2020 Lexus NX

By KBB.com

In an ever-growing sea of small-luxury SUVs, the 2020 Lexus NX compact-luxury-crossover SUV stands out with futuristic styling, a long list of standard features and an impeccable reputation for reliability and strong resale. Based on the previous-generation Toyota RAV4, the NX 300 offers good interior room, an accommodating size and a competitive price tag.

While not as powerful as a BMW X3, the NX compact-crossover SUV has more than enough punch to make the drive satisfying, and unlike an Audi Q3 or a Mercedes-Benz GLC, the NX offers the option of a hybrid powertrain. However, both Audi and Jaguar now offer all-electric competitors, something to keep in mind if you’re shopping for the ultimate green machine.

Driving the 2020 Lexus NX

With the 2020 Lexus NX 300, the focus is more on driving comfort than driving excitement. Even the racy F-Sport with its firmer suspension and sport bucket seats doesn’t quite do the trick. That’s not to say the NX handles poorly or lacks credible feedback from the steering and brakes, it’s just a more relaxed SUV, one we think most luxury buyers will appreciate.

The NX’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is both lively and fuel-efficient, although it does sound a bit coarse under hard acceleration. Hybrid models weigh more and so acceleration is a tad slower, but not glacial. Inside, the NX’s cabin is as hushed as any Lexus sedan, with abundant creature comforts as only Lexus can do them. However, thick rear pillars hinder good rear visibility, prompting us to strongly advise adding the optional blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Favorite Features

Lexus is known for its relentless pursuit of perfection, and in the 2020 NX crossover SUV, they’ve not dropped the ball. The build quality both inside and out is without fault, something Lexus owners almost take for granted, but that will come as a pleasant bonus for first-time buyers.

The optional Mark Levinson audio system is a must-have for music lovers. Pushing 835 watts through 14 speakers, the system is enhanced by Clarify technology that restores audio quality from compressed music sources.

2020 Lexus NX Interior

The inside of the 2020 NX is full of classy materials arranged in designs that bear some distant relation to the exterior’s lines. But nothing is too distracting, except perhaps the 8-inch infotainment display right at the top of the center console and the Remote Touch interface that controls it, although this latter item was recently improved and is less tricky than before.

Places where elbows come into regular contact with the cabin are cushioned and the hushed ambiance helps to convey the overall air of luxury. Cargo space behind the rear seats is 17.7 feet. Fold them down for 54.6 cubic feet. The NX 300h reduces those numbers to 16.8/53.7 cubic feet.

2020 Lexus NX Exterior

Lexus persists with its “spindle grille” approach. When reviews use the word “polarizing” in relation to car designs, they really mean that only the designer’s mother could find something positive to say. But here’s the thing, while some manufacturers are aping Audi, no one is copying Lexus. There is something positive, though. Lexus designs used to be forgettable, but the 2020 NX at least makes a visual impact. And not just with that grille, but also with intricate LED headlights and sculpted 3-dimensional taillights.

2020 Lexus NX Standard Features

This is partially why Lexus vehicles are so popular. The 2020 NX 300 comes with plenty of standard equipment, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, keyless entry/ignition, satellite radio, and those advanced safety features mentioned above, part of the Lexus Safety System 2.0+ package. On the audio front, the NX 300 comes standard with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The F Sport version brings sport seats up front, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, sport suspension and aluminum pedals. The NX 300h hybrid has all-wheel drive as standard, plus Wi-Fi and a power-adjustable steering column.

Every NX cabin has ambient LED lighting, while the low beams and taillights are also LED.

2020 Lexus NX Options

The 2020 NX 300 may be ordered with all-wheel drive, likewise the F Sport variant. Other extras include a power sunroof, hands-free tailgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, power-folding back seats, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and wireless smartphone charging. A Navigation Package includes a 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and the Lexus Enform system, adding Bing, Yelp, iHeartRadio and other apps, plus maintenance reminders.

2020 Lexus NX Engine

Both the NX 300 and NX 300 F Sport use the same 235-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. While not the most powerful engine in its class, this turbo-4 has a good power-to-fuel-economy ratio. Power runs to the NX’s front wheels (FWD) via a 6-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available.

The NX 300h hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive and employs a 2.5-liter gas engine paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 194 horsepower. Unlike the gas-powered NX, the hybrid employs a fuel-saving CVT (continuously variable transmission) that includes a kick-down feature for instantaneous power.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
235 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,650-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (FWD & AWD), 22/27 mpg (F Sport)

2.5-liter inline-4 engine + electric motor
154 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
152 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
Front Electric Motor:
141 horsepower
Rear Electric Motor: 67 horsepower
Net output: 194 horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 33/30 mpg (AWD)

How Much Does the 2020 Lexus NX Cost?

The 2020 Lexus NX 300 with front-wheel drive has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $37,745 including the $1,025 destination charge. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,400. The F Sport starts at $39,985, while the NX 300h hybrid starts at $40,095. For context, these prices are close to the Volvo XC60, and appreciably below the German contenders and the Jaguar E-Pace. Over the long haul, the Lexus NX should have a clear resale-value advantage over its rivals.

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