Whether it be a Sedan, Coupe, CUV, or SUV, the entire Lexus lineup features similar traits and styling cues that distinguish them as Lexus. They all have their own personal touches that keep them separate yet close enough to recognize them as part of the same family.
Starting with the front fascia, Lexus uses an hourglass shaped front grille on essentially the entire lineup, it is slightly different on all the models by using different inserts and varying sizes depending on the model. It is a fabulous looking grille and is no wonder why Lexus uses it everywhere. In the case of the NX300h, it travels from the bottom of the hood to almost the bottom of the bumper.
Triple beam signature headlights with LED accents placed directly underneath as opposed to inside the headlights add a unique factor not found on many or even any other manufacturers for that matter. This in combination with the LED foglights, defined lines on the hood and through the front bumper portray a mean and aggressive face that surely will make you get out of the way if you see it crawling up behind you. Moving to the back we see LED taillights that are sharp and bright, these somewhat mimic the shape of the headlights. Worthy of noting is also the power liftgate.
Like most of the new Lexus models, the NX300h has bold and aggressive styling all throughout, wide quarter panels with chiseled lines only add to the sporty styling and give it an athletic stance.
The use of chrome was subtle and added tastefully in all the right places. Our tester was a beautiful deep red color that Lexus calls Matador Red Mica and married to the chrome really well.
18 inch 5 spoke alloy wheels were fitting for the CUV and looked the part by incorporating the sharp and bold Styling cues
Stepping inside the NX300h is luxurious and inviting. Black leather trimmed surfaces with leather seating is simple yet refined, Memory seating with lumbar support for the driver and 8-way power adjustability with heating and ventilation for both front seats. In the rear, we have 60/40 split power folding seats for convenient storage, when the seats are not folded they are power reclinable with an arm- rest for added comfort and luxury. The rear section of the cabin is surprisingly roomy and can comfortably fit adult rear passengers.
Moving back up to the front of the vehicle we see a well balanced and uncluttered center console. I particularly liked how the center console and dash area resemble the shape of the grill when viewed from the back, this houses all the necessary controls within it. Starting at the top, a fixed multi-information display that features a backup camera, Bluetooth, HD and satellite radio, this system looks like it is floating and adds a sophisticated touch. Below that is the centerpiece, an elegant analog timepiece surrounded by controls for dual zone climate. To control the display Lexus uses a scroll pad with haptic feedback placed right next to the driver in the center console, this system is quite sensitive and takes a little getting used to but is useful once you can get the hang of it. The entire center console is easy to familiarize yourself with and user-friendly.
For all other adjustments or requests from the system, you can simply use the steering wheel. The steering wheel is heated and has power tilt with telescoping and can control media changing, phone options, and voice control.
Loaded with technology on the inside the NX was fitted with wireless smartphone charging, color heads-up display, AUX and USB port, and power moonroof for driver and passenger freedom.
There is not much in the segment of Hybrid Crossover SUV’s, in fact, there are only two competitors. One of which obviously being the NX300h and the other one being the Audi Q5 Hybrid.
The Lexus is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with three electric motors for the AWD model, the FWD model vetos one of the electric motors because it does not have to power the rear wheels. Our tester was AWD and gave a combined 194 horsepower, this is married to an Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT).
The NX300h was a little lacking when it came to acceleration but made up for it in fuel economy, it was able to give us a combined average of 7.4L/100km which is much better than the Audi giving you a 9.1L/100km combined average.
There are drive select modes available as well, these include Sport, ECO, and normal mode. You are also able to put the Lexus into all electric mode (EV mode) when there is enough stored electric power, to help gain this the vehicle uses regenerative braking. This harnesses the energy gained when braking and stores it for later use.
It handled extremely well with little body roll and movement around corners and over bumps. The Lexus NX300h was smooth and a great experience to drive.
For Drivers assistance features the NX300h Executive package came with clearance and backup sensors, auto leveling head lights, pre-collision system, automatic high beams, lane departure alert with steering assist, auto-dimming side view mirrors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring system, and rain-sensing wipers.
Other standard safety features included whiplash-injury-lessening front seats, dual stage front airbags, front passenger seat cushion airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters.