As compact luxury crossovers like the Audi Q5, BMW X1 and X3, and Acura RDX have caught on with scores of buyers in what has become among the hottest of all new vehicle segments, Lexus has remained surprisingly quiet. With a bonafide hit in its RX lineup, it was only a matter of time before Toyota's luxury brand moved toward the concept segment. That car, the 2015 Lexus NX 200t, will soon be widely available.
Non-Hybrid and Hybrid Available
The new NX, which will be offered in turbocharged NX 200t and hybrid NX 300h trims, is 5.5 inches shorter and 2.5 inches narrower than the RX, though still features ample seating for five passengers.
Front-end styling is absolutely dominated by Lexus’s new corporate “spindle” grille, flanked by an interesting mix of snarling headlamps with Nike swoosh-shaped LED daytime running lamp strips.
With a fun and carefree interplay of side-body creases and wraparound tail lamps along with available contrasting color wheel wells, the new CUV makes a bold design statement despite its small proportions. Like with other Lexus models, an F Sport package will be available, bringing sportier body treatment along with paddle shifters and a sport suspension package.
The base NX 200t will make use of Lexus’s first-ever turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a 2.0-liter unit that outputs 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque and comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Stepping up to the hybrid NX 250h brings the combination of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and electric motor, the same powertrain combo used on the ES 300h sedan, making 194 combined peak horsepower and coming mated to a CVT transmission. Either engine will come standard with front-wheel drive, while AWD will be optional with either choice.
In Car Technology
An interior focused around a low-slung driving position will offer up the full complement of today’s latest and greatest active driving aids and safety features, including a rearview camera, 360-degree monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Other key features include a navigation and infotainment system featuring a touchpad for easy character input, and a wireless charging pad for all your devices.
Price and Release Date
The 2015 Lexus NX lineup will go on sale this Fall. Pricing is expected to start at around $33,000.