The Lexus NX is a compact luxury crossover SUV that’s been in production since 2014 as a 2015 model year. These very desirable vehicles feature attention-grabbing exterior styling, comfortable and luxurious interiors, and they are even available with hybrid powertrains that are seriously good on gas. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly cheap to buy brand-new, so let’s take a look at what you need to know when buying a used Lexus NX.
Lexus NX history
Sitting above the smaller UX and below the larger RX in the current Lexus SUV lineup, the Lexus NX is a five-seat compact luxury crossover SUV that went into production in August 2014 as a 2015 model year. Although few people would imagine that the NX designation actually stood for something, according to Lexus, NX is shorthand for “Nimble Crossover.”
Even though it’s only been around for a relatively short time, the NX has already entered a second generation with the arrival of the absolutely stunning 2022 model that was first revealed on June 11, 2021.
First-generation models got a mid-cycle refresh for the 2018 model year that introduced some relatively modest styling upgrades, some extra new features, and there was a new name for the non-hybrid versions.
The earliest 2015 model year versions of the Lexus NX were made available with two different powertrain options which were designated 200t and 300h.
Lexus NX 200t
The 200t is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that develops 235 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque which is sent to the front or all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Although it isn’t a hybrid, Lexus tuned this engine to switch between the conventional combustion cycle and the more efficient Atkinson cycle for improved fuel economy.
Even though the numbers suggest s decent amount of power is available you won’t find this engine particularly exhilarating to drive unless you select the “Sport” setting. While such settings often make little noticeable difference in SUVs and crossover, it certainly does here.
As well as holding higher revs for longer, the Sport setting also makes the acceleration significantly crisper, but keeping your used NX in this setting for any length of time will inevitably have a negative impact on fuel economy.
If driving enjoyment and performance are more important to you than fuel economy, watch out for F-Sport versions of the Lexus NX 200t. That’s because these have a retuned sport suspension and wheels and tires that are distinctly more performance-oriented than the standard ones, and combined with the Sport mode helps to deliver very enjoyable driving characteristics and get the most out of that turbo-four engine.
Lexus NX 300h
You don’t need to be a hardcore automotive enthusiast to deduce that the Lexus NX 300h is a hybrid version of the luxury compact SUV. The system pairs a 154-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a couple of electric motor-generators, which is what you may now know as the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
The electric motors on their own are capable of powering the NX at low speeds, but they also work to recharge the battery as well providing the engine with additional torque when called upon.
It has to be said that the pretty unremarkable combined 194 horsepower the hybrid develops means fairly mundane performance. So much so, that the 300h has a “kick down switch” to deliver extra power more immediately when required. It works pretty well to be fair, but it does increase the engine noise and it’s not going to help the fuel economy.
Lexus NX 300
In 2018 Lexus changed the name of the Lexus NX 200t to the Lexus 300, but the standard gas engine is still the same familiar 2.0-liter turbo-four you’ll find in earlier 200t models.
What to look for with a used 2017 Lexus NX
The 2017 model year saw the end of the front-drive version of the NX Hybrid so if you are shopping for a used 2017 Lexus NX 300h it will have all-wheel drive as part of its standard equipment. The three available 2017 NX models are the NX 200t, NX 200t F Sport, and the NX 300h.
What to look for with a used 2018 Lexus NX
Although you’ll see the same lineup of available models for the 2018 model year you should notice a slight difference in how they look as this was the model year when the first-generation NX got its mid-cycle refresh, and this is when the 200t was renamed as the NX 300.
A variety of options and packages were available that can have a notable effect on the specification and price of what on the surface might look like very similar 2018 NX models. Don’t pay over the odds for a higher spec version of an NX 300 or NX 300h because although the extras to the trim level’s standard specification make a model more desirable, the bulk of the asking price should still be driven by the mileage and condition.
What to look for with a used 2019 Lexus NX
The 2019 model year was almost a complete carryover for the Lexus NX, but this was the year when Apple CarPlay became standard across the lineup, so if you see that as an important feature you can be confident that any used 2019 Lexus NX you go to view will have it.
After 2019, the 2020 and 2021 model years saw almost no change whatsoever to the Lexus NX, and that means you could buy a well-cared-for 2019 model with low miles for a decent amount of money less than a later 2020 or 2021 model that would look exactly the same.
Is the Lexus NX a reliable car?
According to the RepairPal website, the Lexus NX200t gets a Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which means it ranks Above Average and comes 2nd out of 11 luxury compact SUVs the site put it up against.
Average annual repair costs come in at $690, which for a luxury car means it has average ownership costs and the severity of repairs is generally low, while the frequency of problems occurring is average.
There are no major issues to note with the Lexus 200t and it’s the same story with the 300h too. The bottom line here is that you’re buying a Lexus, and even though it’s going to be a used one, that name is a byword for reliability. If reliability is a big factor in your used car buying decision-making and your budget runs to a used Lexus, nothing else really compares, to be honest.
How many miles will a Lexus NX last?
The legendary Lexus reliability means a well-maintained Lexus NX should last for as many years as you want it to. As long as you stick to the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule, 100,000 miles will come and go without a thought and 250,000 to 300,000 miles shouldn’t be a problem for a used Lexus NX.
What’s the worst model year for the Lexus NX?
If there’s one Lexus NX model year that stands out for the wrong reasons it has to be the 2020 Lexus NX. There are some complaints about elements of the infotainment system not working correctly, but some of this can be put down to it being a fairly below-par system, to begin with.
There’s also a service bulletin (#L-TT-0265-19) that refers to a ground fault circuit interrupter breaker that can trip, and there has been a quite alarming report of an engine fault that led to a fire on someone’s driveway when the car hadn’t even bee driven for days.
However, you will be able to find individual horror stories with any car if you look hard enough, so I wouldn’t worry about this being an intrinsic problem with the 2020 Lexus NX.
Is the Lexus NX good on gas?
The Lexus NX offers decent but not exceptional fuel economy in non-hybrid form and the hybrids might not be as economical as you might expect them to be either.
When the 2015 model came out, the EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 200t AWD was 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined, and the front-drive versions were only very marginally better.
AWD versions of the Lexus NX 300h are rated at 33 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined, which isn’t particularly impressive considering the drop in performance and increase in price over the 200t.
Which used Lexus NX should you buy?
If you’re going to buy a used Lexus NX I’d definitely stick to a 200t or 300 and forget the hybrid 300h. I’d probably opt for an F Sport version, but that’s because I like the larger, more aggressive front grille, bigger wheels, and the sport-tuned suspension package. If comfort is more important to you than the driving experience, however, definitely stick to the standard 200t or 300.
How much should you pay for a used Lexus NX?
Be prepared to pay strong money for a used Lexus NX of any model year. The legendary quality and reliability of the brand mean relatively low depreciation and that means high used values.
Below is a table showing the average minimum and maximum prices for each model to give you some idea of the budget you need or what model year your budget might stretch to.
|Model Year||Average Minimum Used Price||Average Minimum Used Price|
Should you buy a used Lexus NX?
Assuming that you like the way the Lexus NX looks because not everybody does, to be honest, then I have absolutely no apprehension in saying that yes, you should go ahead and buy a used Lexus NX.
You’re not going to be blown away by the way it handles or the performance from either powerplant, but you’ll love the fabulous interior, the ride, the build quality, and the stellar reliability you can expect from this excellent luxury compact crossover SUV.
And one final note on the Lexus NX. If you love the exterior styling of the first generation and you can wait a while until the all-new second-generation gets into the used market and the prices come down, you should hold out for one of them.
The infotainment has had a significant upgrade, and although the new engines don’t make the NX any sportier to drive, the new model is worth waiting for just for the way it looks. I know some won’t like its edgy, angular, and futuristic styling, but I absolutely adore it.
And if you can’t wait and you want to buy a brand-new 2022 Lexus NX for the best possible price, use the form below to get free, no-obligation quotes from dealers in your area.