First drive: 2015 Lexus NX 200t in the UAE

First drive: 2015 Lexus NX 200t in the UAE

In a surprise move, the 2015 Lexus NX 200t has made its GCC debut, rather quickly after going on sale in Europe and America just recently. Hitting the ground running, the UAE dealer already has cars in the showroom, and put us in a few of them, although it was just a brief convoy-style drive in traffic.

The NX 200t is the Japanese carmaker’s first compact crossover, having peddled the midsize RX 350 since forever. Unlike the dishonest Germans, the name actually does mean that there is a 2.0-litre turbo engine under that overstyled skin.

2015 Lexus NX 200t in the UAE 6

With a platform only partially based on that of the Toyota RAV4, the NX is a fairly attractive car that feels completely unique from anything else that the company peddles. While the styling may be divisive based on your personal preferences, we surprisingly liked this car more than the pretentious RC Coupe.

And the reason for that is, again, the brand’s first turbocharged engine. Aside from 235 hp, it’s the 350 Nm of torque from 1650 rpm that makes the difference, as there is never a shortage of kick, whether jumping into traffic from a side road or quickly overtaking slower-moving trucks. It runs out of steam eventually, but the power band is perfectly suited to daily driving.

The 6-speed gearbox complements the engine well, mostly because we don’t remember it doing anything untoward. Our test car had paddle-shifters, but we didn’t need to use them at any point.

Lexus also seems to have worked on the feel of the controls, as there is decent heft to the electric steering as well as a certain amount of feedback, however “simulated” it might be. Even the brake pedal has some weight, so it’s easy to judge braking distances with your foot.

2015 Lexus NX 200t in the UAE 2

Our “regular” NX’s ride and handling were fine at the legal speeds we were doing around the city, although we heard some of the other journalists complaining about the firmer ride in the mesh-grilled F-Sport variant they were driving.

As for the interior, we didn’t have much time to check out the multimedia tech or even open the rear doors, but we can mention that the ambience from the front seats is nice, with stitched leather and soft-touch surfaces, although there are certain hard-plastic panels that are sneakily tacked on as well, such as the dash area behind the steering wheel as well as the lower half of the doors. Of course we’re nitpicking here, as every single one of its European rivals are guilty of the same.

From our brief drive, it seems like the Lexus NX 200t is a pretty good entry. It’s the first Lexus we’ve seen that’s actually as good as the top dogs and not just a rehashed version of an old model, like all their other models are. It’s priced well too, and with its expected Japanese reliability, makes a very compelling case for being on your shopping list, assuming you’re into pricey little crossovers.

For UAE prices and specs, visit the Lexus NX buyer guide.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Impressive. Lexus is on a roll. I can see this car doing well in this market

  2. It’s that kind of car: I would love to see it on the roads, but won’t ever buy one myself. Probably get a Infiniti QXsomething (where’s the new one already?) or a VW Touareg.

  3. It’s a great car. I love it but it’s not something I would buy. Maybe because I find it too pricey for that segment personally.
    The last line there really sums it up though 🙂

  4. After migrated to Canada last year still follow your posts. After reading this I just noticed and as you mentioned similarity with Rav 4, it looks awesome for C$40000/- not a bad deal. Here we get better options even in Toyota compared to sucked Al Futtaim’s trims…..

  5. @mash

    how are you saying this is “well priced” ? In the US it is price about $36K or about AED 134K …

    AFM is selling at AED 160K, are they adding gold bumpers to it or something?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      It’s well-priced compared to similar models from other makers here. American prices are irrelevant.

    • Why are not relevant?

      Nissan dealer here price their vehicles close to the US prices.

    • In my opinion, Lexus is way overrated in the middle east. Yes , they are reliable (being toyotas). But end of the day all Lexus cars are just Toyotas with Leather (as my Father describes them). And as for pricing , Lexus (here in Saudi at least) follows a policy of charging BMW/Mercedes prices, so that people equate them to BMWs and Mercs. If it costs as much a BMW , it must be as good right ? Personally the ONLY lexus that ever appealed to me is the LFA. Since it wasn’t built with Toyota hand-me-downs, and it shows.

    • In a country without taxes, they are over pricing…..

    • Then don’t buy. Stop telling the world you are poor. No taxes? lol!

  6. my personal take it will flop like that silly lexus hybrid hatch back they introduced unless they place it at reasonably price.

    Keep in mind the new Murano will be introduced towards the end of the year which will a more promising case. Arabian Automobiles at least keeps it’s prices more or less with US prices.

    • Why buy a Nissan? Why not just buy a Duster. Save even more money.

    • the Nissan Murano is rated as close to RX 350 in terms of quality and driving dynamic as per Consumer Reports.. it apparently is that impressive.

      not sure how much you know about cars but Murano is considered near luxury.. it has almost the same kit as a Lexus and premium feel.

      Duster is low end of the market

    • @Prado: Are you working for a rival company by any chance? You sound a lot like it.
      But anyway, Lexus beats Toyota/Nissan’s any day any time in terms of reliability, durability, luxury and technology. So there’s no comparison.
      Regarding the price fluctuation: Tomatoes back in your home country, and tomatoes here – are priced differently. Do your math.

    • Work for a a rival company? is that your assessment?… when obvious facts couldn’t be countered…

      PS : do you work for Al Futtaim? You sound like it.

      *******Lexus beats Toyota/Nissan’s any day any time in terms of reliability, durability, luxury and technology. So there’s no comparison.*******

      RE: The RX 350 and the New Murano are similarly equipped, most US testers find little difference between them.

      ***Tomatoes back in your home country, and tomatoes here – are priced differently. Do your math.****

      RE: UAE ‘s import duty is 5%.. I will let you find out what the US import duty and state taxes are on cars.. and i will let you do the maths.

      FYI :

  7. I checkd out Lexus nx200t and liked it. But i am looking out for same range or less with somewhat 4×4 capability. Will have it for 5 to 6 years so dont want a car with high maintainence expenses.please suggest

  8. Its HIDEOUS. I’d much rather be on the inside , which is pretty decent, with the bonus of never having to actually look at it . Looks like it was designed by someone who ONLY had access to a ruler , and has never heard of curves.

  9. I don’t think sharp lines & angles will refresh Lexus designs , this category needs more simpler designs.

  10. I liked the new Kia Sorento, very premium now but still priced low.

    • You need to stop going to every story and posting “Kia Sorento is better”. Next you will post that in a Ferrari story. Either you are a salesman or you are regretting buying one so you are trying to reassure yourself.

  11. Hello everyone,

    NX is over priced outside of USA, that’s for sure. NX F Sport in a country wich HAS taxes like USA, the car price it’s AED 156,500; and in UAE, TAX FREE country it’s AED 205,000.
    I am so dissapointed with the dealer, which unfortunately has the exclusivity to distribute Lexus automobiles.

  12. really??

    look at Nissan and Mazda pricing and tell how much difference do you see!

    AFM apologist in full swing…lol

    • The models for Nissan and Mazda you like to compare to are massive flops here, like Murano and CX9. Of course prices are lower. Still no one buys. Don’t believe? Ask dealer for sales figures. I have seen them. Also, aren’t you the AFM apologist, telling people to buy the overpriced Prado?

    • Is the nissan altima a flop?… is the new X trail a flop?…..

      Prado is recommended despite it’s price as frankly it has no real competitor. The LR4 is too expensive and unreliable and the Pajero is outdated, unrefined, noisy and not as durable.

      You can buy a prado and keep it for 20 years and it would still run… you can’t do the same for the rest of them

    • Neither the Altima or the Xtrail are in the same category we are talking about. And the LR4 is expensive for a reason, not an overpriced Pajero rival.

  13. *********Neither the Altima or the Xtrail are in the same category we are talking about***********

    RE: I taught we are referring to AFM over pricing in general pricing,…. has something changed?.

    Almost all of AFM prices are over the top that is the point

    ****** And the LR4 is expensive for a reason*********

    RE: yes a complex air suspension that gives up after a few years, a useless vehicle really.

    **************** not an overpriced Pajero rival.***********

    RE: Pajero is too unrefined and outdated to be a prado rival

  14. Dear Prado

    Looks that you are expert on cars especially Toyotas
    Want to buy Rav4 , please advice

    • @shahab

      Rav4 has some issues

      > Harsh ride
      > to many hard touch points
      > Expensive AFM service charges
      > poor value for money

      Test drive the X-Trail it is a better cross over, better value, ride, service charges. The only thing Rav4 has a strong edge durable life.

      Some people cite re-sale value however if look over all lifecycle costs the Rav 4 is more expensive option due to absurd AFM charges.

      Personally i would wait for the new Hyundai Tucson 2016 it looks outstanding.

  15. it is sad the comments are hijacked by so many “Lalloos”. it’s not a platform for silly sales or marketing people to fight. You should be adding value by your comments. GROW UP people!!

  16. hows this lexus nx and new kia sorento 2016 full options please do full extreme review with off road also

  17. i am waiting for my BOY to come next week.
    i had a test ride in a rush evening at riyadh city and it was amazing feeling. if you are willing to buy a sedan of 110 – 120K SR such as Ford Taurus or a proper SUV like Explorer or Prado why cant you think of having a Lexus at around same price (<150K). Yes i do agree it is a Crossover only; not the size of a SUV, but i thought for me having a small family with 2 little kids a crossover is sufficient. if i look at the crossover market yes it is bit expensive compare to RAV4/CX9/Edge/XTRAIL but it gives the comfort in an affordable range.

  18. Mash, please do a review on 2018 lexus NX please.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      They stopped giving us test cars years ago, but this pre-facelift one shouldn’t be too different from the new one.

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