This is the brand spankin’ new 2015 Lexus NX200t F-Sport. It’s an all new vehicle for Lexus – entering the highly competitive luxury compact SUV market.
It comes with two different powertrains: the 2.5-liter 4-banger hybrid that produces 194 horsepower. Or – our 2.0-liter TURBOCHARGED-4 producing 235 horsepower and 258 ft/lbs of torque. This car represents a potentially significant moment here for Lexus, being that this is their first in-house turbo motor they’ve built since the much beloved 2JZGTE. And it could represent – a new shift of more good things to come on the horizon. The NX is smooth but squirty, torquey, and quick to spool. With the windows down, it has the most delightful whirring/chirping from the turbo and blow-off-valve. With the windows up, it’s a silent & soothing escape in true Lexus fashion.
Our tester is equipped with the F-Sport package – which is not just some ‘badge’ added to the Lexus line. With Lexus the ‘F’ designation – you get sport tuned suspension, tighter steering, impressively well designed seats, a more ergonomic steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, shorter final drive, and electronic boost gauge & g-meter. It’s not a marketing/branding ploy. When, you put all of those factors together – you really do begin to awaken & transform what a crossover can be. And we think that’s at the core of what Lexus was aiming to achieve with the new NX – to break new boundaries with a crossover.
There is no such thing as one ‘perfect’ car for every possible situation that may arise. We have to choose the characteristics that are most crucial to us – often at the sacrifice of others. But the NX proves to hold it’s own in a lot of the critical areas. It’s got decent room. Let’s be realistic for a minute – it’s got more than enough room for 90%+ of of what a family of 3 do in their daily lives. But not TOO much room, that it becomes a drag or a burden. Leading to the next point: it’s FUN to drive. Not a ‘responsibility’ or a ‘compromise’… but a genuinely engaging experience. This is a crossover, but it’s one that a real sports car enthusiast can get behind & have in the family… and not feel – well – neutered. Plus – it’s a visually striking car, with an emerging sense of confidence & a sense of identity in an otherwise conservative/vanilla segment.