2015 Lexus NX 200t Review
2015 Lexus NX 200t Review
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Used NX 200t for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Impeccable cabin construction
- generous backseat room
- copious high-tech features
- smooth and quiet engine.
- Small cargo capacity
- potentially distracting Remote Touch interface.
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is an all-new model.
The 2015 Lexus NX200t is a welcome new entry to the small luxury crossover segment. It's probably not the best choice for family-oriented use, but its stylish looks and high-tech interior will be draws for everybody else.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Lexus NX 200t 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.10 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
NX 200t Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
Our sun's corona. Beyonce's career. The molten interior of a freshly microwaved Hot Pocket. Beyond that, we can't really think of many things hotter than the wildly popular and rapidly growing compact luxury crossover SUV segment. Car shoppers clearly find these models' size, ride height, fuel economy and premium cabins to be a just-right recipe. Lexus already has a shopper favorite in the midsize RX 350 and it isn't too far north of the segment's average size and price range, but the company felt there was room for another, more directly aimed contender. Its name is the 2015 Lexus NX 200t.
On the outside, the NX has a distinctive look that takes inspiration from the company's recently redesigned IS sport sedan. Clever interior packaging has led to an impressive amount of rear seat legroom that betters what's available from most competitors. Cargo room is lacking, however, both with the rear seats raised and lowered, so those who are looking for the "U" from their SUV should probably consider one of those otherwise similar competitors or the bigger RX.
Size isn't the only difference between the NX and the RX. In terms of style, performance and overall personality, there is as similar a relationship between these two SUVs as there is between Lexus' IS sport sedan and bigger ES luxury sedan. Still, a key difference can be found in the engine bay, as the NX stakes out new ground from the predominantly V6-powered Lexus lineup with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Smooth, powerful and surprisingly quiet, it should please those accustomed to six cylinders thrumming under the hood. A fuel-efficient hybrid version, the NX 300h (reviewed separately), is also available.
As expected in this day and age, the NX is packed full of available high-tech safety and infotainment features. The latter are likely to be controlled with Lexus' optional Remote Touch interface, revised for 2015 to use a new laptop-like touchpad to control various vehicle functions. We still found it a bit distracting to use, but it's one of the few demerits in what is otherwise an attractive and impeccably constructed cabin.
As a pick for family transport, you'll probably be better off with the Acura RDX or Volvo XC60, as both offer far more luggage space. Also, many competitors can be had with more powerful engine upgrades, such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Overall, though, we think pretty highly of this new Lexus that is certainly bound to heat up the compact luxury crossover segment even more.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is optional.
In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive NX 200t went from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds, which is average for the segment. According to Lexus, the all-wheel-drive model should be a few ticks quicker.
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2015 Lexus NX 200t at 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel models push slightly to 25 mpg combined. On the Edmunds mixed-driving evaluation route, a front-drive NX 200t returned 25.7 mpg.
Every 2015 Lexus NX 200t comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a front passenger cushion airbag that prevents occupants from submarining under the seatbelt and off the seat. A rearview camera is also standard, along with Lexus Enform Safety Connect telematics that include automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assist button. Optional features include a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, as well as a lane-departure warning system and a frontal pre-collision system (included with adaptive cruise control) that warns of a possible collision and can automatically apply the brakes in the event of driver inaction.
In Edmunds brake testing, an NX 200t with summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is several feet better than average.
The government has yet to test the NX 200t's crash-test performance, but in Insurance Institute for Highway safety crash testing, the 2015 Lexus NX 200t was awarded the highest possible rating of "Good" in the agency's small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal crash tests, as well as for side-impact and roof-strength tests.
If you're expecting the 2015 Lexus NX 200t to drive like a smaller version of the RX, you're either going to be disappointed or pleasantly surprised. The ride is a bit firmer, the steering is more responsive and body motions are more controlled when driving around turns or going over bumps and dips. There is a sense of connection between the car and driver that is not present in Lexus' other SUVs as well as some rival crossovers. Even more engagement can be found in the F Sport model, courtesy of its more sharply tuned suspension, paddle shifters, extra gauges and admittedly extraneous Active Sound Control that pumps artificial engine noise into the cabin.
One of the reasons the F Sport has to use artificial noise is because of how impressively quiet the NX's cabin is. The engine, in particular, is surprisingly hushed, especially when compared with the turbocharged four-cylinders in the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60. It's also very smooth and respectably powerful. Current luxury SUV owners used to V6 engines are unlikely to complain about the fact that there are two fewer cylinders under the hood (if they notice at all).
The NX's cabin isn't quite as radical as the exterior is, but it nevertheless exudes a cool, modern vibe that won't be mistaken for anything else in the segment. Construction is absolutely top-notch, with materials that look and feel rich. Soft leather lines the seats and passenger-side dash, as well as the padded areas that thoughtfully cushion the center console to keep your legs from whacking against a hard surface. Details like contrast stitching, wood trim and a modern analog clock are tastefully applied.
The high-mounted climate controls are easy to reach and see, while other secondary controls are intuitive. The infotainment controls are less so, however. The standard Display Audio system utilizes a knob-and-screen system similar to Mercedes' COMAND system. We haven't had a chance to try the NX 200t with Display Audio, but most NX models are likely to leave the dealer lot with navigation and thus will be fitted with the latest iteration of Lexus' Remote Touch interface. With Remote Touch, various menus and icons are selected with a new console-mounted touchpad (like a laptop's). There is haptic feedback through that pad when you click something, but in general, we find that using Remote Touch draws too much of your attention from the road.
Rear passengers in the NX should find a generous amount of space, at least compared with most other compact luxury crossovers. Cargo space is tight, however. The NX's 54.6 cubic feet of total volume may be equal to the similarly constricted Mercedes GLK's and just a few cubes shy of an Audi Q5's, but its raked liftgate seems to make the space less versatile than even its modest volume number would suggest. That's driven home by the fact that it offers just 17.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats raised, making it less spacious than its compact crossover rivals.
2015 Lexus NX 200t models
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is a five-passenger, compact luxury crossover SUV. It is available in a single trim level, but there is an NX 300h hybrid version that is reviewed separately.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights and running lights, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition and entry, driver-selectable vehicle dynamics settings, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, "NuLuxe" premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power front seats (with two-way power driver lumbar adjustment), a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a cargo cover and an auto-dimming mirror. Standard technology features include a 7-inch display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri-based voice controls and readouts for iPhones, the Display Audio electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.
The NX 200t F Sport is essentially a package that adds unique 18-inch wheels and styling elements along with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, transmission paddle shifters, performance gauges, special interior trim and a sportier engine note (synthesized through the car's sound system).
Other packages are also available, though availability can vary by region, so you'll want to check with your local dealer. The Comfort package adds a power-adjustable steering wheel and driver memory functions. The Premium package includes the Comfort items along with 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats (no ventilation on F Sport) and a sunroof. The Luxury package includes the Comfort and Premium items along with a power liftgate, automatic wipers, a tow package, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and wood trim. A power-folding rear seat can be added to the Luxury package.
The Navigation package obviously includes a navigation system, but also adds the Remote Touch electronics interface, two additional speakers, voice controls, various Lexus Enform smartphone-integrated apps and a special smartphone app that allows you to remotely control and monitor various vehicle functions.
Stand-alone options include 18-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, various advanced collision-prevention systems, the sunroof, the power liftgate, upgraded LED headlamps, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel and a wireless charging tray for Qi-compatible smartphones.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.75 out of 5 stars
Great Mid-size SUV
4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
After X3 and X1, I decided to try a Lexus and I love it. Interior fit and finish is great and the design is very upscale. BMW's so called "business luxury" is getting old after seven years. Seats are more comfortable than X1 or X3, and lateral support on NX (regular seat) is much better than X3 or X1. NX is not as agile or fast as X1 or X3, but to me, it has the right combination of … luxurious drive, good speed and handling capabilities. And my deciding factor was NX looks less feminine than X3, in my opinion. Sure the grill looks too much, but if you put a license plate, it isn't as "gaping hole" like as you think. Cargo space is fine for people w/o kids.
5 out of 5 stars
4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My husband and I just returned from our vacation. We drove 1,100 miles during the week. We debated on taking the new NX or our large roomy SUV and decided if, after we packed and everything fit, we would take the NX. Everything fit - luggage, golf clubs, cooler and food for a family of 8 for the week. We put the backseat down and had plenty of room and did not block vision from the … back window. The car handled beautifully even with all of the weight. We traveled on highways, mountain roads and congested cities. The car had great acceleration and was easy to maneuver around both the city streets and busy highways. Since this was purchased as my car, my husband at 6'5" was not sure if he was going to be as comfortable in the NX. He is in love. He was comfortable when he drove and even as the passenger. This was our first non GM car in 38 years. He was impressed with the car and became a Lexus fan. The navigation system was easy to use and got us easily to our selected destinations. We purchased 36 gallons of gas during the trip. We averaged 30 mpg!
5 out of 5 stars
This vehicle brought me to Alexis from Mercedes
4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Great vehicle, my only nits are that I would like the car to be a bit larger so as to have a bit more cargo space and the automatic safety braking system sometimes brakes unexpectedly when coming in too hot for a stop in traffic (I cleaned sensors and come in a bit slower for a stop and all is well). Comfort in front and rear seats is amazing. Especially the drivers cockpit (because … that is what it is). The drive and handling are superb but more sporty than your typically lexus, this is no rolling couch. That being said, it does so well on the road, I've done more than a few 12 hour road trips with little to no fatigue. Just great vehicle lexus really hot this one out of the park.
5 out of 5 stars
F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
We drove most of the competition - the Audi Q5, Infinity Qx 60 & 70, the BMW X 3 and Acura RDX, looking to replace my Acura MDX (which was a great car). The NX (and RDX) stood out in terms of comfortable ride, smooth operation, and interior appointments (although the Acura was really nice also). The engine is extremely quiet and smooth and provides good acceleration with a turbo. It is … just a pleasure to drive.
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.1%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2015 Lexus NX 200t
More About This Model
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is a new entry in the growing compact luxury crossover segment. It boasts a smooth turbocharged four-cylinder, a well-crafted cabin, accommodating backseats and distinctive styling more likely to strike an emotional chord than most Lexus designs. Notable downsides include a lack of cargo space and a frustrating infotainment controller.
What Is It?
The NX is an all-new compact luxury crossover set to go on sale in December. It is a smaller, sportier alternative to the existing Lexus RX midsize SUV.
Its outside dimensions are similar to its key competitors: the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60. The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is a bit smaller. Inside, however, Lexus has done a commendable job of maximizing rear-seat room, but the significantly raked liftgate reduces overall cargo space.
There are three available variations. The Lexus NX 200t will make up the bulk of NX sales and is the first vehicle to get Lexus' new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The NX 200t F Sport model has the same engine, but has a sport-tuned suspension, more aggressive styling and several features designed for drivers seeking more engagement with their car. Finally, the 2015 Lexus NX 300h is one of only two hybrids in the segment.
How Does It Drive?
Power for the 2015 Lexus NX 200t comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This is the first turbocharged engine Lexus has ever sold and it's likely to find its way into future Lexus vehicles. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional.
With 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, its output on paper is on par with most competitors'. In Edmunds testing our front-wheel-drive NX 200t accelerated to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, which is marginally slower than rivals but still plenty capable when merging onto highways. Gear changes are slow but smooth, yet the transmission does an admirable job of keeping power on tap.
Stopping from 60 mph required 118 feet, which is good for the class. The pedal remained reassuringly firm and distances were also consistent after repeated stops. There is a noticeable amount of nosedive in panic stops, accompanied by a slight side-to-side squirm, but the NX remains very controllable.
When the road begins to snake through canyons, the NX 200t doesn't feel particularly sporty, with considerable body roll in turns. That said, it behaves predictably and instills confidence. For those who desire more athleticism, the F Sport option and its sport-tuned suspension improve handling.
Typical luxury-minded drivers will find it adequately responsive in these conditions as well as in the daily commute. The small footprint and narrow turning radius make maneuvering in tight spaces a breeze. Like most crossovers, rear visibility is compromised by large roof pillars but the standard rearview camera and optional parking sensors take much of the guesswork out of reversing.
What Features Are Available?
Along with the features typically found in luxury crossovers, the NX 200t will come equipped with LED headlamps, "NuLuxe" simulated leather upholstery, Siri-integrated voice controls for iPhones and HD and satellite radio. Our test vehicle benefitted from several packaged options that added the following features: a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming mirrors, ventilated front seats, a sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded audio, adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision warning system, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors.
Also available, but not included in our test vehicle is the F Sport package and Luxury package, as well as standalone options like a power lift gate and power-folding rear seats. Official pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the base NX 200t to be competitive with other luxury crossover SUVs.
What's the Interior Like?
The Lexus NX 200t's cabin has a broader appeal than its exterior, but there are a few missteps that should be considered. The dash and doors feature attractive cascading layers of stitched faux leather and textured plastics. Unfortunately, these elements are interrupted by a painted plastic center stack that merges with the center console.
Mounted atop the dash center are the infotainment display and climate control buttons. The screen is well placed within the driver's sightlines but having the climate controls on the canted surface make them difficult to read and awkward to operate. Fortunately, the automatic heating and cooling works well enough that you can set it and forget it.
The most significant issue, however, comes in the form of the new Remote Touch interface that is paired with the optional navigation system. Lexus' previous Remote Touch system utilized a cumbersome mouselike controller. The new system proves even more daunting as it uses a trackpad controller to move an on-screen cursor — similar to a laptop computer.
However, the level of precision required to operate the trackpad effectively is too high — especially when the vehicle is moving. Compounding matters are the system's numerous layered menus and lack of physical buttons to accomplish simpler tasks. Fortunately, the Remote Touch is an option that is bundled with the navigation system. Those averse to using it still have access to the standard Siri Eyes-Free mode that provides turn-by-turn driving directions from compatible iPhones.
Adjacent to the center armrest is a convenient pocket that can secure a conventional iPhone. Underneath the armrest is an optional Qi-compatible wireless charging pad for mobile devices, though it does require a specific case for iPhones and it's an inconvenient obstacle to accessing the bin.
Is It Comfortable?
Technology-related missteps aside, the NX 200t provides a high level of comfort over long distances. Front seats are well shaped for a variety of body types and the optional ventilation further enhances the experience. Taller adult-size passengers are also afforded ample head- and legroom in the rear seats, though the small windows may feel a bit confining. Most touch points are generously padded with Lexus' "Nu-Luxe" simulated leather surfaces that have the look and feel of genuine leather.
Adding to the luxury quotient is the heavily insulated cabin that keeps wind and road noise to barely perceptible levels. The standard luxury-tuned suspension does an admirable job of isolating passengers from imperfect pavement without ever feeling disconnected. After several hours behind the wheel, fatigue was never an issue.
What About Utility?
Despite exterior dimensions that are incredibly similar to those of its competitors, the 2015 Lexus NX 200t differs inside. Although the rear seatbacks fold they don't produce an especially large space when collapsed. The NX's 54.6 cubic feet of total volume may be equal to the similarly constricted Mercedes GLK and just a few cubes shy of an Audi Q5, but its raked lift gate makes it less versatile than even its modest volume number would suggest. That's driven home by its 17.7 cubic feet with the seats raised, a number lower than many hatchbacks and all compact crossover competitors.
At the same time, however, this relatively modest cargo space keeps the NX from stepping on the toes of the bigger Lexus RX that also seats five passengers.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
Although official EPA figures have not been announced, Lexus estimates that the front-wheel-drive NX 200t will return 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway). All-wheel-drive models are expected to deliver 24 mpg combined as well despite a slightly lower city rating of 21 mpg. Again, this makes Lexus consistent with most competitors.
We averaged 20.9 mpg during our testing with a best tank of 25.7 mpg on our highway-heavy evaluation loop. Shoppers who prioritize fuel economy will likely be drawn to the slower but more efficient NX 300h hybrid that is estimated by Lexus to return 33 mpg combined (35 city/31 highway) with front-wheel drive and 32 mpg combined (33/30) with all-wheel drive. These figures are comparable to diesel variants of rival crossovers.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Acura RDX: Fellow Japanese luxury brand Acura is quite often cross-shopped with Lexus, as it attracts similar customers interested in strong reliability and value. In this case, the A-rated RDX satisfies those aforementioned virtues along with an especially spacious cabin, abundant features and a low price.
Audi Q5: One of the oldest competitors in the segment has nevertheless held up well over time and is indeed the vehicle Lexus representatives mention most often as a competitor. It is closest in size to the NX and has a similar turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while its cabin is impeccably built.
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class: Like the NX, the GLK's lack of overall cargo volume doesn't make it the most ideal for families. However, singles or child-free couples should appreciate its solid engineering, long-distance comfort and robust engines (a gasoline V6 and fuel-efficient diesel).
Volvo XC60: Like the RDX, the stylish and safe XC60 offers more cargo space and in general is more family-friendly. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines impress with their acceleration and fuel economy, but for now are only available with front-wheel drive. Less efficient engines are saddled to all-wheel drive.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
Like any of the vehicles in the compact luxury crossover segment, the 2015 Lexus NX should appeal to those seeking a tall seating position, ample room for four people, more cargo capacity than a sedan provides and a luxurious cabin ambiance that's a clear step above the Toyota RAV4s of this world. At the same time, they don't need as much space as provided by bigger luxury SUVs.
In most ways, the NX 200t is hard to distinguish from its competitors on paper, but its unique styling may appeal to some shoppers looking to stand out from the rest of the pack. Class-leading fuel economy from the NX 300h is also worth noting.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
If you need an SUV for carrying lots of luggage or larger items, the NX should give you pause. This makes it one of the least family-friendly vehicles in the segment. Potential buyers should also test the two available infotainment interfaces as their nonstandard operation will be an obstacle for some.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t Overview
The Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t is offered in the following submodels: NX 200t SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Lexus NX 200t models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 235 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t?
Price comparisons for Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t trim styles:
- The Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t F SPORT is priced between $23,683 and$32,990 with odometer readings between 15310 and121010 miles.
- The Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t Base is priced between $23,998 and$32,590 with odometer readings between 9836 and115565 miles.
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Which used 2015 Lexus NX 200ts are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Lexus NX 200t for sale near. There are currently 41 used and CPO 2015 NX 200ts listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,499 and mileage as low as 9836 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Lexus NX 200t.
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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Lexus NX 200t?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.