The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is an all-new model and the smallest of four sport utility vehicles sold by Lexus. This compact SUV is available in NX 200t and NX 200t F Sport editions, and is also sold as a NX 300h hybrid. The 2015 NX 200t is the first turbocharged Lexus vehicle.
Lexus has once again added a utility vehicle to its fleet, by introducing the 2015 NX 200t. This compact model seats fives, offers a standard turbocharged engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and provides a futuristic interior.
There is nothing tame about the NX 200t’s countenance. Lexus’ designers looked for every possible way to accentuate this crossover’s styling by incorporating deep grooves, chiseled accents, a sculpted front fascia and distinctive profile characteristics. The front fascia is dominated by an hourglass grille, striking LED headlamps and swoosh-like daytime running lights. It makes for a look that is both menacing and opulent.
The NX 200t’s profile evokes a moving sensation with its high-arched wheel wells, sweptback roof line, and its scalloped profile characteristics.
To the rear is a spoiler, wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights, a diffuser and dual chrome exhaust ports. Color-keyed side mirrors, blacked-out trim and chrome surrounds complete this model’s idiosyncratic look.
Inasmuch as the exterior offers a futuristic expression, that theme is advanced into the interior. Lexus’ designers pulled out all the stops to present a cabin that is expressive, vibrant and posh. Build quality is first-rate with soft touch materials found everywhere. Contrast stitching neatly accents the dashboard, a theme that is found around the steering wheel, the transmission shifter, encompassing the center console and on each door. Metal is widely used on door inlays, around the center console, and surrounding buttons, vents and speakers. Choose the F Sport edition and metal pedals as well as badging are included.
The front seats are generously bolstered and offer 10-way adjustment, including lumbar support. To the rear is a 60/40 split-folding seat that power folds and reclines. The seating material has the look and feel of leather, but is composed of NuLuxe, delineating synthetic material that weighs half as much as leather and offers similar breathing capabilities. It’s a sophisticated look that is certain to please anyone who is environmentally and animal conscientious.
The crossover’s instrument panel is comprised of larger tachometer and speedometer displays as well as smaller oil pressure and gas gauge displays, which offset a digital driver’s information center. The center stack is tightly arranged with a display screen fixed to the top of the dash with climate control, seat heating and cooling switches and an analog clock immediately below. Next in line are the audio controls, a knob and screen system that will take some getting used to. Also present is a laptop-like touchpad for controlling the system.
To the rear, seating is for three, but best utilized by two. Legroom is satisfactory for this segment, but hip room can be tight, especially when three adults are present. The 60/40 seat extends the limited cargo area as needed.
The NX 200t comes with many convenience features, including a front center console with a storage bin, power outlets front and rear, cup holders front and rear, and a fold and stow tonneau cover. Dual-zone climate control is standard as are front seatback pockets, an illuminated locking glove box, foot lights, front and rear map lights, a cargo area light, and rear air-conditioning vents.
The standard audio system is comprised of AM/FM/HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming, a CD player, eight speakers, and a trial SiriusXM satellite radio subscription.
Following years of customer inquiries and much speculation, Lexus has at last taken the wraps off its first turbocharged engine and it is a stellar one. This 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine makes 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist, benefitting from a low and long torque curve ranging from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. The twin-scroll engine utilizes both direction injection and port fuel injection with minimal turbo lag noted.
The NX 200t takes premium grade gasoline only. It is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Lexus pairs this engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Technology mavens will be drawn to the Lexus NX 200t. The model’s remote touchpad provides ease of access to the climate control system, multimedia and other functions by means of pinching, swiping and flicking gestures, just as you do with your smartphone. While offering smartphone comparable familiarity, it is designed to mollify distracted driving concerns as drivers keep one hand on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road.
The available wireless charger should please anyone who has been frustrated by in-cabin connectivity. Specifically, this optional feature is located in the center-console box. An indicator light informs you when your smartphone is recharged. It is available across the model line.
Other stand out technology features include: Siri Eyes Free, a voice activated navigation system, and the Lexus Enform App Suite. The app suite is incorporated with the seven-inch multimedia display located at the top of the center stack on the dashboard. Each colorful app stands out on the display’s black background.
For its first model year, the Lexus NX 200t received the highest safety rating possible from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS bestowed its Top Safety Pick+ rating on the 2015 NX 200t for achieving top scores in all crashworthiness categories. Further, it recognized the NX 200t’s available front crash prevention system in mitigating certain types of accidents.
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t comes loaded with safety equipment and makes additional safety features available.
All models are outfitted with eight air bags, including driver and front passenger knee air bags. In addition, this model comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, brake assist and whiplash injury mitigating front seats.
Also, shoppers can select lane departure assist, a pre-collision system with dynamic radar cruise control and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. Further, every model comes with a backup camera with dynamic gridlines.
Lexus prices the NX 200t from $34,480 for the standard model with front-wheel drive. That price point is in line with competing vehicles from Lincoln and Audi. Add $1,400 to the base price to get all-wheel drive.
The F Sport edition is priced from $36,580 and brings in paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension and styling enhancements. Fully optioned, an all-wheel drive model will cost about $40,000. A similarly equipped hybrid variant is priced about $5,000 above the base edition.
Lexus provides several gateway models to the brand, including its NX 200t crossover. Its sharp exterior, futuristic interior and available F Sport edition should draw customers desiring to transition to a luxury brand. Moreover, Lexus quality and craftsmanship are always significant drawing cards and with a brand-first turbocharger standard, there is no reason not to consider this model.