2018 Lexus NX 300h new car reviews

Think of the Lexus NX 300 as a fancy Rav4 hybrid and you’re more or less there. The Lexus got some updates for 2018, though. First, there’s a new name: Previously it was known as the NX 200t. The styling has been updated, too.

Then there are some hardware changes to the NX 300, and we’re going to parrot right from the media kit: “While the NX’s straight-line performance will essentially remain the same, significant improvements have been made to the vehicle’s suspension tuning to enhance ride and handling. The springs, stabilizer bars and bushings have been retuned for improved turn-in response and steady-state cornering. Also, new shock absorbers improve the quality of the NX’s already smooth ride. But the biggest new change to the NX’s chassis is the available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), now based on the advanced system found in the LC 500, which offers a range of up to 650 instantaneous compression and damping adjustments (up from 30) for enhanced control and overall handling stability.”

There’s also a new color for 2018: caviar.

We drove the NX 300h, the hybrid version. Base MSRP is $38,335, while ours stickered at $48,864. The big option was the $4705 Luxury Package: 18-inch wheels, Linear Black Shadow Wood Trim, leather seats and power everything.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

But it’s basically a fancy Rav4, you say. Well, true, but there was something special about this one. Maybe it’s the chassis tuning. Maybe it’s the Lexus-ness. Whatever the difference, I enjoyed my time with this one–and I’m not a CUV kinda guy.

The NX 300 is the right size. Not too big too park, not too small for friends. It’s silent and comfortable on the highway. While not everyone’s a fan of Lexus’s current styling, I think that their interiors have been been spot-on. They’re comfortable, sporty and tasteful.

And then there was the handling, as this one perfectly tackled the Orlando Offsets–also known as the giant I-4 construction zone found through metro Orlando.

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Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
10/14/18 10:00 a.m.

"A Lexus version of a Rav4 Hybrid" is officially the most favorable perspective I've ever applied to the NX. I think I like the NX more than the current IS. Glad to hear the chassis tuning was notable in a good way! That's been a weak spot in a whole lot of Lexus products in the past. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
10/14/18 12:02 p.m.

arg, it has the same sickle-style wheels as my GTI came with, that look ok at first, but then are annoying when you realize they point the opposite direction on the other side of the car. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
10/14/18 12:09 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

It saves the indignity of what happened with the MN10 Thunderbird and first generation Taurus SHO where you would get cars off the assembly line with three rights and one left or vice-versa.  And then you can't rotate tires without dismounting and remounting/rebalancing unless you want backwards wheels.

 

In other words, it's a case of "I meant to do that..."

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
10/14/18 1:56 p.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to irish44j :

It saves the indignity of what happened with the MN10 Thunderbird and first generation Taurus SHO where you would get cars off the assembly line with three rights and one left or vice-versa.  And then you can't rotate tires without dismounting and remounting/rebalancing unless you want backwards wheels.

 

In other words, it's a case of "I meant to do that..."

The solution is to just not make them have an obvious "directional-ness" to them. These wheels would be better if they just got rid of the little "triangle edge" at the outer part of each spoke. Especially since it makes them look like they're on backwards on one side of the car. Those wheels are hideous anyhow, though, so may be a moot point. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
10/14/18 10:48 p.m.

Not to mention the “ catfish in a feeding frenzy “ grille. 

 

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