Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2021 Lexus NX Too Practical For Its Own Good?

When Lexus first introduced its Lexus NX crossover SUV, we dubbed it as “suburban royalty.” Since then, the NX  has pretty much stuck with the same formula. This Lexus is undoubtedly smooth and reliable. But is the NX too practical for its own good?

The 2021 Lexus NX is here

Lexus recently unveiled the 2021 NX without much fanfare. For 2021, the NX carries over many of the same features, but Lexus has added more advanced safety equipment. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is now part of the standard Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 suite. Power-folding/self-dimming side mirrors are now standard too. Additional amenities include a remote garage door function and a Mark Levinson stereo system. 

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Driving the Lexus NX 

The NX still gets its power from a turbocharged 235-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. This makes for a pleasant driving experience, and the NX feels quick off the line. The NX has also earned praise for its agility and its responsiveness in just about any driving situation. For a slightly sportier experience, you will want to check out the F Sport variant with all-wheel-drive. There’s also a hybridized version of the NX that you might also want to consider.

I have found the NX to be an enjoyable, smooth ride. However, some critics aren’t as big of fans of the NX because it’s not as thrilling to drive compared to class rivals like the Audi Q5 or the BMW X3. And honestly, that’s a good argument, especially since the NX and the Q5, for example, aren’t too far apart in pricing. However, some drivers prioritize comfort over high-performance. So if you’re looking for a relaxed, sophisticated ride, we think you’d be happy with the NX.

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Interior elements 

The Lexus NX interior in Roja Red.
Lexus NX interior | Lexus

Lexus’ unmistakable Japanese style radiates inside and out of the NX. The NX’s car cabin is upscale and virtually noiseless. Its cushiony seats come standard with faux leather upholstery, and there’s a generous amount of space throughout the cabin. 

Like other models in the Lexus lineup, the NX was criticized for its frustrating infotainment system. Fortunately, though, the Remote Touch system is easier to use in the 2021 NX. Besides this improvement, the NX’s standard infotainment features are the same. Standard features include an 8-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, and a wifi hotspot.

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Should you buy the new Lexus NX?

A Lexus NX luxury SUV viewed from the front
The new Lexus NX luxury SUV | LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 NX starts at $37,510. It might not be the most exciting option in the luxury SUV class, but it’s still satisfying to drive. Plus, it’s hard to beat the NX’s consistently high-reliability ratings. In fact, the NX is one of the most reliable Lexus models to buy. The NX shows that luxury can be practical. But since there aren’t many changes to the 2021 NX, you might want to explore current deals on the 2020 version.