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My NX300h Sport has been with Lexus Swindon for the past three months so that they could fix what they - and Lexus UK - thought was a very minor issue until they investigated further. Glad to say it is all fixed now and Lexus has provided me with 'goodwill' of a free set of alloys (for my Winter tyres) and free side-steps as an apology. I've had Lexus courtesy cars for the duration, mostly a 2017 NX300h F-Sport, and I thought it might be useful to compare that with my own Sport as the differences were far greater than I expected.

I should say that for the first two weeks - bear in mind originally my car was expected to be at the dealer for less than 24 hours (!) - I had an IS300h Advance. I liked it to drive, but it was no good for me as I have mobility issues and I also struggled with the foot operated parking brake, so Lexus provided me with a new NX F-Sport to use instead. It was interesting to have it for a while though. Based on my experience, God alone knows why I don't see more of them on the road and fewer Audi A4/BMW 3-Series...:wacko:

Anyway, the rest of the time I had the NX F-Sport. I'll start with the positives. First, it is far more 'focussed' to drive, and the handling is in a different league. I know manufacturers talk about the differences between different models, but until I had the chance to drive both for an extended period 'back to back' I wouldn't have believed the difference could be that noticeable. The normal Sport model feels a bit 'wobbly' in comparison. 1-0 to the F-Sport.

Second, some of the extra goodies that the F-Sport comes with are useful. The headlights are especially good far, FAR, better than those on my Sport and they look groovy too. I like the fact that it comes with front fog lights as standard, and the way they light up the kerb automatically when cornering which I found surprisingly useful. A couple of other nice touches missing from the Sport model, both of which I thought to be gimmicks until I had them. The lights under the door handles are really useful, as is the way the (electrically adjustable) steering wheel moves out of the way when getting in or out of the car. Who knew? Not me, that's for sure!

There were some things I didn't like about the F-Sport though. First, the ride. I've said above that the handling is much better, but at the expense of comfort. It isn't uncomfortable as such, but again I'm surprised at the level of the difference. The ride quality in the Sport suits me far better personally. Secondly, the seats. I couldn't really get comfortable with the seats in the F-Sport, mainly because they were harder, deeper and the bolsters too high. Now, I do have mobility issues around my hips and legs so this is a big thing for me that others may not notice. Even so, getting back into the soft 'armchair' seats in the Sport was a relief and I find them much more comfortable as well as easier to get in and out of. I'd say that if you are considering an NX try both the standard and F-Sport seats if it is likely to make a difference in your circumstances.

The biggest difference though, is the amount of noise in the car at pretty much all speeds. I can't work this out at all. In comparison with the Sport, the F-Sport had so much more road noise. The difference is so stark that I've found myself wondering whether there was something wrong with the F-Sport I've been using, although I guess it could be partly down to tyre fitment? I'd be really interested in views on this and whether others have noticed the same.

One other odd thing. Colleagues of mine - mainly not 'into' cars I should add - thought that the basic Sport was actually the model higher in the NX range. I'm sure a lot of that was down to colour, as the F-Sport I had was white which I personally don't think suits it as well as some colours, but even so. Weird, right? I thought the F-Sport looked obviously 'superior' because of the grille and wheels, but there you go, just shows what I know!

My summary? Keener drivers will prefer the F-Sport, of that I have little doubt. That isn't me though, as I prefer to waft about. I didn't test-drive an F-Sport before I bought my Sport, but having had the chance for this comparison over an extended period I'm happy that I made the correct decision for me, especially given the extra cost (from new) involved.

 

 

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Interesting comparison.

Probably is a tyre thing the road noise is. I've not noticed any difference in the various models I've been given to drive. Yokohamas fitted to the NX are rubbish for road noise. 

non car people don't really know anything so would probably think a Merc E class is better than an S coupe so I wouldn't worry about that.  

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4 hours ago, rayaans said:

Interesting comparison.

Probably is a tyre thing the road noise is. I've not noticed any difference in the various models I've been given to drive. Yokohamas fitted to the NX are rubbish for road noise. 

non car people don't really know anything so would probably think a Merc E class is better than an S coupe so I wouldn't worry about that.  

+1 that the road noise will be tyre related. Sold my old R32 as I was convinced there was something wrong with it due to loud whining noise at all speeds. Drove it again after a friend bought it from the dealers I'd shopped it in at (had no idea he was after one) and with only the tyres being changed the noise had gone. Couldn't believe it!

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7 hours ago, rayaans said:

Interesting comparison.

Probably is a tyre thing the road noise is. I've not noticed any difference in the various models I've been given to drive. Yokohamas fitted to the NX are rubbish for road noise. 

non car people don't really know anything so would probably think a Merc E class is better than an S coupe so I wouldn't worry about that.  

The Yokohama 'Bluearth' tyres fitted as standard on my NX Sport seem to be very quiet...but the grip is terrible in even slightly damp or slippery conditions. I can't wait to get some decent Winter rubber on in the next couple of weeks. It will be Falkens for me based on previous positive experiences.

Stupidly I didn't think to check the tyre type on the F-Sport I had. It was only after it went back and I started using my own Sport again that I really realised how different the noise levels were. I THINK it was running Bridgestone of some sort, but couldn't swear to it. It was an almost brand new car when I picked it up so, whatever they were, they would have been standard fit.

Something else I liked about the F-Sport, but hardly a show stopper was the electric tailgate. I've read numerous reviews criticising it for being slow. It seemed fine to me, and really quite handy.

 

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3 hours ago, First_Lexus said:

The Yokohama 'Bluearth' tyres fitted as standard on my NX Sport seem to be very quiet...but the grip is terrible in even slightly damp or slippery conditions. I can't wait to get some decent Winter rubber on in the next couple of weeks. It will be Falkens for me based on previous positive experiences.

Stupidly I didn't think to check the tyre type on the F-Sport I had. It was only after it went back and I started using my own Sport again that I really realised how different the noise levels were. I THINK it was running Bridgestone of some sort, but couldn't swear to it. It was an almost brand new car when I picked it up so, whatever they were, they would have been standard fit.

Something else I liked about the F-Sport, but hardly a show stopper was the electric tailgate. I've read numerous reviews criticising it for being slow. It seemed fine to me, and really quite handy.

 

Probably were the bridgestones. I have them on my RX. Crap is all I can say. No grip and loud

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Yep I didn't like the Yokohamas.  

Got shot of them at the next season,  I still think the dealer swapped the Bridgestones that I swear were on the car when I test drove it.

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Another +1 re tyres.

I have Bridgestone. I won't have next set!

Very interesting comparison. IIRC the sport has black tyres, which can look quite prestigious (to non-car people!) 

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On 20/02/2018 at 8:49 PM, Sybaris said:

Yep I didn't like the Yokohamas.  

Got shot of them at the next season,  I still think the dealer swapped the Bridgestones that I swear were on the car when I test drove it.

Did they swap your wheels out to get a quick turn around time if they needed refurbing?

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I've recently driven a few F-Sport NX vehicles and I concur re firmness and road noise. Definitely worse imo than an NX with standard suspension. Never got to to try an F-Sport with AVS though, the reports are very good about this suspension.

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