2015 Lexus NX: First Look

2015_Lexus_NX

Competes with: Infiniti QX50, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, BMW X1

Looks like: Lexus developed a design around the grille

Powertrain: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or hybrid powertrain

Hits dealerships: Late 2014

If there is one sure trend in the luxury-car marketplace, it is the development of the compact luxury SUV. Lexus is officially joining the club with the just-introduced production model NX.

The company has debuted concept versions of the NX a few times, with the most recent being a radical-looking design at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2013. The 2015 Lexus NX 200t and NX 300h are toned down from the concept but signify a big move by the brand.

The NX is debuting at the Beijing Auto Show next week and will not be at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, which is running at the same time.

 

Exterior

When talking about new Lexus models these days, it's hard to forgo mentioning the now-trademark spindle grille. The NX makes it impossible to miss the darn thing. It is the prominent design element up front — if not on the entire car — but Lexus didn't get lazy with the rest of the SUV's styling.

The headlights are stealthy and narrow, creating a wedge as they reach toward the spindle's top. A small eyelash of LEDs wisps beneath them at the point where the grille actually spindles (if that's accurate).

Both the NX 200t F Sport and 300h models shown here — there will be a 200t non-F Sport as well — are dramatic, but the 300h looks better prepared for a front license plate.

The car's profile and rear are far less interesting and follow other recent designs from Lexus and Toyota SUVs such as the current Toyota RAV4 and Highlander.

Interior

Inside the NX it's much harder to see a comparison to other models, but it still follows the overall style of recent Lexus models like the GS and IS. The center stack is reminiscent of the aging CT 200h, as well.

The F Sport's interior looks appropriately sporty with black leather lined with red stitching and red and black leather seats with a unique steering wheel.

The 300h shown here is more opulently treated with a mix of tans and blacks and wood inlays.

Both show a two-gauge cluster with digital elements in between. The gearshift is located high in the center console ahead of the cupholders, with Lexus' latest multimedia controls positioned closer to the driver.

Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on the NX; 18-inch wheels are optional.

It's somewhat surprising that Lexus didn't release images of the rear seats or cargo area. In other compact luxury SUVs these areas tend to be rather cramped, and we expect that the NX is inline with that trend.

Specs for the U.S. version haven't been released.

Under The Hood

Lexus also hasn't revealed much about the engines powering the two models that are coming to the U.S. later this year.

What has been confirmed is that an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will power the 200t. This is not just a new powerplant to the current lineup; this is the first time Lexus has ever used a turbocharged engine in any of its cars or SUVs.

The NX 300h has a hybrid powertrain that we believe to be the same one found in the ES 300h. In that sedan, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor generate 200 total horsepower and return a combined mileage rating of 40 mpg.

Also not mentioned is whether these compact SUVs will be available with front- or all-wheel drive or both.

We'll have more information on both models in the coming weeks.

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

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2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX

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Manufacturer images

Comments 

Elliott

I think it looks nice overall. However, the center stack appears to be too busy. Case in point, why is the shifter closer to the passenger than the driver?

J

Are they sure they can use the name NX?

Pretty sure Nissan had it...

Jordiie

@Elliott, it is further away because the driver aids and more common switches (driving modes, touch pad for infotainment) are closer to the driver and so you don't have to reach around the shifter to get to them, unless you're using the sport shift mode, how often do you touch the shifter while driving?

@J, you're right, Nissan had the NX2000 (NX Coupe etc) like a mini 'lite' version of the 300ZX in the early-mid 90s

Lance

I'm a little confused on the size of this NX. All the mags/blogs say it competes against X1, Encore, Q3 etc which are really kind of subcompact. They call it a compact and based on the RAV4. Wouldn't that put it up against Q5, RDX as they are compacts and the Q3 and X1 are a size smaller. Did they shrink the RAV4 base substantially or is everyone confused??? Some exterior dimensions would really be helpful. It seems if all these pictures are floating around someone should be able to give a good estimate as to it's size.

I think it's looking so cool, It's nice article here. I really like this model of car. Good job done.

AL G.

I like this vehicle. Nice! I wonder also about the size. It looks smaller than RAV in the Picts

Rick Salamander

This is UGGGLY! First thing I thought when I saw it was Pontiac Aztec. Oouch.

Matt

I actually think this has a well proportioned, kind of muscular look. I think darker colors will suit it better, although It does remind me way to much of a CX-5

jyd

Wow, where to begin. They borrowed the square "jewel" headlights from Acura. They don't work on either vehicle. Second, the grille is an embarrassment! I'm starting to see some of the corporate influence shared with the enormous jowls on either side of it. Overall, the look is not luxurious or muscular. It is a very awkward vehicle.

Steve

If that grill were on a bottom feeder cheapo car, it would look bad. Being on a Lexus looks way worse. That alone ruins the entire vehicle for me.

Jack B. Nimble

Hmmm... just when you think that you can't get any uglier, Lexus shows us that the UGLY game is far from over.

#LikeABoss

The Toyota brand is a little too evident in some of the styling, but it's not bad overall. At least it doesn't look completely like a Toyota...right?

andy

I am so confused.. does anyone notice the nx300h shown have two different grille and bumpers? i know the both hybrids are not f sport but im just seeing two different front. can anyone confirm this? i hope usa gets get front grille and bumper from the last 3rd pic below.

DLB

If you ask me, the lf-nx was better

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