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RUGGED APPEAL: Despite being the entry-level alternative, the NX FWD has the same level of luxury as the NX AWD.

4WD good, 2WD better?

The 2-wheel-drive version of Lexus NX is not only priced lower than its all-wheel-drive counterpart, it is also lighter and consumes less fuel.
Aug 20, 2016 5:50 AM

WANT a luxury SUV but don't need the 4WD? Translation: Do you like the rugged appeal of a high-end sport-utility vehicle but do not require four-wheel-drive in an urban landscape like Singapore?

One possible answer is the Lexus NX, the Japanese luxury carmaker's compact crossover. Available as the NX FWD (Front Wheel Drive) or NX AWD (All Wheel Drive), it is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

As indicated by its badge, the petrol engine of the Lexus NX FWD drives only the front wheels. With 234hp and 350 Nm on tap, it propels the NX FWD from zero to 100kmh in 7.3 seconds.

Because of its better traction, the NX AWD is marginally faster at 7.1 seconds.

In a fast corner, the NX FWD also exhibits a bit more understeer than the NX AWD. But unless you're a professional driver going flat out all the time, the drive isn't really that different.

But because of two-wheel-drive and the fact that it is about 55kg lighter at 1,700kg, the NX FWD consumes 2.5 per cent less fuel than the NX AWD.

The NX FWD's carbon emissions of 178g/km are also lower than the AWD's 184g/km. However, this does not impact the CEVS rebate because both variants fall into the neutral band. So the only effect is to burnish (slightly) your green credentials.

Despite being the entry-level alternative, the NX FWD has the same level of luxury as the NX AWD, with some equipment differences including the lack of navigation and a power tailgate.

But as a result, the NX FWD is priced S$8,000 less than the NX AWD. Good things don't always have to cost more.


SPECS

Lexus NX Turbo FWD

Engine: 1,998cc inline-4 turbocharged

Gearbox: 6-speed automatic transmission

Max power: 234 hp @ 4,800-5,600 rpm

Max torque: 350 Nm @ 1,650-4,000 rpm

0-100 kmh: 7.3 secs

Top speed: 200 kmh

CO2 emissions: 178 g/km

Average OMV: S$36,000

Price: S$224,000 (with COE)

Distributor: Borneo Motors

Tel: 6631-1388