2021 Lexus NX 300
MSRP Range: $37,510 - $45,360

MSRP$37,510
Edmunds suggests you pay$39,463
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2021 Lexus NX 300 Review

  • Cabin is very quiet at highway speeds
  • Supremely comfortable ride and seats
  • Lots of standard high-tech safety features
  • Remote Touchpad interface is frustrating to use
  • Limited cargo volume
  • Not much fun to drive
  • A blind-spot monitor and auto-dimming exterior mirrors are now standard
  • Part of the first NX generation, originally introduced for 2015 as the NX 200t

Comfortable, quiet and packed with all sorts of standard safety features, the 2021 Lexus NX 300 has lots of appeal right out of the gate. Though it's a compact luxury SUV, the NX 300 has enough room for adults, yet it's small enough to easily maneuver around town. On the highway, the NX 300 makes a great road-trip vehicle thanks to its hushed cabin and supple suspension. And even at the base trim level, the NX comes with safety features such as forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert.

Unfortunately, even with all its virtues, the NX 300 has a lot working against it. Cargo space is limited behind the rear seats, negating some of its long-haul readiness. Inside, we like the serenity the NX offers, but Lexus' touchpad user interface is one of the most difficult to use in any car on the road today. What's more, the driving experience isn't as engaging as we'd hope, even in an NX with the optional F Sport equipment. There's a lot to like about this little Lexus, but up against segment leaders from Mercedes and BMW, it's harder to recommend.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best

Our verdict

7.0 / 10
When it comes to providing a quiet and comfortable ride, the Lexus NX 300 excels among luxury crossover SUVs. Performance places it midpack in the segment, and its smaller cargo capacity and high cost compared to more capable and spacious SUVs knock it down a few more pegs. But the biggest drawback is the frustrating infotainment interface, which might be the worst in the industry.

How does the NX 300 drive?

7.0
For performance and driver engagement, the NX 300 comes up as merely average among small luxury SUVs. The engine is smooth and has good low-end power, but its 0-60 mph time of 7 seconds flat is average among compact crossover rivals with turbocharged four-cylinders. In panic-braking tests from 60 mph, the NX 300 needed 136 feet to stop, which is a considerable 10 feet longer than average.

Steering effort is appropriate and precise, but there's little feedback for the driver. When cornering, there's a good amount of body roll, but the NX is reasonably predictable and poised. The transmission provides seamless shifts in typical driving conditions, and the smooth engine virtually disappears from your awareness.

How comfortable is the NX 300?

8.5
The NX 300's abundance of overall comfort is uncommon in the segment. The front seats offer plenty of room and adequate support for a variety of body types, and optional front-seat ventilation enhances long-distance comfort. The rear seats are also accommodating for adults.

In keeping with Lexus' greater emphasis on comfort, the NX's suspension smooths over road imperfections with ease. Neither busy nor nervous, the NX 300 seems to glide unaffected over ruts and bumps. The dual-zone automatic climate control system is controlled mainly through well-labeled buttons and rocker switches. The system works well and isn't too loud. Among luxury crossover SUVs, the Lexus NX 300 is one of the quietest.

How’s the interior?

6.5
The front seats are spacious, and the rear seats have enough — but not abundant — head- and legroom for adults in the outboard seats. The small rear windows, however, make those quarters feel a bit more confining than they are. A memory function saves your seat and steering wheel position, and the range of adjustability will allow most drivers to find a decent setup. The Easy Entry feature, combined with below-average legroom, might make it difficult for passengers to get in or out of the vehicle behind a tall driver.

The optional touchpad interface is easily the worst in the industry. The controller is hard to manage, and there's a distinct lack of intuitive menus and buttons. Luckily, most other cabin controls are logical and well conceived.

How’s the tech?

7.0
Although the technology in the NX is modern and effective, its clunky interface may turn off tech-savvy buyers. Thankfully Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available. The optional navigation system, however, is easy to use, with fairly accurate traffic information. The voice controls work well and allow for some degree of natural language. In-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi is included for the first year.

The NX's adaptive cruise control, front collision mitigation braking and optional rear cross-traffic alert systems all work well. The lane keeping assist and automatic high-beam activation are less useful since their effectiveness varies too much depending on terrain and surroundings.

How’s the storage?

6.0
The NX sits just below average within the segment for interior cargo space or nooks and cubbies for your gear. It trails competitors with its 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. Cargo room is further hampered by the sloped rear window that limits the vehicle's ability to take on bulky items with the seats folded. The door pockets are small, as are the glovebox and center console compartment.

The rear seats are a bit cramped, so installing a large rear-facing child seat will be a challenge. It is easy to find and access the car seat points that serve the outboard seating positions, but the center position uses belts attached to the roof.

How economical is the NX 300?

7.0
The all-wheel-drive NX 300 is rated at 24 mpg combined (22 city/27 highway), an estimate that is competitive with other vehicles in the class. We averaged 25.7 mpg on our highway-heavy evaluation loop, which is in line with what we'd expect with such a rating.

Is the NX 300 a good value?

7.0
A base NX 300 provides good value, especially if interior volume isn't the highest priority. The NuLuxe simulated leather upholstery looks and feels like the genuine article. Common touch points are well padded, and other interior materials are nice quality and tightly fitted for a solid feel. But add a bunch of options and the appeal of the NX lessens because the price gets harder to justify and its shortcomings become harder to overlook. Warranty coverage is a bit better than average for a luxury make.

Wildcard

7.0
Styling, both inside and out, may present a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. The many high-tech features should appeal to early adopters, but the heavily flawed touchpad interface will temper their enthusiasm. While the NX 300 lags behind others in its class in driver engagement and performance, it will prove more than adequate for most drivers. It's not particularly entertaining or stimulating, but it is predictable and controllable. It's easy to drive in nearly all conditions and places few demands on the driver.

Which NX 300 does Edmunds recommend?

We recommend the base NX 300 since it comes standard with an abundance of safety features and offers plenty of stand-alone or package options to choose from. The F Sport and Luxury trims add some nice creature comforts, but most of their desirable features can be selected à la carte at the base level.

Lexus NX 300 models

The 2021 Lexus NX 300 is a five-passenger compact SUV available in three trim levels: the standard NX 300, the NX 300 F Sport and the NX 300 Luxury. The hybrid NX, the NX 300h, is reviewed separately. All three trim levels come standard with:

  • A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (235 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque)
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive

All-wheel drive is optional on all three trim levels. 

Standard equipment highlights on the base NX 300 include:

  • Power-adjustable front seats and simulated leather upholstery
  • 8-inch infotainment display with a touchpad interface
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • Eight-speaker sound system

Standard driver safety aids include:

  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
  • Forward collision warning and mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the NX back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while you're in reverse)

On top of the standard equipment, the F Sport adds:

  • Special exterior styling elements
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • More aggressively bolstered seats
  • Sport steering wheel

Building off the base NX equipment, the Luxury adds:

  • Navigation system
  • Upgraded leather upholstery
  • Power liftgate

Options are available as stand-alone extras or bundled in packages. They include:

  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system
  • 360-degree parking camera
  • Adaptive suspension dampers (F Sport only)

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MSRP $0 in Ashburn

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Consumer reviews

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    Used Years for Lexus NX 300

    Features & Specs

    Luxury 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
    Luxury 4dr SUV AWD
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MSRP$45,360
    MPG 22 city / 28 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower235 hp @ 4800 rpm
    See all for sale
    Luxury 4dr SUV features & specs
    Luxury 4dr SUV
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MSRP$43,960
    MPG 22 city / 28 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower235 hp @ 4800 rpm
    See all for sale
    F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
    F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MSRP$41,010
    MPG 22 city / 27 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower235 hp @ 4800 rpm
    See all for sale
    4dr SUV features & specs
    4dr SUV
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A
    MSRP$37,510
    MPG 22 city / 28 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower235 hp @ 4800 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2021 Lexus NX 300 features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite NX 300 safety features:

    Lexus Safety System+ 2.0
    Helps mitigate accidents by alerting you when a front collision is imminent or when you deviate from your lane.
    Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    Alerts you if a vehicle is in your blind spot and warns about approaching cross-traffic when you're backing up.
    Lexus Enform Safety Connect
    Lets you connect with roadside assistance and can contact the authorities in case of a collision or vehicle theft.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.1%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Good
    Roof Strength Test
    Good
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

    Lexus NX 300 vs. the competition

    Lexus NX 300 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class

    The Mercedes-Benz GLB is currently our top-rated pick in the extra-small luxury SUV segment. It has the edge on the NX 300 with its much more user-friendly tech interface, more cargo space and better fuel economy, all for about the same price. But when it comes to standard equipment, the NX 300 has the Mercedes beat — the base-level Lexus comes with a lot more in the way of driver aids.

    Compare Lexus NX 300 & Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class features

    Lexus NX 300 vs. Acura RDX

    Slightly larger than the Lexus NX, the Acura RDX offers more interior space and nearly double the cargo capacity of the NX 300 behind the rear seats. Both SUVs come with a long list of standard equipment, especially in the driver safety-aid department, and starting prices are similar. The RDX is a bit more enjoyable to drive thanks to sharp steering and handling. So if you can fit a larger SUV in your driveway, we recommend the RDX.

    Compare Lexus NX 300 & Acura RDX features

    Lexus NX 300 vs. Infiniti QX50

    Much like the NX 300, the Infiniti QX50 offers quite a bit of standard equipment for the price. Like the NX, the Infiniti comes standard with smartphone connectivity, blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation. But the Infiniti, measuring 2 inches longer than the Lexus, offers significantly more cargo space (31.1 cubic feet versus the NX's 17.7 cubes) and 2 additional inches of rear legroom. If you want a more spacious SUV, the QX50 is worth a closer look.

    Compare Lexus NX 300 & Infiniti QX50 features
    Lexus NX 300 for sale

    FAQ

    Is the Lexus NX 300 a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 NX 300 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.0 out of 10. You probably care about Lexus NX 300 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the NX 300 gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg to 25 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the NX 300 has 17.7 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Lexus NX 300. Learn more

    What's new in the 2021 Lexus NX 300?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Lexus NX 300:

    • A blind-spot monitor and auto-dimming exterior mirrors are now standard
    • Part of the first NX generation, originally introduced for 2015 as the NX 200t
    Learn more

    Is the Lexus NX 300 reliable?

    To determine whether the Lexus NX 300 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the NX 300. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the NX 300's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Lexus NX 300 a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Lexus NX 300 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 NX 300 and gave it a 7.0 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 NX 300 is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Lexus NX 300?

    The least-expensive 2021 Lexus NX 300 is the 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $37,510.

    Other versions include:

    • Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $45,360
    • Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $43,960
    • F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $41,010
    • 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $37,510
    • F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $39,610
    • 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $38,910
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Lexus NX 300?

    If you're interested in the Lexus NX 300, the next question is, which NX 300 model is right for you? NX 300 variants include Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A). For a full list of NX 300 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Lexus NX 300

    2021 Lexus NX 300 Overview

    The 2021 Lexus NX 300 is offered in the following submodels: NX 300 SUV. Available styles include Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), F SPORT 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

    What do people think of the 2021 Lexus NX 300?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Lexus NX 300 and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 NX 300.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Lexus NX 300 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 NX 300 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Lexus NX 300?

    2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

    The 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,935. The average price paid for a new 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $293 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $293 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $39,642.

    The average savings for the 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is 0.7% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

    The 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $40,275. The average price paid for a new 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $282 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $282 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $39,993.

    The average savings for the 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is 0.7% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 3 2021 Lexus NX 300 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2021 Lexus NX 300s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Lexus NX 300 for sale near. There are currently 35 new 2021 NX 300s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $39,285 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Lexus NX 300. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,143 on a used or CPO 2021 NX 300 available from a dealership near you.

    Can't find a new 2021 Lexus NX 300s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Lexus NX 300 for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,070.

    Find a new Lexus for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,676.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Lexus NX 300?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Lexus lease specials