2018 Lexus NX Lightly Updated

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

The Lexus NX compact crossover has only been with us since 2014, but the segment is popular and tightly contested, so the automaker decided to roll out an updated version at this week’s 2017 Shanghai Motor Show.

The most apparent changes to the slightly revised NX relate to its styling. Lexus applied a new version of its spindle front grille, which has been joined by a redesigned lower bumper section and new lower fog lamps. The rear lower bumper section now incorporates elements of the front spindle grille, along with larger chrome exhaust tips and a new underbody spoiler. Customers will also have the choice of two new 18-inch aluminum wheels.

Interior revisions have been made to make the NX feel a bit more accommodating These include a 10.3-inch display, which is much larger than the 7-inch display of previous models, along with a simplified HVAC panel and a rear-seat HVAC controls. All of the interior controls and switches, including the gear knob and door handles, now feature a satin metallic finish and the analog clock has been redesigned as well. Rounding out the cabin revisions are a larger center console touch pad, bigger wireless charging tray, relocated USB ports and an available foot-operated automatic rear hatch.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Lexus NX 300h Review: Curbed with Craig Cole

The NX300, which was previously called the NX200t, will retain its 235 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, while the NX300h hybrid will also feature the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder and twin electric motors as before. Lexus did apply new suspension tuning, however, using new springs, stabilizer bars and bushings to deliver a steadier ride with improved turn-in response. New shock absorbers also deliver a smoother ride than before.


NX F Sport models have returned and just like before will offer an exclusive mesh-look grille, jet black exterior trim and exclusive F Sport wheels. New for F Sport models are white and black seating surfaces and separate G-force and turbo boost gauges within the heads-up display.

“For the new NX, we made bold refinements to the design, elevated its performance and added new features to enhance its comfort and convenience,” said NX chief engineer Takeaki Kato. “The new NX still possesses the same elements that have made it popular in the past―a sharp design, everyday convenience and driving pleasure that will satisfy all enthusiasts―but the vehicle as a whole has evolved dramatically, as you’re bound to see and feel when you first experience it.”

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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  • Joecompute Joecompute on Apr 19, 2017

    Pretty lame changes after 4 model years. So, lets rename it to sound like it has a bigger engine. That should work. Oh, and add wheels from a Kia to jazz it up!

  • Ddearborn Ddearborn on Jul 26, 2017

    Hmmm I honestly did not think that Lexus could possibly make the front end any uglier and ungainly that it is today. Boy was I wrong! Good grief people, that front grill is going down in history as one of the worst designs in production car history. I have been driving a Lexus since 2010. I won't drive another until they do away with that grill. And for the record; I have talked to literally dozens of current Lexus owners who have refused to upgrade because of that grill. At some point Lexus just stopped listening to its customers. I realize that younger buyers are more accepting of the grill. But the last time I checked that demographic does not make up the anywhere near the majority of Lexus buyers. Clearly they are doubling down on the current grotesque design rather than fix the problem. Too bad for Lexus. Good news for Porsche/Audi/VW etc...........