To start off 2018, Lexus Malaysia, the luxury arm of UMW Toyota Motor, will be launching the updated Lexus NX 300 and RX 350L. Deliveries of the new crossover SUVs, imported from Japan, are expected to commence from early February but all authorised Lexus Centres across Malaysia are now accepting orders.

Priced from RM475,000 (excluding insurance, Peninsular Malaysia), the RX 350L has a third row of seats, increasing accommodation to 7 persons. The seats are fixed with a 40/20/40 split bench-type along with a longer and slightly higher rear to accommodate passengers in the third row.

The additional row of seats has been incorporated by extending the overall body length another 110 mm. However, the sleek profile (not something that was used in descriptions of SUVs in earlier years) has not been lost.

Under the bonnet, the RX 350L has a 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 294 bhp/370 Nm and is optimised with an 8-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). It is also fitted with an Active Torque Control AWD system to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions.

The NX range for 2018 will consist of 4 variants – Urban, Premium, F SPORT and Hybrid. While the designation has ‘300’, the petrol engine is actually a 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder unit with an output of 235 bhp/350 Nm. The Hybrid has a powertrain with a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine combined with a pair of electric motors. The petrol engine produces 155 bhp/210Nm which is supplemented by the electric motors output of up to 143 bhp/270 Nm.

Cosmetic changes for the new model year include a new front fascia with the upper portion of the grille and the front bumpers redesigned to give the car a sleeker overall shape and better aerodynamics. The rear end sports a new look as well, with the bumper cover now incorporating elements of the grille’s spindle motif.

Prices for the NX variants with petrol engines range from RM311,900 to RM387,900 (excluding insurance) in Peninsular Malaysia, while the Hybrid is RM397,800. All vehicles sold by authorised Lexus dealerships come with a warranty of 5 years and no mileage limit. Buying from authorised outlets means that full qualified aftersales support is available along with replacement parts.

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[Chips Yap]

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