This is one of those topics that invites some spirited conversation and debate. First of all, what is a Millennial and why should anyone care what it drives?
As a word, the definition of millennial simply means, relating to a millennium, so one thousand years.
Defined as a group, there is some disagreement, but Millennial is generally accepted as the population born after 1980, today’s thirty and forty-somethings.
In sticking with the sci-fi feel, Millennials are also categorized as Generation Y or the Net Generation.
No matter how you define them, they are a target of the automotive industry, with Lexus dealerships in PA luring them in to scope out this year’s NX crossover SUV.
But why them?
A Wealth of Opportunity
Simply because there are so many.
Lexus, in its “pursuit of perfection” has set it sights on Generation Y in the hopes of attracting a new and seriously sizable consumer base.
Millennials are 80 million strong, which translates into serious sales if Lexus can put even a fraction of them behind the wheels of their cars.
Part of the reason why Millennials are known as the Net Generation is because their birth dates generally coincide with what is considered the Internet Revolution. They are used to doing things online. They are the “Google it” crew when it comes to finding answers.
This did not escape the attention of Lexus designers and engineers who outfitted the 2015 Lexus NX300 with a brand new Lexus Remote Touch interface, easy to operate with the same touch and trace action that Millennials have mastered on their smartphones and tablets.
In addition to this innovation, the 2015 NX300 is the first in the Lexus line to feature wireless charging for mobile phones, protecting the connected interests of the Net generation, who are confident they can take on the world, provided they can get a signal. At all times.
In addition to their tech-savvy reputation, Millennials tend to be more globally aware – let’s not forget this is the population that saw the birth of twenty-four hour, round-the-clock media outlets, like CNN.
While they may not be heavily invested in issues abroad, they have a global-minded perspective as consumers.
A recent J.D. Powers survey took the Millennial pulse, so to speak, when it came to purchasing cars and determined that Generation Y doesn’t drive domestic.
Of the top ten cars in their study, only one, the Dodge Charger, was made in the United States.
In addition to their worldly ambitions, Millennials tend to embrace a cosmopolitan polish and are concerned with their professional lives.
They want to make money and they witnessed the Great Recession back in 2008, which has increased their financial awareness, making them modest spenders.
Think of the number of college graduates you knew who couldn’t find jobs or had to move back in with mom and dad not long after graduation. Penny pinching is a skill that Generation Y was forced to hone. With a quickness.
But that economic modesty and motivation for financial stability also puts style and design as top priorities when it comes to purchasing a car.
Lexus has targeted the Generation Y consumers for this reason. By and large, they have never owned a luxury vehicle, and are new to the Lexus brand entirely.
With respect to style, the 2015 NX300 looks young and fierce. It’s eye-catching and turns heads seemingly without trying.
In a smart move, Lexus kept both its elite image and affordability intact when it priced the base 2015 NX at $35,000, keeping it competitive with its European class-rivals.
In addition to growing up under the near-constant glow of the Internet, Millennials are also environmentally-aware.
Socially-responsible and sustainable are regularly buzz in Millennials conversations and consumer preferences.
Once again, Lexus took notice and is marketing the hybrid version of the NX to this green goals of this generation.
And the manufacturer also managed to maintain a level of exclusivity, sure to please the Generation Y consumers, as the Lexus NX300h is the only hybrid in the compact luxury crossover SUV class.
The NX300h is equipped with a 154 horsepower 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine, with an electric motor operated by a continuously variable transmission, able to get 35 city miles and 31 highway miles to the gallon.
Able to reach sixty miles per hour in 8.3 seconds this hybrid generates a total combined output of 194 horsepower, a perfect city car.
Ideal for commuting, and once again, supported by affordability, the Lexus NX300h could answer the Millennial’s dream of a stylish car from a luxury line whose small sticker price affords them a reduced carbon footprint.
It’s almost like they designed this car themselves.
The New Standard
Lexus hopes to tap this significant consumer base and is holding fast to the belief that the NX crossover will successfully attract fifty percent more buyers.
While analysts expect the 2015 Lexus NX hybrid to pull in less than ten percent of overall sales, the standard NX is intended to pick up the slack, particularly in the F-Sport package.
The F-Sport, as its name suggests, is the ideal model option for those consumers who really like to engage with the act of driving.
Featuring a bolder black mesh grille, metallic bumper moldings, black side mirrors, and two 18-inch wheel options with available 20-inch wheels, the F-Sport delivers a fun drive through its sport-tuned suspension, transmission paddle shifters, and an engine that sounds athletic, ready to compete, thanks to Active Sound Control.
The 2015 Lexus NX comes standard as the 200t, equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, operated by a six-speed automatic transmission with a power boost of 235 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
Front-wheel drive comes standard with optional all-wheel drive available.
According to Edmunds, the 200t was able to sprint from zero to sixty miles per hour in only seven seconds, but Lexus claims the all-wheel drive model is even faster.
Fuel economy is estimated at 22 city and 28 highway miles per gallon in all-wheel drive, with a combined 25 miles per gallon from the front-wheel drive.
Safety is assured by the 200t, supported by antilock brakes, front side and full-length side curtain airbags, driver knee and passenger cushion airbags, along with traction and stability control.
Another standard safety feature is the rearview backup camera and Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which offers automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location, and emergency assistance.
Lane departure warning, front pre-collision warning with adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are all available security enhancements.
Edmunds’ brake tests performed on the NX 220t equipped with summer tires returned a stop from sixty miles per hour in 118 feet, considerably better than other cars in its class.
Given the fact that Millennials, no matter how career-driven, are starting their own families and entering parenthood, this safety information is sure to satisfy.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Lexus NX 200t its highest rating, giving it “Good” marks for small and moderate-overlap frontal crash tests, in addition to tests done for side-impact and roof-strength.
Other packages, in addition to the F-Sport, include the Comfort Package, Premium Package, and Navigation Package.
Good thing because Millennials also value choice and personalization when it comes to their purchases.
The exterior color palette pushes the traditional muted, yet classy tones of the Lexus line, and includes: Atomic Silver, Eminent White Pearl, Fire Agate Pearl, Matador Red Mica, Meteor Blue Mica, Nebula Gray Pearl, Obsidian, and Silver Lining Metallic.
Cargo space, totalling 54.6 cubic feet, with the seats folded down, is a sizable boost over the 17.7 cubic feet available when the seats are upright.
While you might wish for a little more cargo room, you won’t be disappointed by this crossover’s secure and confident handling, and whisper-quiet interior, marked for sophistication by high-end materials and soft-touch features.
Millennials are a competitive crew. Fortunately, Lexus is a competitive manufacturer, celebrated for its customer service and reliability.
If Lexus can entice new drivers from the Millennial crowd, it will not only boost current sales for this model year, but will likely see a continued return as Lexus works tirelessly to secure brand-loyalty from all their customers.
Ranked second in the “Luxury Compact SUV” class by U.S. News & World Report, the 2015 Lexus NX is sure to seduce sales from the Millennials.
No matter your age, take the time to check out the 2015 Lexus NX models at your local Lexus dealership.