Looking for a small luxury crossover SUV that stands out in a crowd? The 2017 Lexus NX 200t might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Lexus NX 200t. 2017 Lexus NX 200t straddles the line between subcompact and compact SUVs, delivering all that you'd expect from a luxury brand. The turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine is smooth and quiet under all conditions, but acceleration is only adequate when merging onto a highway. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available as an option. As you'd expect from the size, it's easy to maneuver in tight spaces. One of the main drawbacks to the smaller size is reduced cargo capacity. Even when compared to some subcompact SUVs, the Lexus comes up short. And the raked back rear window limits how bulky your items can be. It's a different story for rear seat space, though. Adults will have plenty of room and remain comfortable over long distances. Throughout the cabin, you'll be surrounded by premium materials and have a long list of high-tech features at your disposal. Unfortunately, Lexus's remote touch interface is one of the worst systems on the market. It uses a touchpad that's like a laptop. And that's fine if you're stationary. But once you're moving, it's as aggravating as it is distracting. The bottom line for the 2017 Lexus NX 200t is decent, despite the lack of cargo space and the odd remote touch system. You get unique styling and it's easy to drive. But we still recommend checking out the competition. These include the Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. If you'd like to see more Edmunds expert rundowns, hit Subscribe.
The Lexus NX 200t is just heading into its third model year, but we're still wrapping our head around how different it is from the Lexus norm: Its sharp styling and sporty driving demeanor signal a sea change for Lexus. It also differentiates itself from the competition by being somewhat larger than the subcompact crossover SUVs that other luxury brands are bringing to market.
Though the five-passenger cabin isn't quite as radical as the exterior styling, it exhibits a cool, modern vibe that further differentiates the NX 200t from its competitors. Materials are as nice as can be; we love the expensive feel of the leatherlike material that lines the doors, dash and other touch points, as well as the padding on the areas of the center console that are likely to rub up against your legs.
Most of the NX 200t's controls are intuitive, but there's not a lot to love about the Remote Touch interface, which comes as part of the optional navigation system. It uses a laptop-like touchpad with haptic feedback (the pad vibrates when you click something), but like a laptop, using it requires you to have your eyes on the screen — and that?s not where drivers should be looking as they cruise down the road. And while we're complaining, we'll mention cargo space, or more specifically, the lack thereof. Luggage room is limited, and the steeply raked tailgate makes the area even more cramped. But the rear seat is unexpectedly generous, so at least we can surmise that cargo space has been sacrificed to a good cause.
As the model name implies, the Lexus NX 200t is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The NX is available with either front- or all-wheel drive, and EPA fuel economy estimates are a respectable 25 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) for the front-wheel-drive version and 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive.
As we mentioned earlier, the driving experience is unexpectedly good: Lexus has a new focus on driver enjoyment, and that shows in the NX, particularly the F Sport version. And yet even with its newfound focus on handling, Lexus refuses to give up on ride quality: The NX 200t glides over imperfections in the pavement that would upset its rivals.
The NX 200t is available in a single trim level, with the F Sport upgrades offered as an option package. Options are grouped into bundles, but unlike most vehicles, availability can vary by region. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Lexus NX 200t for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.