Photography and video by: ©2015 Toni Avery

The Compact Crossover market is a seriously hot commodity. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to sacrifice the large cargo space and comfortable seating of an SUV but don’t need something quite so large and gas guzzling. The Lexus NX brings a fresh and frankly much-needed addition to the growing Compact Crossover segment. It’s not only one of the coolest looking ones on the road, but it doesn’t drive like a car of its size. The NX offers the best of everything separating itself from the crowd and staying true to its Lexus roots.

This NX is equipped with a 2.0 L 4-cylinder turbo charged engine producing 235 HP @ 4800-5600 RPM and 258 lb-ft of torque @ 1650-4000 RPM mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Similar to the RC-F Coupe, the NX features a few drive modes helping to further customize the driving experience to ones specific needs. Starting with Normal, this is simply the best balance of everything from throttle response to quietness inside the cabin. Then there’s Eco mode where the noise level inside the cabin reduces even more and moderate throttle characteristics are implemented in order to conserve fuel. But the most fun you’ll have in the NX is turning on Sport mode. This one sounds the best and offers the most sporty driving experience available in the NX. Don’t forget to switch over to paddle shifting for an even more enjoyable drive.

I was impressed to find the NX did not suffer from turbo lag when pressing hard on the go pedal and there was little to no noticeable body lean. Standard in the F Sport Features is a Sport Tuned Suspension. This car offers a great balance of sport and comfort even when going over the harshest of roads.

While the NX does tip the scales at 3940, it comes in just below the RC-F and actually feel pretty light when driving. The 6-speed automatic transmission is quick and precise, just like in the RC-F, making shifting fun.

Helping to stop this compact crossover are Four-wheel power-assisted discs with four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). These brakes performed adequate stopping power when slowing the NX to a complete stop.

The exterior of this NX is finished in Ultrasonic Blue Mica and features Cornering Front Fog and Driving Lamps, Premium LED Daytime Running Lights and 18” Sport Wheels (standard in F Sport Features), Electronic Auto-Dimming Outer Mirrors with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Tilt / Heated / Memory (stand alone option).

Besides its impressive performance, the exterior of the NX is my favorite aspect of the car. I’m a fan of the large and aggressive front grille as well as all the interesting sculpted sections on various parts of the car. The one design feature that stands out are the very unique taillights that bring that aggressive nature from the front to the rear of the car.

Inside the NX are F Sport NuLuxe Seats, Metallic Sport Trim, Perforated Leather Trimmed F Sport Steering Wheel with Paddle Shifters and F Sport Door Scuff Plate (standard in F Sport Features), Memory Power Tilt/Telescopic Steering Colum and Power 10-way Driver Seat including Lumbar Support (optional F Sport Comfort Package), Remote Touch Interface, Lexus Enform Remote, Lexus Enform Destination, App Suite, 10-Speaker Lexus Premium Sound System (optional Navigation Package), Power Tilt and Slide Moonroof (stand alone option), Qi-Compatible wireless Charger (stand alone option), Intuitive Parking Assist (stand alone option), and Lexus Homelink Garage Door Opener (stand alone option).

Ever since my time with the RC-F, I’ve been impressed with Lexus interior materials and textures. Almost everything is a fine material and there’s rarely ever any exposed hard plastic. Of course, depending on the options you choose, the appearance may vary.

I overall love the fit and finish as well as the design of the cabin in the NX. Compared to the RC-F, the dash in the NX is a much more appealing to look at. There is more than enough room for four tall and reasonably sized passengers and plenty of trunk space for everyone’s stuff. Cargo capacity totals 17.6 cu ft. behind the rear seats. In addition to the large trunk there are numerous storage spaces inside the NX in each door, the glove box and more for anything from water bottles to sunglass cases.

Reading any number of my past reviews or watching the videos, you’ve probably come to know that Sports Cars and manuals are my cup of tea. But I’ve got to tell you, the 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport has definitely changed the way I look at Compact Crossovers and the RC-F has changed my old school views on manual transmissions. I would definitely give the NX a closer look if the Compact Crossover category is where you’re looking to make your next automotive purchase.

2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport:

Base Price: $36,580


Qi-Compatible Wireless Charger, F Sport Comfort Package, Lexus Homelink Garage

Door Opener, 18″ F Sport Wheels, Navigation Package, Electronic Auto-Dimming

Outer Mirrors with Blind Spot Monitor/Rear Cross Traffic Alert/Reverse Tilt

/Heated/Memory, Intuitive Parking Assist, Power Tilt & Slide Moonroof,

Heated Steering Wheel

Price with Options: $42,055

Destination Charge: $925

Total Price: $42,980

Fuel Economy: 22 City, 28 Highway, 25 Combined

 GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport an overall rating of (out of 5 total):