Lexus NX Crossover Features Brand’s First Turbo

Lexus needs no introduction, but as Toyota’s luxury brand it has lacked a pair of engine choices that some of its chief competitors offer: diesels and turbocharged engines.

Don’t expect to see a diesel-powered Lexus stateside anytime soon — its multiple hybrid offerings fill the need for improved fuel economy. But, as far as turbos go, brand aficionados should be pleased that a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine will be available with the all-new Lexus NX crossover as it is set to make its global debut in Beijing on April 20.

2015 Lexus NX.

2015 Lexus NX.

2015 Lexus NX

The NX puts Lexus in one of the fastest growing sub-segments of the utility vehicle market: compact luxury crossovers. Top competing models currently on the market or soon to arrive include the BMW X1 and Lincoln MKC as well as an expected model from Cadillac.

The 2015 Lexus NX is derived from the LF-NX concepts, first introduced at auto shows in Tokyo and Frankfurt in 2013. The planned CUV resembles the concept, but its edges have been relaxed while retaining its overall chiseled lines.

As profiled, the RX has a look that complements the larger RX crossover. However, the NX offers a bolder look with innovative LED headlamps and daytime running lights flanking the spindle grille. To the rear are L-shaped combination lamps, complementing the front fascia’s lighting layout.

The crossover’s muscular stance benefits from flared wheel wells, sculpted profile characteristics and a slightly raised roofline to accommodate rear passengers. The new model seats five and features standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive.

Human Machine Interface

Inside, Lexus promises a combination of “hard metallic surfaces and contrasting soft materials” for a unique interior. The center instrument panel is bordered by a pronounced silver frame with knee pads positioned at the bottom of the center stack to support the driver and front passenger. Also at the bottom of the stack is a “Human Machine Interface (HMI),” representing new remote touch technology.

Lexus says that the NX’s driver seat features a low hip point to better connect the driver with the vehicle and to increase head room. The new model also has a long cargo area compartment. Amenities such as leather seating, advanced audio packages, and safety alerts including blind spot monitor will be offered.

Three Powertrain Choices

The 2015 Lexus NX will be offered with three powertrain choices including a normally aspirated 2.0-liter gasoline engine, a turbocharged version of the same, and a full hybrid model. In the US, only the turbo NX 200t and hybrid NX 300h will be sold.

Expect the Lexus NX to debut this fall with pricing near $32,000, matching what its competitors offer. The NX represents the fourth Lexus SUV, joining the RX ($40,795), GX ($49,085) and LX ($82,630). The hybrid version represents the sixth such model sold by Lexus, a market it continues to dominate.

Auto Trends will have more product details to offer including pricing when that information has been released by Lexus.

Lexus Brand Recognition

The Lexus brand continues to enjoy accolades, winning the Most Trusted Luxury Brand for the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards for the second straight year in 2014. That award is based upon KBB’s Brand Watch, what gauges brand and model perception of more than 12,000 new vehicle shoppers on its website.

In Feb., J.D. Power & Associates also recognized Lexus as the most dependable brand in the 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study for the third consecutive year. Four models — ES, GS, LS and RX — received dependability awards this year. Its flagship LS sedan was the most dependable of all models surveyed, tying the Cadillac DTS for that honor.

Photos courtesy of Lexus.

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Matthew Keegan
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