2018 Lexus NX 300

#26
in Compact SUVs
2018 MODEL

$35,985 - $39,775

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Detailed Review

The Lexus NX line turns four this year and the memory of Lexus presenting an overly extroverted designed sub-compact SUV is still fresh. Its design may have been too aggressive back then but it's not as alien today. The interior is tasteful and matches the high standard of the Lexus Brand.

With a starting price of $35,985, the upgraded NX 300's price shares the same expression as its exterior ; aggressive. Even though the Lexus NX does not offer the best luxury features in the segment but the pricing makes up for it. All these without compromising on the build quality and ride comfort which Lexus is known for.

Even though the interiors may not be as luxurious, the safety in Lexus NX has not been compromised in any condition. The 2018 NX 300 packs a bunch of safety features even in the standard variant so you can drive with a sound mind.


6.9/10
Features

 

6.4/10
Engine

 

7.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

5.6/10
Interior

 

6.4/10
Exterior

 

8.2/10
Safety

 
 
 

With a starting price of $35,985, the upgraded NX 300’s price shares the same expression as its exterior – aggressive. Even though the Lexus NX does not offer the best luxury features in the segment but the pricing makes up for it. All these without compromising on the build quality and ride comfort which Lexus is known for.

2018 Lexus NX 300 Features

6.9/10

The Lexus NX 300 comes in three trims – the NX 300, the NX 300 F Sport and the NX 300 H Hybrid. The Hybrid trim comes with All Wheel Drive drive as standard but the lower trims are offered in both, Front and all-wheel drive, although the AWD costs $1400 more in both NX 300 and NX 300 F.

If you are hoping to buy the NX 300 F Sport expecting it to be a performance powerhouse, you may be left disappointed as the sport variant carries over the same engine as the standard NX300. The only sporty thing about this is the addition of sports suspension and larger alloys.

Things are totally different on the Hybrid variant though. The NX 300 H houses a completely different Toyota engine which may not be as powerful but is more silent and gives you better fuel economy all thanks to its fuel injection technology.

Trims NX 300 NX 300 F Sport NX 300h
MSRP (FWD) $35,985 $38,375  
MSRP (AWD) $37,385 $39,775 $38,335
Features Forward collision warning and mitigation Drive mode select Lane departure warning and intervention
LED headlights, LED fog lights and running lights Bluetooth LED headlights, LED fog lights and running lights
Keyless ignition and entry Sport steering wheel Keyless ignition and entry
Eight-speaker sound system USB smartphone connectivity 8-inch infotainment display with a touchpad interface
Adaptive cruise control Sport-tuned suspension Adaptive cruise control
Automatic dual-zone climate control Special interior trim and NuLuxe color schemes Automatic dual-zone climate control
Simulated-leather upholstery Bolstered seats  

We Recommend

Considering the price variant is not much among all the trims, we would highly suggest Lexus NX 300 Hybrid variant. In fact, the NX 300 F Sport AWD turns out to be costlier than the hybrid which already comes with AWD as standard. Moreover, you get the added benefit of better fuel economy. You lose on the performance side a bit but it is worth it.

2018 Lexus NX 300 Engine

6.4/10

Peppy, but not overtly fast, the NX200t provides adequate acceleration and falls short of more dynamic offerings from BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz. Braking performance, too, is lackluster. – Car and Driver

For those waiting for Lexus to introduce V6 engine in the NX line will not be pleased as the NX 300 carries the same engine this year too with the 2.0 L Inline 4-Turbo coupled with 6-speed Automatic Transmission.

The pair is able to churn out 235 hp of raw power and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is comparable to other cars in the segment. Even after these figures, performance from this compact SUV is not impressive. If you felt that the car’s extroverted looks will be complemented by equally aggressive performance, well, it is not the case.

Models Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
MSRP $35,985 $41,500 $42,650 $40,050
Engine 2.0L inline-4 turbo Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/120 2.0L BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 2.0L inline-4 turbo w/Direct Injection
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 8-speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic
Power 235 hp 250 248 hp 241 hp
Torque 258 lb-ft 258 258 lb-ft 273 lb-ft

Engine performance is same for the NX 300 F Sport trim despite the fancy naming, and things go further downhill with the Hybrid trim. The NX 300 H is definitely not meant for speed-lovers but its quiet operation will please others.

Lexus’ tried and tested 6-Speed Automatic Transmission makes a return here and we have nothing to complain about it. The transmission runs smoothly upshifting whenever you want it but the Turbo-lag still poses a hindrance in providing an excellent driving experience.

Acceleration

Lack of engine performance clearly shows up when we take a look at the figures presented by acceleration tests. The NX reaches 60 MPH mark in 7.2 secs while the BMW X3 is able to achieve same feat in only 6.0 seconds.

Models Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
0-60 MPH 7.2 sec 6.1 Seconds 6.0 sec 6.3 sec
Quarter mile 14.8 sec @ 94 mph 15.0 sec @ 89.9mph 14.1 sec @ 98.8 mph 14.0 sec @ 92 mph
Engine 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L
Emission

 

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.1 7.4 7.0 7.3

To make matters worse in this case, there is a problem of Turbolag with the NX. You would want to push the accelerator harder continuously demanding the performance thrust but you get desired push after a while when you least expect it.

Ride and Handling

Riding in the Lexus NX is a breeze as you get luxuriously comfortable driver seat with multitude of adjustment options that won’t make you feel tired after hours of driving. The steering wheel is well-weighted for all types of rides and you also get three driving modes in the NX – Normal, Sport and Eco although it feels like the Eco mode is only there to ruin your otherwise pleasant drive.

The suspension on Lexus NX is as comfortable as it can get. It transforms bumpy roads into silky ones and you should not expect anything less from a subcompact SUV. The NX 300 F Sport variant gets more firm Sport Transmission which gives you a better feel of the road but I would prefer comfort any given day.

Braking

To keep the cost lower than the competition, Lexus had to do some cost cuttings and the brakes seem to be affected by the same. Given the smaller brake sizes than what other automakers have to offer, the braking distance is evidently not that impressive.

Model Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
Brake Front(in) 11.7 13.6 13.0 13.5
Brake Rear(in) 11.2 12.6 13.0 12.6
Curb Weight(lbs) 3940 4322 4150 3891
60-0 MPH (ft.) 138 130 127 115

2018 Lexus NX 300 Fuel Economy

7.4/10

With the addition of direct injection technology and replacement of conventional engine cycle with the new and more efficient Atkinson cycle, the fuel economy on the NX 300 was expected increase but sadly it is still on par with the rivals like Volvo XC60 and BMW X3 have to offer.

Thankfully, the NX Hybrid variant is available and it does produce good numbers. It delivers 33 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway and gets a combined EPA fuel efficiency rating of 32 mpg.

Model Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
MPG (city) 22 22 22 22
MPG (highway) 28 28 29 28
MPG (combined) 25 24 25 23

2018 Lexus NX 300 Interior

5.6/10

The NX interior provides a wealth of passenger space, but the diminished cargo capacity hurts this crossover’s overall utility. The darkest cloud is cast by the frustrating and ill-conceived Remote Touch infotainment controller. – Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

One word that suits the NX300’s interiors the best is – Spacious. The front seats on the Lexus NX are as comfortable as one could ask for. Lexus gives you complete freedom of electronically adjusting the front seats and the padding too is perfect for those long highway rides.

The rear side though still premium, does not feel as luxurious. The padding is on the thinner side and the seats feel a little firm for longer durations. The passengers on the rear side would also feel more cramped than in a regular SUV.

Model Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 101.6 103.0 101.4 102.8
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

 

(In.)

38.2/57.3/42.8 38/58.2/41.5 41.1/57.6/40.3 37.8/57.3/40.8
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

 

(In.)

38.1/55.3/36.1 38/56.3/38 39.1/56/36.4 38.5/56.5/37.3

Infotainment System

Lexus has bumped up the infotainment display size to 8.0 inches from 7.0 inches this year but the placement of the controls ruin the whole experience. The driver would have to look cautiously before switching anything and the whole user experience just becomes a mess.

The company could also have added Android Auto or Apple CarPlay but it decided to stick to its own custom UI which, well, just gets the things done and is not as refined as the former options.

Interior Features

Some interior features include -

  • Design is refreshed
  • Impressive Legroom
  • Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control

Cargo Capacity

As mentioned earlier, the Lexus NX 300 is one of the most compact SUVs in the segment and still houses spacious interiors. Well, this price is paid by the trunk volume. It has cargo volume of only 17.7 cubic feet and although it expands to 54.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded, which still is not enough for an SUV.

Model Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
Volume behind 2nd row (cube ft.) 17.7 37.8 28.7 17.6
2nd row folded (cube ft.) 54.6 63.3 62.2 56.5

2018 Lexus NX 300 Exterior

6.4/10

It remains a distinctive look, and one that’s a little sportier and more aggressive than the larger Lexus RX crossover, and certainly stands out against more pedestrian compact SUVs from Acura or Infiniti, and it seems to be working for the brand. – Autoguide

The unique extrovert styling of the Lexus NX series has been discussed time and again and this bold design choice the Japanese car maker needs no further introduction. However, its worth noting that this wild design has also compromised the rear visibility due to the thick C Pillar.

Dimension and Weight

The sharp lines and angles of the NX 300 make it look bigger than this SUV really is. In fact, it is one of the most compact SUVs in its segment measuring about 182.6 inches in length, 73.6 inches in width and with a height of 64.8 inches. It is also one of the lighter cars in the pack at 3940 lbs.

Model Lexus NX 300 Volvo XC60 BMW X3 xDrive30i Mercedes-Benz GLC 300
Curb weight(lbs) 3940 4322 4150 3891
Length(in) 182.6 184.6 185.9 183.3
Width(in) 73.6 74.9 74.4 74.4
Height(in) 64.8 65.3 66.0 64.5
Ground clearance(in) 6.9 8.5 8.0 6.0
Wheelbase(in) 104.7 112.8 112.8 113.1
Track width(in) F/R 62.2/62.2 65.1/65.2 63.8/64.4 63.9/63.7

Exterior Features

Some exterior features include -

  • Spindle Front Grille adds to the aggressive look
  • Power folding external mirrors now come standard
  • New L-shaped Daytime running LEDs

2018 Lexus NX 300 Safety

8.2/10

Lexus has not compromised on safety from any angle in the NX 300, rather the Lexus Safety System+ comes as standard in all the trims. This is the reason that NHSTA has given it an overall rating of 5 stars and IIHS has rated the NX Superior in terms of Front Crash Prevention.

Safety Ratings by NHSTA

Overall Rating 5 star
Overall Frontal Crash Rating 4 star
Frontal Crash Rating Driver Side 4 star
Frontal Crash Rating Passenger Side 4 star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 star
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat 5 star
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Rating Front Seat Rear Seat 5 star
Side Barrier 5 star
Side barrier Driver 5 star
Side barrier Rear Passenger 5 star
Overall Side Pole Star Rating 4 star
Rollover Rating 4 star

Safety Features

  • Panoramic View Monitor
  • Premium Triple-beam LED Headlamps
  • Backup camera with dynamic gridlines
  • Intuitive Park Assist
  • 8 Airbag System
  • Hill-Start Assist Control
  • Smart Stop Technology

2018 Lexus NX 300 Competition

Lexus NX vs BMW X3

If you want sheer power from your compact SUV, you should definitely consider the BMW X3 as an option. The German automobile also gets 6-cylinder variant that can power up to 300 hp. But then again, you lose the best selling point of the NX – its price as the BMW X3’s starting price is even more than NX’s most expensive variant.

Lexus NX vs Mercedes Benz GLC

At the additional price you have to pay for the Mercedes, you get an even spacious, classier and more elegant cabin that justifies the asking price. However, the cargo volume and performance is comparable to the NX so you’ll have to think twice before diving deeper into your pockets.

2018 Lexus NX 300 Final Verdict

Aggressive looks, spacious interiors, and comfortable ride are what you will love about the 2018 Lexus NX 300. However, if you are one of those who likes to constantly navigate through the infotainment system while driving, this one might be much more of a distraction for you.

The lack of cargo space may also turn off some buyers. That said, if these are ignorable, you won’t regret purchasing this Lexus since it is easily great value-for-money for a Luxury SUV. And the dependability of the Lexus brand is unquestionable.

Pros

Spacious Interiors with ample legroom

Uncompromised Safety in all variants

Sleek & Aggressive Styling

Cons

Performance is just average

Insufficient Cargo Volume

Infotainment System is distracting for driver

What's New?

New 8-inch Infotainment Display

Lexus Safety System Plus

Hybrid variant gives great fuel economy


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$35985

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu. in.

horsepower

235 hp @ 4800 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1650 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.2 in. ventilated front disc/11.7 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

104.7 in.

length

182.6 in.

width

73.6 in.

height

64.8 in.

curb weight

3940 lbs.

ground clearance

6.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

71.6 cu ft.

cargo volume

17.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

14300 lbs.

payload capacity

1150 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/25/28 mpg

highway range

445.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2018 Lexus NX 300 in Matador Red Metallic color  2018 Lexus NX 300 in Eminent White Pearl color  2018 Lexus NX 300 in Caviar color  2018 Lexus NX 300 in Autumn Shimmer color  2018 Lexus NX 300 in Atomic Silver color
Matador Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.9

Engine

6.4

Fuel Economy

7.4

Interior

5.6

Exterior

6.4

Safety

8.2

Comfort

8.5

Driving

6.4

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV

4dr SUV

power
235 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$35,985


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $35,985 MSRP (22/25/28) 235 hp @ 4800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Autumn Shimmer
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Matador Red Metallic

 2018 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD

4dr SUV AWD

power
235 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
24 combined

$37,385


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $37,385 MSRP (22/24/28) 235 hp @ 4800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Autumn Shimmer
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Matador Red Metallic

 2018 Lexus NX 300 F SPORT

F SPORT

power
235 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
24 combined

$38,375 - $39,775


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $38,375 MSRP (22/25/28) 235 hp @ 4800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Autumn Shimmer
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Matador Red Metallic
F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $39,775 MSRP (22/24/27) 235 hp @ 4800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Autumn Shimmer
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Matador Red Metallic