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Lexus improves NX safety factor

Safety first: While NX already featured autonomous emergency braking prior to this update, the system can now detect cyclists during the day and pedestrians at night.

Improved AEB, lane-keep and steering assist highlight minor Lexus NX update

18 Jun 2019

LEXUS Australia has given its NX mid-size SUV a safety boost, with the model’s suite of advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) expanded for a relatively small price increase.
NX’s autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system now has extra functionality, able to detect cyclists during the day and pedestrians at night. The camera- and radar-based set-up could previously only identify pedestrians during the day.
AEB is also now active when parking, using NX’s front and rear sensors to detect obstacles when low-speed manoeuvres are being made, and automatically limiting throttle response and applying the brakes if the vehicle is about to make contact.
Lane-keep and steering assist, however, are new to NX, working in combination with its already standard all-speed adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality to enable Level 2 autonomous driving, according to the Japanese brand.
Road sign recognition is also a fresh addition, displaying speed-limit sign information on NX’s multi-function display or its Sports Luxury grade’s windshield-projected head-up display.
These five features join NX’s expansive ADAS suite, which includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist, a reversing camera and tyre pressure monitoring, among others.
“These comprehensive updates further enhance the appeal of NX, making it one of the safest as well as sharpest-looking luxury SUVs on the road,” said Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson.
As per usual, these upgrades come at a cost, with eight of NX’s 10 variants increasing their prices by $600, while the NX300’s F Sport AWD and Sports Luxury AWD derivatives have curiously jumped by $552 and $229 respectively.
As such, the NX line-up now starts from $55,400 before on-road costs for the NX300 Luxury FWD and tops out at $76,900 for the NX300h Sports Luxury AWD.
Based on the previous-generation Toyota RAV4’s platform, NX remains available with the choice between turbo-petrol (NX300) and petrol-electric hybrid (NX300h) power.
Offered in front- and all-wheel-drive forms, the NX300 is motivated by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 175kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It is mated to a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
Alternatively, the NX300h combines a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine with one (front-wheel drive) or two (all-wheel drive) electric motors for a combined maximum power output of 147kW. It is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Three grades are available, with the entry-level Luxury and mid-range F Sport available with both powertrains and both drivetrains, while the flagship Sports Luxury can be had in NX300 and NX300h guises but only with all-wheel drive.
Sales of NX have taken a significant hit this year, with 1301 examples sold to the end of May – a 21.4 per cent decrease over the 1655 deliveries made during the same period in 2018.
As a result, NX has fallen from fourth to fifth in the $60,000-plus mid-size-SUV segment, trailing the Mercedes-Benz GLC (2257 units), BMW X3 (2078), Audi Q5 (1546) and Volvo XC60 (1321).

2019 Lexus NX pricing*

Luxury FWD (a) $55,400
Luxury AWD (a) $59,900
F Sport FWD (a) $61,400
F Sport AWD (a) $65,852
Sports Luxury AWD (a) $74,029
Luxury FWD (a) $57,900
Luxury AWD (a) $62,400
F Sport FWD (a) $63,900
F Sport AWD (a) $68,400
Sports Luxury AWD (a) $76,900

*Excludes on-road costs

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