The Lexus NX200t premium compact crossover launched about one year ago. As soon as production had ramped up to full capacity, the NX200t quickly unseated the BMW X3 as the hot seller in the segment. Year to date only the Audi Q5 has the sales edge on the Lexus NX200t having sold 31K units to Lexus’29K. Customers seem to love the new NX200t, so why didn’t Consumer Reports (CR)?
In its article, CR took the NX200t to task in three areas. First, the testers found the ride of the NX200t to have “a firm, jostling ride. Its handling is no match for its German rivals.” Having tested all of the NX variants at its press launch, it is very hard to disagree. Only the base NX, with its smaller diameter wheels and higher profile tires, was smooth over bumps.
Next, CR took the NX to task on its infotainment system. CR found that the “(NX) system’s touchpad is challenging to manipulate while driving.” Again, we could not agree more. In fact, we would (and do) point out that all mouse-based systems have that negative feature. We much prefer more simple touch-pad systems at our fingertips. Here we think CR is being unfair to Lexus. Each of the top sellers in this class have remote interface systems and all have this same drawback. We have an Audi crossover in our driveway this week and the infotainment MMI is very difficult to use even when parked.
Last, Consumer Reports said of the interior trim of the NX200t, “(The NX) interior bits feel cheap.” We wish that CR had been more specific here. However, given their observations on the other negative aspects of the NX, we are sure they were honest and correct.
Do these things make the NX one of the five worst cars for sale in all of the U.S. in 2015? Of course not. The NX is very close to being the sales leader in this very hot and very crowded class of vehicles. It is outselling the Lincoln and BMW models by nearly 2 to 1 and has since it was launched many months ago. Worst cars in their segments don’t outsell rivals this handily.