2018 vs 2017 Lexus NX: A Game Of Spot The Differences

The 2018 Lexus NX was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this week and while the company claims some significant updates, it’s hard to visualize where exactly these were applied.

So let’s take a closer look together and try to pinpoint the updates with a visual comparison between the facelifted 2018 version against the original 2015-2017 Lexus NX.

Lexus’ smallest crossover model  remains faithful to the company’s sharp-edged design philosophy, with headlights that split into two sections, many pointy creases running across the bodywork and of course, that huge front spindle grille.

Still A Hungry Predator

The front fascia received some mild revisions, with most notable the upper portion of the spindle grille being thinner and the shape of the lower front bumper changed, with the fog lamps now separated from the ducts. The headlights are also new, featuring triple projectors, similar to those equipped on the LC coupe.

The rear end gets a new design for the lower part of the rear bumper which now features the same design elements with the front grille while the taillights have been elongated and gained a black garnish to make the rear end look wider.

Better Tech – More Attention To Detail

Inside the most obvious change is the adoption of a larger 10.3-inch screen for the infotainment system and the new HVAC controls which are now simplified by replacing a section of buttons with four toggle switches. The slightly larger analog clock also gets a cleaner design and satellite control, self-adjusting the time in different time zones.

The remote touch interface is also bigger for easier operation, as it’s the wireless charger tray to better accommodate larger smartphones. Nearly all the controls now feature a metallic satin finish to make the cabin look and feel even more premium and special.

But the most premium revision of them all is about the new needlework on the leather surfaces; Lexus calls it the Tacumi craftsmanship and says that all the stitching is now perfectly straight, with the intricate pattern coming from a hand-operated tool with special needles, resistant to overheating and thread breakage.

Same Powertrains But More Competitive On The Road

Both the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol inline-four and the electrified 2.5-litre petrol units remain unchanged under the bonnet of the 2018 Lexus NX, with the gasoline version changing its name from NX 200t to NX 300.

Lexus has added a fake engine sound system to make the aural experience a sportier one but the major change in the NX’s chassis is the addition of an optional adaptive suspension, together with a re-tune of the standard one and improved NVH levels.

The new 2018 Lexus NX remains one of the most recognizable SUVs in its class and the revisions did nothing to detract from its special visual presence. Together with the targeted upgrades on the chassis and cabin, the 2018 Lexus NX will be without a doubt a more competent player in the segment, if you can live with that bold front end sitting on your driveway.


  • Six_Tymes

    Yep, still UGLY

  • haudit

    I’ve never really had a problem with the way this car looks. It sets out to divide opinion and be distinctive, and it achieves both aims admirably. It’s certainly more agreeable to look at in than it’s rather awkward Toyota relative, the RAV4

  • Craig

    I like the 2017 better.

  • Benjamin B.

    Is this a horrible joke Lexus is playing on us ?

  • RB

    Since Audi started this trend, now followed by others, I NEVER saw any similar article on Audi’s…! you racist bastards carsccops!

    • TheBelltower

      It’s because Audis aren’t idiotic looking. Toyota designs are a total mess.

      • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY


    • JohnCarscoop
    • Mike Stevens

      Epic overreaction is epic.

    • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY

      Shut up ree tard. Audi started the trend with style and then in typical fashion the JDM’s copied, first Mitsubishi followed by Toyo Lexus, only they over did it with exagerration both look like huge gaping mouths ready to take in some stiff coc k meat. That’s why critics talk about it. And btw I’m Chinese so you can go ahead and bounce up out of here with those baseless racism claims.

  • Trackhacker

    Oh god they added more grill at the front. Soon it will just be just a grill with headlights lmao….what a ugly car wow. No wonder Lexus is complaining that they are not happy with the brand. I don’t like German cars…but German cars understand style and elegance. Lexus…OPEN your EYES! 😛

    • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY


  • BlackPegasus

    Interior design still looks hideous. And the rear assembly still looks like the Toyota Rav 4 it’s base upon.

    • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY

      Spot on BP!

  • enthusiast88

    I prefer the 2017 headlights, but the 2018 taillights. Sales is double Toyota expectations so this shouldn’t hurt.

  • Miknik

    I do prefer the pre facelifted exterior, but the updated infotainment with the larger screen is more than welcome

    • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY

      Who cares about a stupid irrelavant screen? It’s a boring driving experience. Then again we are talking about a Lexus right?

  • Dexterbarnes+MinoreeTee =GAYYY

    They apparently failed to also add that it was Boring for 2017 and Boring again for 2018.

  • EasternCoaster

    I tried to lease a 2017 NX Hybrid but the residuals were so bad it was cheaper to lease the RX Hybrid. So I did- got a $56k car for less overall than a $45k car. Weird.

  • Kevin

    With more grill and less painted “bumper” surface area, there is less paint to chip from highway rocks, so everyone complaining can STFU because it’s actually very practical for long-term cosmetic resillience, and I also happen to like the look anyway.

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