One has to wonder why it took so long for Lexus to enter the hotly contested compact premium crossover market. The brand itself projects some 36,000 sales for its brand-new NX, which is set to go on sale in the US in November. Add that potential to the 100,000-plus RX crossovers it sells annually in the States and Lexus looks poised to put some hurt on German rivals like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
The vast majority of Lexus NX models imported to the States will be powered by a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to either the front or all four wheels. Just 10 percent or so of NX models will get the 194-horsepower hybrid powertrain wrapped in NX 300h trim. Though not yet rated by the EPA, Lexus projects mileage ratings of 22 city, 28 highway and 24 combined for the turbo and 35/31/33 for front-wheel-drive hybrids (expect a one-mpg combined hit for AWD models with either engine).
In terms of sizing, the Lexus NX is dimensionally very similar to the Audi Q5, which starts at $37,300. Lexus hasn't yet released pricing information for its NX, but promises to be in the same range as its competitors. We note with interest that the larger Lexus RX starts at $40,795 – a little over $3,000 more than the Audi its NX will compete against – and wonder out loud if the Japanese automaker can undercut its German competitors in pricing with the NX. Expect official pricing info from Lexus closer to its on-sale date later this year.
Bill Camp, Dealer Education Administrator for Lexus College, tells Autoblog that the brand doesn't expect the new NX to cannibalize many sales from the larger RX, saying that around 50 percent of NX buyers will likely be new to the brand, with an equal amount moving into their first luxury-branded vehicle, continuing a trend set by its recently renewed IS sedan. Also of note are suggestions from Lexus that NX buyers will be 5 to 12 years younger than is typical for the brand.
34 mpg city and 30 mpg highway for AWD 300h is a bit disappointing especially on the interstate real world fuel economy would likely be 25-27mpg given my past experience with hybrids. It will be hard to choose the NX for us. Choices ....
I guess the cat is out of the bag? Seems like Autoblog posted this information early. There is definitely an embargo on driving impressions until July 6, but maybe the technical info can be released before then?
I was under the impression that all tech spec and driving impressions can not be released until July 6, 11 pm EST because of the embargo (the embargo warning came from the man himself). Regardless, the info would have been out there eventually and I'm glad we can discuss it among ourselves.
Lexus doesn't make up inaccurate MPG figures, so these sound good and many people will likely get better (and of course some worse). Its still a tall SUV that isn't light so I wasn't expecting amazing economy. In the IS this engine should hit the 30s (ICE).
Sales forecast changed to 36k. Lexus expect up to 70% of buyers to be NEW to Lexus with minimal RX cannibalization.
^^^ Agree. I got 50+ MPGs in the summer on my CT and the moral of the story here is not to get too caught up on the 300h MPG figures. If they are officially "low" like 32-34 MPG and that disappoints you, tell yourself you can get better with just a little practice in finding those hybrid driving sweet spots to maximize battery use and regen, city driving. I've also had 1 or 2 MPGs better with my past 2RXh as well.