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Breaking down the pricing of the 2015 Lexus NX 200t

The mainstream motor press is wrong on the price of the 2015 Lexus NX 200t. We break it down and come up with an MSRP of $39,700 in its most popular configuration.

The new 2015 Lexus NX 200t compact premium crossover will arrive early winter in the US market. This new vehicle will do battle for buyers’ budgets with the Acura RDX and BMW X3. Given the market potential and Lexus’ success with premium crossovers, this vehicle could soon become Lexus’ third leading seller after the RX 350 and ES 350. One question that remains is what price levels the folks at Lexus will set for this important vehicle.

What You Have Read About the NX 200t Price Is Wrong
Multiple major auto publications are predicting that the Lexus NX 200t will “start near $30k.” We predict they are wrong. More importantly, we feel that a premium vehicle’s “starting at” price is basically meaningless. People do actually buy economy cars with practically no amenities. Shoppers of Lexus vehicles do not. They really can’t. Lexus ships its dealers cars that are then sold at a discount from the MSRP. A customer wishing to buy an RX or IS series Lexus vehicle without say, navigation and all-wheel drive, will find themselves fighting a losing battle. The cars on the lot will cost less than a special order model missing popular options.

Lexus NX 200t Needs to Fit Between RAV4 Limited and Lexus RX 350
To arrive at the Lexus NX 200t prices we need to look first at the Toyota RAV4. Lexus is not interested in selling its cars for less than the price of the closest Toyota product. Compared to a Toyota model, Lexus models have a longer warranty to price-in and much higher levels of service at the Lexus dealerships to support. The Lexus NX 200t cannot be priced the same as the best RAV4, which will share much of its unpainted parts. Also, the NX 200t cannot intrude on the incredibly successful Lexus RX 350. The RX 350 is Lexus top selling vehicle by a huge margin. Taking sales from that model to sell NX200ts is simply not going to happen.

The 2015 NX 200t Price Breakdown
We looked at the Toyota RAV4 AWD Limited and found it to be priced at $30,050 without its premium audio package. We then looked at the RX 350 with the popular package it usually comes equipped with. We found that it has an MSRP of $50,254. We predict the NX 200t AWD in its most popular trim with navigation and leather will have a base price of $39,700. We also predict an added technology package including some driver assist aids will be offered to bring that price up to $41,900. With the added F-Sport treatment and possibly a premium audio option, the NX200t AWD F-Sport will top out around $44,100. In areas where it does not snow Lexus may ship some NX 200ts with just front wheel drive. Figure a deduction of $1,900 for those models.

Below the BMW, Close to the Acura
At these prices Lexus will undercut BMW’s X3 with the “28i” engine, which is nearly identical in its specifications to the new Lexus. BMWs are harder to pinpoint prices for, but figure the Lexus undercuts a comparably equipped BMW by fully $5,000, or about 11%. The Acura RDX will be a much easier price comparison. Lexus will likely find its new NX 200t priced very close to the Acura RDX with the Acura Technology Package when similarly equipped. The F-Sport package for the NX 200t will cost more if buyers choose that.

We will soon know if this prediction is accurate. Lexus plans to introduce the NX 200t and NX 300h to the press in late July.

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Andrew (not verified)    June 20, 2014 - 3:13PM

UK's NX300h hybrid model is priced at £29,000, which implies the gas-engine based NX200t model cannot surpass this price tag and the low $30,000 range for its most basic model shall be expected.