Ready to grab its share of the burgeoning compact luxury crossover segment, the 2015 Lexus NX will roll into showrooms next month carrying a starting price of $35,405. That figure is for the front-drive NX 200t model powered by a 235-horse/2-0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine - the first T-charged motivator ever to be offered in a Lexus -- matched with a 6-speed sequential automatic transmission. Opting for the available Dynamic Torque Control AWD system bumps the NX 200t's bottom line by $1,400. Those numbers make the baseline NX 200t more than competitive with German rivals like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK that commence closer to the $40K mark and put roughly $6,000 worth of distance between it and the larger Lexus RX 350.

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For those seeking a greener and more fuel-efficient variation on this premium 5-passenger crossover theme, the NX 300h Hybrid model starts at $40,645, or $42,235 when equipped with the optional E-Four proactive all-weather drive system. Regardless of the number of wheels driven, both NX 300h iterations feature a 2.5-liter/4-cylinder Atkinson Cycle gasoline engine paired with an electric motor/generator and drive motor that makes 194 total horsepower which gets shipped to the front wheels via a CVT automatic that incorporates a new kickdown feature. The on-demand AWD system adds a 67-horse electric motor that drives the rear wheels, but only when needed. While going the gas/electric route takes some edge off of acceleration, the NX 300h Hybrid does earn 31 city/35 highway mpg numbers compared to the NX 200t's 22/28 mpg ratings while the AWD version makes 30/33 mpg versus 21/28 mpg stats for its NX 200t counterpart.

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Pricing has yet to be released for the hot-looking 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport that shares the same engine as the NX 200t but adds distinctive exterior/interior trim elements, an upgraded 18-inch wheel/tire package and Active Sound Control.

More premium SUVs and Crossovers...

The performance-oriented Audi SQ5 SUV goes on sale here this fall

The restyled 2015 BMW X3 offers rear drive and a turbodiesel option

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class crossover opens at $34,225



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