Farnham Dave

Do I really prefer my old RX to a new NX?

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This is a little bit of a review and a whinge about the NX... So rather off topic... But I do have a valid question.

I had an NX (300h) as a courtesy car recently, and was immediately struck by the gadgets. However, the ride is not nearly as comfortable as my RX, and the screen is rather trickier to use... It's mounted a good distance away, and interaction is via a touchpad and cursor arrangement which is seriously fiddly... Setting up the satnav was even harder than on my RX. The buttons and controls are also small and cluttered.

This is all in comparison to my RX, which is 12 years old.

So, the question is... Is this an issue with the model, or with the new Lexus designs, or with the trim level? Any opinions anyone?

I would ask to test drive a new RX for comparison, but since I have no intention of spending £60000+ on a new car at the moment, I feel asking for a test drive would be a little dishonest of me 🙂

 

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It can be a big move going from one vehicle to another and immediately you start seeing difference and analysing these difference because you are not used to them.

I myself don't like change and when I changed from an LS400 to an LS430 I found it very difficult to adjust and as I found it noisier and the ride harsher. I even bought another LS400 to go back to - I then spent about £1500 on servicing and other parts to bring it to my standard however just before selling my 430 I was persuaded by family to keep it and since then it has been happy motoring for 7 years - I currently don't know what I would buy if I was to change.

I agree with your last line about test drive - I'm like that aswell!

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To be fair (to me), I've not had the RX for long, so I'm not really used to that either!

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I drive quite a few cars (work in the motor trade) and I'd say that it's because a RX of that vintage is just an incredibly comfortable place to be.

The 1st gen is an even more relaxed and calm setting 🙂

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I've got an NX Luxury (2018) and have had new RX, GS and today an RC as courtesy cars over a number of months. The RC and NX have the trackpad to work the new large screen. The RX and GS had the 'floating button' to control. Neither is great on the move imho, but you get used to it as with most things. 

All I would say is that both options are better than the awful BMW 'wheel' set up so beloved by the motoring press. I work alongside many people with BMW company cars and there is very little love for that arrangement. Unless you are a motoring journalist it seems...

Comparisons when you get a chance to drive cars back to back are really useful though. I had a new RX F-Sport for a couple of days and was seriously unimpressed. The ride was hard and I found it surprisingly noisy, indeed more so on the motorway than my NX. Later on I had a new RX with the standard suspension set-up and it was an amazing difference. We all like different things - I like soft and relaxing personally - but there is also the factor of what we get used to. If you are used to a hard ride, then I'm sure the RX F-Sport feels fine. And after all, how many people get the chance to really see the differences between models back to back?

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One of my biggest gripes with the NX was how hard the ride was. I've also been known to complain about the torque steering on the RX... which didn't seem a problem on the new NX. Guess I want my cake and get to eat it.

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23 minutes ago, Jaystar77 said:

I drive quite a few cars (work in the motor trade) and I'd say that it's because a RX of that vintage is just an incredibly comfortable place to be.

The 1st gen is an even more relaxed and calm setting 🙂

Yes, my RX is exceptionally comfortable. Maybe I just have to stick with the older ones. Or maybe like hats that grow softer and more comfortable with age.

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36 minutes ago, Farnham Dave said:

One of my biggest gripes with the NX was how hard the ride was. I've also been known to complain about the torque steering on the RX... which didn't seem a problem on the new NX. Guess I want my cake and get to eat it.

If it was an F-Sport then it is pretty hard. If it wasn't an F-Sport it probably just felt hard in comparison to a much softer set up in your current RX. Manufacturers seem to be obsessed with harder rides and larger wheels for better handling, even though my own anecdotal discussions indicate that more people want comfort...

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11 minutes ago, First_Lexus said:

If it was an F-Sport then it is pretty hard. If it wasn't an F-Sport it probably just felt hard in comparison to a much softer set up in your current RX. Manufacturers seem to be obsessed with harder rides and larger wheels for better handling, even though my own anecdotal discussions indicate that more people want comfort...

I don't really see the point for a sporty set up in a "tall" car. It's like buying a Rosé wine: not robust like a red and not smooth like a white. (You can probably tell than I'm not a wine expert).

 

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Agree. Why call them 'Sports' utility vehicles? They are just 'utility vehicles' - although maybe UVs doesn't sound as good to marketing types as 'SUV.' 🙄

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I've always considered them to be vehicles that provide a utility for carrying your sports equipment!

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When I had my GS 300h I test drove as a courtesy car a NX and I found it, even with same motor, worse. So, when I decided to change , I got a RX 450h, that's better because of V6 engine and space, NX it would not be a alternative choice to GS. At the moment the best Lexus is LS (or LC as coupe), and just a bit lower RX, then GS 450h (no more sold), ES, IS, NX and UX . All in my personal list...

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2 hours ago, Zotto said:

When I had my GS 300h I test drove as a courtesy car a NX and I found it, even with same motor, worse. So, when I decided to change , I got a RX 450h, that's better because of V6 engine and space, NX it would not be a alternative choice to GS. At the moment the best Lexus is LS (or LC as coupe), and just a bit lower RX, then GS 450h (no more sold), ES, IS, NX and UX . All in my personal list...

I wanted an NX to replace my GS300h but when I drove one my back hurt within 10 miles. I then tried a series 3 RX and fell in love with the comfort and performance. 

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14 hours ago, olliesgrandad said:

I wanted an NX to replace my GS300h but when I drove one my back hurt within 10 miles. I then tried a series 3 RX and fell in love with the comfort and performance. 

It's odd that there can be so much difference... When you look at the cars side on, it looks like the NX is basically an RX with the back bit chopped off... But then again there's no reason why the car must have the same suspension, upholstery or drivetrain just because it appears that there is some commonality in the body or chassis.

The NX I drove (ignoring the uncomfortable seats) basically felt like driving a good Mondeo... So maybe that's where it's market is.

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This whole topic strikes a chord with me. I've had 8 months to acclimatise myself to the 4RX but I find myself regretting my decision to have sold the 05 SEL that I'd driven for 13 years. Yes, the 4RX does a hell of a lot that the 05 didn't so it's hard to fathom why she lingers on in my mind. The one thing I'd miss most would be the Head Up Display. I find that incredibly useful to help me stay within the legal limit.

Alan

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20 hours ago, Zotto said:

When I had my GS 300h I test drove as a courtesy car a NX and I found it, even with same motor, worse. So, when I decided to change , I got a RX 450h, that's better because of V6 engine and space, NX it would not be a alternative choice to GS. At the moment the best Lexus is LS (or LC as coupe), and just a bit lower RX, then GS 450h (no more sold), ES, IS, NX and UX . All in my personal list...

^^ As with most things it depends on personal circumstances. I had a GS300h Premier last year as a courtesy car and loved it, more than my NX. Even so, it would be absolutely no good for me as my daily driver:

- I have mobility issues, and it was a struggle to get in and out of, and;

- I live in a very rural part of Wiltshire, more than 2 miles from even the nearest 'B' road. Rear wheel drive saloons are not seen often around here - putting aside the lack of traction in bad weather, the visibility isn't great on the lanes with high hedges either side. 

The best car will be different for every user based on their requirements. It also depends what you've come from. I came from a Honda CR-V 2.0 litre petrol, and while it was a great car the NX trumps it in almost every way (apart from ultimate practicality). I guess if I'd come from a GS my opinion might be different.

In terms of the ride, and having driven them all back to back over an extended period (long story, but I was without my original NX for 4 months due to a fault which ended up with Lexus replacing it), the NX stacks up pretty well against the new RX imho. The F-Sport NX and RX are too hard for my tastes, but the standard suspension is just fine. I prefer the standard NX ride over the F-Sport RX ride for instance.

Over the course of the 4 months I was without my original NX I had - in order (mostly for 1 or 2 weeks but I had the NX and RX F-Sport for the longest periods), an IS300h, an NX F-Sport, an RX F-Sport, a GS Premier and an RX Sport. Currently I'm in an RC300h as I have a nail in one of my tyres and a replacement isn't available until Monday. That's a pretty fair percentage of the range I've covered and I haven't found a car I didn't like yet...😀...and the customer service from Lexus Swindon is always superb. 

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On 2/6/2019 at 5:22 PM, Jaystar77 said:

The 1st gen is an even more relaxed and calm setting

I don't agree with that. Moving from an series I RX300 to RX400h was a massive upshift in refinement for me. Less noise, greater comfort, much smoother ride, no transmission jolts between gears. Series II RX has the best looks too out of all of them.

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23 hours ago, Zotto said:

When I had my GS 300h I test drove as a courtesy car a NX and I found it, even with same motor, worse

It doesn't have the same motor, that is one of the issues with the NX - lacks a bit of power and economy.

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33 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

I don't agree with that. Moving from an series I RX300 to RX400h was a massive upshift in refinement for me. Less noise, greater comfort, much smoother ride, no transmission jolts between gears. Series II RX has the best looks too out of all of them.

That's what you would expect, though, improvements over time. But that's not what always happens. I used to have a thing for the big Citroen's, and owned 2 CX saloons with about 8 years between them. The latter one was really really nice, but I always found myself thinking "why did they get rid of that?" The answer, in hindsight, was probably marketing... They had clearly decided that satisfying the somewhat quirky tastes of the traditional fans wasn't going to shift units en mass. The strategy didn't really work, though.

Lexus marketing does seem to be selling cars at the moment, so they are getting something right. I guess I really can't judge unless I get to drive a current RX.

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The gen 1 is like an old leather sofa to drive.  It's a step back in time every time I drive it.  For the daily drive I obviously prefer the gen 2 but the older stuff is built like a tank.  

In general a lot of people prefer older wagons.  Technology has advanced so quickly in recent years that the features and systems are sometimes overwhelming and hard to live with.  I drove a newish vw the other week which blasted out 4 warning messages before I even set off.  The washer fluid low buzzer screamed for attention every couple of miles for 30 miles..  Poor car was stressing out. 

In comparison even when my RX has lost traction and I'm sliding out of control (I have since found my limits) all it does is gently clear it's throat and cough quietly to get my attention.  Quite a different approach 🙂

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12 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

It doesn't have the same motor, that is one of the issues with the NX - lacks a bit of power and economy.

^^ Not sure this is the case when compared with the non-Lexus competition. Diesel options have more grunt, that's for sure, but petrol competitors I've driven (and owned) from Honda and Mazda have a 2.0 litre engine and don't have the same power as the NX (in automatic form at least). I'd describe NX performance as entirely adequate, and it is bound to be different to a non-4WD rear drive option which is also likely to be lighter.

Economy wise I get between 39-42mpg without issue. That compares well to similarly sized competitors in the real world. A friend with a new Volvo XC40 (diesel, front wheel drive) is getting only mid-30's against figures she was promised of 50-60! A colleague with a BMW X3 diesel (4WD) only gets mid-30s mpg as well. My previous Honda CR-V 2.0 litre petrol managed 40mpg when driven carefully, but driven 'normally' it was also mid-30s and my enthusiastic brother-in-law who had one the same was often in the high 20's. 

The only competitor where I have real experience of superior mpg (and I accept the above is quite limited in terms of scope) is the CR-V with the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel unit, which has been achieving high 40's mpg, although it is fair to note that on Honda forums there are plenty of owners complaining of poor mpg (only in the 30s) from the same engine/gearbox configuration.

Again, we need to accept that expectations of a car (or any appliance I suppose) depend on previous experience and on personal style. I'm not a fast driver, so an NX is great. I can see that if I came from a more powerful car or if I was the sort of driver who likes to press on more, then an NX probably wouldn't suit. But then, I'd have established that during the test-drive phase and bought accordingly, if performance was more important than other priorities such as vehicle height, availability of 4WD, luggage space, passenger space etc.

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I accept the NX may be good compared to some of the competition but it isn't as good as it could be which is a shame. The RX is larger, heavier and with a much more powerful, smoother and quieter drivetrain and yet can almost match it for economy.

The NX engine doesn't have direct injection which makes it lack some power and the transmission makes the engine rev much sooner than in the IS/GS, and the hybrid system is 1 to 2 generations out of date.

The new Toyota RAV4 is where the NX should be, with a modern engine and hybrid system. They are the same size yet the RAV is faster and more powerful but with over 20% economy. The NX has a 35.5 to 40 mpg Combined – WLTP against 49.5 to 50.4 mpg for the RAV.

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1 hour ago, ColinBarber said:

I accept the NX may be good compared to some of the competition but it isn't as good as it could be which is a shame. The RX is larger, heavier and with a much more powerful, smoother and quieter drivetrain and yet can almost match it for economy.

The NX engine doesn't have direct injection which makes it lack some power and the transmission makes the engine rev much sooner than in the IS/GS, and the hybrid system is 1 to 2 generations out of date.

The new Toyota RAV4 is where the NX should be, with a modern engine and hybrid system. They are the same size yet the RAV is faster and more powerful but with over 20% economy. The NX has a 35.5 to 40 mpg Combined – WLTP against 49.5 to 50.4 mpg for the RAV.

That's interesting. Makes you wonder what Toyota/Lexus are doing making the RAV4 seem a better prospect than an NX (and presumably a fair bit cheaper, too). Although I've always had a bit of a 'problem' with the RAV4... Ever since one careered into my front garden.

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As much as I tend to disdain the UK motoring press, and I should add that I have not driven an nx so this post is purely conjecture on my part, the reviews all tend to agree that the ride quality is poor. 

I tend to find that the American motoring press reviews tend to be more accurate and even handed about ride and handling than the UK (in other words, they don't swoon over M-sport BMWs that I find bone-jarring). The American motoring press praises the ride quality of the NX. 

There's a dichotomy here, as, if anything, you'd expect the UK press to be more forgiving of a firm ride and the Americans to call it out. 

So I suspect that Lexus fell into that old trap of tuning the suspension "to European tastes" in the NX that they deliver here. It seems to me that they avoided doing so with the LS, RX, GS and ES, while the more sporting IS will be set up that way anyway. Perhaps the appropriate lexus part numbers could be acquired from the USA, if an owner were so inclined. 

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18 minutes ago, Farnham Dave said:

That's interesting. Makes you wonder what Toyota/Lexus are doing making the RAV4 seem a better prospect than an NX (and presumably a fair bit cheaper, too). Although I've always had a bit of a 'problem' with the RAV4... Ever since one careered into my front garden.

Just looked it up... About 5-10 grand less expensive... And the RAV4 has good cargo capacity to boot (sorry, couldn't resist that one)

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