Buyer's Guide

2021 Lexus Nx
Select a Different Model (9 Available): 300 AWD
Fuel Economy $ 22 / 28 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 18/55 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 235@4,800
See All Specs
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  • Many standard active safety features
  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Solid interior quality


  • Slow
  • Small cargo area
  • Maddening infotainment system

Can't distinguish one softly styled luxury compact SUV from another? Check out the Lexus NX. This crossover made its debut for 2015, wearing angular bodywork over a platform shared with the Toyota RAV4. It also featured the brand's first turbocharged engine. Besides its eye-catching looks, the NX offers proven Lexus reliability and an available hybrid drivetrain. It slots between the family-oriented RX and subcompact UX in Lexus' crossover lineup.

The Lexus NX300h is a 2021 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value winner.

Curious about the second-generation model? Check out the 2022 Lexus NX.

What's New

  • Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard
  • Power-folding, auto-dimming side mirrors are included on all trims
  • Green paint option becomes available
  • Power-operated tailgate with kick activation is now a standalone option
  • Steering wheel horn pad gets redesigned
  • Black Line Special Edition offered for NX 300h F Sport

What We Think

One thing's for sure: The Lexus NX looks like no other luxury compact SUV. Even beyond its styling, the NX is distinctive, but not always in good ways.

Driving manners are less aggressive than the design might suggest. The NX generally feels heavy, underpowered, and not very sporty. Turn-in is crisp but accompanied by plenty of body roll. At the same time, ride quality is smooth and quiet. At least the NX 300h hybrid model is efficient, though for those not set on a luxury-badged vehicle, the new Toyota Venza hybrid is more efficient and feels premium in its highest trim.

Inside, the NX's cabin is nicely appointed and feels more expensive than its price suggests. However, Lexus' frustrating infotainment system still uses a distracting touchpad instead of a conventional touchscreen. Passenger space is good, although the actual seating position can feel awkward. Cargo capacity isn't as large as some competitors.

Eye-catching looks, a plush ride, and good fuel economy give the NX appeal. For a sporty drive or a more spacious interior, choose one of its competitors. Or wait until the next-generation NX arrives.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The NX 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four producing 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels as standard or AWD optionally. In MotorTrend testing, a FWD NX 300 posted a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy is 22/28 mpg city/highway for FWD and AWD models, but efficiency is reduced to 22/27 mpg in F Sport trim.

For greater efficiency, Lexus offers the NX 300h hybrid. It uses a 2.5-liter I-4 and CVT automatic plus three electric motors to provide hybrid AWD. Total power output is 194 hp, and 0-60 mph acceleration measured 8.3 seconds in MotorTrend testing. EPA-rated fuel economy is 33/30 mpg.


From the NHTSA, the NX gets a five-star overall safety rating, the highest possible score. From the IIHS, the NX earned a 2021 Top Safety Pick + designation, which earns the top Good score in all six crashworthiness tests.

Standard driver-assist and active safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, road sign recognition, and automatic high-beams. Previously optional blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking become standard equipment for 2021.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

In the NX 300, cargo space measures 17.7 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, or 54.6 cubic feet with those seats folded down. The battery pack in the NX 300h reduces cargo space slightly, to 16.8 and 53.7 cubic feet, respectively.

In all NX models, front-row headroom measures 38.2 inches, which compares to 40.0 inches in the Acura RDX. Second-row headroom is 38.1 inches, similar to the 38.0 inches in the RDX. Front-row legroom is 42.8 inches in the Lexus, a bit more than 42.0 inches in the Acura. Second-row legroom is 36.1 inches in the NX, behind the RDX's 38.0 inches.


The NX is equipped with an 8.0-inch infotainment display, which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth connectivity. An available 10.3-inch display adds built-in navigation. Two front-row USB ports are included. An eight-speaker audio system is standard, and a 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium setup is available.

We've had issues with the touchpad-controlled infotainment Lexus implements across its model range, but thankfully, the next-gen NX goes without.

Trim Levels

2021 Lexus NX 300

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Power-folding side mirrors
  • Leatherette seating upholstery
  • Keyless entry with push-button start

2021 Lexus NX 300 Luxury

  • Built-in navigation
  • Perforated leather seating upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Power moonroof

2021 Lexus NX 300 F Sport

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Sport-inspired exterior styling
  • High-bolster front seats
  • Performance-tuned suspension

The NX 300h hybrid is offered in standard and Luxury versions.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl Turbo 2.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, ECT-i 6 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode (U661F)
300 AWD
Premium Compact Utility
Standard MPG
Body Style
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$1000 Lexus announces a College Graduate Reward Program on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-03-2022
$1000 Lexus announces Bonus Cash on select models for eligible Military personnel. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 01-03-2022
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$3000 Lexus announces a Lease Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$1500 Lexus announces a Retail Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021