STATUS: Unchanged for 2020 - Lexus abandoned styling subtlety years ago, instead embracing a design language that heads in the opposite direction. The compact utility vehicle's spindle grille - a like-it-or-leave-it feature for some people - was enhanced for the 2018 model year along with redesigned front bumpers. The interior also received minor tweaks, including a touchpad controller and an easy-to-read analog clock. The NX 300 uses a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, while the NX 300h hybrid combines a 154-horsepower four-cylinder with a 141-horsepower electric motor for a net output of 194. The available all-wheel-drive system in the NX 300 directs torque to the front tires when traction is normal, but can send up to 50 percent to the rear tires when slip is detected. For the hybrid, an electric motor powers the rear axle, which is activated when the vehicle accelerates from rest, or when the front wheels begin losing grip. Optional equipment includes a navigation system, power-folding rear seat and liftgate, and a wireless charging tray for energizing cell phones. The F Sport trim includes sport-tuned suspension and steering, summer tires and perforated seat covers.
Base price (incl. destination): $37,750 (NX 300); $39,550 (NX 300h)
Type: Compact wagon
Engines (h.p.): 2.0-liter I-4, turbocharged (235); 2.5-liter I-4 with electric assist (194)
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic; continuously variable (NX 300h)
Drivetrain: Front -/all-wheel-drive
Base MPG (city/highway/combined): 22/28/25Base weight (lb.): 3,940