Touring the Southern Okanagan In The Lexus NX

Testing Out the 2018 Lexus NX – Safety and Style

One could just drive around town when testing out a new vehicle, but it’s much more fun to take it on the road and put it through the gears outside of the city. This winter, we happily accepted an invitation to the Okanagan to test out the new 2018 Lexus NX while driving through wine country.

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The Lexus NX is a luxury compact crossover, first introduced in late 2014 as a size below the mid-size Lexus RX crossover. The name NX stands for Nimble Crossover and the car was both nimble and quick, a pleasure to drive as well as being super comfortable as a passenger with a  well-appointed cabin and comfy seats. This vehicle is stylish inside and out, with an angular exterior that projects power and class and a plush interior available in four colours, with lots of space for luggage if you are on the road. The vehicle comes with Lexus Enform and Lexus Safety System+, and has a turbo engine and is available in hybrid and an F SPORT in three different packages.

Some features of this auto that we appreciated included the powerful led headlights and the fact that the automatic high beam  camera detects other vehicles and adjusts accordingly. There’s also a dynamic radar cruise control which we used on the highway from Kelowna to Penticton and a lane departure alert with steering assist that keeps you drifting into the other lanes. Other safety pluses are the pre-collision system that detects pedestrians and other vehicles and automatically applies brakes. I’m not going to name names, but my co-driver on this trip benefited from this feature when an unexpected pedestrian darted out from behind a parked car right in front of our vehicle; the pedestrian continued on unharmed, and hopefully he will think a bit more about crossing the street out of nowhere.

Lexus NX

 There’s a large navigation screen  in this Lexus and the car comes with the Lexus enform technology which can be used for destination assistance and includes an app suite that connects drivers to slacker radio, and can give out information sports, stocks, fuel, weather, and traffic, and is all voice controlled.
The weather was a bit chilly, so the remote engine start/stop came in handy after lunch, and should we have lost the car the vehicle finder would come in handy. If you wanted to monitor the car should you not be driving there are instant alerts if the vehicle is started or exceeds preset limits on speed, curfew, miles driven, engine run time, total elapsed time or distance from a set location. You can also u can remotely check the status of your vehicle’s doors, windows, moon roof, trunk, and hood, as well as the vehicle’s current fuel level, odometer or trip mileage. 
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In order to properly test out the car we arrived in the Kelowna airport and drove south to Penticton and checked into the new Wood First West Wing at Penticton Lakeside Resort. The timber-constructed new wing was a treat to stay in, it’s a six storey structure featuring 70 king bed rooms, 20 of which are suites, and my suite was grand with floor to ceiling glass windows, super comfy beds, local art on display and huge patios I would have enjoyed should it have been warmer.

After checking in we were off to visit The Backyard Farm Chefs Table, where my pal Chef Chris Van Hooydonk and his skilled team prepared a fantastic lunch full of local flavours and ingredients. We took the long way there allowing us to experience the Lexus NX fully as we covered some less than ideal roads, often windy and in need of some pothole therapy.

Heading back to the hotel we had some time to check out the property, there’s a bar onsite and a great restaurant, The Hooded Merganser, but we were heading to a local winery for dinner and as I’d visited before I was pretty thrilled. My husband Michael and I had an amazing lunch at The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery last year and our dinner this night was equally well executed. We started with some charcuterie and cheese and sampled Poplar Grove wines, some of the Okanagan’s best examples.
If you’re in the market for a new luxury compact crossover, I’d highly recommend taking the Lexus NX for a spin, as it was one of the most feature-packed and stylish rides we tried in 2017.

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