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.

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - By Ayswarya Murthy

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

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