The Lexus NX is available in two basic guises, NX200t and NX300h. The NX200t is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, making 235 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is an option across the entire NX lineup. The NX300h is powered by a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that is assisted by an electric motor. Lexus has developed a new "kickdown" feature for its hybrid system, which allows for more immediate power delivery on the highway.
The NX is a Lexus and comes accordingly with a nice list of standard equipment. This includes a smart key with easy access entry and a pushbutton start, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power windows, cruise control, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 7-inch LCD display, a 4.2-inch TFT color display in the instrument cluster, a power liftgate, an 8-speaker premium sound system, Lexus' Enform safety connect system and a USB port for iPod connectivity.
Several option packages are available to help focus the NX toward either additional comfort or a sportier driving experience. The F-Sport package includes stiffer suspension, a racier interior with various "F" badges, a more aggressive front grille, perforated leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, a black headliner, a boost gauge, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Luxury package takes the NX in the opposite direction by adding a heated steering wheel, perforated leather seating surfaces, wood interior trim, front seat power cushion extenders, rain sensing wipers and a power rear door.
A premium package features heated and ventilated front seats, a power operated moonroof, LED daytime running lights and 18-inch wheels.
The Navigation package features a voice-activated navigation system, but also adds a touchpad to help control the system, as well as a host of other technology features. These include Lexus' Enform app suite, a 10-speaker premium sound system, SiriusXM satellite radio and an additional USB port.
Finally comfort package adds various memory functions to the seats, a Homelink built in garage remote, a power tilt and telescoping steering column and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass feature.
The new 2015 Lexus NX 200t gets a lot of things right on paper that make it worth your attention. There's the styling, which is perhaps the most dramatic (and perhaps, most complete) interpretation of the Lexus' L-Finesse design language. Personally, I like the look, but your mileage may vary.
The NX is also packing the automaker's first-ever turbocharged engine, which is also the first such engine from Toyota Motor Company since the Supra's 2JZ-GTE was abandoned back in 2002. The cabin tech uses a trackpad like the one on your laptop and connects to the Internet via your mobile smartphone.
The NX, then, almost screams, "Hey, look at me! Lexus is cool now!" Fortunately, once it has your attention, the new NX 200t follows up with a class competitive performance.
The Good The Lexus NX 200t's new turbo four-cylinder makes use of Toyota's D-4S fuel injection for strong acceleration and reasonable efficiency. Enform apps and infotainment are as easy to use as ever, thanks to improved natural voice command and a new Remote Touch Pad controller. The compact crossover seems better suited for city dwelling than the larger Lexus RX.
The Bad The Remote Touch Pad has a learning curve and requires a bit more visual attention than the previous control scheme.
The Bottom Line The 2015 Lexus NX 200t's tech, amenities, and fuel efficiency stack fairly evenly with the competition, but its slight power advantage and unique styling push it above the class average.
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