After announcing last week that order books are open, Lexus Malaysia has previewed its two new SUV models – the NX 300 and the new RX 350L.

Unveiled last month at the 2017 LA Auto Show, the Lexus RX L is, as its name suggests, a longer version of the current RX SUV. The sharp-edged crossover gets an additional 110 mm in rear overhang (wheelbase remains), a longer roof and a more upright rear screen, freeing up space for a third row of seats to make it seven in total. The result is a five-metre long car that’s only slightly shorter than the 5,052 mm Audi Q7.

The RX L’s rearmost seats fold 50:50 flat into the floor, while the second row does the same in a 40:20:40 split. US buyers can opt for a six-seat version with individual captain’s chairs in the middle and walk-through third-row access, but we get the more flexible seven-seat option. The third row gets its own AC controls and cupholders.

Like the tailgate, the rearmost seats power fold, and buttons for that are located at the wall of the boot and just behind the second row seats as you open the rear doors. Lexus claims that the RX L offers more luggage space behind the third row than its rivals, and when those are folded, the bigger boot can take in four golf bags.

We will be getting the “long RX” as an RX 350L Luxury, powered by a 3.5 litre V6 with 289 hp/358 Nm and an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Drive goes to both axles via Lexus’ Active Torque Control AWD system that can vary torque anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50, depending on conditions.

The kit list is a mixture of what’s available in various RX trim levels – 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, LED foglamps with cornering function, moonroof, smart card key, powered hatch, wood trim, 12.3-inch screen, navigation, wireless charger and semi-aniline leather are all standard, among other things. No Mark Levinson audio, head up display, shift paddles and adaptive suspension, though.

The CBU import from Japan is priced at RM475,000 on the road excluding insurance, which is just slightly more than the sleeker (and sexier) five-seater RX 350 Luxury at RM457,800.

As for the Lexus NX 300, it is the NX 200t in latest facelifted form, unveiled at last year’s Shanghai show. It continues to be powered by a 2.0 litre turbo engine with 235 hp, while the NX 300h is a hybrid combining a 2.5 litre NA petrol engine with two electric motors. The 2018 NX will come in four variants – Urban, Premium, F Sport and Hybrid – priced from RM311,900 to RM397,800.

The Urban is a new entry level trim that replaces last year’s Special Edition, while the Premium has an RM11k lower price tag. The Urban and F Sport get full panoramic glass roofs, while the Premium gains a moonroof. The Hybrid has a regular roof with no skylight. There’s a new eight-inch Lexus Display Audio unit for all variants except for the F Sport and Hybrid, which both get a 10.3-inch display with Mark Levinson audio.

The smallest Lexus SUV gets a revised face with changes to the spindle grille, front bumpers and rear bumpers; the latter is now made to look wider and incorporates elements of the brand’s signature spindle motif. The triple projector LED headlamps are now arranged LC 500-style, and are distinctive as the trademark Lexus ‘tick’ LED daytime running lights below them. New rim designs, too.

Inside, the cabin gets new trim and the remote interface touchpad has been redesigned and enlarged by 30% for easier use.

Lexus says that with this update, the NX’s springs, stabiliser bars and bushings have been retuned to improve both turn-in response and steady-state cornering, while new dampers improve ride quality. On the F Sport, the Adaptive Variable Suspension now has 650 auto levels instead of 30 in the pre-facelift.

Order books for both the RX 350L and the NX 300 range are now open, and the cars will be officially launched in early February. Official Lexus Malaysia cars come with a five-year unlimited mileage factory warranty, and hybrid models also get an eight-year warranty for the hybrid battery.


GALLERY: 2018 Lexus RX 350L


GALLERY: 2018 Lexus NX 300 Premium