L Lexus has a unique-looking compact SUV - we test the NX200T EX model.
Like roasted sheep's head, witblits, and rooibos tea, the Lexus NX200T makes the opinion-o-meter swing between "ugh" and "wow" with not much wavering between the North and South Pole.
Simply put, when it comes to this new compact SUV from Lexus, you either love it or hate it!
The rest of its bulky body and large rubber-wrapped alloys are fairly pleasing on the eye, even attractive in a BMW X5 sort of way; in spite of some weird bladelike creases and its sharp edges.
The front of this vehicle is a bizarre potpourri of slit- eyed ( L. E. D.) daytime headlights, shark- mouth air intakes and a massive, all dominating back mesh grille. There’s no denying, the NX certainly looks striking but some might argue that it’s not pretty.
That, of course, is a matter of opinion.
Once inside the classy and comfortable cabin of the NX200T, that previouslymentioned meter swings overwhelmingly into the positive.
The overall design, layout and atmosphere in here is futuristic without looking too flamboyant.
Instrumentation layout is reasonably user- friendly and quite easy to navigate, including the prominent remote touch infotainment screen.
To me the most impressive feature I found in these Japanese living quarters is the concert-quality sound system. I honestly think that - with superb finesse and thumping power - it reproduces among the best in-car music I have heard in a long time. With a twitch of the volume control to the right you can probably blow the nearest boom- boom taxi right off the road.
The seats in this Lexus are big and extremely comfy - and there is lots of leg- and headroom. The living quarters are also extremely well insulated and hence, very quiet. This definitely adds to the car’s luxurious feel and ability to munch mile after mile in great comfort. The press car we had on test was an EX model, powered by the brand's first 2- litre turbo petrol engine.
This eager and efficient power plant kicks out a very healthy 175kw and handy 350Nm. Those impressive figures are transferred to the tar via a quick- thinking and slick- shifting ( six- speed) automatic transmission.
Although no tar-scorcher, the two-litre turbo NX200 manages to jump out of the daily starting stalls quite energetically to clock up nought to 100 kays an hour in about 7 seconds.
On the trot and out on the open road, the high-riding Lexus NX feels remarkably stable even when you get a tad playful through the
It’s only when one pushes this vehicle really hard that it will eventually make its weight of close to two tons known.
Overall the NX is a wellfinished, classy SUV with rather dramatic off- the- wall looks but it certainly is an interesting option for those who want to stand out from the rest.
That goes particularly for the crowd that favours the Beemers and Audis of this world.
The fact that it’s a member of the respected Toyota family also adds a touch of respectability to the Lexus.
It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but then neither is a cuppa Rooibos.
The four Lexus NX 200t's range in price from about N$637,000 for the E model to roughly N$793,000 for the F-sport version.
They all come with a fouryear / 100,000km service plan and standard Lexus Distance Plan.
“...a well-finished, classy SUV with rather dramatic off-the-wall looks...”