The NX 200t looks a lot like the younger, considerably hipper brother of the brand's familiar midsize RX crossover. Sharply angular lines and prominent bulges clearly differentiate an NX from the crowd of non-luxury crossovers of similar compact size. Inside is an abundance of high-quality materials, as well as an impressive amount of rear legroom for this vehicle class.
Power comes from a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, delivering 24 or 25 mpg in combined driving. Specifically, the EPA estimates 22 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
All models use a sequential six-speed automatic transmission. A G-force Artificial Intelligence system, for more spirited driving, automatically selects the optimum gear and downshift pattern, in response to G force. A Drive Mode Select dial on the console selects Normal, Eco, or Sport mode. Standard alloy wheels are 17-inch, but 18-inch wheels are available.
Each NX 200t comes with NuLuxe (premium vinyl) interior upholstery, power front seats, and a split-folding reclining rear seat. Standard features include Bluetooth phone and audio, integrated smartphone apps, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, and satellite radio. Headlights, foglamps, and daytime running lights are all LEDs.
The optional F Sport package piles on a batch of performance upgrades, including a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, specific 18-inch wheels, summer or all-season tires, more aggressive front bumper and mesh grille, LED foglamps, and additional gauges. You also get sportier trim inside and out, along with enhanced engine sounds to remind you of the F Sport option’s presence.
The available Comfort package adds a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and driver memory functions. The Premium package includes those features, plus 18-inch wheels, heated/ventilated front seats and a moonroof. The Luxury package brings leather upholstery, Black Shadow wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel, power liftgate, automatic wipers, plus Comfort and Premium features.
The Navigation package includes a navigation system, two additional speakers, a Remote Touch infotainment control interface, and an expanded suite of smartphone apps. Available safety technology includes a pre-collision system with adaptive radar-based cruise control, lane departure alert, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. Some of these features are available as individual options.
Because it's a Lexus, despite its compact dimensions, the NX 200t doesn't feel quite complete without the leather and wood interior offered in the Luxury package. We consider it as the most worthy upgrade, though basic standard equipment is substantial. Prices start near $35,000, plus $1,400 for available all-wheel drive. Don’t expect a significant performance boost with the F Sport package, which focuses on the visual. Lexus also offers a new NX 300h hybrid.
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