How Safe Is the 2021 Lexus NX?

What are you really paying for when you splurge on a luxury car? Some prioritize style and comfort. But peace of mind should be at the top of your list. Does the 2021 Lexus NX pass the safety test?

You’d think safety would be a guarantee with all the fancy tech inside new vehicles – especially luxury models. However, that’s not always the case.

And while Lexus SUVs are known for reliability, it’s not a guarantee that these models are also safe.

How does the new NX perform compared to its competitors? Let’s examine its safety features and crash-test scores to find out.

Does the 2021 Lexus NX have standard safety features?

A silver 2021 Lexus NX 300 parked at night with trees in the background
A 2021 Lexus NX 300 on display | Lexus

Yes, this luxury compact SUV is packed to the brim with cutting-edge driver-assistance technologies.

Lexus equipped the entry-level 2021 LX with a front-crash prevention system. It includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. And unlike rivals such as the 2020 Buick Envision, it also has a pedestrian detection system.

Meanwhile, its other safety features provide an added level of protection and convenience. For example, Lexus added blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment for 2021. This feature, along with its rear cross-traffic alert system, provides added awareness of your surroundings.

Plus, its standard adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and traffic sign recognition systems make highway cruising a breeze.

Lexus also offers available front/rear parking sensors, adaptive headlamps, and a surround-view parking camera system.

Do experts say the 2021 Lexus NX is safe?

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Yes, the new NX is a favorite among the automotive community in this category. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2021 Lexus NX a Top Safety Pick +. 

Why is this distinction important? The IIHS is an independent organization that evaluates the latest models on the market, and Top Safety Pick + is its top honor. Notably, few models earn this achievement, as a vehicle must meet strict criteria to qualify for the award.

The 2021 Lexus NX impressed in the IIHS’s crash tests. The organization gave the compact SUV a score of ‘good’ in all six categories. Plus, it deemed the NX’s front-crash prevention systems to be ‘superior.’

The LATCH system is the only category in which the SUV didn’t impress. The IIHS only rated it as ‘acceptable.’ However, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker unless you will frequently be toting around your little ones.

Notably, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t yet rated the 2021 Lexus NX. However, the government-backed organization gave the 2020 iteration a healthy five-star overall safety rating.

This luxury compact SUV might be the right choice for you

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The 2021 Lexus NX is a dependable vehicle, but it’s not quite at the top of its class. The U.S. News & World Report ranked it in the middle of the luxury compact SUV segment.

The publication praised the most significant categories for the model, including roominess, reliability, ride quality, and features. However, it criticized the NX’s clunky infotainment system and tiny cargo area.

These low points are somewhat easy to ignore. But won’t you want the best of the best when you consider purchasing a vehicle with a starting MSRP of more than $37,000?

However, there are plenty of alternatives if you’re not impressed by the performance and features it has to offer. For example, the U.S. News ranked the Volvo XC60 and Acura RDX higher than the Lexus NX. Plus, both competing models also earned the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick + award.

So, don’t feel tied down to the 2021 Lexus NX if you’re set on purchasing the safest luxury compact SUV.