How to Pick Between the Lexus RX and the NX

Lexus is a luxury car brand known for its refined vehicle lineup that delivers on reliability and upscale comfort. Plus, this carmaker offers a  smooth driving experience that is pretty hard to beat, especially when it comes to its luxury SUVs. Two of Lexus’ most popular SUVs are the 2020 RX and the 2020 NX. These SUVs have similar names and styles, but there a few distinctions to consider as you’re shopping around.

Size and style matters

On the outside, you’ll see that the RX and NX exhibit the same elegant yet simplistic style. But you could argue that the NX is a tad sleeker. Technically speaking, the NX is a subcompact SUV while the RX is categorized as a midsize SUV. Both vehicles can seat up to five pretty comfortably, but the RX offers more legroom and cargo space. Additionally, you can go up to the RX L trim level to seat up to seven people.

Performance capability

Given its larger size, the RX offers a little more power than the NX. The RX comes standard with a super satisfying 3.5-liter V6 engine that creates a 295 horsepower and is linked to a silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. This makes the RX perfect for comfortable rides in the city as well as on the highway. 

Similarly, the NX also offers refined power and smoothness. This SUV comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated with a six-speed automatic. The NX can expertly maneuver bumps and dips in the road, but its handling isn’t as dynamic. 

Front-wheel drive is standard on the RX and NX and both are also available with all-wheel drive. Both SUVs boast above-average fuel economy ratings for their respective classes. And if a hybrid powertrain appeals to you, there’s also the RX 450h hybrid and the NX 300h hybrid options.

In-car electronics 

As far as infotainment goes, the RX and NX offer similar standard features. Both come with an  8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, smartphone app navigation, and a wifi hotspot. But one of the drawbacks on the NX is that it doesn’t offer Android Auto connectivity at all, while it’s a standard feature on the RX.

Aside from Lexus’ inconsistent offering of Android Auto, the carmaker does still include plenty of desirable infotainment features as you can see. But, as you might have already heard, the infotainment systems in the Lexus lineup are not very user-friendly. This just means you will probably have to spend more time getting used to the controls. 

Safety

True to the Lexus brand, the RX and NX have both earned great crash-test scores across the board from the NHTSA and the IIHS. To help you prevent accidents altogether, both SUVs come with standard driver-assist features. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, and a pre-collision warning system.

The final verdict 

Deciding between the RX and the NX really comes down to size and power. The NX is an accommodating and pleasant luxury crossover. But if you are wanting more power and cabin space, the RX is the better option for you.