The Lexus NX hardly needed a facelift but the Japanese company thought otherwise and has just unveiled a refreshed version at the Shanghai Auto Show. Although the styling tweaks aren’t significant, they do promise to give the eye-catching SUV even more road presence.
Lexus says that the entire front fascia of the 2018 NX has been refreshed and while it’s certainly different, only those with a trained eye would immediately notice the differences. They primarily revolve around a tweaked version of Lexus’ spindle front grille and incorporate reshaped headlights and those familiar tick-shaped LED daytime running lights.
Additionally, both the NX 300h and NX 300 F Sport announced so far have modified front air intakes and fog lights. Changes to the rear include larger chrome-tipped exhausts, revised taillights, a new underbody spoiler and for the NX 300h, chrome L-shaped elements on both sides of the bumper. A new set of 18-inch wheels have also been thrown into the options list.
The standard model, the NX 300, is largely the same as the outgoing NX 200t from a mechanical standpoint and has the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The NX 300h meanwhile retains its 2.5-liter four-cylinder working in conjunction with a pair of electric motor and Lexus says that both these models offer largely the same performance as before.
Of more importance however is the fact that “significant improvements” have been made to the NX’s suspension tuning to improve both ride and handling. Among the changes include retuned springs, stabilizer bars and bushings to offer enhanced turn-in response and better cornering. Additionally, brand new shock absorbers are said to improve the ride, something which was critiqued in the outgoing model. Lexus has also employed the same Adaptive Variable Suspension system as the LC 500 in the 2018 NX, a feature that offers up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments.
Just like before, the more potent NX F Sport model, exclusive in NX 300 guise, is distinguished from the rest of the range with a black grille, exclusive wheels and new interior trim.
Speaking about the updated model, chief engineer of the NX, Takeaki Kato said “For the new NX, we made bold refinements to the design, elevated its performance and added new features to enhance its comfort and convenience. The new NX still possesses the same elements that have made it popular in the past—a sharp design, everyday convenience and driving pleasure that will satisfy all enthusiasts—but the vehicle as a whole has evolved dramatically, as you’re bound to see and feel when you first experience it.”