We are living in some pretty strange times. The economy is as nervous as a fresh graduate applying for his or her first big corporate job. The rules and restrictions on movement and activities seem to change on a daily basis, and if you're unfortunate enough to be in the Klang Valley - you have probably faced repeated water disruptions as well.
But not everything is unpredictable, nor does it have to be. Some things are just reliable, regardless of the conditions - reliable through engineering and design, and a long history of dependability without expense. For the budding urban family, that comes in the form of the Lexus NX - a premium mid-sized SUV which blends performance, practicality, and safety in a holistic package.
There is but one powertrain for the Lexus NX, hailing from the most modern family of Lexus powertrains - and the first of the turbocharged engines in their recent history. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine pushes 235 hp and 350 Nm of torque from as low as 1650 rpm - forgive the technical speak, but what this means is a lot of low end grunt to help you get up to speed and overtake effortlessly. Rarely will you find yourself flooring the accelerator as the ample torque wafts you along delivering refinement in spades.
Safety on the road has always been a growing concern, with many manufacturers taking their own unique approaches to keeping drivers and occupants as out of harm's way as possible. Lexus' approach with the NX is a combination of active and passive systems, through the Lexus Safety System + (or LSS+) and solid, reliable construction coupled with eight airbags across the front and sides of the cabin.
On the note of LSS+, it can be a little hard to keep track of all the features that Lexus offers as there are minor updates from time to time. The most current iteration of the NX comes with the Pre-Collision System - something that's known as a party piece for active safety systems as it actively scans the road ahead and applies brakes to either prevent or mitigate a collision. Active Corner Assist makes sure you stay on the road and in your lane through adjusting the speed, even as you navigate bends and corners on your journey.
But where safety meets convenience is in the Lane Tracing Assist and the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, both of which bring the NX a step closer to autonomous driving. These features in combination let you simply focus on mild steering as you travel down the highway on a regular commute, with the former helping to keep the NX in the center of the lane and the latter continually monitoring traffic ahead to keep a safe pre-set distance.
As a mid-sized premium SUV, the NX manages to maintain compact exterior dimensions while providing a generous interior. You get 36.1 inches of leg room in the rear seats - similar to that of a mid-sized luxury sedan like the Lexus GS - and a boot capacity of 500 litres even with the rear seats folded up. Your passengers definitely won't be fighting for space, nor will you have to engage in a game of Tetris every time you need to fit luggage for longer out-of-town trips.
There are three variants of the NX to choose from, depending on your tastes and preferences. The entry level Urban model is generously equipped with all the aforementioned features, as well as LED headlamps with Adaptive High Beam System. If you're looking for even more, one step up is the Premium variant that comes with a hands-free foot-activated rear hatch, a smart car key, as well as wood interior trim over the silver trim in the Urban model and automatically dimming electrochromic mirrors.
The Premium model also gets Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert for that additional level of safety when moving around or backing out of a parking spot. These features are omitted from the top-of-the-line F Sport variant, specially catering to the more spirited drivers among us. To reflect this are the added paint options of Heat Blue and Lava Orange for the F Sport models - vibrant, outspoken choices. Key features for the F Sport model are the Adaptive Variable Suspension for a larger range between comfort and sportiness in ride and handling, as well as a darker metallic finish for the interior.
The NX does it all, while being as reliable as we mentioned at the very beginning. Pricing starts at RM 303,117 with the current sales tax rebates in place, with a comprehensive factory warranty of five years with unlimited mileage as part of the package. As the first of its kind for Lexus, the NX has proven itself many times over as the perfectly sized, perfectly equipped option for the urban family. Put money down on a Lexus NX today and you can drive one home with no wait times - but it's better to hurry as the current sales tax rebates expire on the 31st of December, 2020.