New & Used Lexus NX: In Depth
2015 Lexus NX 300hEnlarge Photo
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The Lexus NX is a new member of the Lexus family, and of the quickly growing lineup of compact luxury crossovers. It's the brand's first utility vehicle in this size class, as well as its first model ever to feature a turbocharged engine.
With the NX, Lexus jumps into an already crowded field, which counts the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Mercedes GLK, Volvo XC60, Cadillac SRX, and BMW X3.
MORE: Read our 2015 Lexus NX review
The Lexus NX wears an especially bold version of the marque's spindle grille. It pairs fairly well with squinty, angular headlamp units, and arrow-like sets of running lamps accenting below. With truly aggressive sculpting for the front airdam and side sheetmetal, the NX makes a strong, almost menacing impression from the front. The NX holds its sharp, chiseled, muscled look from the side, with its swoopy roofline combined with punctuated wheel wells, but at the rear it's at its smoothest and most ordinary, with a clear family resemblance to the larger Lexus RX.
Inside, the NX definitely follows a sportier, more cockpit-like layout and aesthetic than the RX. With lots of metallic accents, contrasting with darker, softer materials, large, round gauges, the look is like that of a sport sedan, only oriented a little higher and taller.
At around 183 inches long, with a wheelbase of more than 106 inches, the 2015 NX models are sized right in the middle of the luxury crossover segment that might be considered mid-size in Europe but compact here in the U.S. The sport seats do have a rather low hip point compared to other crossovers though, Lexus notes, which should give it a connected feeling during spirited driving (helping to increase headroom), and the decent rear seating space and long, low cargo area reveals its practical, RAV4 roots.
The 2015 Lexus NX is offered in just two models: the standard NX 200t, with a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and a 194-hp NX 300h (hybrid) that the company expects to make up less than 10 percent of total sales. The sporty F-Sport package could go as high as half of all NX models, though, with its more aggressive grille, unique interior trim, comfortable sport seats, and slightly retuned suspension. Both models are offered in front- or all-wheel-drive versions, though the hybrid sacrifices the 200t's mechanical AWD system that sends engine torque to all four wheels and substitutes a 50-kilowatt (67-hp) electric motor on the rear axle when needed.
The 2015 Lexus NX, which will start below the $35,000 mark, will be the first Lexus to offer wireless charging for mobile phones, and it marks the debut of a new generation of the Lexus Remote Touch interface—this one featuring a touch pad, haptic feedback, and scratchpad-like capabilities that let you trace letters (such as what you might have seen on some Audi or Mercedes-Benz models). Enhanced gauges offer a G sensor and turbo-boost meter (on 200t models), while active-safety features include All-speed dynamic cruise control and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. A head-up display is also on offer.