Lexus NX200t F Sport AWD, designed aggressively but the promise does not match numbers

2015-04-26 12:50:23
Lexus NX200t F Sport AWD, designed aggressively but the promise does not match numbers
Lexus NX200t F Sport AWD, designed aggressively but the promise does not match numbers

Things get interesting when an automobile company voyage into a new territory and Lexus has done just that with its new NX, the compact SUV. It has shared the machinery with the Toyota RAV 4, and is being presented as either an NX200t, the first turbo from the company or in a soft fuel thrifty hybrid, NX300h. 

Having driven both these vehicles in a first drive experience, we finally got them in our office track testing. The 2015 Lexus NX200t F Sports AWD is the one we are going to dissect here, and the NX300h hybrid is explained separately. The small luxury ute segment has exploded in the market this year where players like Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, and BMW X1 are already there and it is to be seen how Lexus is going to give competition to them.

 One of the key points that we wanted to inspect closely is the 2.0 Liter four-cylinder engine and how it is going to inspire the 4021 lbs dead weight crossover. The engine has two injectors per cylinder, and there are four- into-two integrated exhaust manifolds to mitigate the turbo lag, and a six-speed automatic transmission is coupled to this system. The Lexus F Sport is integrated with a sport tune suspension, and a higher effort steering setup to bring the handling level par with the rivals BMW X3 and Audi Q5 performance cars.

The obtained performance figures of the Lexus NX200t is not exactly the type that will make your hairs stand, and it delivers the time of 6.9 seconds when crossing the 0-60mph mark and the quarter mile is done in 15.3 seconds speeding at 92mph.  The Q5 with 2.0T had the same 0-60mph timing, but the Lexus trailed behind the BMW X1 by 0.7 seconds and also the X3 with similar powerplant. Lag is present even though Lexus has attempted to reduce it, and a rolling start of 5-60 mph takes 7.8 seconds which is behind X3 and Q5 by 0.8 and 0.2 seconds. To complicate things, the six-speed reaches different rpm with each gear. The shifting rpm oscillates in the range of 6000, 6200 and 6500, which is odd according to our test gear.

On the positive side, the four-cylinder engine is quiet, even compared to the hybrid while speeding at 70mph.  If you initiate the “active sound control” when you are in sports mode, the cabin is filled with pleasant sounding bark which may sound technically incorrect engine sound.

The Lexus NX200t is designed with the front-engine layout and is offered with all-wheel-drive. It is done in 4-door hatchback body style and can seat 5 passengers in its cabin. The base price of the luxury compact Lexus is $38, 905 whereas the tested vehicle the F sports trim cost $44, 375.  The engine has a displacement of 1998 cc and it produces 235 horsepower at 5600 r pm and d 258 lb-ft thrust at 1650 rpm. The engine is served by a 6-speed automatic with manual shift program, and the wheelbase is 104.7 inches. Top speed is a governor limited 124 mph and the car weighing 4021 offers an EPA-rated mile average of 22/27mpg   for city and highway while we observed a 22mpg in mixed driving.

Lexus models:

Lexus GS 350
Lexus RX 400h
Lexus IS 250 C
Lexus GS 450h
Lexus GS 300
Lexus IS F
Lexus ES 250
Lexus LS 460
Lexus ES 350
Lexus LFA
Lexus ES 300h
Lexus GX 460
Lexus GS 460
Lexus GX 470
Lexus IS 250
Lexus RX 350
Lexus LX 570
Lexus SC 400
Lexus IS 300
Lexus IS 350
Lexus GS 400
Lexus ES 330
Lexus ES 300
Lexus LX 470
Lexus LX 450
Lexus LS 430
Lexus RX 300
Lexus LS 600h L
Lexus IS 350 C
Lexus HS 250h