2023 Lexus NX

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2023 Lexus NX Review: Still A Satisfying Package

It takes something extraordinary to stand out in the compact luxury crossover SUV market, and, for the Lexus NX, this has always been its appearance. People may love or hate the NX's angular styling and abundance of creases and scoops, but it definitely won't disappear into the crowd of same-same premium products against which it competes.

The Lexus NX engine range includes two hybrid models, which are covered in a separate review, as well as two normal four-cylinder gas engines, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The less powerful four-cylinder is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter unit that produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, and it can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. The high-output non-hybrid uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 275 hp and 317 lb-ft, and it is only offered with AWD.

Based on the same GA-K platform as the Toyota RAV4, the NX hides its humble origins well, and distinguishes itself from its less prestigious sibling by being well-equipped in the usual Lexus fashion, with a cabin rendered in high-quality materials. Competitors for the Lexus NX include the BMW X3, Acura RDX, and Volvo XC60, and its appearance certainly cuts a distinctive dash when gauged against these comparatively conservative crossovers.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2023 Lexus NX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 NX?

Because the Lexus NX was completely redesigned for 2022, it receives no changes for the 2023 model year.

Pros and Cons

  • Spacious cabin
  • Well-equipped for the money
  • Comprehensive standard safety specification
  • Distinctive appearance
  • Cargo volume is smaller than average in its class
  • Base engine gives tepid performance
  • Safe but uninspiring handling

What's the Price of the 2022 Lexus NX?

The price of the Lexus NX starts at $39,055 for the base 250 with FWD. The Premium Package costs $3,050 and the Luxury Package goes for $6,150. If you want the 250 in AWD guise, add $1,600 to the price.

The base price of the NX 350 is $42,815, and another $3,050 or $7,450 is added for the Premium and Luxury packages, respectively. F Sport models will set you back $47,915, or you can splurge another $2,200 on the F Sport Luxury Package.

Hybrid models start at $42,655 for the 350h in base spec, and the Premium/Luxury packages cost the same as they do for the gas-only NX 350. Nearer to the top of the range, the NX 450h+ starts at $57,505, while the F Sport derivative has a sticker price of $58,755. These prices exclude a destination fee of $1,150 in the US.

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2023 Lexus NX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
NX 250
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
NX 250 Premium
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
NX 350h
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
NX 350
2.4L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
NX 250 Luxury
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Lexus NX Trims and Specs

2023 Lexus NX Handling And Driving Impressions

It is perhaps doubtful that the Lexus NX 250 will get very much attention in the marketplace, simply because its engine doesn't really match the image of a compact luxury SUV, and the 350 variants aren't that much more expensive. Performance with the base engine is rather tepid, because 203 hp and 184 lb-ft is on the stingy side for a car with a minimum curb weight of 3,660 pounds. Expect it to amble from a standstill to 60 mph in about 8.2 seconds, which is not terrible, but also not great for a vehicle with a base price to the north of $40,000.

The NX 350 is the one to have, because the turbo engine boosts outputs to a much more competitive 275 hp and 317 lb-ft, enabling it to complete the 0-60 mph dash in a claimed 6.6 seconds, putting it on par with its market competitors. Whichever engine is in use, the top speed is governed at 124 mph, with the only outlier being the NX 350 F Sport with a top speed of 127 mph.

Handling-wise, the 2023 Lexus NX is safe but inspiring, especially without the F Sport Handling add-ons. The steering response is good, but there's a lack of road feedback through the steering wheel, and the handling balance is fairly neutral and leads to eventual understeer. However, the car gives no indication that it enjoys being hustled through the bends, and merely buckles down and gets the job done without much involvement from the driver. This behavior is probably what the majority of potential buyers prefer, because the Lexus NX focuses on comfort rather than dynamic excellence, but those who seek excitement from a finely-honed driving machine may be better advised to look elsewhere. Speaking of comfort, most will find the ride sufficiently absorbent.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Lexus NX A Good SUV?

In a market segment where style, generous equipment levels, comfort, and a well-made cabin are of the utmost importance, the Lexus NX is more than just competitive. Its main appeal lies in the value proposition, where the various NX trims offer more for the money than most of its opponents, particularly more expensive rivals from Germany. Its bland driving experience and underpowered base engine may count against it among enthusiasts, but this will likely matter little to most customers, who mostly want a comfortable cruiser with plenty of toys in a nice-looking and high-quality cabin. What is more of a concern is the small cargo area which could be a problem for larger families. If this isn't a dealbreaker, the NX is a refreshing option in this segment.

What 2022 Lexus NX Model Should I Buy?

We know, and Lexus knows, that the NX 350 with its standard all-wheel-drive system will be the main seller in the lineup. The only reason we wouldn't push for the NX 250 is the engine, and we do wish Lexus would offer a 350 without all-wheel drive. The sweet spot appears to be the 350h with its much-improved fuel economy and bump in power. The 450h+ is the headliner, but you'll have to really love the NX to pay $57,505 for one. That said, there are much worse ways to spend that kind of money.

The F-Sport models do offer substantial upgrades, but we just do not see the NX as a performance vehicle. Frankly, if you want the modern equivalent of a hot hatch, there's much better out there for the money.

Check out other Lexus NX Styles

2023 Lexus NX Popular Comparisons

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