NX

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2020 Lexus NX Overview

Lexus introduced the NX, a compact luxury crossover, in 2015 and refreshed it in 2018. For 2020, the NX sees minor feature updates as well as the addition of the new Black Line Special Edition, limited to just 2,000 examples. Similarly priced rivals include the BMW X3, Acura RDX, and Infiniti QX50.

The NX’s low-slung, athletic exterior profile stood out from the crowd when it first debuted, but similar designs have been introduced across the Lexus range. For more visual flair, consider the F Sport, which adds a mesh grille, exclusive bumpers and wheels, and dark chrome exterior trim. The Black Line Special Edition features a black grille surround, black fog light trim, black exterior mirrors, 18-inch wheels in a bronze finish, and a choice of three exterior colors: Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, and Matador Red Mica.

Every NX gets the same powertrain, which carries over unchanged. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine rated for 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. All NXs get the Drive Mode Select system, with Normal, Sport, and Eco driving modes. The F Sport trim gets an upgrade to an adaptive suspension system. Premium fuel is required, and ratings come in at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, and 25 combined with FWD. With AWD, fuel economy drops to 22/28/24.

There are four trims for 2020: the base 300, F Sport, Luxury, and Black Line Special Edition. The base trim includes 17-inch wheels and synthetic leather upholstery. Options include heated and ventilated front seats and a moonroof. F Sport adds front sport seats, exclusive badging, and performance gauges. The Luxury trim adds a heated steering wheel and the aforementioned optional features. The Black Line gets exclusive trim and bronze contrast stitching along with memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Infotainment features in the base NX include an 8-inch display with a touchpad controller, an 8-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and a WiFi hotspot. For upgrades, options include a 10.3-inch display and a choice of audio systems. The Black Line special edition comes standard with the 10.3-inch display and includes navigation and Android Auto.

The 2020 Lexus NX received an overall 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Standard equipment includes a reversing camera, traffic-sign recognition, and the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 package, comprised of forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Options include a surround-view parking camera system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.

The Lexus NX still offers a lot of appeal for those who want to stand out from the crowd. Even six years in, the NX is a definite head-turner.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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