It’s the baby Lexus SUV, sitting below the RX range. The edgy in your face design is there, as is the refinement that is the Lexus hallmark. But is it really worth forking our $72,500 for what at the end of the day is still just another small SUV. Chris Bowen takes a quick look at the Lexus NX20t Luxury AWD.
Variant: 200t AWD
Engine / Transmission: 2.0-litre turbo, six-speed automatic with AWD.
Vital Stats: 175kW / 350Nm
Lexus Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.7L / 100km
EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 9.4L / 100km
Wow Factor: This car looks like it’s been attacked by an overzealous, scalpel-wielding surgeon. Lexus has gone down a path that’s the polar opposite to boring. Unlike its parent, it has certainly dispensed with the “white goods on wheels” moniker. Personally I don’t mind the chaotic look, at least it stands out from the typical SUV herd.
Most Impressive: You may think Lexus produces sumptuous, decadent interiors worthy of the elite. Surprisingly this isn’t quite the case. What’s on offer is an impressive display of precision when it comes to fit and finish that takes precedence over pure luxury. The cabin is skillfully assembled, but still includes the odd hard plastic or less than convincing metallic type material. It’s a nice place to be and you just know it will hold together for many years to come.
In Sports Luxury spec you certainly don’t miss out on some of the more desirable items. Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor and one of the best head up displays on the market. Such goodies are often excessively expensive options on German competitors.
Least Impressive: Performance and driving dynamics is where the NX200t starts to fall off the pace. At over 1.8 tonne this so-called SUV packs some heft you’ll be reminded about at every corner. There’s a little too much body roll but at the same time the ride is stiff. The steering is light, lacking soul and meaningful purpose.
The 2.0-turbo petrol engine is brisk enough, 0 – 100km/h occurs in just over 7 seconds but it sounds stressed and a tad agitated when pushed, it’s a reluctant performer to be honest. Thankfully the six-speed auto is slick and barely noticeable most of the time.
The Lexus ‘Remote Touch Interface’ will eventually send you cuckoo. Even overtime, familiarity will breed contempt for the little annoying touchpad that runs the content displayed on a 7.0-inch monitor. The cursor is so sensitive and flighty that basic functions, such as trying to zoom in or out on a map, become a punish.
The Sweeping Statement: While the price is high the Lexus NX200t represents good value compared to some European offerings. Whether or not it’s good enough to forget about the excellent mainstream, cheaper options is up to you. The Lexus NX200t scores the EFTM Credit Rubber Stamp.