In Depth: Lexus NX

One of the things that caught my eye at the Canadian International Auto Show this week was the brand new Lexus NX. It’s the latest addition to the burgeoning luxury compact crossover market that everybody wants to have a presence in. It appealed to me on a number of levels:

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First of all, the styling is bold. It will not be mistaken for anything else out there. Though you don’t see it here, I saw the LED daytime running lights in action and it really adds a significant amount of style to the NX.

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The bold styling continues around back. People seeing you coming or going will be impressed.

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The space in the rear of the NX is huge. You get a lot of space back here, plus you get 60/40 folding rear seats. Not only that, passengers get a lot of space too along with reclining seats.

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The gauge cluster is very top shelf. It’s clear and very customizable. Also note the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

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You also get an 7″ infotainment system screen that is easy to access. Plus you get real buttons to control a variety of features. That’s a big deal to me because even though I am someone who likes technology, I do not want to control every single function via the infotainment system. The analog clock in the center is a nice touch as well.

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If you look at the bottom left corner, you’ll see the Lexus Remote Touch Interface in the form of a touchpad with buttons above it to control the infotainment system. People who I know who have Lexus vehicles with Remote Touch love it. And I do mean LOVE it.

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Under the hood, this particular NX gets a 2.0L twin scroll turbocharged engine that puts out an impressive 235 horsepower when mated to a six speed automatic transmission. If you’re more of an eco minded person, you can also get a hybrid version that puts out a combined 194 horsepower when mated to a CVT transmission. Either way, you’ll get great fuel economy. The turbo version gets a combined 9.6 L/100km and the hybrid gets a combined 7.4 L/100kmStandard on both versions is an AWD system that can direct 50% of the power to the rear wheels when required.

I found that the craftsmanship that is typical of Lexus vehicles were present both internally and externally. What’s also worth noting is the price. The NX 200t which is the turbo version starts at just over $40K. The NX 300h which is the hybrid version starts at just over $58K. Both should bring in a new type of client into Lexus dealerships such as empty nesters looking for something smaller than a RX or people looking to move up to a luxury nameplate. I think it will also appeal to those looking for a vehicle that is not too big and not too small. The NX is in dealerships now and I am seeing it on roads already. I think it will be a winner.

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