2017 Lexus NX 300h Review

NX 300h

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2017 Lexus NX 300h Overview

If you want to get your hands on a luxury compact crossover that’s also a hybrid, you don’t have too many options. For a long time, the only game in town was the Audi Q5 Hybrid—but that changed in 2015 when Lexus introduced the NX 300h, its first hybrid compact crossover. Along with its lineup-mate, the 2.0-liter turbo NX 200t, the NX 300h undergoes some minor changes for 2017.

The NX 300h’s unique exterior is unlike that of any other crossover—or any other vehicle on the market, for that matter. Its front features a large grille with chrome surround and distinctive daytime running lights, and side sculpting along the doors adds some pizzaz. The NX 300h comes with Hybrid badging on the lower sill of the rear doors and standard 17-inch wheels, with 18-inch wheels available in the optional Premium package. The F-Sport package, however, will not be offered this year.

The interior of the NX 300h is less polarizing but still distinctive, complete with Lexus’ trademark top-notch materials and impressive build quality. Seats come wrapped in faux-leather NuLuxe upholstery, while leather is available as an upgrade. The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable and the front passenger’s is 8-way adjustable, with optional heating and ventilation. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints about the generous head- and legroom and reclining seats. The cargo area is a disappointing 16.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up—a 0.9-cubic-feet decrease from the NX 200t’s size due to the set of batteries located beneath the cargo floor. Folding the rear seats, however, increases cargo space to 53.7 cubic feet.

The NX 300h’s base infotainment system is Lexus’ Display Audio, which is controlled via a knob. New for 2017 is Scout GPS Link, which syncs your smartphone with the vehicle’s infotainment system for navigation. An optional Navigation system adds a Remote Touch touchpad, extra speakers, and Lexus Enform.

The NX 300h’s hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, 3 electric motors, and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total output sits at 194 horsepower. For 2017, the NX 300h is available only with all-wheel drive (AWD), and it can reach 60 mph in 9.1 seconds. EPA fuel-economy numbers are an impressive 33 mpg city, 30 highway, and 31 combined.

Like the NX 200t, the 2017 NX 300h has a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Standard safety equipment includes a full suite of airbags, antilock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, traction and stability control, a reversing camera, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which will automatically notify emergency services in the event of a crash, locate your vehicle if it's stolen, and provide roadside assistance. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a collision-mitigation system are optional add-ons. The 2017 Lexus NX 300h begins at $39,720.

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Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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