The redesigned Lexus NX’s launch has been pushed to next year.

    Previously set for a launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, the next NX crossover will now launch in January 2022 “to assist with anticipated high demand”.

    The company has released specification details for the local line-up, though pricing will be announced closer to launch.

    There’s a new powertrain line-up, with a base NX250 slotting in under a more powerful hybrid option in the NX350h.

    The range is topped by a new NX350 flagship for now, with the plug-in hybrid NX450h+ absent from the initial line-up.

    Lexus Australia says “the all-new NX will also become the first Lexus plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and further details will be communicated about the NX450h+ in due course”.

    The hybrid NX350h is expected to be the most popular variant, and mates a 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery.

    It has a total system output of 179kW of power, making it the most powerful four-cylinder hybrid Lexus has offered locally.

    It’ll be available with front- and all-wheel drive, and has a combined fuel economy rating of 5.0L/100km with both drive types.

    In contrast, the outgoing NX300h uses between 5.6 and 5.7L/100km, while the new hybrid is also more frugal than diesel-powered Audi Q5 and BMW X3 models.

    The range opens with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder NX250, the first time an atmo four-cylinder has been offered in the NX locally.

    Available only with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, the NX250 produces 152kW of power and 243Nm of torque and has a combined fuel economy rating of 6.9L/100km.

    The NX250 weighs 1705kg, or 25kg less than an ES250 sedan. Lexus claims it has among the lowest kerb weights of any luxury mid-sized SUV.

    The NX350 uses a new 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine producing 205kW of power at 6000rpm and 430Nm of torque between 1700rpm and 3600rpm.

    It’s available exclusively with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

    The NX250 will be available only in base Luxury guise and the NX350 exclusively as an F Sport, though the NX350h will be available in Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury variants.

    The Luxury comes standard with the following equipment:

    • 9.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • LED headlights and fog lights
    • Automatic high-beam
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Power tailgate
    • Power-adjustable steering column
    • Eight-way power-adjustable front seats
    • Heated front seats
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Tyre pressure monitoring

    The F Sport gains:

    • 14.0-inch touchscreen
    • Surround-view camera
    • Wireless phone charging
    • Colour head-up display
    • Touch-sensitive steering wheel controls
    • 20-inch alloy wheels
    • LED headlights with adaptive high-beam
    • Multi-colour ambient lighting
    • Ventilated front seats

    The F Sport also features a bodykit, sports seats and instruments, and adaptive suspension with front and rear performance dampers.

    The Sports Luxury brings a digital rear-view mirror and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, which are optional on the F Sport.

    All-wheel drive Sports Luxury and F Sport models are also optionally available with a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, and Intelligent Park Assist.

    Standard safety features across the range include:

    • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection
    • Intersection turn assist
    • Emergency steering assist
    • Rear cross-traffic assist
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane tracing assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Safe exit assist

    The new safe exit assist feature will stop occupants from stepping out of the car into the path of a cyclist or vehicle, while a rear cross-traffic assist feature Lexus calls “parking support brake” will apply the brakes if it detects you’ll reverse into the path of another vehicle.

    Intersection turn assist will apply the brakes if you’re about to cross the path of an oncoming vehicle or strike a pedestrian.

    Lexus Connected Services is also standard on all NX models, featuring SOS calling, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle tracking.

    Lexus says it will “shortly announce the exciting new features that leverage the all-new connected technologies available”.

    The new NX has moved to the TNGA-K architecture that underpins the current generation of Toyota RAV4.

    It measures 4660mm long, 1865mm wide, 1640mm tall and rides on a 2690mm wheelbase.

    This means the second-generation NX is 30mm longer between the wheels than the old model, 20mm longer overall, and 5mm taller, so expect marginally improved cabin space.

    It gets a stiffer upper body thanks to a whole new structure, laser peening, and more high-tensile steel.

    Greater application of sound-deadening foam, and new glass and seals, slash NVH intrusion by a claimed 15 per cent.

    The NX is a crucial model for Lexus Australia as it’s the brand’s best-selling model here.

    Lexus sold 3518 NXs in 2020, and it was one of the few SUVs in its segment to increase its sales year-over-year.

    It was outsold by only the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC ranges, and outsold the next two best-selling Lexus models – the UX and RX – combined.

    MORE: Everything Lexus NX

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers