The Lexus NX sits between the small UX and midsized RX. It's a pleasant, if somewhat snug, SUV that delivers handling agility, ample acceleration, decent fuel economy and a luxurious interior ambiance. However, it doesn't quite match competitors from Audi and BMW in terms of attention to detail and driving enjoyment.
The NX's radical looks promise a younger, more spirited character than the typical Lexus, and its handling is indeed sharp. It's responsive compared with a typical Lexus, but the driving experience is less exciting than competing models. The NX's turbo four-cylinder engine packs ample performance and decent fuel economy of 24 mpg. The hybrid version, called 300h, is noisy and feels underpowered but gets an excellent 29 mpg overall.
Inside the cabin, the NX is stylish, well put-together but tight. The bolstered seats are supportive, but lumbar-support adjustment is only for depth not height, which is inexcusable at this level. The rear is adequate for two. The cargo area is modest but nicely finished. The snug driving position is made worse by the small windows which hamper visibility. Hence, we'd definitely get the blind spot warning system.
The NX is saddled with a touchpad controller that interacts with the center screen. That user interface requires dexterous fingers to make selections -- not easy or intuitive when driving. We found the infotainment system fussy and distracting.
Complicated controls and hampered visibility notwithstanding, overall, the NX is a sound choice and it benefits from most of Lexus's virtues of trouble-free ownership and excellent dealer service.