Lexus NX 350 F-Sport test drive on the Sepang Circuit

Lexus NX 350 F-Sport test drive on the Sepang Circuit

We have a few hours with the brand new NX F-Sport on a race track.

 You might be wondering why we were given the all-new Lexus NX for a test drive experience on a race track and not on city streets? 

Well, the team at Lexus Malaysia wants to elevate the desire factor for this all new NX SUV, especially the NX 350 to buyers that are looking towards the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Also, there were no units of the NX 250 Luxury for us to sample and this is because the price difference between the 250 Luxury and the 350 F-Sport is just RM 19,000 and to date slightly more than 90 percent of the pre-booked units have been for the 350 F-Sport which makes more sense on all accounts.

Lexus NX 350 F-Sport

The NX nameplate was first introduced back in 2014 and it was Lexus Malaysia’s best-selling product for 7 years in a row. Almost 35 percent of new Lexus buyers took home an NX. Then the used reconditioned importers started bringing in the NX and flooded the market with easily double the officially sold numbers.

Now, here comes an all-new NX and just two variants are made available in Malaysia right now. The NX 250 Luxury for RM 370,888 and the fast-selling NX 350 F-Sport for RM 389,888. 

Lexus NX 350 F-Sport

The NX 250 is equipped with a bread and butter 2.5L normal aspirated engine that will be fuel efficient but provide less excitement against its rivals.  

Then there is the all-new 2.4L turbocharged engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox that delivers 275bhp and a ‘thumping’ 430 Nm of torque from a low 1,700 rpm. This engine allows this SUV to compete head-on with its German rivals and provide smiles for the driver that knows how to exploit it. With an acceleration time of just 6.8 seconds which is on par with the rivals, this SUV is composed around corners despite its height and heft and the driver's seating comfort is impressive. 

Lexus NX 350

With this version of the Lexus NX, it is all about the all-new engine which is a 2393cc turbocharged engine. Just like other Lexus engines, ignite this 2.4-litre and it is quiet, whisper quiet. The cabin is very well insulated. Accelerate slowly and the NX just glides along, hammer the accelerator and the twin-scroll turbochargers will impress even a speed junkie as maximum torque is delivered at 4800 rpm giving the engine a lot of tractability. 

Lexus NX 350 gearbox

The 8-speed gearbox is a silky smooth operator. With good gear ratios, this gearbox allows for an energetic drive and still provides for good fuel consumption meagre. 

Rear passengers are also well looked after with great comfort for two large adults and some squeezing if there are three passengers in the rear.

This NX dashboard equipment has been upgraded with a new large 14-inch touchscreen in the centre that is angled towards the driver and ready for all entertainment connections. The steering wheel gets contact sensitive buttons just like with the German rivals and the tactile responsiveness is much better. 

Lexus NX 350 F-Sport

Safety features, like before and with all Toyota and Lexus vehicles is top as the ‘Lexus Safety System Plus’ is included with a Pre-Collision System with pedestrian and bicyclist detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, as well as an Adaptive High Beam System. Road Sign Assist, a Panoramic View Monitor and Parking Brake Support. Yes, it is a mouthful and very necessary in today's high traffic situation and distracted drivers with their smartphones.  

Take this NX for a test drive and then try the rivals out on the same day and you will understand better what we are saying in the paragraphs above. 

Lexus NX 350 F-Sport Specification

Engine: 4-cylinder Turbocharger

Capacity: 2,393cc

Gearbox: 8 A/T, AWD

Max Power: 275hp at 6,000rpm

Max Torque: 430Nm at 1,700-3,600rpm

0-100kmph: 6.8secs

Top Speed: 200kmph 

Price: RM 389,888.00

Also read: 2022 Honda Civic RS test drive review

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