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Lexus NX vs Toyota RAV4

What's the difference?

Lexus NX
Lexus NX

$61,900 - $90,948

2023 price

Toyota RAV4
Toyota RAV4

$36,847 - $76,890

2022 price


2023 Lexus NX
2022 Toyota RAV4
Safety Rating

Engine Type
Inline 4, 2.5L

Inline 4, 2.5L
Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded Petrol

Unleaded Petrol/Electric
Fuel Efficiency
6.9L/100km (combined)

4.7L/100km (combined)

  • Driver-assist tech could use some Aussie road tuning
  • Hard to tell apart from previous design
  • NX 250 engine needs the open road to truly shine

  • Clammy plastic seat coverings
  • No front passenger seat height adjustment
  • Some noise at higher engine and road speeds
2023 Lexus NX Summary

As far as clichés go, attempting to make “a silk purse from a sow’s ear” couldn’t be more apt than when contemplating the original NX of 2014.

What was essentially the Lexus-fication of the vocal, fidgety and thirsty old Toyota RAV4 may have worked a treat sales-wise, but proved trickier when assessed against the lens of a BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 rival.

The earliest NX just wasn’t refined enough.

This was especially true following the reborn RAV4 arrival in 2019, proving to be embarrassingly more competent – even compared to most luxury midsized SUV alternatives.

Now, finally, the NX redesign has followed suit, moving on to a variation of the Toyota’s stronger, quieter and more advanced TNGA architecture (dubbed GA-K) as a starting base.

Speaking of which, let’s dive straight into the least-expensive version, the NX 250 Luxury 2WD auto, to find out if the most popular Lexus model in Australia has finally found its mojo.

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2022 Toyota RAV4 Summary

Why aren’t there sportier versions of Australia’s most popular vehicles?

Given how successful the XR6 and SV6 were in their respective Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore ranges, you’d expect similar souped-up and/or go-faster grades in the top-selling Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4.

Now, we know many offer turbo models already, but they’re skewered more towards the higher-end or luxury side, rather than setting pulses racing.

However, there is some light in this long and lonely tunnel for medium SUV buyers seeking some sporty spice, with the arrival of the Toyota RAV4 XSE hybrid.

Yes, it’s strictly a looks-only proposition, with no additional power or chassis upgrades to entice the keener driver. But, considering how accomplished the current generation is in pleasing enthusiasts as well as eco warriors, hope exists that it may add something fresh and exciting to a dull class.

Or, are we expecting too much from what is essentially a middle-of-the-road midsized hybrid SUV?

Let's check it out.

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Deep dive comparison

2023 Lexus NX 2022 Toyota RAV4

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