The state of Maine has become a special place for me. A land of lush greenery, spectacular views, and lobster. A place to retreat from the fast paced life of Los Angeles. This part of the country has become a personal sanctuary with their emerging food scene, craft breweries, and the outdoor activities from fishing on the lake to kayaking with friends. So when it came time to plan an East Coast road trip, Maine became the final destination. On top of the list for a vehicle for this road trip was the Lexus NX 200t F SPORT.
The combination of sophisticated style, performance, and signature comfort were the requirements for this journey. Packed with features, the NX 200t F SPORT met and exceeded these expectations and here is why.
First the styling, a bold design for a crossover, the Lexus’ stark lines from the prominent hourglass front fascia that flows throughout the body of the vehicle meeting the geometric tail lights in the rear. The F SPORT version features a sporty front mesh grille insert and larger 18-inch wheels and tires. The design is distinguished without being over the top and shows a modern sophistication making a statement when you arrive at your destination. I received many compliments throughout the weekend even while pulling up to the valet.
The trip began in New York with the goal to get out and away from the big city, the NX handled like a champion, bobbing and weaving through the traffic and around taxis and other motorists. The CUV’s size made it quick and nimble. The F SPORT features MacPherson struts in the front and a uniquely designed double-wishbone suspension in the rear for dynamic handling in any condition. As I made my way out on the open road the ride was smooth sailing.
Heading north on the highway, I was able to experience the world class comfort that the cockpit provided. The bolstered sport seats feature contrast stitching, seat warmers, and supple red leather. Adding to the race style in the F SPORT are aluminum pedals.
The interior features the latest technology and innovation from the remote touchpad, bluetooth voice command, and multi-information display. The gauge cluster allows to clearly see the data you need from navigational instructions to gas milage quickly while driving. The remote touchpad was slightly improved from previous versions I’ve tried, but still takes some getting used to. Loading directions into the navigation via the touchpad was cumbersome and slow. The voice command would of saved some time, but I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Fortunately, this was one of the only drawbacks for the vehicle that I experienced.
One feature that I would of liked to try out was the wireless charger for my iPhone. The Qi-compatible charger tray located in the center console is a great idea to easily and wirelessly charge your phone, but you need a Qi-equipped case.
The driving experience is enhanced with the F SPORT model. The multimedia display also provides performance data including G-force and turbo-boost monitor. This was particularly fun while using the Drive Mode Select and placing the vehicle into Sport mode, which alters the powertrain for faster and more dynamic throttle response. While in Sport mode, the 2.0 liter engine utilized the twin-scroll turbocharger with quick acceleration and a nice throaty sound from the exhaust. Although, I did find myself using ECO mode a majority of time while cruising as I was completely content just enjoying the ride through the beautiful countryside. I felt the fuel economy in this vehicle was great only having to fill up a few times during the period of time I had the vehicle. The all-wheel drive (AWD) came in handy as I drove through rain and the wet weather conditions helping me stay in control.
At night the LED headlamps shine sinisterly and upon corners the LED cornering lamps shine on each turn giving additional light while turning for added visibility and safety. Many of the Maine backroads lack the lighting that most city dwellers are accustomed to and with the occasional deer crossing, any bit of additional clarity helps.
When packing for trip – storage space becomes essential and the CUV’s trunk size was adequate. It easily can store enough luggage for 2 people and the rear seats fold flat for additional cargo capacity, however with more than 2 passengers it can easily hit capacity for space. The power rear door is a nice touch and makes it easy to access the trunk either from inside the vehicle or with the key fob, however it does take a few seconds longer than a manual door.
There were a few details that stood out. One being the illuminated door handles that light up when you’re in proximity of the vehicle. Another is lane departure warning and the blind spot monitors. The backup camera makes not only backing up safe, but also parallel parking easy.
For a price starting around $36,580, the Lexus NX 200t F SPORT has a lot of bang for the buck. It’s an affordable luxury vehicle that’s more than capable of daily commuting, but also can provide the experience that makes long road trips enjoyable. The vehicle’s adaptability to various environments place this on top of the list for crossovers – whether you’re looking to turn heads, travel through windy country backroads, or simply battle the daily commute – it’s “The way vehicle’s should be.”
Additional photos provided by Lexus