Best & Worst Lexus NX Years

We've ranked each Lexus NX model for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Lexus NX years and pick the best year!

In this guide, I’ll break down all Lexus NX generations, revealing the best Lexus NX years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Our analysis leans on reputable sources such as NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book, ensuring our assessments are grounded in reliability, safety, and consumer satisfaction.

Delving deeper, we spotlight each Lexus NX generation’s engine performances, safety, tech, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Lexus RX 350 YearsBest & Worst Lexus ES Years

Table of ContentsShow

Lexus NX Generations

The Lexus NX, launched in 2015, marked Lexus’s entry into the compact luxury crossover SUV market.

Designed to blend performance, style, and luxury, the NX features sharp styling, a comfortable and well-appointed interior, and advanced technological and safety features.

It quickly became known for its smooth ride, reliability, and efficient hybrid option, setting a high standard in its class.

Below is a table outlining the Lexus NX generations from its introduction to the present day.

1st Generation (AZ10)2015-2021
2nd Generation (AZ20)2022-Present

Generational changes are crucial, especially for potential buyers interested in the vehicle’s design, performance, and technology, which might be the deciding factor in their choice.

Lexus NX Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When assessing the Lexus NX across its generations, our rankings and categorizations consider a multitude of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

A forthcoming graph will illustrate the Lexus NX’s performance across these areas, visually comparing all model years.

Lexus NX Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

The following table shows our classification of the Lexus NX model years into best, neutral, and worst year categories.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st Generation (AZ10)2017
2nd Generation (AZ20)2023

“Neutral Years” show average performance and reliability but lack the distinguishing features or updates that might set them apart from the best years.

Factors like NHTSA recalls can significantly impact a vehicle’s reliability rating, with more complaints and recalls hinting at potential reliability issues.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Lexus NX 1st Generation (2015-2021)

Lexus NX 1st generation 2015 model
The 2015 Lexus NX

The Lexus NX’s first generation, introduced in 2015, quickly became a formidable player in the compact luxury SUV market. With its launch, Lexus promised luxury, efficiency, and performance.

2017, 2020, and 2021 are the best first-generation Lexus NX years to buy, while 2015 and 2016 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2017, 2020, 2021

The best years for the Lexus NX first generation were 2017, 2020, and 2021, each introducing pivotal upgrades and fewer issues.

The 2017 Lexus NX year marked the introduction of the Lexus Safety System+ as standard, enhancing driver assistance capabilities with features such as adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

The 2017, 2020, and 2021 Lexus NX models received the Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS.

The powertrain remained a highlight, with the NX 300 (previously named NX 200t) offering a 2.0L turbocharged I4 engine producing 235 hp, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, ensuring a balanced mix of power and fuel efficiency (22 city/28 highway MPG).

The 2020 and 2021 Lexus NX models further refined the infotainment system, integrating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto alongside aesthetic updates that kept the NX fresh and competitive.

The Neutral Years: 2018, 2019

2018 and 2019 are considered neutral years for the Lexus NX. They maintained the high standards set by the 2017 refresh but did not introduce significant upgrades.

These years continued to offer the reliable 2.0L turbocharged engine and standard safety features.

However, they were part of a recall for airbag sensor malfunctions and fuel pump failures, slightly marring their reputation but not significantly enough to deter potential buyers who value the blend of Lexus luxury and reliability.

The Worst Years: 2015, 2016

The launch years of 2015 and 2016 are the worst first-generation Lexus NX years to avoid.

The 2015 Lexus NX debuted Lexus’s venture into the compact SUV segment but encountered issues like fuel system vulnerabilities, leading to recalls for fuel pump failures and airbag sensor malfunctions.

While these models laid the groundwork with features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control, the early technical recalls suggest buyers might find better value in subsequent years.

See NHTSA 2015, 2016 Lexus NX recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Lexus NX 2nd Generation (2022-Present)

Lexus NX 2nd generation 2022 model
The 2022 Lexus NX

The second generation of the Lexus NX, commencing in 2022, introduced fresh design elements, enhanced technology, and an expanded powertrain lineup, setting new benchmarks in the luxury compact SUV segment.

2022 is the least reliable second-generation Lexus NX years to avoid, while the best years for the NX are 2023 and 2024.

The Best Years: 2023, 2024

Which year Lexus NX is most reliable? The best years of the Lexus NX’s second generation are represented by the 2023 and 2024 models.

These years featured the introduction of cutting-edge powertrain options, including a 2.4L turbocharged engine capable of delivering 275 hp and a more efficient hybrid variant.

The fuel efficiency of these models is commendable (26 city/33 highway MPG), with the hybrid variant offering remarkable mileage.

Safety took a front seat with the inclusion of Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, offering advanced driver assistance features like road sign assist and enhanced radar cruise control. These models also received Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS.

The interior saw luxurious upgrades with a new 14-inch touchscreen, improved voice recognition, and a more user-friendly interface, making these years a tech enthusiast’s delight.

Additionally, the introduction of the F Sport trim provided a more dynamic and sporty driving experience, making these years stand out in terms of performance and luxury.

The Worst Years: 2022

The launch year of 2022 Lexus NX, while groundbreaking, faced some initial issues.

This model year was part of recalls for issues such as parking brake failures and shock absorber separation, slightly overshadowing its otherwise commendable features.

The 2022 Lexus NX introduced the line-up with a standard 2.5L engine offering a decent 203 hp but lacked the refined powertrain options of its successors.

While it laid the foundation for the advanced tech and safety features seen in the later years, it didn’t quite match the heightened standards set by the 2023 and 2024 models in terms of performance enhancements and overall driver experience.

See NHTSA 2022 Lexus NX recalls and complaints.

Lexus NX Resale Values

Explore this graph showcasing the average resale values of the Lexus NX over its model years.

Lexus NX Average Listing Price


Which Lexus NX model year is the best to buy?

Our research of the Lexus NX has highlighted 2017, 2020, 2021, 2023, and 2024 as the best years for potential buyers, offering a blend of advanced safety features, technological enhancements, and refined aesthetics.

Conversely, the Lexus NX years to avoid, 2015, 2016, and 2022, received various complaints and recalls that have since been addressed, making them less reliable.

What year of the Lexus NX do you consider the best value for its features and reliability?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.