2018 Lexus NX 300h Review

Pros & Cons

  • High fuel economy for a luxury crossover
  • Back seat has enough room for adults
  • Very quiet cabin at highway speeds
  • Infotainment interface can be distracting to use
  • Limited cargo capacity
Other years
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Which NX 300h does Edmunds recommend?

There's only one trim level of the NX 300h, but there is a handful of option packages from which to choose. We recommend the Comfort package at a minimum for the heated and ventilated front seats. Otherwise, for more creature comforts, get an NX with the Luxury package. It includes the contents of the Comfort and Premium packages (plus perforated leather trim, automatic wipers and a heated steering wheel) for a bit less money.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.1 / 10

Despite its aggressive styling, this hybrid is an even more sensible-shoes compact SUV than the NX 300 upon which it is based. It retains the visual attitude of its stablemate while delivering even better fuel economy.

Entering its fourth model year, the Lexus NX 300h compact SUV receives only minor changes for 2018. You can expect a quiet, pleasant driving experience even if the outside world thinks you're making a shouty statement.

With less power and slightly more weight to haul around than the regular NX 300, the hybrid NX won't pin you to the seat with authority. But the thrust of the NX hybrid is perfectly adequate around town, moving it away from stoplights on a bump of electrically augmented torque. Plus, that aforementioned seat is a well-padded and comfortable place from which to spend long stints behind the wheel.

Hybrid versions of conventional vehicles often suffer reduced cargo volume resulting from the need to package the large hybrid battery. In the case of the NX hybrid, this penalty is modest. However, the NX doesn't have a large cargo area to begin with. It's one of just two notable downsides to the NX 300h. The other is its infotainment interface, which can be distracting to use.

Overall, though, we like the NX 300h and think it's a smart choice for luxury crossover SUV shoppers wanting a pleasing mix of luxury, fuel economy and style.

2018 Lexus NX 300h models

The 2018 Lexus NX 300h is a five-seat compact hybrid SUV, available in just one version. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and hybrid system deliver a combined power of 194 hp. It is available only with all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

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Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED foglights and running lights, keyless ignition and entry, automatic dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, simulated-leather upholstery (Lexus' NuLuxe), a 60/40-split folding and reclining back seat, a 8-inch infotainment display with a touchpad interface, and an eight-speaker sound system.

Also included is adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and intervention, and automatic high beams.

Available option packages help buyers get the most out of their NX. The Navigation package, for example, comes with a larger 10.3-inch display, Enform Destination Assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker audio system. A Comfort package includes heated and ventilated front seats, blind-spot monitoring and auto-dimming side mirrors. The Premium package includes the items from the Comfort package and adds a sunroof, driver-seat memory settings, 18-inch wheels, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and enhanced LED daytime running lights with integrated turn signals. Finally, a Luxury package combines what you get from the Premium package and adds leather seating surfaces, wood interior pieces, automatic wipers and a heated leather steering wheel.

Stand-alone options include a hands-free liftgate, parking sensors, adaptive headlights and even power-folding rear seats.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Lexus NX 300h (2.5L 4-cyl. hybrid | CVT automatic | AWD).


The 300h's low-end electric power and small dimensions help it scoot around quickly in the city. Maximum acceleration leaves a bit to be desired, as does steering feel, but overall performance is totally adequate.


The 300h's power won't wow you, but passing maneuvers can be made with enough planning. In Edmunds testing, 0-60 mph took 8.8 seconds, which is a bit slow in this class.


Not much happens when you first press the brake pedal, but braking power is linear and strong. You will notice the transition from the regenerative braking to the friction brakes, but it's only slightly off-putting. In Edmunds braking testing, the 300h came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet, which is an average distance for the segment.


At low speeds, the steering is light and helps you get into tight parking spaces with ease. Switch to Sport mode and the resistance increases. Feedback, however, is vague in all scenarios. You will have little idea of where on-center is when driving straight or what the wheels are doing when driving around turns.


While the 300h's handling isn't sporty, it is impressive for a hybrid SUV. The vehicle changes direction with relative speed and ease and is competent on curvy mountain roads.


Thanks to the hybrid powertrain, there's a good burst of electric torque between city stoplights. Up long grades, the engine sounds like it's working hard because of the nature of the hybrid powertrain and continuously variable automatic transmission.


Get settled in for the long haul as this Lexus NX 300h makes for a great road-trip car. Both the front and rear seats are comfortable and supportive. Combine that with a plush ride, a quiet cabin and strong climate control system, and you've got a small SUV that you can easily drive for hours at a time.

Seat comfort

Both the front and rear seats have comfortable padding and robust side bolsters. The adjustable lumbar support for the driver's seat helps on long journeys. Road trips should be a breeze in any seating position.

Ride comfort

Over almost every road surface, ride quality in the NX 300h is excellent. Big and small bumps alike are soaked up well. The rear suspension gets a bit upset when you hit a large pothole or a bump midcorner, but the NX recovers and resettles itself in short order.

Noise & vibration

On the highway, things are hush-hush in the NX. Road noise is a nonissue, and there's just a bit of wind noise coming from the roof and the sideview mirrors at highway speeds. Under full-throttle acceleration, the hybrid powertrain drones a bit, but in most low-speed city scenarios you'll barely notice it.

Climate control

The standard automatic dual-zone climate control works quickly and quietly to cool or heat the small cabin. Controls are within reach but they are aimed strangely upward. Optional heated and ventilated front seats are a nice touch and they cool or heat with relatively quick speed.


While the NX is relatively spacious, the Remote Touch infotainment interface could be a deal-breaker for some tech-savvy (or tech-averse) buyers. The system is difficult to use on a regular basis and drags the NX's score down.

Ease of use

Operating Lexus' Remote Touch interface is frustrating and counterintuitive. It requires laser-focused attention on the infotainment screen to select the right commands, which is highly distracting while driving. The large center console has an array of buttons that are oddly angled in entirely different directions. They never feel natural.

Getting in/getting out

Sliding in and out of the NX is a breeze whether you're getting into the front or the back seat. The short doors mean you can exit both rows without worrying too much about opening them and hitting a neighboring parked car. The sill's step-over height is sufficiently low as you enter.

Driving position

The driving position is relatively comfortable, and the telescoping steering wheel has a wide range of adjustment. But we aren't fond of the angled head restraint. It can't be adjusted, and many drivers will find it uncomfortable.


The front seat offers plenty of headroom. The big back seat also provides generous headroom thanks to a low seat and a reclining rear seatback. But rear-seat footroom is tight under the front seats, and the cabin has a relative scarcity of elbow room.


It's easy to see out of the NX's windshield and front windows. But because of the sloping rear roof and massive rear roof pillars, there are big blind spots when looking over your shoulders. The standard rearview camera and optional blind-spot monitor help out significantly.


Compared to some of the top-notch German luxury SUVs, the NX is a step behind on build quality. Interior construction is solid, but touchpoint materials could be better for a luxury SUV. Also, our test vehicle had some uncanny squeaks and rattles that were troubling in a brand-new car.


While there is a decent amount of cargo space when you fold the rear seats (53.7 cubic feet), the NX is lacking in seat-up cargo space, small-item storage, and space for large child seats.

Small-item storage

There are small cupholders in all four main seating positions and a relatively deep center console up front. But there isn't a great place to store your smartphone otherwise. The thin door pockets have just enough space for a small water bottle.

Cargo space

The standard NX 300 has just 17.7 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats, but the 300h is further limited to 16.8 cubes. That's far less than size-appropriate rivals and even less than some smaller SUVs. Load-in height is average, but the sloping rear roof could inhibit the fitment of certain tall items.

Child safety seat accommodation

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


With an optional towing package, the 300h is rated to tow a maximum of 1,500 pounds. That's not impressive by SUV standards, but many of the 300h's hybrid competitors aren't rated to tow at all.


The available tech in the NX 300h is a mixed bag. The screen is crisp and clear, and audio quality from the optional sound system is enjoyable, but smartphone integration is definitively behind the times. The driver aids and voice controls work well.

Audio & navigation

The infotainment screen is easy to read and understand, and it has crisp and clear maps for navigation. The optional 10-speaker premium sound system has good audio quality and only distorts at the highest volume. Overall, it's a likable system — apart from the touchpad interface described elsewhere.

Smartphone integration

The NX offers Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa but no Android Auto. There is a quick USB connection for audio (or Bluetooth) or you can use the Lexus' Enform app for smartphone integration. The thing is, this requires downloading and logging into individual apps, and we're not fans of the complicated setup process.

Driver aids

Systems such as rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring work well on the NX. The adaptive cruise control has adequate performance. But it doesn't accelerate quickly when a gap opens up, and the closest ACC-following distance is only suitable on the wide-open highway.

Voice control

Voice controls in the NX have a basic, easy-to-learn set of prompts. Even if you forget those, it's good enough to pick up on some natural language. Voice controls can be used for navigation, phone, entertainment and climate control systems. iPhone users get Siri Eyes Free capability, too.


Overall7.1 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

My Daily Driver NX300h
Robert S,08/04/2018
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I traded my used 2015 GX460 for this vehicle. The GX was simply too big and the gas mileage too low to justify keeping this car (especially as I have a 2016 RC350 sports car that I use as my fun car). I bought the NX as my daily driver, and decided to get the hybrid so as to have an SUV that gets at least 30mpg overall. The car is excellent in every respect except for two areas. Acceleration is poor, especially when getting onto the highway. But once the NX gets up to speed it maintains it's speed well. Gas mileage was good the first few months, getting at 30 mpg on each tank of gas (my best was 35.3 mpg). But in the last month the mileage has dropped to between 27 to 28 mpg. I'm still happy with the vehicle, but in hindsight would probably have gotten the gas only version instead of paying the premium for the hybrid. Regardless, the NX is an overall great SUV and do not regret buying one.
Lexus wins over BMW, Mercedes and Audi compact SUV
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I wanted to downsize to a compact SUV after driving larger vehicles while raising my children. After several test drives, it came down to BMW and Lexus. I liked the looks and performance of the BMW, but the comfort of the Lexus outperformed the BMW. I want and need comfort. A recent road rage experience tested the NX 300h’s automatic braking ability. The driver in front of me abruptly stopped his vehicle illegally on a highway. The LEXUS stopped on a dime, keeping me and the jerk who had stopped safe. While it would have been nice to have 2-driver seat memory like our LEXUS ES350, I’m the primary driver who drives the NX 300h 99% of the time, so it wasn’t an important feature to me. Also, I disliked the automatic wipers on our ES350. We live along the coast where the air is often moist. No amount of fine tuning would keep the automatic wipers turning on in thin fog. We shut off that function. Glad it wasn’t to pester me on the NX 300h. I like the driving assist feature that automatically slows down my car when approaching slower vehicles. I also like that I can easily bypass that function by accelerating and pass them. Everything functional in the LEXUS works great. I love my NX 300h. My only two beefs have to do with looks: in an effort to appear luxurious, LEXUS copied BMW to an extent for the interior. The little bit of “luxury”on the dash looks small and silly, compared to the entire sweep of luxury on the BMW X1 & X3’s dashboard. Also, instead of smooth lines, the NX300h has odd rear lights that stick out from the car, reminiscent of the 1950’s fins. I wonder how long it will take for falling rocks to break one of my rear lights.
Check features BEFORE you buy
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This is the 5th Lexus car I bought. When purchasing the NX I assumed certain features, which I considered to be basic for a Lexus car, would be included. THAT IS NOT THE CASE!! For instance, I was considering an NX 300, but it did not have driver's seat memory. I had to buy an NX 300 H, which the salesman said was top-of-the-line, for over $45,000 MSRP, to get driver's seat memory and the parking sensors. However, after I got it, I realized this car does not turn on the wipers automatically when it rains (a feature I already had in a 2005 RX 330). The car also does not have the heads-up display (a feature I already had in a 2010 RX 450H). In summary, for the NX Lexus is delivering a basic car which does not have the features you usually expect to get in a Lexus car. So, check what you are going to get BEFORE buying an NX.
Uses regular grade gas on the 300h
4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Quiet ride, overall very sharp quality styling , fit and finish. Love that it uses regular grade gas. Get 30 mpg overall. Had car car 9 months. Have the atomic silver color which really gives the car a rich look.


Our experts like the NX 300h models:

Lexus Safety System+
Helps mitigate accidents by alerting you to impending forward collisions or when you deviate from your lane.
Blind-Spot Monitor, Cross-Traffic Alert
Alerts you if a vehicle is in your blind spot. Also warns you about oncoming cross-traffic when backing up.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect
Lets you connect with roadside assistance, and can contact the authorities in case of a collision or stolen vehicle.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2018 Lexus NX 300h

Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h Overview

The Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h is offered in the following submodels: NX 300h SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). The Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h Base is priced between $34,000 and$34,000 with odometer readings between 27614 and27614 miles.

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Which used 2018 Lexus NX 300hs 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) 2018 Lexus NX 300h for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2018 NX 300hs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $34,000 and mileage as low as 27614 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2018 Lexus NX 300h.

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Find a used Lexus NX 300h for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,257.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Lexus NX 300h?

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.

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