Once again Lexus has come up with a winner in the highly competitive compact SUV market with its NX 200T F Sport crossover.

I recently spent a week with one of these cool five-doors and came away thinking that Lexus puts a lot of time thinking about fit and finish of a vehicle and how things work ergonomically.

My tester, which arrived at my office parking lot in blazing “Ultra White” was quick and comfortable.

Under the hood you will find a very peppy 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter engine that generates 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That powerplant is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that does a good job in delivering lot of low-end power to you.

As an “F” “sport” model Lexus equipped my NX with 18 inch steel alloy wheels, paddle shifters, leather bucket seating and leather steering wheel and LED fog lamps

I understand that the NX is constructed on Toyota’s so-called “MC” platform and is a distant cousin of the popular Toyota RAV4.

Lexus employs sport-tuned suspension utilizing a MacPherson strut system and an electrically powered rack and pinion system for steering which I found to be fairly crisp and precise.

Weighing in at just over 4,000 pounds our NX tester was quick but not spectacular in the speed department. In my informal test, my NX put in a 0-60 mph time of just over 7 seconds.

I found the cabin instruments logically and intuitively laid out. The leather seating both front and rear was both comfortable and supportive. A 10-speaker sound system, a part of the Lexus “Enform” nav-media system.

That whole system is controlled by a laptop computer-like floating mouse device.

While you can accommodate five adults in the NX, I recommend going with just four people on long rides. The cargo space in this vehicle grows exponentially just by folding down the 60-40 rear seat backs.

You’ll find the BMW X3, the Volvo XC90 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK, among others, all competing with the NX in the high-end luxury compact SUV market.

In terms of mileage my NX 200 F etched some pretty fair numbers — 25 mpg in the city, 22 out on the freeway and 28 mpg combined.

The MSRP for my tester, as trimmed out, is $43,965 which I think is a reasonable price for all that you’re getting.

My recommendation: Always first check out the competing vehicles in this class (luxury compact crossover). But after you do that my guess is that you’ll back at the Lexus dealer to give a strong second look at the NX.