NX factor Innovation is the lifeblood of any company in this digital age. And right there on the cutting edge is the radical new Lexus NX. By Ray Leathern Look at how quickly our world has changed in the last decade with the large-scale adoption of smartphones and social media; the whole value chain of how we live, communicate and even travel has transformed radically. We now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, from mobile apps, internet activity and purchase transactions, for example. This is why a digital era demands a digital car, and they don’t come any more cutting edge than the new Lexus NX. Bold cosmetic enhancements and a welcome upgrade in standard specification leaves Lexus’ mid-size SUV in heathy shape, a noteworthy amendment being the shift in nomenclature from 200t to 300. And for good reason, we believe, because the turbocharged four cylinder delivers its 175 kW/350 Nm with all the verve and refinement of a big six cylinder. The firm’s turbocharged motor is blessed with creamy performance and aural charisma that can be traded for silence and refinement with the flick of its rotary dial from Sport Plus to Eco mode. A 300h hybrid model is also available, utilising a 2.5-litre four-cylinder in combination with an electric motor, although our pick is the responsive, revvy 300. However, true to form for any Lexus, get past your initial need for speed and it’s its quietness and sophistication that win the day. The cabin delivers on the exterior’s promise of a crisp digital experience, although the delicate control needed for the infotainment’s touchpad still takes some getting used to. That’s no hardship, though, as the figure-hugging leather seats on the F-Sport grade are class leading, as is the fantastically settled ride on any surface, and the way it steers and corners with supreme fluency courtesy of well-judged electric power-assisted steering and Adaptable Variable Suspension (AVS). As a digital car in the digital age, the Lexus NX appeals like no other. For more information on the new Lexus NX, visit lexus.co.za.