NEW FOR 2015:

– New model.

Lexus may have been one of the first brands to bring a luxury crossover to market with the RX, but it’s taken its time to enter the compact luxury crossover sector. The all-new Lexus NX targets a notably different (ie. younger) audience with its bold looks, high-tech cabin, and sporty ride and handling characteristics. You’d almost never guess that it’s based – albeit loosely – on the Toyota RAV4.

Beyond its polarizing styling, the NX also offers the brand’s first turbocharged engine, a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo four-cylinder. Paired to a six-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive, the 235-hp, 258 lb-ft of torque NX 200t is a swift and quiet performer. While F Sport variants do not produce more power than their conventional counterparts, Lexus has aimed for a more engaging driving experience with firmer suspension, weightier steering, and adaptive throttle and shift points. You can’t say Lexus isn’t trying.

As you’d expect from Lexus, there’s also a hybrid model. Dubbed the NX 300h, it mates a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder with a NiMH battery pack, electric motors and a CVT transmission. Although it is not as powerful as some of its rivals, it trumps just about every SUV on the market for fuel economy. The NX 300h also aims for improved driving dynamics with a split battery pack for better weight distribution and a kick-down mode for acceleration with a more linear feel.

The NX 200t has a long list of standard equipment: dual-zone climate control, eight-way power driver’s seat, NuLuxe synthetic leather seats, reverse camera, 7-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, USB audio input, steering wheel mounted audio controls, smart key with push-button start, 17-inch aluminum wheels, LED daytime running lights and more.

The Premium Package adds a heated steering wheel with a power tilt and telescoping steering column, heated and ventilated seats with memory, power tailgate, panoramic roof, 18-inch wheels, and auto-dimming side-view mirrors.

The Luxury Package adds leather upholstered seats, woodgrain interior trim, navigation, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlamps, a 10-speaker sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Executive Package is the range-topping model. It builds on the Luxury package with head-up display, high-beam assist, radar cruise control with pre-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam, power rear-seat release, and an integrated wireless charging tray.

The F Sport Series 1 features F Sport specific front and rear bumpers, performance dampers, sports seats, aluminum pedals, LED fog lamps, 18-inch wheels, and paddles for shifting. Customers also get navigation, 10-speaker audio system, and LED headlamps.

Opting for F Sport Series 2 trim enhances the NX with adaptive sports suspension, head-up display, radar cruise control with pre-collision warning, and a wireless charging tray.

There is only one trim level for the NX 300h – fully loaded. Priced just shy of $60,000, it comes fully equipped with all the content included in the NX 200t Executive Package.

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