New Sport trim level added to Lexus NX range

Lexus has bolstered its NX SUV line-up with a new Sport specification featuring black trim

The Lexus NX SUV is getting a new Sport trim level, marking the first revision since its launch last year. Sport versions have already been added to the Lexus RX and IS saloon ranges and are intended to provide a more athletic look without drastically increasing the price. Available from 1 June, the NX Sport will cost from £36,500.

Black exterior trim sets the Sport apart from other models in the range, most noticeably altering the looks of the front ‘spindle grille’ and door mirror caps. There are also unique 18-inch alloy wheels finished in bronze two-tone paintwork.

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Inside, there’s the choice of two distinct themes: either all-black ‘leather-like’ upholstery or black with contrasting white highlights for the seat bolsters and dashboard, which is unique to the Sport. Equipment matches the NX 300h SE, with satellite navigation and a 10.3-inch display, a 10-speaker DAB stereo, automatic wipers, power-adjustable heated front seats, a reversing camera and dual-zone climate control. Finally, the Lexus Safety System+ package helps keep occupants safe.

You’ll need to look hard to detect the differences between the 2018 Lexus NX and the current model. In fact, you’ll have to peer inside the radiator grille, as some of the improvements concern the “vertical elements” of the grille’s “inner portion”.

Lexus NX facelift

The Lexus NX was updated in 2017, when the interior was been “slightly reworked”, while the hybrid model now features “a slotted sectional piece with an L-shaped satin chrome border” and the dashboard wrist rest has been “reshaped” for maximum comfort. The message is clear: the Lexus NX has been carefully, rather than dramatically, improved.

In fairness, some of the changes were significant enough to warrant mention, if only because they’ll be appreciated during day-to-day driving. The remote touch interface infotainment control was been improved and enlarged, which was welcome given the criticism the system has received in the past. Lexus simplified the heating controls, featuring toggle switches instead of buttons, while rear seat passengers get got their own air-conditioning controls.

Lexus took a restrained approach to the NX’s mechanical systems. The suspension was improved for better handling and reduced road noise, while the luxurious LC coupe’s air suspension system was also made available as an option.

The facelifted NX also got more safety kit, with Lexus Safety System Plus bundling radar cruise control, auto-dipping headlights, lane departure warning and a pre-collision system, which can reduce the severity of an accident.

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