Toyota took a successful gamble when it combined the premium qualities of a luxury sedan and the packaging of an SUV to create its first-generation Harrier, known to Americans as the Lexus RX300. Over the years, the RX spawned evolved into two more generations, growing larger with each update. The compact RX that launched over 15 years ago no longer exists in the same form.
As Lexus' RX grew in size, its customers became empty nesters who no longer needed the extra room. Since the RX was the company's smallest crossover, buyers looking for the ride height of an SUV without hulking dimensions were left without an option in Lexus' line-up. Of course, it doesn't help that the brand is in severe need of rejuvenation.
And so the NX series was born. Lexus claims the car caters to a younger urban crowd that enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, snowboarding and kayaking, though there will undoubtedly be some overlap with the older demographic with kids moving off to college. Is Lexus' NX the next big thing for upwardly-mobile professionals, or will it solidify the company's position with geriatrics? We spent time with the NX200t and NX300h to answer that question.