The first-ever Lexus NX makes its Australian debut this week, following its international debut earlier in the year.
Arriving ahead of the turbocharged petrol-only NX 200t due in early 2015, the NX 300h hits Australia from $55,000 plus on-roads.
At its higher price points - the $66,000 F Sport and $75,000 Sports Luxury - the NX 300h also nudges up against the larger Lexus RX, which begins at $68,575.
Speaking with TMR earlier this year, Lexus Australia boss Sean Hanley said he expects the NX to contribute significantly to the brand's goal of a five to 10 percent year-on-year sales increase.
"We'd be very happy [with that]", Hanley said. "We don't want unsustainable growth or growth for growth's sake."
Motivation in the front-wheel-drive NX 300h is provided by a 2.5 litre petrol engine and an electric motor, offering a combined 145kW of power.
In up-spec all-wheel-drive models, an additional electric motor features at the rear axle as part of the E-Four AWD system.
All NX 300h models are equipped with a CVT multi-mode automatic transmission.
Fuel use is listed at 5.6 l/100km for front-wheel-drive models, with CO2 emissions rated at 131g/km. That rises slightly to 5.7 and 133g for AWD models.
Rivals to the NX 300h, although not of identical size, include BMW's X3 xDrive20i (7.3 l/100km), the Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro (7.9 l/100km), Volvo's XC60 Drive-E T5 (7.0 l/100km) and Range Rover Evoque Si4 AWD (7.8 l/100km).
There are no diesel models in the NX range though, and each of the above rivals can be had in diesel form.
Those include the X3 xDrive20d (5.4 l/100km), Q5 2.0 TDI quattro (6.1 l/100km), the XC60 Drive-E D4 (4.9 l/100km) and the Evoque eD4 (4.9 l/100km).
A 175kW/350Nm turbocharged petrol version of the NX will also be offered in Australia, in the form of the NX 200t, although fuel figures for this model are still to be confirmed.
Lexus Australia says it is aiming for the low 8.0 l/100km range.
Standard features for the Luxury model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, 10-speaker audio with digital radio and Bluetooth, cruise control and smart start.
There’s also a reverse camera and front/rear parking sensors, touch-sensitive Remote Touch controller, powered tailgate, heated and eight-way powered front seats, 60:40 split-fold rear seats, LED low-beam headlights and fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, electric park brake Eco/Normal/Sport drive mode select.
Upgrading to the F Sport adds Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), 360-degree panoramic monitor, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, all-LED headlights, wireless phone charger, 10-speaker audio and two USB inputs.
The F Sport also features 10-way adjustable power front seats with driver memory, heated and cooled front seats, F Sport 18-inch alloys, unique exterior and interior styling, leather-accented interior and front and rear performance dampers.
Buyers can also choose from two Enhancement Packs, the first including a moon-roof and Mark Levinson 14-speaker audio, and the second adding Pre-Collision Safety system (PCS), all-speed active cruise control, Lane Departure Warning+, widescreen colour heads-up display (HUD), auto high beam, smart card key, moon roof and Mark Levinson audio.
In the top-spec Sports Luxury, the fitout is enhanced to include a segment-first powered 60:40 rear-fold seat, PCS, all-speed active cruise control, Lane Departure Warning, widescreen colour HUD, all-LED headlamps with auto high beam, smart card key, moon-roof and 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio.
Watch for more details to come as the NX nears its Australian launch in October.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- NX 300h Luxury - 2WD - $55,000
- NX 300h Luxury - AWD - $59,500
- NX 300h F Sport - AWD - $66,000
- NX 300h Sports Luxury - AWD - $75,000
- Pack 1 - NX 300h Luxury - $2500
- Pack 1 - NX 300h F Sport - $4000
- Moonroof and 14 speaker Mark Levinson audio.
- Pack 2 - NX 300h F Sport - $7500
- Pre-collision safety, all speed cruise control, Lane Departure Warning, Heads-up Display, Smart Key, Auto High Beam, 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio, Moonroof.