Deliveries of the new Lexus RX350L and updated NX300 (previous NX200t) will begin next month but Lexus Malaysia provided an exclusive preview yesterday for their selected clientele who also enjoyed a gastronomical treat.
The RX350L is a brand new variant of the latest RX range and it’s the first time that Lexus is offering 3 rows of seats for 7 persons in this model (although it is not the first 7-seater for the brand as there has been the bigger LX SUV for many years).
The additional variant had its global debut in Los Angeles in November last year and is already coming to Malaysian showrooms.
Lexus stylists have done a good job in maintaining the same profile for the RX in spite of adding an extra row at the back. Even with an extra 110 mm in overall length, it looks identical to the 2-row variant. But look more closely at the rear end and it will be evident that the roofline has been changed. The edge of the roof extends slightly further back and the angle of the rear window is steeper, providing comfortable headroom for the two occupants in the third row.
The seats in the third row are full-sized seats, providing the passengers with the same comfort and luxury as those in the middle row. Access to the third row is easy with the touch of a lever that slides and folds the second of row seats forward for walk-in convenience. The second row has 40/20/40 split backrests to provide flexibility in the cabin layout, while the third row has power operation for seat adjustment.
The version of the RX350L imported from Japan is the Luxury version which offers top quality features and equipment, some of which are upgraded from that in the RX350 Luxury offered previously. These include the 3-zone air-conditioning system (2-zone in the RX 350) with separate controls for the rear occupants. Separate controls are available for the rear passengers to adjust the blower and temperature to personal preference for a more comfortable journey.
The same V6 powertrain is used, along with an 8-speed computer-managed automatic transmission, although the output numbers are different, probably due to revised tuning. Nevertheless, even with 289 ps/358 Nm and Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent Wide (VVT-iW), the performance should be no different.
The RX350L joins the RX300 (previously badged as RX200t) and RX450h Hybrid variants in the 2018 range. The RX300 new designation is said to better reflect the high performance available from the 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged 2-litre engine which produces 235 ps/350 Nm.
The RX350L is priced at RM475,000 (excluding insurance for Peninsular Malaysia private registration) while the three variants of the RX300 (Premium, Luxury and F SPORT) have prices ranging from RM388,800 – RM422,900. The RX450h, which has a 3.5-litre Atkinson cycle V6 engine incorporated in its Lexus Hybrid Drive system, is priced from RM520,000.
The NX range has been updated for 2018 with changes that include a new grille and bumper (front and rear) design and ultra compact 3-beam LED headlamps inspired by the LC500. 18-inch alloy rims with new designs are also fitted while the exhaust tips now feature a baffle-type design.
There’s also a refreshed interior with a sportier feel. Interior changes and improvements include a new analogue clock design (larger face) and a redesigned air-conditioning control panel with toggle switches for easier operation. A new 8-inch Lexus Display Audio unit is provided for all variants except the NX300 F SPORT and NX300h Hybrid which get a new 10.3-inch EMVN Display complemented by a Mark Levinson audio system. A moonroof is now available as standard for the NX300 Premium.
For easier operation, there’s a new Drive Mode Select Switch Design, while the palm rest for the award-winning Remote Touch Interface has been improved for maximum wrist comfort. The touchpad has also been increased in area by 30% for better control to make menu selections easier.
Other than the NX300h which has a Lexus Hybrid Drive system, all the variants have a 2-litre twin scroll turbocharged engine (235 ps/350 Nm) and sequential 6-speed automatic transmission uses Torque-Demand control logic. While there are no powertrain changes, significant improvements have been made to the suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling of the 2018 models. On the F SPORT, for example, the Adaptive Variable Suspension now has up to 650 levels of continuous variably control, a big increase from the 30 levels available in the 2017 model.
Prices for the NX range with the 2-litre powertrain start from RM311,900 (excluding insurance for Peninsular Malaysia private registration) and go up to RM387,900. The NX300h is priced at RM397,800 and besides the 5-year/unlimited mileage warranty that is offered with all Lexus models distributed by Lexus Malaysia, there is also a separate 8-year battery assurance programme for the hybrid battery pack.