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Lexus’ all-new 2015 NX 200t crossover at dealers now - Buyer’s guide

The new Lexus NX 200t arrives just in time to be fitted with a big red holiday gift bow. Here’s how it stacks up to the competition.


The all-new 2015 Lexus NX 200t premium crossover is now at local dealerships. Torque News spoke to dealers by phone in the Metro Boston area today who said they have inventory and that the sales of the new NX 200t are brisk. The vehicles are being sold off the floor as they arrive.

2015 Lexus NX 200t vs. the Entrenched Competition
The Lexus NX 200t is an all-new vehicle. It is about the same size as a BMW X3, Acura RDX, or Audi Q5, and those vehicles are all direct competitors to the Lexus. These vehicles have a lot to offer. Many shoppers find them to be “right-sized.” Not huge SUVs, but still large enough to offer comfort, cargo area and safety for five passengers. All also offer excellent fuel economy but do use premium fuel. These upscale crossovers range in price from about $40K to about $50K well equipped and fitted with the AWD they almost always have. Our prior story covered the Lexus price breakdown in detail, but a call to your Lexus dealer might be wise since all cars in inventory are likely to have some option packages. The Lexus will be less expensive than the BMW and Audi when comparably equipped and almost exactly the same price as the Acura.

Style Comparisons
Lexus stands out as being the newest design. All the competitors above are well into their design cycles, and some buyers may find their looks dated. That said, each of these is a good-looking vehicle. The Audi appears conservative by comparison to the others, but that is not meant as an insult. For a side by side comparison of the Audi Q5 and Lexus NX 200t please see our comparison story.

Engine Comparisons
The BMW and Audi can be outfitted with optional engines that make them very powerful, but having driven the BMW X3 with its base 2-liter turbo it is hard to understand why more power would be important in a vehicle like this. Power for all the base models is in the 225 horsepower to 280 hp range. The Lexus NX 200t uses an all-new 2-liter turbocharged engine. It has 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That torque is available from nearly idle at 1,650 RPM. The NX 200t feels quick and the F Sport version looks quick.

The BMW uses an almost identical engine to the Lexus NX 200t on paper. However, in our extended testing of the X3 xDrive 28i with the 2.0-liter turbo we noted that the engine is loud, particularly outside the vehicle, and turbo-lag is noticeable. The Acura uses a V6 engine, which from this writer’s view is an advantage, but it has lower fuel economy. We spent a day driving the Lexus NX 200t and found that the new Lexus engine is smooth, silent and delivers power linearly. In our very detailed story on the Lexus NX 200t drivetrain, we go over every aspect of this important new engine for Lexus.

Lincoln MKC
Lincoln was a brand on its way out, but we suspect will be revived by its new premium crossover. Lincoln has not made a vehicle available to this writer yet, but our senior editor has just received a test vehicle. We have heard nothing but good news about the new MKC. We will add a link to his full review when it is available. The question remains, vehicle details aside, can Lincoln deliver the ownership experience that Lexus does?

Buyer’s Summary
The premium crossover segment is now crowded with vehicles that all have a lot to offer. There is not a “bad” one in the bunch. Lexus brings its 2015 NX 200t to market in a month following BMW’s worst sales month for the X3 in a long time. Sales were down 44% in November. Are buyers tiring of the old benchmarks? Lexus is number one in quality and reliability as a brand, and we expect the NX 200t also to be of very high quality. The vehicle offers competitive prices to the older designs on the market and will undercut the German makes. The 2015 Lexus NX 200t is well worth a look for those considering a premium crossover this holiday season.

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2015 Lexus NX 200t will dominate the premium crossover market
2015 Acura RDX an evolving statement in refined SUV sensibility