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What’s New for 2018
2018 brings the Lexus NX some exterior styling choices and a few additional features and modifications. The front fascia has become bolder and more aerodynamic, and the fog lamps have been positioned upward to give better visibility in high fog conditions. In the back, the taillights are more noticeable and the bumper is slightly larger. The NX 200t variant has a new name, the NX 300, in order to line it up with the NX 300h Hybrid variant.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Lexus NX – The Pros
1. Outstanding Fuel Economy - Especially In Hybrid Version
Most crossovers struggle with their identity, particularly in the area of fuel economy. While most crossovers distinctly have fuel economies similar to full-size SUVs, the 2018 Lexus NX does not. In its standard gasoline using trim, the NX is able to manage 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. As expected the all-wheel drive F-Sport trim comes in with slightly lower gas mileage, offering 22 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Where the NX shines, however, is with its hybrid model. The NX 300h Hybrid trim gives an astounding 33 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway.
2. Fancy Exterior Styling
Lexus surprised many when it first released the NX, as the styling was far bolder and more noticeable than many other cars in the brand’s inventory. The 2018 model takes these bold exterior looks and refines them further, giving you a sleek car that still looks unique on the road. Very outspoken lines define the exterior body, and the front grille is prominent in shape and size.
3. Steers and Handles Like A Small Car
Another area that most crossover SUVs struggle in is the actual driving experience. Many crossovers are not able to turn or handle well. The 2018 Lexus NX almost feels like a nimble sports car in the way it handles. It’s able to dip and dart through traffic if necessary and can handle turns of any size with ease. The gasoline-based models are much sportier on the road than the hybrid, but both types feel great at low or high speeds.
4. Spacious Seating
Not only are the seats comfortable in the Lexus NX, they’re also extremely roomy. Passengers in both the front and the back seats have plenty of room to stretch their legs out. Front seats get almost 43 inches of leg room, while back seats get about 36 inches. Headroom also is surprisingly large even with the sloped design of the roof - the front and back seats both have 38 inches, enough for tall people to not feel uncomfortable.
5. Top-tier Safety
The 2018 Lexus NX is rated highly in all safety features, including forward-thinking technological features. Cars come standard with a rear-view camera. All trims come with lane departure monitoring and assistance, and Lexus has included its own Enform system that automatically sends a distress signal if an emergency is detected. The car’s engineers and designers have made the body ultra-safe, with minimal crumple damage and enhanced driver and passenger protection. There are also other safety features included, such as a pre-collision system, dynamic cruise control, and automatic high beam control.
6. Luxurious Interior
While the interior of the 2018 Lexus NX is not as bold as its exterior, it still certainly has plenty of luxurious features. From the analog clock to the huge touchscreen in the center of the console and the large cupholders, each interior part is designed with care and attention to detail.
7. Intuitive, Interesting Dashboard
Lexus particularly prides itself on making aesthetically pleasing dashboard and center console designs, and the 2018 Lexus NX has a great dashboard. The HVAC controls have been simplified and are extremely intuitive, and the 10.3-inch touchscreen is easy to navigate. All information, ranging from current speed to dynamic cruise control settings, are visible and clear on the dashboard.
8. Solid Engine Choices
Lexus’s engines leave little to complain about. They’re reliable and make the crossover feel solid on the road. In the NX, the gasoline-powered models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 235 horsepower 4-cylinder engine. The hybrid 300h is powered by a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder 2.5-liter engine that offers 194 horsepower.
9. Quiet Ride
Many crossovers take out sound dampening material in order to lower the car’s overall profile. Lexus has not done that and has in fact added more soundproofing to the NX in order to minimize road noise. Though there will always be some noise - particularly on highways - the 2018 Lexus NX does a fantastic job at reducing wind and road noise.
10. High-Quality Materials
You will be hard-pressed to find any cheap materials in the 2018 NX. Many car interiors use plastic in places that are not heavily used, but Lexus has used plastic minimally. Even in spots where there is plastic, the plastic is a more robust and dense material that doesn’t feel cheap. The technology is top-notch, and the exterior is made from brushed metals that are durable.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Lexus NX – The Cons
1. Infotainment System Not Fleshed Out
Though the infotainment system is stored in the impressive 10.3-inch touchscreen, it feels as though Lexus has not fully fleshed out the menus and technology in their infotainment system. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration, so you’ll have to rely on the built-in navigation system.
2. Only Offers CVT Automatic Transmission
Lexus does not have manual options for the Lexus NX, only offering a six-speed automatic transmission in all models. However, the transmission is a CVT automatic so accelerating feels smoother than ever before.
3. Noticeable Body Roll
Like many crossover SUVs, the NX suffers from some noticeable body roll. Regular curves don’t bring the roll out, but sudden lane switches or sharp curves taken at high speeds will cause the car to roll quite a bit.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
Though the 2018 Lexus NX has many competitors, including the Acura RDX and the Audi Q5, it still shines in its class. The bold exterior and fancy interior along with its great handling make this a great choice.
The 2018 Lexus NX is a fantastic crossover SUV that offers plenty of interior space while still driving like a smaller car. With great fuel economy and great luxury features, this is a car you’ll want to keep forever.
• Why buy a 2017 Lexus NX? w/ pros vs cons