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Styling Size-Up: 2015 Lexus NX Vs German Competition

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/17/2014 Karla Sanchez

The compact luxury crossover segment has heated up a bit thanks to the arrival of the much-anticipated 2015 Lexus NX. The Japanese crossover has its work cut out for it since it's going up against established German giants such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLK. While we haven't pitted all four of these luxury crossovers against one another in a proper comparison yet, we can still compare them based solely on looks.

Compact Luxury Crossover Styling Size Up© Provided by MotorTrend Compact Luxury Crossover Styling Size Up

From the front, the NX and BMW look the meanest of the four, since their hoods are more sculpted with deep character lines. The award for most aggressive-looking, however, goes to the NX, which sports a gaping front spindle grille that reaches all the way down to the lower front bumper. While each other crossover has two rectangular air dams flanking the lower bumper, the NX's air dams are located within the folds of the NX's sheetmetal.


Along the side, all crossovers have a rounded rear except for the GLK, which has slab-sided hind quarters. The GLK is also different in that it has a tall glass windows and an upright and boxy shape. The others look sleeker in shape since they have sloping rooflines that taper off toward the rear. The Benz's beltline also isn't as high as it is on the other crossovers, and it has a much larger rear quarter window compared to the smaller, more angular ones on the others. Flared wheel arches can be found on all four vehicles, but the NX has the most aggressive ones.

Around back, the NX has the most interesting taillights. Those lamps incorporate the "L Finesse" Lexus design theme, and underline a rear window that's more sharply raked than the others. Meanwhile, the Audi and BMW are more rounded in back, and the Mercedes is again boxy and more upright.

The NX also has the sportiest interior with a high-rising center stack that flows into a two-tier dash. The Audi and BMW have very driver-centric center stacks that are angled toward the driver, while the Mercedes has the tamest interior. All four also try to show off their "sporty" intentions with three-spoke steering wheels.

In general, the GLK and Q5 may be the oldest-looking of the bunch, as both last received face-lifts back in model-year 2013. All-new models are expected to arrive soon, however, so we'll get to do this all over again when they arrive. For now though, how does the 2015 Lexus NX stack up against its compact luxury crossover competition? Let us know in the comments below.

Last week's Refreshing or Revolting featured the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Although the crossover isn't a direct successor to the LR2, we still picked the Land Rover's styling apart to see how it compared to its similarly sized ancestor. Readers were split on whether they liked the styling or not.

"Refreshing without being offensive! Much better than the vehicle it replaces, I can't find any serious faults," said MarksMT.

"Refreshing. I like it, especially the rear," said Midosan

Firevulture.99 also liked it, except for one thing: "Back looks good, but the front is too rounded and bug-eyed."

While some readers didn't mind the exterior design, it reminded them too much of the Range Rover. "I have to say revolting, while the exterior is nice and all, it looks like a cheap Range Rover knock off," said IceDree.

"Sadly there is little differentiation in this model range and without the chrome badging you're hard pressed to recognize one potato on wheels from the others," said RevCD.


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