2016 Lexus NX Review

2016 Lexus NX - Lexus NX 200t get sporty cabin and turbocharged engine


Lexus' all-new NX for 2016 was created for the growing luxury compact segment of the crossover market. 

Consumers have a choice from two NX versions. The Lexus NX 200t comes with a turbocharged 235-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the NX 300h hybrid with a 2.5-liter gas/electric that generates 194-horsepower, which brings the Lexus brand number of hybrid offerings to six. 

An all-new sequential six-speed automatic transmission networks with the turbo engine. A continuously variable transmission is available. Both NX models offer their own version of the pro-active all-weather drive (AWD).

In performance, the crossover races from 0 to 60 miles per hour in more than seven but closer to eight seconds.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, economy for the NX200t is given averages by the EPA as 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.

During test weeks, the average was 20.5 for the 3940-pound NX200t crossover.

Fuel usage averages, of course, are determined by driving habits, weather, road conditions, type of fuel used and vehicle maintenance.

Premium fuel is recommended, and the fuel tank on the NX crossover is 15.9 gallons. Not all drivers will buy premium fuel preferring a less expensive octane, but the less expensive gas will simply burn more quickly than the premium fuel.

The NX 200t wears the boldest interpretation yet of the Lexus spindle grille and L-finesse design that envelops a platform engineered by active racers. Note that the NX's C-pillar is angled and wide to optimize internal storage width. A sharply raked tailgate and integrated spoiler are punctuated by Lexus' signature L-shape light clusters featuring seamless LED, while the tailgate detailing echoes the spindle grille design.  

Looking more sports car than sport-utility, the 2016 NX cabin is bristling with new, onboard, standard and available technology. The test vehicle included a Lexus-first wireless charging tray for compatible phones and devices; new remote touch interface with a touch pad and a comprehensive Multi-information Display that includes a Lexus-first G-Force meter and boost gauge.

The front passenger seat is powered as are the heated and foldable exterior mirrors, slide and tilt sunroof, door locks and four windows.

For the practical family, the crossover will is preferred as all sorts of gear or packages can be placed in the carpeted and lighted 17.7-cubic-foot storage area behind the rear seat. This is almost four cubic more feet than the trunk in the Lexus IS sport sedan. As an experiment, the editors were able to place four golf club bags longitudinally across the cargo area instead of being wedged diagonally.

The test NX 200t came with the optional F Sport package; adding perforated leather on seats, door scuff plates with the sport logo, P225 tires mounted on 18-inch instead of 17-inch alloy wheels and the suspension system was stiffer.  Both editors found that the NX 200t rode nicely on the suspension system

of struts and coil springs in front, double wishbone with coil springs in the rear plus gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bars front and rear.

Safety features include eight airbags, a four-wheel antilock braking system, traction and stability controls, Enform (the Lexus information and emergency system which includes roadside assistance), and location-specific tire pressure monitoring system. 

Warranty coverage is four years of 50,000 miles with roadside assistance, and six years or 70,000 miles on the powertrain. The first two scheduled maintenance services are free.

Historic Note: Lexus revealed its vision of a new blend of mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) for the driving enthusiasts on February 6, 1997 at the Chicago Auto Show. The prototype predicted the styling and features that would appear on the 1998 Lexus RX 300.  

Vehicle:  F Sport model of 2016 Lexus NX200t
Type: front-wheel-drive compact, five-passenger, four-door crossover
Price: $38,365 and $41,280 with F-Sport and suspension package
Engine:  2-liter,235-horsepower, double overhead cam, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed shiftable automatic
Towing: 2,000 pounds
Fuel tank: 15.9 gallons
Fuel: premium
Cargo: 54.6 cubic feet maximum, 17.7 cubic feet behind upright second row
Wheelbase:  104.7 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Width: 73.6 inches
Height: 64.8 inches
Weight: 3,940 pounds
Ground clearance: 6.9
Suspension: struts with coil springs front, double wishbone with coil springs rear, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars front and rear
Leg room: 42.8 inches front, 36.1 inches rear
Tires (P225), wheels (aluminum): 17-inch
Turning circle: 39.8 feet

Assembly: Japan

Warranty: four years of 50,000 miles with roadside assistance, six years or 70,000 miles on powertrain, free first two scheduled maintenance services

M.J. Frumkin and J.E. Kuyper

M. J. Frumkin and J. E. Kuyper covered the auto industry for decades. Frumkin was with Consumer Guide for 14 years, has authored four books and co-authored three more. He is also the historian/archivist for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association/Chicago Auto Show. Kuyper has been an automotive writer, editor and columnist for newspapers in the Chicago area the past 25 years. His reviews currently appear in the daily Northwest Herald newspaper. Frumkin and Kuyper are founding members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association.