Lexus has made a splash in the Indian market lately and its NX300h is an interesting crossover that has already debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show. This model is more aggressive and bolder and there are redesigned air intakes along with a brand new bumper. There is a strong design similarity with the RX, particularly in case of the pinched window line, squared wheel arches, wraparound and sleeker tail lights and the rear windshield which has a swooping design. The three-pot headlamp unit is more attractive and so are the daytime running lights which are shaped like harpoons. These clearly draw inspiration from the RC F and the same metallic orange shade is used here amongst the 12 color options available in India.
The 18-inch alloy wheels get two design options and a special machine finish. There is the optional F-Sport trim which comes with more detailing for the spindle grille and the bumpers get bigger intakes. The NX300h is a rebel make no mistake and the design is radical to say the least. There is a hybrid drivetrain on offer, one that promises cleaner technology that is good for the environment. There is a four cylinder 2.5 litre petrol engine that is paired to two electric motors. The total output is about 197 PS and one just loves the way drivers get into the car. The door handles automatically light up when one walks to the car and thumbing the starter is all you need to do in order to wake up the beast in all-electric mode.
The NX300h uses the pure electric mode in case the batteries are fully charged. The petrol engine kicks in sometime later. The fuel economy figures are expected at around 18.32 kilometres per litre as per ARAI certifications with 138g/km of CO2 emission values. There is an e-CVT unit along with the electric AWD setup which is called the E Four. The hybrid powertrain majorly propels the front wheels and this configuration will be retained for most driving situations in order to ensure good fuel economy. With the E Four, there is a third electric motor which propels the rear wheels for better grip whenever required.
There is the intelligent torque vectoring setup which will get this motor to work in situations like accelerating suddenly from a standstill, cornering high-spiritedly and whenever there is any slip on the front wheels. There are Normal, Eco and Sport modes for adjusting gearbox and throttle responses through the rotary knob. The e-CVT has a more laidback and casual feel to it. This makes the NX300h a more efficient highway cruiser and peaceful daily driver in the city. The driving modes also adjust the suspension and steering feel.
There are standard adaptive dampers and there are multiple upholstery options available. There is the intuitive interface for the 10.3 inch infotainment unit and a touch pad that gets haptic feedback. There is the Qi wireless charging pad for the tunnel console. There are several interesting new quirks such as a handheld vanity mirror which pops out as the wrist pad for the touch pad. There is a color heads-up display for the battery usage, tachometer and also for satellite navigation. The interface, brightness and position can be adjusted with convenient switches.
There are 8 airbags and the front passenger gets a dual chamber airbag. There is vehicle stability control and traction control along with anti-lock brakes. The cabin offers immense space and premium comfort. In fact, the prices feel a lot more competitive for what you are essentially getting here.