2016 Lexus NX: Lexus hits the compact crossover sweet spot

17 Oct 2016 | 997 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds
With all of the compact luxury crossovers on the roads these days, you might find it hard to tell them all apart.
Except for one.
The 2016 Lexus NX 200t.
This CUV is strictly its own crossover.
You will probably notice a similarity between the NX lineup and the others out there in a blink of the eye.
Probably you'll notice that it resembles the RX 350, Lexus's bread and butter luxury crossover that has been totally redone this year.
The resemblance is totally a strong point.
Both of these products proclaim loud and clear that Lexus is now a force to be reckoned with when it comes to styling and design.
Of course, styling stand outs though they may be, they are still Lexus products. And I am certain you know what I mean.
Durability.  Flawless construction and quality control.  Service costs that won't force you to re-mortgage your home.  And just plain, honest to goodness value.
    The little NX 200t has all that and more.
    But first, let's dig on that styling a bit.
     All those dramatic character lines, creases and folds give the NX a sense of bottled up energy and muscle; a feeling of dynamism.  You could probably look at this car from a thousand different angles and you still won't cover all the possible perspectives it shows. It looks like it could cut to shreds its competition--and given its full range of features, its striking looks and its hard to beat value proposition, it probably could!
Our NX200t had a base price of $34,865 and its final price was $42,075 as tested.
Power comes from a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine producing 235 horsepower.
 It acquits itself well whether you are tackling urban traffic or cruising down the highway. No acceleration problems here.
    But you will notice a little rougher ride and stiffer suspension setup than you are accustomed to in a Lexus. Some will find the passenger experience a bit jouncy, but we loved it because it fit the overall image of the NX200t precisely.
Fuel ratings are 22 city, 28 highway, and 25 combined. The government says you spend $1,000 more in fuel costs over five years with this car.  It uses four gallons for every mile traveled and annual fuel costs are $2,000  year or $9,000 over five years, using gasoline costing $3.30 a gallon driving 15,000 miles a year.
      Safety features include eight airbags and the Lexus Safety Connect system, which provides collision notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency assist button (SOS)  and enhanced Roadside Assistance, head the lengthy list of safety equipment.
Other standard features include all the typical power assisted items--steering, brakes, windows, mirrors, etc.; antilock brakes location specific tire monitoring system, electronically controlled all-wheel drive;  Lexus Enform  System including Safety Connect, Emergency assist (SOS ) button, and other features.
       I did have a couple of problems with the NX 200t, though.
      The new wireless charger fits only smaller smartphones, not larger ones like mine--a disappointment.
And then there's the new interface system that requires you to use a  very light touch with your fingertips on a touchpad to select just what function you're looking for.
       Uh, Lexus.....no.  Just no.
       I think is one of the worst systems for operating the nav/audio/climate control system that I have ever seen. Hated it. I found it way too distracting when my attention needed to be on the road.
          The interior looked pretty cool, but I did not think that the materials an overall design themes looked as expensive as what I am used to on Lexus SUVs.
       But despite a few issues, I found the little NX200t  to be a fascinating fun drive, and I'm pretty certain Lexus has another hit on its hands.

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