The 2019 Lexus NX earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the organization announced Monday. The NX earned the institute's highest safety nod thanks to excellent standard headlights and "Superior" scores for forward collision avoidance.
While 2015-2018 models earned above-average marks, the award applies specifically to the 2019-model-year NX. Additional reinforcement of the front passenger-side crash structure elevated its score in the institute's small overlap test enough to earn the compact crossover IIHS' highest safety rating.
The NX's standard forward-collision prevention system successfully avoided crashes in both the 12- and 25-mph tests. In addition, the standard LED projector headlights and optional adaptive turning lights both earned good ratings, bolstering the NX's overall score.
Lexus based the engineering of the NX crossover on its corporate sibling, the Toyota RAV4, which earned nearly identical scores when equipped with upgraded headlights. The NX fared better than the smaller Lexus UX, which still earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating despite its sub-optimal headlights.
Other than the aforementioned structural reinforcements, the 2019 Lexus NX is fundamentally unchanged from previous model years. An infotainment system update added Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto) compatibility.