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Styling comparison of the 2015 Lexus NX 200t and the Audi Q5

At a glance the Audi looks much wider, but isn't. One wears a business suit, the other is dressed for an evening out.


As Lexus rolls out the new 2015 NX 200t premium crossover, one of its main competitors and peers in the segment is the Audi Q5. One difference buyers will be easily able to note between these vehicles, which will have very similar 2.0 liter turbo AWD drivetrains in their best-selling trims, is looks. Lexus will offer a visually more exciting option to the Q5 in a package that is almost identical in size.

Audi Q5 Looks Much Wider Than Lexus NX 200t
The comparison photos shown above were taken during the launch of the NX 200t by Lexus last week. There were no competitive models on hand, so Torque News sought out and found this Q5 for a rough comparison. As the photos show, the Audi Q5 looks wider than the 2015 NX 200t. Indeed it is, but not by as much as it looks. The body of the Audi Q5 is actually only 1.1 inch wider than the NX 200t. They have the same width and height (within a fraction of an inch).

Audi Q5 More Conservative and Rounder Than Lexus NX 200t

Clearly the Audi Q5 has a more rounded look overall. To our eye the Audi says classy. The design seems conservative, and many will like that about their Audi. The 2015 Lexus NX 200t takes risks. The front end is offered two ways. The NX 200t has an overhung front bumper. On the bright side, it will help with getting into plowed-in driveways. On the downside, the look is a little odd at certain front ¾ angles. There seems to be too much air under it. The NX 200t F Sport solves this “problem” with a more upright lower air dam. However, the aggressive spindle grill on the F Sport is more polarizing. About 10% of people we speak to seem to love it, 10% hate it, and 80% are OK with it. On the IS and GS the spindle grill doubled sales, and buyers opt for the F Sport about 40% of the time on the IS line.

Side View Is all Lexus NX 200t
From the side, the Lexus NX 200t has much more to offer. The glass area of the NX 200t is sharper than the Q5 and the C-Pillar has a more pronounced “Hofmeister Kink.” That is the small angle where the rear quarter panel meets the C Pillar. This is generally a BMW trait, though all manufacturers now use it off and on. The upward angle of the door sculpting on the NX 200t is more dynamic, and the rear wheel arch has a more pronounced fender flare. The side view is the Lexus’ best view in our opinion.

The Audi Q5 and the Lexus NX 200t will appeal to some of the same buyers. The powertrains are similar, the size is almost identical, and the prices will comparable, with the Lexus being a less expensive vehicle when comparably equipped. One difference that is hard to ignore is the vastly different design language.

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