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Lexus Malaysia has officially launched the all-new Lexus NX, which will go straight into the booming luxury compact crossover segment. First introduced to the global market mid-2014, the NX will be offered here in five variants – NX 200t, NX 200t Premium, NX 200t Luxury, NX 200t F Sport and NX 300h.

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Targeted at a younger segment of the market, the NX features the brand’s angular design language as seen on the IS, GS as well as the newly launched RC. The front section sports the familiar spindle grille, which is flanked by LED headlights and the trademark L-shaped daytime running lights.

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Echoing the front fascia, the rear section features L-shaped LED tail lights that have thick-wall moulding technology to give the impression of crystal glass and reflectors embedded into the diffuser. Along with under body aero panels and a roof-mounted rear spoiler, the NX manages to achieve a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.33.

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The F Sport variant, of course, comes with bolder design features. Not similar to the rest of the variants, the F Sport gets a mesh insert for the spindle grille, sportier bumper profile with metallic lower moulding, black wing mirror housing and a black-tinted panoramic glass roof. It rides on exclusive 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 235/55 tyres.

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Meanwhile, the cabin is highlighted by the centre console, which is embellished with distinctive architectural design element painted in silver. It houses all the essentials items including the touch display, head unit and the Drive Mode Select dial. The instrument panel consists of a metal-faced four-dial gauge with a 3D speedometer and tachometer. Also, the NX features touch switches in the headliner for the front dome lights and map light switches for the first time. Leather upholstery is standard across the range.

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As for the F Sport, the sporty character is further enhanced with the presence of a G-Ball and Boost Meter. The former moves in response to the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal forces while the latter depicts the turbocharger pressure in varying colours. The cabin is embellished with a bespoke two-tone ‘F Sport’ leather upholstery along with other accessories such as an F Sport emblem on the steering wheel and a scuff plate on the sills.

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Don’t let the ‘compact crossover’ classification fool you because the NX is quite spacious. Lexus claims that the cargo area can accommodate up to three golf bags stowed sideways. Beneath it is a four-compartment storage area that keeps valuables out of sight. Instead of the usual pull shade-type cargo cover, the NX is fitted with a folding tonneau board that can be stored under the floor panel. All variants, except the base model and F Sport, come with 60:40 split power seats.

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At the heart of the NX is a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that packs 235 hp between 4,800 to 5,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. Mated to a newly developed six-speed automatic transmission, the engine features a combination of a cylinder head with an integrated 4-2 exhaust manifold and a twin-scroll turbocharger for low speed torque and minimised turbo lag.

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The NX 300h, on the other hand, benefits from a 2.5-litre petrol engine that churns out 153 hp and 210 Nm of torque. Combined with two electric motors, the NX gets a total system output of 197 hp. The hybrid system is paired to an E-CVT transmission that has a kick-down function for enhanced acceleration.

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In terms of accessories, the NX features a seven-inch display, Drive Mode Select with Normal, Eco and Sport modes (additional Sport+ mode for the F Sport), navigation system as well as a new Qi wireless charging tray located inside the console box. It also uses a Smart Card Key system that can be easily fitted into a wallet or pocket. For entertainment, the F Sport and NX 300h comes with a Mark Levinson sound system with 14 speakers while the rest of the variant settle with the Lexus Premium audio system with 8 or 10 speakers.

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Safety-wise, the NX is rated five-star in the EURO-NCAP and offers a Panoramic View Monitor which uses four cameras to display an image like a bird’s eye view, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, eight airbags, Whiplash-Injury Lessening fort seats, impact-absorbing pads as well as the usual traction control, ABS, BA, VSC, and Hill-Start Assist.

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Available in seven colours, the all-new Lexus NX is priced from RM292,000 (base model) to RM375,000 (NX 300h), on-the-road without insurance.

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