So what’s new with you all? Nothing? Same here, great! (*shakes nervously…)
We’re still driving new cars to provide you with buying advice in case you decide to leave your house. I’ll try and not make this about COVID-19, and instead about the new 2020 Lexus NX 300h Luxury.
This is my second take on the NX, back when I could leave the house and be around other humans, I took a 2015 NX F-Sport out on a holiday excursion. I found the then-new NX to be a pretty solid effort in the compact’ish, midsize’ish, crossover space. Based on the “New MC” platform, the AZ10 generation NX is known to share some components with the Toyota RAV4.
The good news is that RFD reviewers agree that the new RAV4 is excellent! The bad news is that this Lexus RX doesn’t yet ride on the 5th generation Global Architecture-K platform that the new RAV4 rides on. So does that mean it’s antiquated and out of date? Let’s find out.
First, let’s see what’s what and where the NX fits into the 2020 Lexus lineup.
As you can see, it’s just about in the middle of Lexus crossover models, with the smaller UX slotting underneath and the larger RX. Then you get the more truck-like GX and LX at the top of the SUV range.
The NX is larger in most measurable dimensions (are there unmeasurable dimensions?) than the first and second generation RX. You have to hit the third generation RX in 2010 to find a clearly larger car than the NX. Typical setup – make vehicle bigger, slot in vehicle below that vehicle. I was talking to a current 2003 RX owner this week and she asked what she should look at in the Lexus lineup that’s close to the size of her car. I pointed to the NX.
The NX comes in several trim levels with petrol and hybrid powered engines.
- NX 300
- NX 300 F Sport
- NX 300 Luxury
- NX 300h
- NX 300h Luxury
I guess they think hybrid drivers aren’t that sporty since you can’t get a 300h F Sport. Kidding, kidding. Mostly.
Pricing starts at a reasonable $36,870 for a FWD NX 300 and peaks at $46,510 for the NX 300h Luxury that we’ve been driving. And with that, off to the review.
I’ll say this up front, she’s got a bit of an overbite. I’m not sure if that’s because of the latest pedestrian crash requirements to have the bumper higher, or what? But unfortunately it’s awkward, but otherwise the exterior is pretty solid.
As I mentioned to the aforementioned 2003 RX owner, this is well packaged from a size perspective, and feels much more similar to the original RX. As I said, old models get bigger, newer ones slot in below them. And then ones below that. At least you aren’t starved for choice!
On the inside, it’s prototypical Lexus. Dublin looks pleased. Or a little smug, hard to tell.
I’m never a big fan of the cream colored interior, but everything is well-built and relatively easy to use. My biggest gripe continues to be the touchpad. I don’t doubt that I would get used to it if I drove this daily, but having driven a ton of 2019-2020 Lexus models, it’s still not great from an ergonomic standpoint.
Still, the NX is comfortable and would make a great daily driver. Rear seat room is adequate and the space behind the seats is ample as well.
Frequent readers will notice that I skipped the “driving” portion of the review. The reasons behind that are twofold. One, I just didn’t get to drive it much. Because of the stay-at-home orders, there just isn’t much reason to drive and I’m respecting the lockdown.
And when you do, the roads are empty. Although, that part I like.
And two, this is a hybrid crossover. Beyond saying that it has adequate pick-up in daily driving scenarios, there isn’t a lot of interesting things to say. It’s neither inspiring, nor disappointing.
The 2020 NX 300h Luxury is more than the sum of its parts. No one specific thing about it was remarkable, yet it does a lot of things well. It’s not too big, not too small, it’s just right. I would imagine that the base NX 300 is enough for most buyers, it’s very well equipped and reasonably priced. Regardless, if you are in the market for a compact’ish, midsize’ish luxury SUV, you can’t go wrong with the NX.