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New models - Lexus - NX - 200t

Turbo Lexus NX 200t arrives

Next NX: Until this week, Lexus only offered the NX compact SUV as a petrol/electric hybrid, but a sportier turbocharged version now joins the ranks with a more affordable price.

NX 200t joins Lexus compact SUV range with company-first turbo petrol from $52,500

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Lexus logo30 Jan 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

LEXUS has introduced a new entry level variant of its NX compact SUV with a 2.0-litre turbocharged version doubling the Australian range, priced from $52,500 before on-road costs.

The new NX 200t joins what was until now the only Australian variant – the NX 300h, offering a $2500 cheaper option, minus the hybrid drivetrain and with a forced induction four-cylinder in place of the normally aspirated 2.5-litre.

The 2.0-litre engine is the Japanese car-maker's first turbocharged petrol, but despite displacing 0.5-litres fewer than the NX 300h engine and lacking a hybrid electric motor, the NX 200t manages a power output of 175kW – beating its 2WD hybrid sibling by 72kW.

Four-wheel drive hybrid versions get an extra 50kW electric motor on the rear axle reducing the margin to 22kW. All versions of the NX drive through a six speed automatic transmission.

Fuel consumption can't match the Atkinson cycle/electric efficiency of the NX 300h using more juice per kilometre than the 2WD hybrid, which can go 100km on just 5.7 litres of fuel.

The entry-level NX 200t uses 7.7L/100km, while stepping up to one of the three all-paw variants pushes fuel-consumption up to 7.9L/100km.

Exact performance figures are yet to be released, but with its turbo performance and improved acceleration, Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said the new NX 200t would appeal to drivers looking for a sportier package.

"The NX 200t is a very rounded vehicle, with a blend of power, dynamics, quality and equipment," he said.

"The new engine - which has been tested and perfected to Lexus' very high standards - creates a variant that will appeal to those who value performance.

"We're very proud of the new engine, and the first Lexus model that it powers - the NX 200t."Like the initial NX 300h variant, the new NX 200t will be available in three different equipment levels from Luxury, through F Sport to Sport Luxury, with the entry-level Luxury option split into two further two or four-wheel drive versions.

Luxury front-wheel drive versions are the cheapest of the range but still get a solid list of standard equipment with satellite navigation, power tailgate, three driving modes, heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment, keyless start, 18-inch alloy wheels, reversing camera and 10-speaker audio system with digital radio and Bluetooth all included. All-wheel drive costs $4500 extra.

Apart from a sports bodykit and interior styling tweaks, the $63,500 F Sport adds all-wheel drive as standard equipment, along with adaptive variable suspension, 360-degree view monitor, paddle shifters, an extra driving model (Sport+), wireless induction charger for suitable mobile phones, blind spot monitor, cross traffic alert, paddle shifters, performance dampers, all-LED headlamps and the heated seats gain cooling too.

F Sport variants can also have even more kit packed in with a choice of two equipment packages.

The first adds a moon roof and premium Mark Levinson sound system, while pack 2 adds to it with Pre-Collision Safety system (PCS), active cruise control, Lane Departure Warning, widescreen colour head-up display (HUD), auto high beam and a smart card key.

Top of the range Sport Luxury variants kick-off from $72,500 and have all the kit of lesser variants including the F Sport Pack 2 kit plus leather interior with wood.

The new turbo engine can manage a braked towing capacity of 1000kg while unbraked towing is rated at 750kg.

As previously stated, Lexus expects the new arrival to be the main seller of the two variants to the tune of 60 per cent, and since its late October 2014 launch, 416 examples of the NX 300h have found homes in Australia.

Working on sales figures to date and Lexus' own projections, the new variant is therefore expected to sell about 120 per month if the new addition performs as Lexus hopes.

Established competitors for the new Lexus NX base model include BMW's X1 that starts at $48,300 for the two-wheel drive 2.0-litre petrol, Audi's $56,500 Q3 – also 2.0-litres and 4WD and the Mercedes GLA priced at $58,600 for a similar variant.

Lexus will also be vying for attention amongst larger but similarly priced rivals such as the 2WD Range Rover Evoque eD4 Pure priced at $49,995 and the $57,890 Volvo XC60 2WD T5 Kinetic.

Lexus NX 200t pricing*
Luxury 2WD$52,500
Luxury 4WD$57,000
F Sport 4WD$63,500
Sport Luxury 4WD$72,500
Lexus NX 300h pricing*
Luxury 2WD$55,000
Luxury 4WD$59,500
F Sport 4WD$66,000
Sport Luxury 4WD$75,000
*Excludes on-road costs.

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