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The 2023 Lexus NX enters its second year of the second generation. Much like the middle child in a family, this model year might mostly be a forgotten footnote when all is said and done. Lexus didn’t make any significant changes to the NX, which leaves us wondering why. We’d like to point out some items that could have improved this compact luxury SUV.

Why does the cabin of the 2023 Lexus NX feel so small?

Underfloor Storage Area 2023 Lexus NX
Underfloor Storage Area 2023 Lexus NX | Lexus

From the outside, the NX looks perfectly placed in the compact SUV segment, but things are a bit tight inside the cabin. The passenger area feels nearly as small as the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes GLA, which should all be about the same size as the smaller Lexus UX. We expect a larger cabin, especially from a crossover that’s nearly as large as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

On the plus side, the 22 cubic feet of cargo room is useful and five cubic feet more than the first generation NX offered. You’ll find a generous under-floor storage area, which is big enough for a duffle bag or some groceries.

Could we do without the base powertrain of this compact luxury SUV?

The base powertrain of this Lexus SUV is the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission found in the Toyota RAV4. While decent enough, it seems out of place in a luxury SUV. The NX engine lineup offers three better options, which means we could easily live without the base setup. This base engine is also noisy, which makes for a non-luxurious ride.

Electric door handles – Why?

Electric door handles are becoming standard on electric vehicles, but they feel out of place on the 2023 Lexus NX. This silly feature doesn’t serve any purpose other than to increase the price of this compact luxury SUV.

Why is the head-up display so strange in the Lexus NX?

Lexus improved the infotainment system for this second generation NX, giving us a touchscreen (finally), but they forgot to finish something. The 10-inch head-up display of the NX is odd, controlled by unmarked buttons on the steering wheel, and requires an advanced degree in engineering to understand. Ok, I made up that last part, but the other aspects of it are true.

There’s nothing bad to say about the safety rating of this Lexus SUV

2023 Lexus NX F Sport Posed and Parked in Front of a House
2023 Lexus NX F Sport Posed and Parked in Front of a House | Lexus

The 2023 Lexus NX is one of the safest vehicles you can drive. tells us this compact luxury SUV was awarded the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. The NX even scored top marked in the headlight test, which is a test in which nearly all vehicles fail or only perform marginally well.

The NX brings a full package of safety features, including:

  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality
  • Forward and rear collision detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Lane departure warning with steering intervention
  • Automatic high beams
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Surround view camera system (optional)
  • Enhanced blind-spot warning (optional)
  • Front cross-traffic alerts (optional)
  • Corner-adaptive headlights (optional)
  • Digital rearview mirror (optional)

How much does the 2023 Lexus NX cost?

The Lexus NX comes in six trims, all with standard AWD once you move above the base model. The base pricing for each trim is:

  • NX 250 – $40,905
  • NX 250 AWD – $42,505
  • NX 350 – $44,665
  • NX 350 F Sport Handling – $50,215
  • NX 350h – $44,255
  • NX 450h+ – $58,855
  • NX 450h+ F Sport Handling – $61,055

Lexus didn’t make any changes to the 2023 NX, but they should have. This second year of the NX was a good opportunity to address the wonky head-up display, base powertrain, and electric door handles. Maybe they’ll fix these issues for the 2024 version.


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