Lexus’ best selling model in the UK undergoes subtle tweaks in the wake of all-new upcoming rivals

Lexus has given its popular NX crossover a nip and tuck just in time for the Shanghai motor show, helping keep the SUV looking sharp against an upcoming barrage of newer rivals.

It’s tricky to make an SUV look distinctive with so many new and daring designs, but upon the NX’s initial release in 2014 it made eyes pop with Lexus’ increasingly angular design language. For 2017, Lexus has tweaked the distinctive styling, as well as improved tech and trim options.

The most obvious exterior changes are a set of redesigned lights front and rear bringing the NX into line with upcoming flagship models like the LC and LS. The re-profiled front fascia has been designed with an eye for smoothing out the some times chaotic surfacing of the original. At the back, F Sport models receive new larger chrome exhaust outlets, while the black lower portion has been redesigned to make the rear of the car appear wider and more planted.

F Sport models also receive a new, more complex front grill pattern, similar to the LS saloon revealed at the recent New York motor show. Standard cars also have the option of new 18-inch wheels with copper inserts – very in-vogue.

The interior has also been given an update, with the infotainment screen growing from 7 to 10.3 inches, although it is still is controlled by Lexus’ fiddly and unintuitive controller pad. Interior trim options have been given a brush up, and Lexus claims to have improved touch points. Still, the firm’s legendary interior build quality means they were never bad to begin with. A rejigged analogue clock and enlarged wireless charging pad also feature.

A redesigned head-up display housing behind the instrument cluster is now flush keeping the dash cleaner, while rear seat passengers now have the ability to control the cabin temperature through a set of rear seat controls.

Mechanically, the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol NX200t inherits the NX300 monkier to bring it inline with the NX300h hybrid, and although there have been no major mechanical changes to either drivetrain, Lexus has introduced an Adaptive Variable Suspension option amongst a set of chassis tweaks. Like the tech in the recently launched LC500 coupe, the system monitors the position of all four wheels and adjusts the suspension compression in up to 650 different variations to best suit the drivers selected drive mode.

Regardless of these changes, the NX looks like it will continue to offer the same blend of distinctive looks and excellent build quality in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The NX is currently Lexus’ best selling model in the UK, so expect to see plenty of the new model around once it goes on sale later this year.