2021 Lexus NX 300 Reviews

2021 NX 300 New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2020 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.

Introduction

Stylish but rather docile in personality, the 2020 Lexus NX is a five-passenger crossover SUV that boasts a high-quality interior but not much back-seat space. Dramatic lines make the NX a compelling contender against bantam luxury models from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Serving best as a compact urban runabout, the NX can have either a conventional gasoline engine or a hybrid powertrain. 

Android Auto compatibility has been made standard for the 2020 model year. So have lane tracing and road sign assist, active cornering assist, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column. A Mark Levinson premium audio system and navigation are newly optional for upper trim levels. 

Lexus offers the NX in base NX 300, F Sport, and Luxury trim levels. Most versions are available with either turbo-4 or thrifty hybrid power, as the NX 300 or NX 300h, respectively. Both are equipped about the same. Only the base model is available with front-wheel drive. 

The NX 300 makes use of a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission works with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The AWD system isn't ready for treks into the deep forest. 

Adapting elements from Toyota's hybrids, the NX 300h couples a 2.5-liter inline-4 to twin electric motors and a battery pack. One of the electric motors powers the rear wheels, giving every NX 300h an all-wheel-drive configuration. An electronic continuously variable automatic transmission sends power to those wheels. 

Gas mileage is surprisingly mediocre with the NX 300, but thrifty with the hybrid NX 300h. The NX 300 is EPA-rated at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, and 25 combined. Substituting all-wheel drive lowers the combined figure to 24 mpg. With its bigger wheels, the F Sport achieves 22/27/24 mpg. In stark contrast, the NX 300h sips fuel, checking in at 33/30/31 mpg. 

The F Sport edition adds some sporty detailing and bigger wheels, as well as a stiffer suspension. Otherwise, nothing functional differs from the regular NX 300. A Sport+ mode not only holds transmission ratios longer, it pipes augmented engine rumble into the cabin. Not everyone may be pleased to receive those superfluous auditory transmissions. 

Mostly good crash test scores and plenty of collision-avoidance technology enhance the NX's appeal. The IIHS named the NX a Top Safety Pick+, earning “Good” marks for each crash test performed. The NHTSA gave the compact crossover five stars overall. 

Every NX comes with adaptive cruise control, active lane control, forward-collision warnings, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

Wide pillars and a sloping roofline restrict over-the-shoulder views. Visibility is only slightly offset by the optional surround-view camera system. 

Lineup

The NX is available in three trim levels: base NX 300, NX 300 F Sport, and NX 300 Luxury. The hybrid NX 300h is available in base and Luxury form. Prices include a $1,025 destination charge. 

The NX 300 is priced from $37,745 and includes power-adjustable front seats upholstered in synthetic leather, power-folding mirrors, an eight-speaker audio system, keyless ignition, and 17-inch wheels. The infotainment system has an 8.0-inch display screen plus Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. 

For a sportier experience, the NX 300 F Sport ($39,985) comes with a specially-tuned suspension, metallic interior trim, aluminum pedals, G-Force and turbo boost gauges, race-inspired paddle shifters, and 18-inch wheels. Front seats include enhanced bolstering. 

Stepping up to the $44,835 NX 300 Luxury adds a 10.3-inch display screen with navigation, perforated leather upholstery, a moonroof, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Linear Black Shadow interior trim. 

The NX 300h costs $40,095 and brings the hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive. Standard features are similar to the gas-engine NX 300, adding a fast-response heater and wiper de-icer. The $47,185 NX 300h Luxury is equipped identically to the NX 300 Luxury, but uses the hybrid powertrain. 

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