An SUV seems to be a pre-requisite for expat life in Dubai, but finding one that not only looks the part, but comes with all the mod-cons necessary for urban everyday life seems to be almost impossible. Until Team TMN discovered Lexus’ latest luxury compact offering that is…
What: The Lexus NX F Sport
Where: Showrooms across the Middle East
When: Launched February 2015
The promise: “The Lexus NX F Sport combines design, intuitive technology and a potent turbo drive engine to take on whatever urban adventure comes your way”
Did it deliver? Driving in the UAE can be a stressful experience, especially at rush hour on the infamous Sheikh Zayed Road. So when we heard the tech wizards at Lexus had created the new NX F Sport’s four door compact SUV with a two-litre turbo engine, 235 brake horsepower, four-cylinder engine and some fancy new gadgets to make our driving experience more enjoyable, we just had to check it out.
The F Sport has a futuristic and aerodynamic look, with curves in all the right places and a body that will certainly turn heads. The old saying could go, ‘beauty is only paint deep’, but this compact crossover has a beautiful interior to match that’s both practical and slick. The hand-stitched leather seats have built-in air conditioning in the headrest and base for those extra hot days, with heating elements for when it gets cooler.
Just hit the NX F’s ignition button and you’re automatically maneuvered into one of three pre-sets for your preferred driving position. The smart-steering wheel allows you to effortlessly control the CD, radio or Aux and talk hands free via the built in blue-tooth. Some dashboards can be guilty of being over-complicated, but Lexus have combined practicality and style in order to produce easy to navigate cockpit controls and functionality. The built-in computer can take a bit of time to work out but, after a little time and patience, becomes as user-friendly as the rest of the car.
The Lane Departure Alert (LDA), with steering control, warns the driver with a buzzer and on a multi-information display if it judges that the vehicle is about to cross the lane markings without using turn signals. Blind spot sensors in the wing mirror are incredibly helpful, as they flash amber when other vehicles are sneaking up on you. The ‘Heads-Up’ feature is also a nice touch, and means you can keep your eyes on the road because vital information like speed and navigation are projected onto your lower windscreen. This car even tells you when your tires need a top-up!
State of the art reversing technology makes the trickiest of car-parking spaces an absolute piece of cake, and there’s plenty of boot space for the weekly big shop, or round of golf, and the rear seats fold almost flat so it’s even easy to throw the bikes in! Luckily team TMN didn’t need to experience the airbags, but we’re assured they are there and ready for action if called upon.
The Lexus NX F Sport is a very smart and intuitive car, with dynamic radar cruise control to automatically match your speed with the vehicles around you. The pre-crash safety system will automatically tighten your seatbelt if an impact is imminent, making the vehicle extra-safe, and with boundless energy thanks to the 2-litre turbo engine it’s also eco-friendly. Multiple USB ports to charge mobiles and even a wireless tray compatible with numerous devices make the car functional and perfect for those of us who are constantly on-the-go.
The Verdict: In a world of smart phones and predictive text, Lexus have produced a compact SUV to match our lively and hectic lifestyles. With prices starting from AED 160,000 for the regular model and AED 180,000 for the F Sport model, they are both luxurious but affordable, effortless and fun.