2018 Lexus NX Refreshed: Sharper Outside, Smoother Inside ""

By | April 19, 2017

Lexus has chiseled its NX crossover into an even more angular-looking piece for 2018. It’s mid-cycle-refresh time for the popular compact luxury SUV, and the visual changes are accompanied by a name change for the standard model as well as some chassis tweaks and an upgraded interior.

The standard NX, previously known as the NX200t—a logical name considering its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine—now has the less sensical NX300 moniker. The engine is the same, and it will surely continue to route its output through a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The hybrid model keeps its NX300h nomenclature, and its gas-electric powertrain also is unchanged.

If you didn’t like the NX’s polarizing face before, you probably won’t like its new one, which keeps the large spindle grille and the sharply creased headlights. There are a few new air intakes up front, along with new wheel designs, slightly thinner taillights, and a reshaped rear bumper. An F Sport option package is again available; it turns up the aggression with its black mesh grille and different wheels.

Interior upgrades are subtle and include a new metallic finish for several buttons, knobs, and redesigned HVAC controls. A larger, 10.3-inch central display screen is newly optional; it is controlled by a revised remote touchpad that we hope will improve upon the current model’s frustrating interface. A foot-motion sensor to open the power tailgate has been added to the available features.

Lexus said it has retuned the suspension for better turn-in and a smoother ride. Adaptive dampers are another a new addition—they’ll likely cost extra—and there’s more sound deadening, which should help with noise isolation. Active-safety features including forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure alert are now standard on every NX.

Expect the revised Lexus NX to go on sale later this year, likely with a slight price uptick over the current model’s $36,260 point of entry.

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