L Lexus has a unique-look­ing com­pact SUV - we test the NX200T EX model.

Nam Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

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...”

Text Hen­rie Geyser Im­ages Lexus South Africa

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