Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
I was not that familiar with the Lexus NX 300 so I was excited to get a chance behind the wheel and see what it was all about. The model delivered to me was the 2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport in an atomic silver hue that was stunning. The Lexus NX is a compact luxury crossover SUV sold by Lexus, which is the luxury division of Toyota. The name NX stands for Nimble Crossover and is lives up to the name. It debuted in late 2014 at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition as an entry-level crossover just below the mid-size RX crossover. Production of the NX takes place at the Miyata plant in Miyawaka, Fukuoka.
I love the exterior look of the NX. The Lexus badged spindle grill sets the tone for the attention Lexus vehicles typically grab. We had the F Sport package so added to the crossover were unique bumpers, a black mesh grille, a larger exhaust opening and machined-finished special 18-inch five spoke alloy wheels. Hi-Beam LED headlights were included with cornering front fog and driving lamps and premium LED daytime running lights.
The interior was just as immaculate. The F Sport features NuLuxe seats that Lexus touts weighs half as much as leather, and produces 65 percent fewer CO2 emissions during its manufacture. I loved the sport bucket seats. The seats had extremely comfortable back support. The F Sport comes with a metallic gear shifter, perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters and aluminum pedals. The Premium F Sport Package also adds an outer-sliding moonroof, heated and ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel. I thought the small mirror next to the center console was pretty cool.
The 10.3-inch infotainment display was much to my liking. The infotainment system’s software is easy to learn but I am not a fan of the touchpad interactivity. I will stick with the touchscreen or rotary knob if possible. Lexus always does a great job with its tachometer displays. The 4.2-inch screen displays easy-to-read info. Onboard WiFi also now connects up to 5 devices and it comes with a 4GB complimentary one-year trial. My tester was equipped with the 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system along with a navigation package. The sound was pretty close to studio quality.
The cabin of the NX 300 was roomy with plenty of cargo space as well. The second-row seats split and fold in a 60/40 configuration. The rear seats offer recline adjustability and can be optioned with a power-folding feature. With the rear seats folded, the NX makes a road trip, shopping trip or grocery store run a breeze.
The F Sport trim of the NX300 comes with a 235-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 258 pound-feet of torque. We had the all-wheel drive model with the six-speed automatic transmission. A lot of brands are delivering eight-speed transmissions now so Lexus will have to explore that option in the future. The NX accelerated nice off the line and handled well in the corners. It is not intimidating but aggressive enough to turn your head. The NX has an Eco and Normal Drive mode but I found myself in Sport+ mode most of the time. It was decent on gas delivering 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg in the highway and 24 mpg combined. The NX 300 requires Premium fuel and will take 15.9 gallons to fill it up.
The Lexus Enform app system, along with the Lexus Safety System, brings adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane-keeping assist and adaptive high-beam headlamps and a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic assist . The Lexus Safety System comes with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Intelligent High Beam (IHB), and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. The NX 300 scored high with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the latter of which gave the NX a Top Safety Pick award.
2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport comes with a great warranty package. You have 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain coverage. 24-hour roadside assistance and 6-year corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage. That is pretty reliable coverage in my book.
I previously tested the RX, and it is bigger than the NX. It also has more, seating due to the third row. The NX didn’t come off as “small” to me. It was cozy, quick and nimble. The Lexus NX 300 sits in a highly competitive class alongside the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 (X3 M40i), Infiniti QX30, Lincoln MKC, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC Class (Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe) and the 2018 Volvo XC60 T8. The NX stands out amongst this class due to the reliability of the Lexus badge, its residual value, and premium features. The model that we tested comes in at $48,160.00. Enjoy our photo gallery.