Can't distinguish one softly styled luxury compact SUV from another? Check out the Lexus NX. This crossover made its debut for 2015, wearing angular bodywork over a platform shared with the Toyota RAV4. It also featured the brand's first turbocharged engine. Besides its eye-catching looks, the NX offers proven Lexus reliability and an available hybrid drivetrain. It slots between the family-oriented RX and subcompact UX in Lexus' crossover lineup.
One thing's for sure: The Lexus NX looks like no other luxury compact SUV. Even beyond its styling the NX is distinctive, but not always in good ways.
Driving manners are less aggressive than the design might suggest. The NX generally feels heavy, underpowered, and not very sporty. Turn-in is crisp but accompanied by plenty of body roll. At the same time, ride quality is smooth and quiet. At least the NX 300h hybrid model is efficient, though for those not set on a luxury-badged vehicle, the new Toyota Venza hybrid is more efficient and feels premium in its highest trim.
Inside, the NX's cabin is nicely appointed and feels more expensive than its price suggests. However, Lexus' frustrating infotainment system still uses a distracting touchpad instead of a conventional touchscreen. Passenger space is good, although the actual seating position can feel awkward. Cargo capacity isn't as large as some competitors.
Eye-catching looks, a plush ride, and good fuel economy give the NX appeal. For a sporty drive or a more spacious interior, choose one of its competitors. Or wait until the next-generation NX arrives.
The NX 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four producing 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels as standard or AWD optionally. In MotorTrend testing, a FWD NX 300 posted a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy is 22/28 mpg city/highway for FWD and AWD models, but efficiency is reduced to 22/27 mpg in F Sport trim.
For greater efficiency, Lexus offers the NX 300h hybrid. It uses a 2.5-liter I-4 and CVT automatic plus three electric motors to provide hybrid AWD. Total power output is 194 hp, and 0-60 mph acceleration measured 8.3 seconds in MotorTrend testing. EPA-rated fuel economy is 33/30 mpg.
From the NHTSA, the NX gets a five-star overall safety rating, the highest possible score. From the IIHS, the NX earned a 2020 Top Safety Pick + designation, which earns the top Good score in all six crashworthiness tests.
Standard driver-assist and active safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, road sign recognition, and automatic high-beams. Previously optional blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking become standard equipment for 2021.
In the NX 300, cargo space measures 17.7 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, or 54.6 cubic feet with those seats folded down. The battery pack in the NX 300h reduces cargo space slightly, to 16.8 and 53.7 cubic feet, respectively.
In all NX models, front-row headroom measures 38.2 inches, which compares to 40.0 inches in the Acura RDX. Second-row headroom is 38.1 inches, similar to the 38.0 inches in the RDX. Front-row legroom is 42.8 inches in the Lexus, a bit more than 42.0 inches in the Acura. Second-row legroom is 36.1 inches in the NX, behind the RDX's 38.0 inches.
The NX is equipped with an 8.0-inch infotainment display, which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth connectivity. An available 10.3-inch display adds built-in navigation. Two front-row USB ports are included. An eight-speaker audio system is standard, and a 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium setup is available.
The NX 300h hybrid is offered in standard and Luxury versions.
|$1000||Lexus announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible current owners. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$2500||Lexus announces a Lease Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$0||0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$0||1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|
|$2000||Lexus announces a Retail Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||02-01-2021|