What Is It?
The 2015 Lexus NX is an all-new luxury crossover designed to slot below the brand's popular RX midsize crossover in terms of both size and pricing. It offers bold styling, a long list of cutting-edge technology and two appealing engine options.
The most striking thing about the new NX is certainly its exterior styling. We'll call it bold, though some might say its unusual combination of jagged lines and Lexus' large spindle grille gives the NX something of a disagreeable look. We're certain that the crossover's styling will either be loved or hated by those who see it.
Inside, the NX offers a far more traditional look, bringing something of a sporty, cockpit-like feel from the brand's IS sedan to the crossover realm. We like the show car's red seats and red stitching, and we think the crossover's interior will help Lexus corral a sportier image than the staid reputation its crossovers have gained over the last few years.
Under the hood, we're expecting two engine choices. Shoppers interested in power will want to go with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which comes standard in the NX 200t and the sporty NX 200t F-Sport. It's the first turbocharged engine ever offered in a Lexus. Drivers who would rather focus on fuel economy can go for the hybrid-powered NX 300h, which likely shares its 2.5-liter hybrid 4-cylinder with the Lexus ES 300h sedan. Power and fuel economy details for the engines are not yet known.
Beyond its look and its powertrains, the NX will include a long list of tech features. Lexus says it will offer radar cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a wireless charging tray and a new Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the latter of which controls the brand's infotainment system, so we're eager to try out the latest version.
Lexus has not yet announced pricing, but we'd expect the NX's base price to substantially undercut the RX's MSRP. Given that the RX starts around $41,500 with shipping, we expect to see the NX in the mid-$30,000 range.
When Can You Get It?
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The compact-crossover segment is heating up, and we have no reason to doubt that the 2015 Lexus NX will be one of the best models available. After all, its larger stablemate -- the RX -- is among the most popular midsize crossovers, with buyers appreciating its reasonable pricing, its high-end luxury and its durability. We also think Lexus has a hit on its hands by offering a hybrid version of the NX, given the runaway popularity of the hybrid-powered RX 400h and RX 450h.
Other Cars to Consider
Acura RDX -- The V6-powered Acura RDX starts around $35,500 and likely measures around the same size as the NX. Styling isn't as eye-grabbing as the Lexus, but for some shoppers, that will be a definite plus for the popular Acura.
BMW X3 -- The BMW X3 touts 4- or 6-cylinder engines and rear- or all-wheel drive. Undoubtedly the sportiest compact crossover, the X3 is also one of the most expensive, with a base price of more than $40,000 with shipping.
Mercedes GLK -- The Mercedes GLK starts around $38,500 with shipping, which likely makes it a little pricier than the NX. The GLK also offers a fuel-efficient diesel-powered BlueTEC model, however, which will serve as a direct rival to the NX 300h.
Volvo XC60 -- Volvo's compact XC60 luxury crossover combines safety and fuel economy to form an appealing package. Unfortunately, pricing is a bit steep, and quality is a bit short compared to segment leaders.