LEXUS COMPACTS LUXURY
Qatar Today took the new Lexus NX for a spin and found that it scores high in the luxury-to-price ratio.
Compact SUVs have come to be a popular market segment; they satisfy the need for space and safety while not compromising too much on the fuel efficiency front. So when Lexus launched their new model internationally at the end of 2014, they were looking to carve out a piece of this pie for themselves while looking to attract a new customer base to the Lexus brand by offering Premium Urban Sports Gear to meet the needs of the young 25-35 somethings on the lookout to upgrade their vehicle to one that will carry them to work in style but also for that adventurous weekend off-road beach barbeque spot. In this regard, and as a compact luxury crossover, the Lexus NX checks all the boxes.
Both the turbo and hybrid models boast of purposeful and aggressive exteriors that mean business. Reportedly under development for five years, over 2,000 engineers worked on this innovative, youthful design and a matching powerful performance. The headlamps (made of three separate LED lights) and lightning-spaced indicator lights are chiselled and fit into the body like pieces of an exciting puzzle. The fog lights not only complement the edgy look but correspond with the two exhaust pipes at the back (in the turbo model), cool trapezoidal shapes reportedly inspired from sports bikes. The black exoskeletal casing on the rear lights also adds a certain “oomph” to the vehicle when seen from behind.
The four door handles light up when you unlock the car, welcoming you into the car's warm, rich interior. The seats (in leather, faux-leather and fabric options) are the epitome of sophistication and we couldn't resist continually running our hands over the luxurious burgundy red ones that were available in the vehicle we were given. The leather-trimmed steering wheel (with controls for audio, voice recognition, handsfree and multi-information display) and the material covering portions of the dashboard come with the popular stitch detail that never fails to give you that hand-crafted feel. Being averse to complicated interfaces in cars (as most of the one-buttonto-rule-them-all generation is likely to be), the Lexus NX's easy-to-use layered central
stack is a welcome feature. A fixed 7-inch display comes standard in all the models and the full option comes equipped with the 8th generation navigation system. It displays images from the back camera with dynamic gridlines. This, along with the 4.2inch display in the metre cluster, keeps the driver updated with all the necessary information. The full option also comes with a colour head-up display. Right below is the dual-zone automatic climate control, media controls, drive mode switch (normal, eco and sport) and electronic parking brake. A flock-finished sunglass holder (with a handy vanity mirror), dual cup holder (with clamps that allows you to open a bottle with one hand) and the console box with a wireless charging station and Aux/ USB and power outlet complete the picture. The overhead lights are touch sensitive and turn on and off when the proximity sensors register your fingers.
The 8-way power front seats can be heated/ventilated and the driver's seat comes with 2-way lumbar support for those long drives or traffic jams. The power rear seats allow you to extend the luggage space. The full option includes adaptive cruise control (with lane departure warning and forward collision warning; the steering is automatically corrected and brakes are applied when the respective warnings are ignored), blind spot monitoring, a 10-speaker audio system, panoramic view monitor and navigation with Lexus' Remote Touch controller.
On the road, the ride couldn't be smoother, the car gliding across the lanes like a silent bat. The powerful air conditioning keeps the heat at bay while the ultra-smooth steering almost reads your mind, responding to the slightest nudge. The vehicle accelerates from 0-100 Km/ h in under 7 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile mark in about 15 seconds. And even in Doha, which is sick with luxury cars and the population might be desensitised to the sight of one, the Lexus commands a certain respect on the roads. It was awe-inspiring to see more people giving way than usual. It was with a heavy heart that we returned the Lexus NX back to the showroom