Overview: Lexus uses its compact NX as inspiration for future designs; aims to keep providing rolling sculptures to customers.
Drivetrain: A turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder connects to a six-speed automatic transmission; Hybrid model gets a 2.5-litre four-cylinder assisted by an electric motor; all-wheel-drive optional for all models.
Lexus has clearly given up on the subtle excellence of its former self and instead grasped a design language that’s completely the opposite. The compact NX, which only debuted for 2015, is a perfect example. A spindle grille that’s common to other vehicles in the Lexus stable dominates the futuristic front end. For the optional F-Sport model, the more exaggerated grille’s blacked-out mesh is quite a bit more distinctive. The NX 200t comes with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that generates 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The NX 300h hybrid combines a 154-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder and a 141-horsepower electric helper motor for a combined 194 horses and an estimated 200 pound-feet of torque. The NX 200t uses a six-speed automatic transmission to direct power to either the front or all four wheels, while the NX 300h employs a continuously variable unit (CVT). The available all-wheel-drive (or “all-weather-drive,” in Lexus-speak) in the NX 200t directs torque to just the front wheels when cruising, but can send up to 50 per cent to the rears when necessary. The NX 300h uses an electric motor to power to the rear axle, which is activated when the vehicle accelerates from rest or when the front wheels begin losing grip. Optional is a navigation system, power-folding rear seat and liftgate, premium audio system and a wireless charging tray inside the floor console for juicing up smart phones. The F Sport includes sport-tuned suspension and steering, unique perforated seat covers and interior trim and summer tires.
Base price (incl. destination): $44,000 (NX 200T); $55,400 (NX 300h)
Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive wagon
Base engine (hp): 2.0-litre DOHC I4, turbocharged (235)
Optional engine (hp): 2.5-litre DOHC I4 with electric assist (194)
Layout: Front engine, front- /all-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic; continuously variable (NX 300h)
l/100 km (city/hwy): 10.6/8.4 (NX 200t)
Weight (kg): 1,790
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