Exclusive preview of Lexus new RX 350L and the new NX 300

Lexus Malaysia held an exclusive preview of the new RX 350L and the new NX 300 which is scheduled for a February release. Guests for the preview were the first in Malaysia to receive an opportunity to get up close and personal with Lexus’ latest luxury crossovers.

Built for greater versatility, the Lexus RX 350L is a combination of functionality, technology, comfort, and luxury. Now with a third row to seat up to seven passengers and ample space to suit diverse lifestyles, the RX 350L enables endless possibilities. The new Lexus NX 300 on the other hand is a standout in the urban jungle. Ramping up its sporty credentials with a distinctive makeover, the NX is a striking blend of sports meets luxury that promises to create a feeling of pure exhilaration without compromising on comfort.

The New 2018 Lexus NX range
For 2018, the face lifted NX 200t has been redesignated to NX 300 to better reflect the high performance of the 2-litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine. Technical specifications remain the same as before with no performance changes.

The range consists of 4 variants – the NX 300 Urban priced from RM311,900; the NX 300 Premium which is priced at RM329,800 (RM11,000 less than the equivalent NX 200t sold in 2017); the NX 300 F Sport priced at RM387,900; and the NX 300h priced at RM397,800 (excluding insurance for Peninsular Malaysia private registration).  The NX 300 Urban is a new entry-level variant which replaces the previous Special Edition variant.

Cosmetic changes to the 2018 models include a new grille and bumper (front and rear) design and ultra compact 3-beam LED headlamps which is inspired by LC 500. 18-inch alloy rims with new designs are also fitted while the exhaust tips feature a baffle-type design.

Customers have a choice of 7 exterior colours for all variants except the F SPORT which has 8 choices, two of which are exclusive to the variant. The two colours are applied using a 4-layer paint process for a more vivid finish. Likewise, the F SPORT also has three exclusive interior colour themes/trim.

There’s also a refreshed interior with a sportier feel that’s ideal for urban adventures. Interior changes and improvements include a new analogue clock design (larger face) and a redesigned air-conditioning control panel with toggle switches for easier operation.

There’s also a new 8-inch Lexus Display Audio unit for all variants except the NX 300 F SPORT and NX 300h Hybrid which gets a new 10.3-inch EMVN Display complemented by a Mark Levinson audio system. A moonroof is now available as standard for the NX 300 Premium.

For easier operation, there’s a new Drive Mode Select Switch Design, while the palm rest for the award-winning Remote Touch Interface has been improved for maximum wrist comfort. The touchpad has also been increased in area by 30% for better control to make menu selections easier.

Other than the NX 300h, all NX variants have a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine which produces 235 hp at between 4,800 and 5,600 rpm with 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 rpm up to 4,000 rpm. The D4-S injection system, which uses a combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors, helps ensure ample power and crisp responsiveness at all engine speeds. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence-Wide (VVT-iW) optimizes torque throughout the engine speed range and allows the engine to start in the Otto cycle and then run in the more fuel-efficient Atkinson cycle at cruising speeds.

The sequential 6-speed automatic transmission uses Torque-Demand control logic to calculate required engine torque to deliver quick response and exhilarating acceleration feel. The G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system enables more spirited driving by selecting the optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to g force.

As in other Lexus models, the driver can choose preferred driving responses using the Drive Mode Select dial on the centre console. The system adjusts parameters for multiple systems, including throttle response and the power steering assist curve. Three modes are available – Normal, ECO and Sport for Urban and Premium grade – and the F SPORT gets an additional CUSTOM mode that allows the driver to set their own suspension, power train and power steering settings, while the NX 300h has an additional EV mode which induces the powertrain to use only the electric motor (available only for a limited range and in certain operating conditions).

While there are no powertrain changes, significant improvements have been made to the suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling of the 2018 models. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. Also, new shock absorbers improve the quality of the NX’s already smooth ride. On the F SPORT variant, the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) now has 650 levels of continuous variably control, a big increase from the 30 levels available in the 2017 model.

All new models sold by Lexus Malaysia come with a comprehensive factory warranty of 5 years with unlimited mileage. The NX 300h also has an 8-year battery assurance programme for the hybrid battery pack. Complete aftersales support is available at 8 locations in Malaysia where there are professional technicians who have been extensively trained by Lexus International.

RX 350 L - 7-seater
The new RX 350 L is the first-ever variant of the RX in the 20-year history of the model line to have three rows of seats. The addition of this variant, which can accommodate up to seven persons, is to extend the appeal of the RX to those with larger families.

Launched in Los Angeles just last November, the new RX 350 L is now available in Malaysia with a price of RM475,000 (excluding insurance for Peninsular Malaysia private registration). It will be part of the 2018 RX range which consists of four variants of the RX 300, RX 350 F SPORT and RX 450h Hybrid. All the other variants continue with two rows of seats for 5 persons.

The design of the RX 350 L retains the same profile and stylishness of the 2-row variant, incorporating the brand’s mix of sharp creases and curves. As with all Lexus models, it has the signature spindle grille up front flanked by slim LED headlights on either side.

The lower section of the rear end now has a single tailpipe instead of the two that were on the RX 350 before. Besides the blacked-out C-pillars that create a ‘floating-roof’ effect, the Lexus spindle theme repeats at the rear, with L-shaped LED taillights enveloping the tailgate and wrapping into the rear fenders.

Significantly, even with an extra 110 mm in overall length to enable the installation of the additional row of seats, the sleek profile of the RX 350 has been maintained. At a glance, it looks identical to the 2-row variant but the roofline has been changed over the rear portion of the vehicle. The edge of the roof extends slightly further back and the angle of the rear window is steeper, providing comfortable headroom for the two occupants in the third row.

The seats in the third row are full-sized seats, providing the passengers with the same comfort and luxury as those in the middle row. Access to the third row is easy with the touch of a lever that slides and folds the second row seats forward for walk-in convenience. The second row has 40/20/40 split backrests to provide flexibility in the cabin layout, while the third row has power operation for seat adjustment.

The version of the RX 350 L imported from Japan is the Luxury version which offers top quality features and equipment, some of which are upgraded from that in the RX 350 Luxury offered previously. These include the 3-zone air-conditioning system (2-zone in the RX 350) with separate controls for the rear occupants. Separate controls are available for the rear passengers to adjust the blower and temperature to personal preference for a more comfortable journey.

The RX 350 L Luxury is powered by a powerful 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. Engineered for low noise and vibrations, the engine produces 289 hp at 6,300 rpm and 358 Nm of torque at between 4,600 and 4,700 rpm. Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) is used on the intake camshaft, along with VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft, allowing the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles. Performance and efficiency are optimized by an 8-speed computer-managed automatic transmission.

Using Drive Mode Select, the RX 350 L driver can exert more control by choosing from among 3 driving modes. NORMAL provides an ideal everyday balance of performance and energy conservation, SPORT S puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness and ECO mode operates the powertrain at its most efficient level.

The RX 300 variants in the 2018 range are identical to the RX 200t variants sold before. The new designation better reflects the high performance available from the 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged 2-litre engine. The output from this advanced engine is 235 hp at between 4,800 – 5,600 rpm with 350 Nm of torque available from 1,650 rpm.

Three variants of the RX 300 are available – Premium, Luxury and F SPORT – with prices ranging from RM388,800 – RM422,900 (excluding insurance, Peninsular Malaysian private registration).

All new models sold by Lexus Malaysia come with a comprehensive factory warranty of 5 years with unlimited mileage. The RX 450h also has an 8-year battery assurance programme for the hybrid battery pack. Complete aftersales support is available at 8 locations in Malaysia where there are professional technicians who have been extensively trained by Lexus International.