$30,602 - $35,852

2017 Lexus NX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Lexus NX was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.9

There is general disagreement about the 2017 Lexus NX's performance, especially when it comes to how sporty it is. Most reviewers think the NX has a strong engine and engaging handling, while some believe that rival SUVs outperform it. The NX also has high fuel economy estimates and a comfortable ride quality.

  • "One of the best things we can say about the styling on the … Lexus NX 200t … is that the driving experience matches the aggressive lines. The steering is sharp, and an adjustable suspension includes a Sport mode, giving this compact-luxury-crossover SUV agility not normally associated with Lexus SUVs." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "… the NX 200t represents a renewed focus on driving enjoyment from Lexus." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • If sporty is your thing, this model isn't it. Yes, the NX 200t F Sport offers aggressive styling, paddle shifters and stiffer suspension for better handling, but the crossover's engine and transmission are overcome by its size. In practice, nearly all rivals are sportier than the NX." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Lexus NX comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 235 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. According to EPA estimates, the NX gets 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is very good for the class.

The NX's engine provides good power in addition to smooth and steady acceleration. However, many rivals in the class are more powerful or offer other optional engines.

  • "The 200t's engine is notably hushed, especially when compared to the turbocharged four-cylinders of some competitors. It's also very smooth and respectably powerful. Current luxury SUV owners used to V6 engines might not even notice that there are two fewer cylinders under the hood." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're looking to extract maximum performance, the powerful turbocharged engine in the NX 200t pours out power smoothly and evenly, resulting in brisk acceleration despite the nearly 4,000 pounds it has to haul around." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "At the end of the day, we exited the Lexus NX 200t thinking it could use more punch, possibly from a larger, optional powerplant. Most buyers will likely be pleased as pie with Lexus' 2.0 turbo, but since we've sampled the rest of the class, we're keenly aware that it's trailing its more powerful rivals by a good margin." -- Autoblog (2015)

Handling and Braking

The NX has a comfortable ride quality and travels smoothly over uneven surfaces. Handling is tight and composed, and the steering provides good feedback from the road. Around turns, there is little body roll. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • Particularly on the F Sport version, the NX's body motions are nicely controlled when you're driving around turns and over bumps and dips. Still, this Lexus is still largely about getting you through the daily grind. The NX 200t's suspension smooths over road imperfections with ease. Where rivals feel busy and nervous, the Lexus seems to glide unaffected." -- Edmunds
  • "The NX's ride is first-class, a strong engineering feat for a vehicle with such a small wheelbase. This is particularly true of the non-F Sport model. The steering is properly weighted and lively; the NX 200t holds the road well during fast sweeping turns; and the brake feel is about 10 times better than you'd expect on this class of vehicle." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "… [the NX 200h delivers] handling that's in line with Lexus' newly sporting brand focus. Liberal usage of high-strength steel, extra welds and additional body adhesives results in a tight, composed feel, and the MacPherson strut front/multilink rear suspension has been tuned for an agreeable balance of body control and ride comfort. We were pleasantly surprised by the steering; like many other electric-assist units, the tiller is stingy with feedback, but it's also quicker and more precise than we're used to finding in a luxury crossover." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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