high efficiency and proven dependability. The NX 300h’s system combines output from a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a small high-torque electric motor through its unique transmission. The system varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both as needed. The result is a combined 194 system horsepower.
Regenerative braking changes the electric motor to a generator that captures the kinetic energy of the wheels when the brake is applied, storing it in the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery pack. In EV drive mode, under certain conditions, the NX 300h can run solely on the electric motor for up to 0.6 miles at lower speeds (below approximately 25 mph). A Hybrid System Indicator and fuel consumption indicator, located in a 4.2-inch TFT screen, help coach the driver to operate the vehicle as economically as possible.
For 2018, the NX 300h offers the Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction. In addition, the NX 300h’s base 17-inch alloy wheels and 18-inch alloy wheel all-season tires were given a new darker finish for a more dimensional look on the road.
Handling That’s as Sharp as The Design
The foundation for the vehicle’s handling agility and ride comfort is a highly rigid body structure that makes extensive use of hot-stamped high tensile steel along with aluminium. The Lexus NX uses MacPherson strut front suspension and a trailing arm double wishbone rear suspension that separates the coil springs and dampers to help optimize agility, control and ride comfort.
For the 2018 NX 300, All-Weather Drive (AWD) helps provide maximum traction and cornering control. Taking input from various sensors (vehicle speed, steering speed and angle, throttle angle and yaw rate), the system continuously monitors and actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels, as needed, via an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. Under most normal driving conditions, the system operates in front-wheel drive mode and can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels when extra traction is needed.
NX 300 F SPORT Revs Up Performance
The NX 300 F SPORT grabs the senses with its amped-up design, handling performance and sound. The F SPORT option exterior also enjoys updates including a unique honeycomb front end with a more aggressive grille, optional Hi LED headlights and a lower bumper updated with more elegant chrome treatment. The front-end of the NX 300 F Sport achieves an even more aggressive appearance thanks to a revised lower bumper, rear lower bumper and taillamps, an additional of laser fog light housing, larger exhaust opening and newly optional 18-inch F SPORT alloy wheels with All-Season or Summer tires.
Enjoy the sound of an engine revving? The Lexus NX 300 F SPORT obliges with Active Sound Control (ASC), which brings some of the engine note through the speakers and enhances it, with volume adjustable by the driver.
Body-hugging, quilted NuLuxe sport seats are exclusive to the F SPORT, which also offers an exclusive interior color, Circuit Red. The driver grips a perforated leather F SPORT steering wheel and brushed metallic gearshift.
The F SPORT’s unique instrumentation was inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. The driver can view real-time performance with the Lexus-first G-Force meter “G-ball” in the Multi Information Display. The G-ball moves in response to the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal forces. The MID displays the peak force in each direction. Display bars indicate the steering angle, throttle opening angle and brake pressure. The MID also provides a turbo-boost display.
Lexus Luxury, by Design
The NX cabin is offered in five variations. The Base model, along with the Comfort and Premium packages, feature perforated Crème, Flaxen, Rioja Red or Black NuLuxe inserts with smooth bolsters and Dark Umber trim.
The F SPORT package exclusively offers perforated Black or Circuit Red NuLuxe, each accentuated by metallic trim. The F SPORT seats feature black accent strips with perforated NuLuxe seat inserts and smooth bolsters. Genuine leather in Crème or Black distinguishes the Luxury package, which also trims the cabin with Linear Black Shadow Wood.
The NX offers a choice of available heated or heated/ventilated front seats. Renowned Lexus detailing shows in the front dome lights and map light that illuminate at the light touch of a finger. Footwell lighting accentuates the luxury ambience.
Room for Life
Designers carved out maximum space with the NX design. There is plenty of room to carry your passengers and gear – or anything else. Storage in four compartments beneath the cargo floor provide space for keeping your valuables out of sight. There’s a place for everything throughout the cabin, including a large glove box and console box, a console mid-tray, utility box, sunglasses holder, two front and two rear cup holders and front and rear door pockets.
The standard 60/40 split rear seat with recline can be upgraded with a power-folding option. You can lower or raise the seats individually using switches on the instrument panel, on the side of each rear seat or within the luggage compartment. The available power liftgate, which includes memory height, likewise can be operated by switches on the instrument panel, door and wireless remote.
Premium Audio Standard
The NX’s standard Display Audio includes HD Radio™, Bluetooth® audio streaming, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio. Cache radio can pause live radio for up to 15-minutes, for later listening.
Lexus Premium Audio comes standard and uses an eight-channel amplifier with a digital signal processor to restore high notes lost through compression. It plays through eight speakers, or an upgrade system that adds a center dash mid/high speaker and a subwoofer mounted in the liftgate.
The multimedia system, accessed through a high-resolution eight inch screen, provides a multitude of capabilities and also offers the Lexus Navigation upgrade that includes predictive traffic information, including detour preview, ETA calculation and low-fuel coordination with nearby fuel stations. Navigation also includes the subscription-free Lexus Enform® App Suite 2.0 and features 3D map views.
Anyone who’s used a smartphone or tablet will feel immediately familiar with the RTI, which uses a touchpad with palm rest in the center console. The RTI helps the driver access various functions while staying focused on the road. The front-seat passenger can also easily operate the RTI.
For Apple iPhone® users, Siri® Eyes Free Mode puts select Siri technology at your service. Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and more.
Lexus Enform Keeps You Connected
Complimentary now for the first ten years on all 2018 NX models, Lexus Enform Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, and Stolen Vehicle Notification. The Lexus Enform response center operates 24/7/365.
The Navigation option also brings an array of valuable services in the form of the Lexus Enform® App Suite. This veritable in-car personal concierge includes Lexus Enform Destination Assist. Enjoy improved voice recognition to search the Internet with ease, listen to Internet radio, (including Pandora®, iHeartRadio and Slacker), or hear the latest breaking news – all while your smart phone is seamlessly connected to NX’s Wi-Fi hotspot.
With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the vehicle using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Once registered, the app can operate remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.
With Lexus Enform Service Connect (complimentary 10-year subscription now included), the NX can also send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer.
What’s New for 2018
- NX 200t is now the NX 300
- Lexus Safety System+ becomes standard equipment on all NX models
- Standard eight inch multimedia screen; 10.3-inch multimedia screen available with Navigation
- A second-generation RTI that’s 30 percent larger for better control and to make menu selections easier
- New interior and exterior colors
- Power folding outside mirrors standard on all NX models
- Base and Hybrid 17-inch alloy wheels and 18-inch alloy wheel tires receive new darker finish
- Optional 18-inch alloy wheels with All-Season tires for Base and Hybrid models
- Advanced construction techniques include laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding that help provide enhanced overall body rigidity
- Acoustic glass windshield
- Double-wishbone rear suspension
- Electric Power Steering System
- Standard 17-inch wheels (18-inch available)
- Lexus Safety System+ becomes standard equipment on all NX models
- High- and ultra-high-tensile steel body structure
- Eight SRS airbags, including a dual stage driver’s airbag and knee airbag, dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger airbag, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags
- Whiplash-injury lessening front seats
- Headlight off-delay
- Backup camera
- Theft-deterrent system
- Power back door with kick sensor available as standalone option
- A reimagined Luxury Package with electrochromic mirrors and reverse tilt and memory mirrors and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- An enhanced Comfort Package with electrochromic mirrors, driver and passenger heated and ventilated seats and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- 10-way power driver’s seat; eight-way power front passenger seat
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Available Power tilt and telescoping steering column
- Power windows with one-touch up/down and jam protection on all windows
- Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with newly standard eight inch screen display audio controller and 8 speakers
- Available Second Gen Lexus Navigation System with Remote Touch Interface (RTI) and Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0
- Lexus Enform Wi-Fi with 4GB of space to connect Wi-Fi enabled devices and smartphones to the vehicles’ Wi-Fi hotspot, complimentary for the first year
- 4.2-inch full color multi-information display including audio, fuel consumption, navigation, tire pressure, outside temperature, odometer, trip meter and shift position
- 48 month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles
- 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage
- 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage
- Hybrid System Warranty coverage is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, and covers the following components: hybrid control module, hybrid battery control module, hybrid battery and inverter with converter
2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport MSRP $39,775.00
As shown with Premium Sport Package; LED Headlamps with Auto High Beam & lane Departure; Navigation Package; and more….Total Price $49,564.00