First Drive Review – 2015 Lexus NX300h Is Swanky, Ultra-Smooth, 35MPG+ SUV!?

2015 Lexus NX300h Review

Is the Lexus NX the most impressive new luxury crossover with a base price under $40,000?

After a week with the plucky and quick NX200t F Sport, we whole-heartedly say YES!!

But even quick spin in the NX300h shows that the incredible (seriously otherworldly) smoothness and efficiency of the NX300h is not to be dismissed out of hand.

With effiiency figures that are up about 10 on the turbo on city and highway to the mid-30s overall, the NX300h is seriously desirable as well. With 200-pounds of battery under the back seat, the NX300h handles with a planted and buttoned-down balance that makes up for its cozy and luxury-oriented suspension tune. If the NX200t F Sport craves corners and full-throttle, the NX300h relishes silent progress with an eager EV mode engaged whenever you come off the throttle.

They both have a similar sporty feel from the drivers seat, to be honest, but the NX300h is just not as quick on full throttle as the turbo. It is also much more mature in its nose design. Sharing a look with the base NX200t, the NX300h has a horizontal gloss grey grille and streamlined pointer nose. The NX300h has blue-tinted Lexus and Hybrid badges to tell it apart from the base NX200t, which starts from $35,000.

The look of the NX300h nose gels well with the overall angularity of the design, even in profile, but is not as cool as the deep chin spoiler and spindle grille of the mid-range F Sport option.

All this being said, the NX300h might not be as zoomy or quick — but it does have next-gen hybrid systems to keep fuel usage above 30-mpg —- even if driven flat-out-floored all the time.

All NX models are offered with available AWD, a premium pack with the (nice-to-have) moonroof, and even the ultra-modern and cool triple-LED low and highbeams. This package also includes heated and cooled seats up front. Yes to all, please.

Check out this previous write-up for an animated comparison of all the trims, in every color…. inside and out. =]

2015 Lexus NX300h


Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

20152015 Lexus NX300h2015 Lexus NX300h Review35MPG+35MPG+ SUV!?driveFirstFirst Drive Review - 2015 Lexus NX300h Is Swanky