2019 NX 300 New Car Test Drive
The 2019 Lexus NX is the brand's second-smallest crossover SUV, one with angular style and outgoing performance. For the new model year, it adds Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa service to its touchscreen interface.
If an RX or GX is too big, the 2019 NX may be the perfect size. It's 183 inches long, with a wheelbase of about 106 inches, a bit larger than the new Lexus UX small utility vehicle.
The NX 300 uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 235 horsepower. It's mated to a 6-speed automatic, with either front- or all-wheel drive. The 300h has a larger 2.5-liter inline-4 paired with an electric motor for a total of 194 hp; it delivers power to all four wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
An F Sport package with all-wheel drive adopts a firmer suspension, a more aggressive grille, sport seats, bigger wheels, and an additional driving mode, Sport+, which quickens the throttle response.
The front-wheel-drive NX 300 is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 25 combined. The AWD version gets 1 mpg less. The NX 300h hybrid is EPA-rated at 33/30/31 mpg. Both take premium fuel.
The NX is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, while the NHTSA gives it five stars overall, with four stars in the frontal crash test. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high-beam headlights. A head-up display is optional. .
Starting at about $36,000, the NX 300 comes with synthetic leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, an 8.0-inch screen, automatic headlights, and Bluetooth. It's easy to raise that by $10,000 or more by adding the F Sport package, all-wheel drive, real leather, navigation, and an upgraded sound system. .