Lexus introduced the newly refreshed 2018 Lexus NX at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. My immediate reaction was saying aloud, “ooh…that looks great,” prompting a similar reaction from my work neighbor, “ahh, yeah it does.” This marks the first refresh for the Lexus NX since debuting in 2014 as a stylish compact crossover SUV. Along with the refresh comes rebranding of the NX 200t trim, now the NX 300. The NX 300h Hybrid and NX F Sport also return.
With a more fluid front fascia design, the refresh perfects the almost perfect look of the previous year’s Lexus NX. The upper portion of the grille and front bumpers blend into the hood and conform to a more aerodynamic aesthetic. The grille underwent some tweaking, adding satin and chrome trim pieces and new vertical elements. The fog lamps were relocated to the corners of the front bumper, all resulting in a more aggressive appearance when staring the NX in the headlamps. New aluminum 18-inch wheels feature bright machined finish spokes and dark contrasting paint that adds depth to the appearance of the wheel.
The rear also underwent a refresh. Design elements from the grille’s spindle motif were replicated for the rear bumper cover. The taillights were elongated and elements of black better emphasize the L-shaped lenses. New, larger chrome-tipped exhaust tips are integrated into the bumper cover with a new underbody spoiler, while the NX Hybrid gets a slotted sectional piece with L-shaped satin chrome border that blends into the underbody spoiler. Place your foot beneath the rear bumper sensor and the rear hatch opens, a new feature for the 2018 NX.
On the inside, a sportier approach melds with the luxury interior. A 10.3-inch center display is now available, up from 7-inches. Air conditioning controls have been simplified into four toggle switches and nearly all controls and switches now have a metallic satin finish. The center console touchpad is larger and more intuitive and palm rest redesigned for better wrist comfort. A larger wireless charger tray comes with the new NX, as does a higher amperage USB ports for faster charging.
Touting less noise and offering a better driving experience, the 2018 NX offers more sound deadening elements placed throughout the body. New Adaptive Variable Suspension tuning is also available and makes up to 650 instantaneous suspension adjustments for better control and handling. Lexus Safety System + active safety technology comes standard and includes Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams.
The current 2.0 L turbocharged 4-cylinder (235 hp) will continue to power the NX 300 and F Sport, while the 2.5 L 4-cylinder (194 hp), paired with dual electric motors and 245 V nickel-metal hydride battery, will continue to power the NX 300h Hybrid.
NX sales rose 25% last year in a competitive class that includes the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Jaguar F-Pace. Approximately 4,000 NX crossovers roll off of dealership lots each month in the U.S. The 2018 Lexus NX goes on sale this fall. Pricing for the 2018 NX has yet to be announced.
Does the new NX have you going “ooh and ahh?” Let us know in the comments!