Lexus’s smallest crossover utility also happens to be one of its boldest. While the razor-sharp chiseled styling might not be to everyone’s tastes, it’s definitely a stand-out attribute that helps to define the NX in a segment that’s brimming with competition.
Loosely based on the Toyota RAV4’s platform, the NX is one of the smaller vehicles in its class. It’s not quite as small as Audi’s Q3 or the Benz GLA, but it’s small enough to put it more in line with the new BMW X1 than the BMW X3. On the flip side, its back seat is spacious enough for two adults, though its cargo area is closer to models a size category down.
For 2016, Lexus has added a new base-level F Sport Series 1 package that groups together the F Sport exterior trim, 18-inch wheels, full-LED headlamps, LED fog lights, unique interior accents, sport suspension, a power sunroof, tilt and telescoping steering column, heated steering wheel, and more – in other words, it has most of the basic luxuries covered. Elsewhere the NX gains two new exterior colours: Autumn Shimmer, Caviar, and Ultra White which is exclusive to F-Sport trims.
With the addition of this new “base” F Sport trim, subsequent F Sport equipment levels have been adjusted. The F Sport Series 2 adds a 10-speaker premium audio system, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, navigation, and Lexus’ Remote Touch controller, while the Series 3 adds adaptive suspension, wireless device charging, head-up display, lane-keeping assist, radar cruise control, pre-collision system, and automatic high beams. Non-F Sport trims are also available; their Premium, Luxury and Executive labels correspond to the equivalent F Sport equipment level.
All versions of the NX200t are come powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The brand’s first turbocharged engine, it has since found its way under the hood of the IS and RC. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment, as is all-wheel drive. A hybrid version is also available, which is covered in a separate review. The NX200t is rated at 10.8 L/100 km city and 8.8 L/100 km highway which is mid-pack for the segment.
Inside, the NX has a cozy cabin that’s dominated by a silver-finish console which houses the main infotainment and climate systems. A secondary controller (Remote Touch, if equipped with navigation) is used to access the screen; the controller falls conveniently to hand with an ergonomic wrist rest for support. Though USB and Bluetooth audio connectivity, and Siri Eyes Free are present, the setup does not yet support Apple CarPlay. Android users, you’re out of luck for the time being. F Sport trims feature contoured NuLuxe (leatherette) sports seats, and the same small-diameter steering wheel as featured in the IS, RC, and CT, plus a G-meter for the instrument cluster.
Pricing for the 2016 Lexus NX200t starts at $42,150, and goes up to $54,400 for the F Sport Series 3.