LEXUS NX—The go-anywhere artisanal luxury crossover

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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

It’s one thing to design and create a smooth-riding luxury car. It’s completely different making it powerful, dependable, fuel-efficient, and capable of going anywhere, even over challenging terrain.

It’s a tall order, but if anyone has the know-how and experience to create such an automobile, Lexus would be it.  

Driving a vehicle that can transcend even the most difficult driving situations is empowering. If the weather turns for the worse or if road conditions degrade to less than ideal, then having a vehicle that is more than up to the task of getting you to your destination effortlessly is indeed an asset. Enter the Lexus NX.

The NX is Lexus’s compact crossover in its illustrious five-model crossover line. It comes in three variants: the NX 300h hybrid (Php 3,678,000); the flagship NX 300 F Sport (Php 3,708,000); and the NX 300 (Php 3,208,000).

Under its hood is a powerful and fuel-efficient 235hp/350Nm direct-injection twin-scroll-turbo 2.0-liter inline-4. Powering the NX 300h hybrid is a 2.5-liter inline-4 combined with a pair of electric motors. The NX 300h offers 194bhp supplemented by electric motors that result in instant torque and acceleration. 

Power delivery is one thing, but where the NX — or any other Lexus — shines is in its exceptional road manners. The suspension has been tuned to enhance ride and handling. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been tweaked for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. New shock absorbers also improve the quality of the NX’s already buttery-smooth ride.

But the biggest change is that Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is now available on the NX F Sport variant. AVS — based on the advanced system found in the LC 500 — offers enhanced control and overall handling stability.

The NX now shares similar design cues with the LC, namely its triple-projector headlamps. The iconic L-shaped DRLs make it easily identifiable as a Lexus, too. Satin and smoked chrome trim pieces now adorn the grille. At the rear, the lower rear bumper cover has elements of the grille’s spindle motif, and has been broadened to enhance the vehicle’s wide stance and low-slung look. The NX’s revised taillights have been elongated, and the black garnish has been revised to better emphasize the “L”-shaped lenses.

The F-Sport variant uses an F-mesh grille pattern, with the same jet-black finish seen in the Lexus RC F. The F-Sport package also gives you exclusive front and rear bumpers. You will also find 18-in aluminum alloy wheels in a dark premium metallic finish wrapped by 225/60 R18 tires.

The F-Sport and Hybrid variants feature a larger display on the center dashboard, which has grown to 10.3 inches. Nearly all the controls and switches inside the NX, including the drive mode selector, shift knob and door handles, now have a metallic satin finish, enhancing the premium look and feel of the cabin.

On the center console, the remote touch interface pad has been enlarged and redesigned for easier operation, and the palm rest has been reshaped for maximum wrist comfort. The wireless charger tray has also grown in size to accommodate larger smartphones. In addition, the USB ports have been more optimally positioned in the center console, and their amperage has been increased for faster charging.

On the safety front, collision impact is greatly reduced with eight airbags lining the cabin.

The Drive Mode Select also allows you to choose from five modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom Mode, which lets you decide on the powertrain, Adaptive Variable Suspension, power steering, and even the A/C settings.

Study the intricate yet perfectly straight needlework of the NX 300’s leather surfaces, created with the help of hand-operated machinery equipped with special needles resistant to overheating and thread breakage. This is Takumi craftsmanship. Its acute attention to detail that elevates the entire artisanal construction of a Lexus.

The NX will resonate with drivers who are not only looking for a powerful and engaging crossover to drive, but who also want to see that time, effort, and passion was put into the construction of their vehicle of choice. To have a customer who has a deep appreciation of the smallest details can be daunting, but Lexus sees that as nothing less than an opportunity to showcase its craftsmanship.

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