In its second model year, the 2016 Lexus NX lineup largely remains unchanged. This brand new model accompanied several firsts to the Lexus lineup when it was introduced last year – such as a first compact crossover entry for Lexus and the first utility vehicle with a new design language, which has since been followed in the RX lineup for 2016.
The NX competes in the company of the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Volvo XC60, and Cadillac SRX. To retain a competitive edge, it relies on the brand’s outstanding reputation, compelling design, and attractive exteriors. The NX’s interior is more stylish than what you observe in the brand’s other products.
The lineup features two powertrains, the first being the NX 200t with a 235 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4, combined with a 6-speed automatic that is sleek and uber-cool. The second one is the NX300h, a 194 horsepower hybrid powertrain which will impress you at first sight.
The sporty NX 200t F SPORT, a third variant in the line of 2016 Lexus NX 300h, features a unique interior trim, comfortable sport seats and a more aggressive grill. The vehicle’s retuned suspension paves the way for a smoother drive.
You will receive front or AWD versions in both models, although the hybrid sacrifices the mechanical AWD system in the 200t, substituting a 67 hp (50 kilowatt) electric motor on the rear axle.
The 2016 NX 300h’s exterior is very impressive. Our tester came equipped with the Luxury Package which costs $4,505. One of its features is the power back door which has a remote keyless access to the rear storage space. You can raise or lower it with a switch or remotely with a SmartAccess fob while you are inside the vehicle. The rain sensing wipers help you maintain visibility on the road, even when it’s raining. They detect moisture and automatically turn on and adjust their speed continuously. The wiper timing also adjusts itself automatically depending on the rain and vehicle’s speed.
You also get a wiper de-icer, which obviates the need to get out of the vehicle to free frozen wipers. There are also heating elements placed near the windshield base and also near the driver’s A pillar, thus freeing the wipers from snow and ice.
The 18-inch wheels come with all-season tires to help you drive comfortably on all roads during all-weather conditions. Another compelling feature in the Luxury Package is the premium LED daytime running lights.
Other exterior features:
While it is not as aggressive as an F SPORT grill, it is one of the first features to have caught our attention.
If you are looking for greater efficiency, then you’ll definitely like the NX 300h. The LED rear combination lamps give you a powerful presence and also consume less power. LED tail lamps last longer and illuminate faster than conventional lamps, giving drivers behind you more time to react.
The 2016 Lexus NX 300h has a scratch-resistant clear coat paint that protects and preserves the glass-like finish of your vehicle. It is capable of deforming on impact and springing back to its original glossy shine. Apart from being elastic, the coating has high resistance to sunlight. One of the things you’re sure to love about it is that it does not need any special treatment or maintenance.
The interior Luxury Package includes some sensational and majestic features such as the heated leather steering wheel. It is extremely well crafted and gives you exceptional comfort as well. The heating element ensures that your hands are always warm and comfy when the weather is cold. It continually measures and adjusts the heating level to maintain a set temperature.
You can enjoy a comfortable drive every time with the heated and ventilated front seats, regardless of the weather conditions. The seat cushions have separate heaters and fans, making the front seats comfortable from the moment you get into your car.
The expansive moon roof gives you a larger opening with its unique outer sliding design. This means additional headroom for everyone inside. Apart from this, you can customize your comfort, beautifully with 10-way power adjustable driver and passenger seats. For even more comfort, you receive a height adjustable headrest for every seat.
We were impressed by NX 300h’s amazing interior looks and its linear black shadow wood interior trim. The sleek electro chromic inside rear view mirror allows for auto dimming inside the vehicle. This feature comes at $125.
Adding convenience in every way
The NX 300h imparts enviable convenience and comes with a front center console with front and rear power outlets. The storage bin, front and rear cup holders, and pass through storage make the experience that much more convenient for you. The reclining rear seat with 60/40 split gives you the extra space for storage. The cargo area also features an auto retracting cover.
The self-gripping cup holders offer a massive advantage to those who drink beverages on the go. The cargo room allows for ample space to stow away your gear, and is also convenient to access.
The NX 300h performs beautifully with 31 mpg highway and 35 mpg city, for a total of 33 mpg for front drive. With all-wheel drive, you get 33/30/32, which are respectable ratings. Its 2.5 liter Atkinson cycle gas engine is tuned specifically for this amazing crossover SUV.
Then there are added enhancements, including a revised front drive reduction ratio and a water to oil cooler for the electric drive motor. Optimize fuel efficiency by using Normal or Eco modes in Drive Mode Select. The Shiftmatic in Sport mode allows you to have a comfortable drive even on winding roads.
Official EPA fuel economy ratings give the 2016 Lexus NX 300h bragging rights in best in class fuel economy.
The 2.5 liter inline 4 engine of the 2016 Lexus NX 300h gives you a total of 194 horsepower.
Our experience in taking the car around the town was pleasant. That said, it doesn’t command the road the way other powerful vehicles like a Mercedes-Benz or BMW does. Its engine gets taxed when moving at high speeds. However, its two electric motors empower the vehicle to deliver a decent burst of off the line power. You will hardly notice the transition of switch power between the engine and electric motors.
On curvy rural roads, the NX 300h remains balanced between handling and comfort, an elusive trait for many compact crossovers. Its suspension tuning has a combination of firm damping and spring rates, elevating your driving experience on rough surfaces.
It juxtaposes polished efficiency against a firm decisiveness when it comes to city driving, especially on two lane highways and freeways. The mechanical and engineering refinement from Lexus in the vehicle is evident in its thick glazing, insulation and robust body structure.
The Navigation Package is available for $1,875, and includes the following features:
The Remote Touchpad enables you to easily access climate controls, multimedia, and available navigation. It contains cutting edge features including pulsation feedback, ample touch surface area, and intuitive operations via swipe, flick, and pinch gestures.
Lexus Enform Destinations gives you 24 hour enroute navigation assistance. You can find different locations and receive automatic uploads to your navigation system. Search, upload and save detonations comfortably from your office or home. Lexus Enform Destinations comes with a 1 year trial basis for the first year of ownership.
The Lexus Enform App Suite imparts access to your favorite mobile apps through the Lexus NX 300h center console display. Listen to live music nationwide, stream music, search local listings, buy movie tickets, and place restaurant reservations, all from the center console display of a compatible smartphone. Advanced voice recognition makes it easy to control the App Suite’s features.
The 10 speaker premium sound system includes a front center speaker and woofer in the rear, thus making for an amazing entertainment system.
Priced at $220, the Qi compatible changer conveniently wirelessly charges your compatible devices. Located in the center console box, the charger features an indicator light that notifies you when the device is fully charged.
Apart from the benefits of Drive Mode Select’s Normal, Eco, and Sport modes, you also have access to an EV driving mode to augment battery efficiency by merely pushing a button.
The array of safety features of the 2016 Lexus NX 300h include the following:
The backup camera which assists you with parking and other maneuvers, preventing major mistakes. The view from the camera is displayed in full color on the multimedia display when in reverse.
The Intuitive Parking Assist which is available for $500, the Intuitive Parking Assist ensures your safety while performing routine tasks like parallel parking. Its sensors notify you about a detected object’s location and proximity using an indicator and audible tones.
There are many other fantastic features such as a driver’s and front passenger’s advanced airbag system, front seat mounted side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, knee bags for both driver and passenger seats, vehicle theft deterrent system, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance (1 year trial) and location specific tire pressure monitoring system.
The 2016 Lexus NX 300h’s MSRP is $39,720 and its total stands at $49,945, with the addition of the Luxury Package, Navigation Package, and a few other extras.
What we liked
We liked the NX 300h’s edgy styling and luxurious cabin and it’s excellent fuel economy numbers.
What we didn’t like
The NX 300h’s reluctance to accelerate is a drawback. We also found it to be a little pricey among the vehicles in this class.
The BMW X3 is one of the main rivals of the NX 300h, although the vehicles in this generation lack the verve that sets BMW vehicles apart from the rest.
Another great alternative is the Volvo XC60. It is a great vehicle for safety and offers a smooth ride. With this year’s new, more economical turbo four cylinder engine, it marks a stronger entry than ever before.
The Audi Q5 has a combination of versatility and impressive interior features as well as a good compromise of ride comfort and handling, making it one of the better bets in the market.
The Mercedes Benz GLC is an outstanding new entry in this class. A solid competitor against the NX 300h, its stunning interior and endearing refinement makes it a good buy.
The 2016 Lexus NX 300h marks a roaring entry in the compact crossover segment with enviable advantages such as classy styling, attractive exteriors, superlative cabin quality, finesse-laden interiors, a pleasant driving experience, and a nice assortment of safety features. All these attractive features coupled with a myriad of cutting-edge technological interventions make the NX 300h a truly compelling proposition.
Photo Credit: Lexus