The NX's looks promise good performance, and its handling is indeed sharp. Responsiveness is good compared with a typical Lexus, but handling and braking are a notch below competitors from Germany. The NX doesn't deliver the quiet, calm, and serene ride you might expect from a Lexus either.
Inside the cabin, you're not cosseted with parlor-room luxury. Many parts and panels look and feel cheap, costing the NX points for fit and finish. The bolstered seats are supportive, but lumbar-support adjustment is limited. The rear is adequate for two. The cargo area is also quite limited, making us question the "utility" part of this SUV.
The very tight driving position is made worse by claustrophobically small windows. Sure, they look cool from the outside, but that means poor visibility from the driver's seat. A rear camera is standard. You'll also want to find one with the blind-spot monitoring system.
The 200t's 235-hp four-cylinder delivered 24 mpg in our tests and accelerated to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, both good numbers The NX is also offered as a hybrid, with a total output of 194 hp from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder-plus electric drive. It got the best fuel economy of any SUV we've tested -- an impressive 29 mpg overall. It can loaf in EV mode at low speeds.
Unfortunately, the 300h hybrid is weak when you need to accelerate, plus its continuously variable transmission (CVT) holds engine revs, creating considerable interior noise.
The NX is saddled with a touchpad controller, included with the optional navigation system. This user interface requires dexterous fingers to make selections. Climate controls are packed together and the radio's volume and tuning knobs hide beneath an overhanging ledge.