The Lexus NX 300h is a competitor in a class of one, being the only luxury compact crossover SUV to offer a hybrid drivetrain. The NX 300h offers aggressive styling, good driving dynamics and the faultless build quality in an easy-to-drive package.
Unfortunately, it doesn't excel in all areas. Like its conventionally powered sibling, the NX 200t (reviewed separately), the NX 300h has limited cargo space, especially considering its large footprint compared to its competitors. Still, the NX 300h accommodates its passengers well, and the hybrid drivetrain delivers reasonable fuel economy improvement over the non-hybrid NX.
Current Lexus NX 300h
Lexus sells the NX 300h in a single trim (the NX 200t is reviewed separately). Equipment levels mirror its entry-level price, with simulated leather upholstery (Lexus' reasonably convincing NuLuxe), a 7-inch display stereo, and a power-adjustable steering column and seats. Unfortunately, Lexus doesn't offer an F Sport version of the NX Hybrid as it does in the conventionally powered NX 200t and the bigger RX 450h Hybrid. Though advanced safety and driver aids, such as collision detection with automatic braking, lane departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control, are standard on other Lexus models, they're extra-cost options on the NX.
The powertrain is closely related to that of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (Lexus is a division of Toyota). A 2.5-liter gasoline engine paired with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive powers the front axle and an electric motor alone powers the rear axle, providing on-demand all-wheel drive. We clocked the NX 300h to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, 1.4 seconds slower than the NX 200t. That's not a great time, but it's acceptable for a hybrid, and our consumer reviews show that most owners are satisfied with the NX 300h's acceleration. The EPA fuel economy estimate for the NX 300h is an impressive 31 mpg combined, a 7 mpg improvement over the all-wheel-drive NX 200t.
We love the NX 300h's interior, which is sharply designed and flawlessly finished. Materials quality is excellent, as it is in virtually all Lexus models. Our biggest complaint is the mouselike Remote Touch interface, which we find difficult to use while driving. Fortunately, lower-trim NX 300h models can be had with a more conventional infotainment systems, though that means doing without built-in navigation. Lexus' Scout GPS app, which runs on your smartphone and can be displayed on the stereo screen, is a reasonable substitute, though it doesn't work if your phone can't find a signal.
Four adults will fit comfortably into the Lexus NX 300h, but their luggage might have to be sent ahead via UPS. To its credit, the NX 300h loses very little luggage space compared to the non-hybrid NX 200t. Both the seats-up cargo space (16.8 cubic feet) and the seats-folded space (53.7) are only about 1 fewer cubic foot than in the non-hybrid NX, but those numbers aren't anything to brag about considering many compact hatchback cars offer more cargo room.
Used Lexus NX 300h Models
Lexus introduced the first-generation NX 300h for the 2015 model year. For 2016, it received enhanced smartphone connectivity. The front-wheel-drive version was dropped for 2017, the same year the new smartphone-linked Scout GPS app was introduced.
Read the most recent 2018 Lexus NX 300h review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Lexus NX 300h page.