“2020 Lexus NX 300h 5-door AWD SUV”
The Most Advanced NX Model Yet
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division offers several versions of their NX luxury compact utility crossover, including the Lexus NX 300h hybrid. All Lexus NX models are loosely based on the same platform as Toyota’s RAV4 – loosely being the key word, as 90 percent of NX parts are different, and even similar parts have undergone retooling with tighter tolerances that result in a feel that’s considerably more luxurious than the mass- produced RAV4.
Lexus actually pioneered the car-based luxury crossover category with the RX 300 (launched in 1998 as a 1999 model). NX models are indicative of an evolution in the segment that the RX 300 created. NX models are larger, heavier, and quicker, with greater fuel economy than that first mid-sized RX. The compact NX is also more structurally sound with an increased use of high-tensile steel, screw welding and adhesives in production.
Power for the Lexus NX 300h, borrows its 2.5-liter, transversely mounted front in-line four-cylinder engine with Atkinson cycle and electronic fuel injection power source from the Lexus ES 300h. Horsepower is 154 at 5,700 rpm with 258 pound feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.
The Lexus Hybrid Power system is a Series/parallel system with gas engine, high-voltage battery and electric motors.. Two permanent magnet motor generators MG1 & MG2 and motor generator rear (MGR), 650V and sealed Nickel Metal Hydride – 204 cells and 244.8V Nominal Voltage. Total system horsepower is194, and energy is transmitted to the full-time all-weather AWD system via an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
In terms of its appearance, the Lexus NX 300h displays a highly emotional overall design with sharp lines and angles in a condensed mass that features solid surfaces, pronounced front and rear fender flares that are incorporated or fused into the dramatic diamond-shaped body style that leads off with Lexus’ signature “spindle” grille, flanked by sharp, thin geometric headlamps and arrowhead shaped LED running/directional lights. The windscreen is sharply raked rearward over the rear-slanted roof that ends with an integrated spoiler. The peak of the diamond-shaped body’s door section thrusts upwards diagonally, matching the roof’s peak in the side silhouette. The tail end presents a squared-off, sculpted look, accented by the uniquely shaped bright dual exhaust tips.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Significant standard features include: keyless locks, door handle footlights, LED headlamps and turn signal lamps, 17-inch wheels, Siri Eyes Free mode and an 8-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio. The 7-inch multimedia display features a touch pad located in the center console with haptic adjustable feedback, providing familiar pinch, stretch, pinch, drag as well as double-tap functions, similar to a lap top computer. The rear cargo cover may be folded in half, and is able to fit under the rear storage compartment with the spare tire.
There is a full suite of available active safety features including: Lane Departure Warning, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. There’s also an enhanced Lexus Enform app that allows setting speed or distance limits for a guest driver – great for monitoring and controlling teenaged driver activity. Another high-tech feature is the wireless charging of Qi-equipped electronic devices. So many features abound in all of the Lexus NX models, that space prevents listing them all here. Of course, there are options available for personalization and enhancement.
My test 2020 Lexus NX 300h 5-door SUV was a front wheel drive version and came with a base price of $39,720., which increased to a total of $49,902 after factoring in an impressive option list and the Delivery, processing and Handling fee. The exterior Blue Vortex metallic finish, while the interior was executed in Black with faux carbon fiber trim accents.
The 2020 Lexus NX 300h is a stellar entry into the compact luxury crossover camp. It falls in between BMW’s X3 and the Lexus RX 300 in dimensions and power.
The steering wheel was inspired by the Lexus LFA in its shape and feel, and fits the car’s demeanor in terms of handling attributes and characteristics, which are spot on, delivering a planted and stable and comfortable ride quality.
The interior ambience and luxuriousness is its strong suit. Fit and finish are well above entry-level standards, reflecting an old-world craftsmanship quality.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In the final analysis, the 2020 Lexus NX 300h 5-door SUV is suited to play a leading role with its focus on appealing to a more youthful market, and the Lexus team has nailed it. It is exceptionally good-looking, performs well and represents a good value, while delivering respectable mileage with its hybrid system.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Lexus NX 300h 5-Dr SUV
Base Price: $39,070.
Price as Tested: $49,902.
Engine Type and Size: 2.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder with Atkinson cycle and electronic fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 154 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 258 @ 4,400 rpm
Hybrid Power system: Series/parallel system with gas engine, high-voltage battery and electric motors. Two permanent magnet motor generators MG1 & MG2 and motor generator rear (MGR), 650V and sealed Nickel Metal Hydride – 204 cells and 244.8V Nominal Voltage.
Total system power – 194 hp
Transmission: Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD or full-time all-weather AWD.
Steering: Electric Power Steering
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut, coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Rear – Independent double wishbone type with coil springs, gas pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with four-channel, 4-sensor ABS, ECB, EBD, BA and regenerative function.
Tires: Yokohama Geolander 225/60 R18 mounted on 5-
“V” –spoke alternating machine face and painted spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 104.7 inches
Length Overall: 182.7 inches
Width: 73.6 inches – (mirrors folded / 89.9” open)
Height: 64.8 inches
Curb Weight: 4,180 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 14.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 35 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.34
0 – 60 mph: 9.1 seconds – Top track speed=112 mph
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