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    Quick Drive: 2016 Lexus NX 200t F-Sport


    • What it is like to drive Lexus' first turbo engine?

    At the end of my Lexus NX 300h review last year, I said this,

     

    “You’re better off sticking with the regular NX 200t and having that extra $5,000 going towards some options.”

     

    Recently, I had the chance to put part of that ending line to the test as a 2016 Lexus NX 200t F-Sport came in for week’s evaluation.

     

    The NX F-Sport follows the formula of other F-Sport models with a more aggressive look. Up front is a new mesh grille insert and a lower air dam to give it some aggression. Lexus has also fitted a set of 18-inch wheels to fill in the wheel wells. I have complained previously about how the F-Sport package looks ridiculous on the RX. But the on the NX, the exterior changes of the F-Sport package work.

     

    Lexus used the new NX to introduce their first turbo engine; a 2.0L turbo-four with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Our tester came with all-wheel drive. Despite what numbers say, the turbo 2.0L doesn’t feel that fast. From a stop, the engine doesn’t have the immediate rush of power that the current crop of turbo engines. You have to wait till the engine goes above 2,000 rpm before the rush happens. Not helping matters is the six-speed automatic that prioritizes fuel economy over performance. The transmission is quick to upshift, but seems somewhat hesitant to downshift when it comes to making a pass. This powertrain needed more time in the engineering department to make it a strong point, not a weak link.

     

    Aside from the exterior bits, the F-Sport package for the NX also includes a sport-tuned suspension. It does make some difference in the corners as body motions are kept in check and the vehicle changes direction very well. Disappointingly, the steering still feels rubbery. Being an F-Sport, you would think Lexus would make some improvements to steering to make it feel more natural. As for the daily grind, the F-Sport suspension will let in a few more bumps into the cabin. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.

     

    Considering what I know now, I’m not sure that I would recommend the NX 200t. It is a better value than the hybrid and it still retains a number of items that I liked - distinctive design and well-appointed interior. But the turbo engine sours the experience as it suffers from a bad case of turbo lag. As for the F-Sport package, it sharpens up the exterior and does make the NX slightly more capable around corners. The steering needs a bit more work.

     

    If Lexus can reduce the amount of turbo lag and improve the steering, then the NX might have a fighting chance. As it stands, you’re better off looking at the Germans or the Lincoln MKC.

     

    Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the NX 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Lexus
    Model: NX
    Trim: 200t F-Sport
    Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-iW Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,800 - 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650 - 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/27/24
    Curb Weight: 4,050 lbs
    Location of Manufacture:
    Base Price: $38,365
    As Tested Price: $46,440 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Premium F-Sport Package - $2,045.00
    Navigation Package - $1,875.00
    LED Headlamps without Auto High Beams - $1,160.00
    Pre-Collision System w/All-Speed Cruise Control - $900.00
    Electrochromic (Auto-Dimming) Outer Mirrors with Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Tilt, Heated, Memory - $660.00
    Qi-Compatible Wireless Charger - $220.00
    Heated Perforated Leather-Trimmed Steering Wheel with Paddle Shifters - $150.00
    Electrochromic (Auto-Dimming) Rear View Mirror with and Lexus Homelink Garage Door Opener - $125.00

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    These F Sport packages on any Lexus are a joke.  They are charing more for a mesh grille and different wheels, which probably doesn't cost any much more to make than the standard car.  Why isn't there a power bump to go with any of these F Sports?  People that buy this dressed up Toyotas are fools.  This is $46,000 for a Rav4 Turbo with leather.

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    I think this design works much better on the RX.

     

    I would get a Lincoln MKC Black Label/Presidential Edition.

     

    And then I'd get something a helluva lot better than Lincoln MKC.

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      “Coming off a record December and year in 2016, the industry in January took a bit of a pause with volume down slightly vs. a year ago,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division.  “Much improved Light Truck availability helped RAV4 and Highlander begin the year with record January sales.”
       
      Lexus posted January sales of 15,572 vehicles, down 25.6 percent on a volume basis and DSR basis.
       
      “January proved to be a challenging month driven by limited LUV availability and the strength of our December results,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager of the Lexus division. “Our outstanding December of nearly 41,000 resulted in a low days’ supply for our core models, especially in metro markets. We are continuing to replenish dealer inventories and expect healthy levels in February. Our dealers did achieve a best-ever January in L/Certified sales with more than 7,900 sales.”
       
      January 2017 Highlights  
      Camry posts January sales of 20,313 units Toyota division SUV up 8 percent in January Highlander posts best-ever January, up 12.4 percent RAV4 posts best-ever January with sales of 22,155 units, up 2.8 percent 4Runner sales were up 16 percent TCUV had a best-ever January and 17 consecutive months of  best-ever monthly sales RX posts sales of 5,520 L/Certified by Lexus posts best-ever January sales of 7,901, up 9.2 percent from January 2016  *Note:  Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume
      TOYOTA  U.S. SALES SUMMARY
      JANUARY 2017
        -- CURRENT MONTH --
      -- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE --     
                          2017
      2016
      DSR %
      VOL %
      2017
      2016
      DSR %
      VOL %
      TOTAL TOYOTA
      143,048
      161,283
      -11.3
      -11.3
      143,048
      161,283
      -11.3
      -11.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV
      127,476
      140,350
      -9.2
      -9.2
      127,476
      140,350
      -9.2
      -9.2
      TOTAL LEXUS
      15,572
      20,933
      -25.6
      -25.6
      15,572
      20,933
      -25.6
      -25.6
                        YARIS IA (INCL SCI IA)
      1,951
      1,840
      6
      6
      1,951
      1,840
      6
      6
      YARIS LIFTBACK
      1330
      548
      142.7
      142.7
      1,330
      548
      142.7
      142.7
      TOTAL YARIS
      3,281
      2,388
      37.4
      37.4
      3,281
      2,388
      37.4
      37.4
      iQ
      0
      2
      -100
      -100
      0
      2
      -100
      -100
      xD
      0
      3
      -100
      -100
      0
      3
      -100
      -100
      xB
      0
      782
      -100
      -100
      0
      782
      -100
      -100
      tC
      72
      715
      -89.9
      -89.9
      72
      715
      -89.9
      -89.9
      COROLLA IM (INCL SCI IM)
      1,460
      1,250
      16.8
      16.8
      1,460
      1,250
      16.8
      16.8
      COROLLA SEDAN
      20,107
      22,362
      -10.1
      -10.1
      20,107
      22,362
      -10.1
      -10.1
      TOTAL COROLLA
      21,567
      23,612
      -8.7
      -8.7
      21,567
      23,612
      -8.7
      -8.7
      86 (INCL FR-S)
      474
      507
      -6.5
      -6.5
      474
      507
      -6.5
      -6.5
      MIRAI
      83
      26
      219.2
      219.2
      83
      26
      219.2
      219.2
      AVALON
      2,503
      3,597
      -30.4
      -30.4
      2,503
      3,597
      -30.4
      -30.4
      PRIUS
      7,829
      9,311
      -15.9
      -15.9
      7,829
      9,311
      -15.9
      -15.9
      CAMRY
      20,313
      26,848
      -24.3
      -24.3
      20,313
      26,848
      -24.3
      -24.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. CAR
      56,122
      67,791
      -17.2
      -17.2
      56,122
      67,791
      -17.2
      -17.2
                        CT
      393
      622
      -36.8
      -36.8
      393
      622
      -36.8
      -36.8
      IS
      1,423
      2,178
      -34.7
      -34.7
      1,423
      2,178
      -34.7
      -34.7
      RC
      447
      755
      -40.8
      -40.8
      447
      755
      -40.8
      -40.8
      ES
      2,171
      3,400
      -36.1
      -36.1
      2,171
      3,400
      -36.1
      -36.1
      GS
      422
      1,298
      -67.5
      -67.5
      422
      1,298
      -67.5
      -67.5
      LS
      280
      397
      -29.5
      -29.5
      280
      397
      -29.5
      -29.5
      LFA
      0
      1
      -100
      -100
      0
      1
      -100
      -100
      TOTAL LEXUS CAR
      5,136
      8,651
      -40.6
      -40.6
      5,136
      8,651
      -40.6
      -40.6
      TOTAL TOYOTA CAR
      61,258
      76,442
      -19.9
      -19.9
      61,258
      76,442
      -19.9
      -19.9
                        SIENNA
      7,285
      10,992
      -33.7
      -33.7
      7,285
      10,992
      -33.7
      -33.7
      RAV4
      22,155
      21,554
      2.8
      2.8
      22,155
      21,554
      2.8
      2.8
      FJ CRUISER
      0
      1
      -100
      -100
      0
      1
      -100
      -100
      VENZA
      4
      184
      -97.8
      -97.8
      4
      184
      -97.8
      -97.8
      HIGHLANDER
      12,656
      11,258
      12.4
      12.4
      12,656
      11,258
      12.4
      12.4
      4RUNNER
      8,699
      7,496
      16
      16
      8,699
      7,496
      16
      16
      SEQUOIA
      1146
      852
      34.5
      34.5
      1,146
      852
      34.5
      34.5
      LAND CRUISER
      272
      273
      -0.4
      -0.4
      272
      273
      -0.4
      -0.4
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. SUV
      44,932
      41,618
      8
      8
      44,932
      41,618
      8
      8
                        TACOMA
      12,509
      12,717
      -1.6
      -1.6
      12,509
      12,717
      -1.6
      -1.6
      TUNDRA
      6,628
      7,232
      -8.4
      -8.4
      6,628
      7,232
      -8.4
      -8.4
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. PICKUP
      19,137
      19,949
      -4.1
      -4.1
      19,137
      19,949
      -4.1
      -4.1
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. TRUCK
      71,354
      72,559
      -1.7
      -1.7
      71,354
      72,559
      -1.7
      -1.7
                        NX
      2,964
      3,133
      -5.4
      -5.4
      2,964
      3,133
      -5.4
      -5.4
      RX
      5,520
      6,956
      -20.6
      -20.6
      5,520
      6,956
      -20.6
      -20.6
      GX
      1,418
      1,608
      -11.8
      -11.8
      1,418
      1,608
      -11.8
      -11.8
      LX
      534
      585
      -8.7
      -8.7
      534
      585
      -8.7
      -8.7
      TOTAL LEXUS TRUCK
      10,436
      12,282
      -15
      -15
      10,436
      12,282
      -15
      -15
      TOTAL TOYOTA TRUCK
      81,790
      84,841
      -3.6
      -3.6
      81,790
      84,841
      -3.6
      -3.6
      Selling Days
      24
      24
          24
      24
          DSR = Daily Selling Rate
                   
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