Offering a nice combination of driving performance, real-world utilitarian convenience, and luxury, the 2016 Lexus NX 200t is an aggressively styled five-seat luxury compact crossover for individuals and small families who like to make a strong visual statement.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Lexus NX 200t is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. It's available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations.

An even more aggressively-styled NX200t F SPORT model features a sport-tuned suspension and sporty interior that centers on some very attractive and nicely bolstered sport seats.

The front-wheel drive NX200t starts at $34,865; all-wheel drive models start at $36,265. Key standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-like NuLuxe seating material, and 7-inch color LCD display. The front-wheel drive NX 200t F SPORT starts at $36,965; all-wheel drive models are priced from $38,365.

Prices do not include a $940 delivery, processing and handling charge.

Performance Pros

Lexus NX 200t

Powered by an all-new 235-horsepower 2-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine that reaches a peak 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm, the 2016 Lexus NX 200t is a capable performer that illustrates the Lexus commitment to finding a nice balance of power and efficiency.

  • Steering is precise and the NX 200t feels fairly light on its feet for a compact crossover, especially when equipped with the F SPORT’s upgraded suspension. When equipped with the all-weather Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel drive system, the turbocharge crossover SUV reaches 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and offers great all-weather capabilities.
  • The front-wheel drive NX 200t is a few clicks slower at 7.2 seconds to 60 mph. The loss in speed is softened a bit by the fact it's also more efficient at 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway -- the city number drops by 1 mpg with all-wheel drive.
  • The 2016 NX 200t’s smooth-shifting six-speed multi-mode electronically controlled automatic transmission does an excellent job sending the power to the wheels, and can be manually controlled to enhance the driving experience.

Performance Cons

While the NX 200t is a strong performer, the overall driving dynamic is a little softer than I would like, even in the F SPORT trim. The turbocharged engine is tuned for efficiency over performance and -- when combined with the super quiet interior -- it takes a lot of bullying to make the Lexus feel like it is doing anything more than reliably transporting you around town.

Interior Pros

Lexus NX200t

Opening the door to the NX reveals a purpose-built driver friendly environment that spares nothing for luxury, but appeals to the enthusiast. The nicely-bolstered front seats would be at home in a sports car, but are comfortable enough for a cross-country trek. The F SPORT seats up the sport factor even more, but remain quite comfortable.

  • The NX 200t’s dashboard and gauge cluster are immediately identifiable as "Lexus," which means abundant soft-touch surfaces, bold contrasting trim work, thoughtful ergonomic design, and cutting edge technology.
  • The infotainment system is controlled by a remote touch interface (RTI) that uses a center console-mounted touchpad that is similar to those on a laptop computer; it is surprisingly intuitive if you are comfortable with using a laptop, and even clumsy fingers often provide the desired outcome.
  • The NX200t F Sport features a nifty digital G-Force meter and boost gauge.

Interior Cons

  • The relatively small cargo space limits the real-world utility of the luxury crossover; larger families who are fans of the NX 200t’s style and performance will want to take a peek at the all-new for 2016 RX 350.
  • The remote touch interface may drive anyone unfamiliar with laptop touchbads a little looney due to the learning curve and non-tactile feel of the controller.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

I really like the combination of the wildly aggressive exterior styling and the almost sedate interior. Sure, the cabin still has a very contemporary feel to it, but it is otherwise calm and collected as opposed to the NX’s “here I am, look at me” exterior -- which I also like quite a bit.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

I wish the F SPORT model offered a little more sport than it really does. The NX looks amazingly fast, but its performance numbers are about average for the segment.

The Bottom Line

Lexus NX200t

The 2016 Lexus NX 200t is an aggressively-style small luxury crossover that offers great visual appeal for those wanting the added utility of an SUV, without the “grown-up” stigma of owning a large people-and-stuff mover. While not the sportiest performing luxury crossover on the market, the NX 200t -- especially in the F SPORT trim -- is arguably the sportiest looking and actually handles quite nicely.

If you are in the market for a compact crossover and you like the way the 2016 Lexus NX 200t looks, I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t schedule a test drive. The manufacturer’s reputation for building reliable vehicles that hold their resale value actually makes the incredibly bold NX a rather safe choice.