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2024 Lexus NX

Starting from CAD $52,888

Vehicle Score 9.1/10
Disclaimer: Vehicles are provided by manufacturers. Content is produced independently and is not sponsored by them.

The Lexus NX is my top pick in the compact luxury SUV segment. It’s not the quickest when compared to rivals nor does it have the most spacious cabin, but what sets it apart is its incredibly comfortable ride.

The compact luxury SUV segment is highly competitive, with strong contenders from Japanese, Korean, and German brands. Some competitors to the NX include the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, and Genesis GV70. While there’s no clear number one option in this segment, it’s important to consider what each vehicle excels at to make the best decision. The Lexus NX is a solid all-around choice when compared to the competition, thanks to a turbocharged engine, upscale interior, and its main strength, which is a comfortable and luxurious ride.

Performance

The Lexus NX offers a range of engine options, including a base 2.5L 4-cylinder, a turbocharged version, and hybrid variants. I tested the NX F-Sport with a 2.4L 4-cylinder turbo engine, delivering 275 horsepower paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. While not the quickest in the segment, the turbocharged engine is responsive and offers good acceleration for everyday driving. The 8-speed automatic transmission adds to that and does a great job of providing quick and smooth shifts. Although the NX may not lead the segment when it comes to performance, its strength lies in providing a comfortable and smooth ride, aligning with Lexus’s reputation for luxurious driving experiences.

The NX comes with several drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport+. In Eco mode, the vehicle prioritizes fuel efficiency by adjusting throttle response, resulting in slower acceleration while ensuring a good driving experience. On the other hand, Sport modes enhance driving engagement by holding RPMs higher, making the vehicle more responsive and fun to drive around.

Interior & Comfort

The NX’s interior highlights Lexus’s top-notch build quality. While it may not have the flashiest design compared to some competitors, its build quality and simplicity are where it shines. Its mix of materials adds to the luxurious feel, although some soft-touch plastic on the dashboard and doors feels a bit odd. Despite its compact size, the interior feels welcoming and spacious, making it great for small families. While not the roomiest, the NX still provides decent legroom and headroom in both rows.

One minor drawback inside the NX is the buttons on the steering wheel. The buttons can be frustrating to use as they work differently than in other vehicles. Lexus made them multifunctional, but for some buyers, this can be too complicated. Their functions are only shown in the head-up display, requiring a lot of focus for simple tasks. While innovative, they end up being distracting and unnecessary.

Comfort is where the NX shines, and it’s one of the most comfortable options in the compact luxury segment, delivering a smooth and plush ride. Even in the F Sport trim, which features a sport-tuned suspension, comfort remains a priority. The seats are exceptionally comfortable and offer 8-way power adjustability with heated and ventilated settings. As for cabin noise, wind and road noise are minimal even at higher speeds thanks to excellent insulation, adding to that luxurious driving experience.

Technology

Most new Toyota and Lexus vehicles feature large infotainment systems that immediately grab your attention when getting in the vehicle, and the NX is no exception. Covering the dashboard is a large 14-inch infotainment screen that works well and responds quickly to touch commands. Lexus’s UI is one of the better ones in the auto industry, but if you aren’t a fan, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. However, the gauge cluster is a bit underwhelming, with a small digital screen and analog meters for temperature and fuel. There’s not much customization available, making it feel lacking compared to other vehicles in this segment. Most vehicles in the compact luxury SUV segment offer full digital gauge clusters except for the Acura RDX, and the NX might need to address this in a future refresh to stay competitive.

As for safety, the NX comes with Lexus’ Safety System+ 3.0 as standard, which includes all the advanced driver aids you’d expect. Features like Adaptive Cruise Control work well, especially in heavy traffic. As for music lovers, the available 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system has excellent sound quality, possibly one of the best systems I’ve tested recently and another one of NX’s strengths.

Cargo Space

The NX falls short in cargo space, providing only 643L behind the second row, less than most competitors. However, Lexus did well in making the interior storage-friendly for smaller items. It has a sizable under-arm center console storage and a hidden storage slot under the wireless charging pad.

Fuel Economy

The turbo variant with AWD has a fuel efficiency rating of 10.9/8.5 L/100km (City/Highway). During my weeklong test drive, I averaged 11.4 L/100km with a mix of city and highway driving. For those looking to save on fuel costs, Lexus offers two hybrid options: the NX350h and the NX Plug-in Hybrid. The NX350h is rated at 5.7/6.4 L/100km (City/Highway), while the NX Plug-in Hybrid is rated at 6.3/7.1 L/100km (City/Highway). The NX350h starts at a similar price point to the turbo variant and offers significant fuel savings, making it the best choice in the lineup for fuel-conscious shoppers.

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