2021 Lexus NX 300h

2021 Lexus NX 300h

Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:05pm
  • Life

By Larry Lark, contributor

The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility vehicle provides owners guilt-free mobility.

The lower-case h is the key. This hybrid seats up to five adults in comfort with a generous cargo area behind. It delivers four-wheel functionality and all the creature comforts one can imagine, and at the same time get more than 40 miles per gallon fuel economy down the highway.

Lexus hybrids have long been the platinum standard for seamless hybrid performance, high efficiency and proven dependability. Granted, my week’s driving was mostly freeway miles, but that’s hard to believe.

The NX 300h combines output from a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a high-torque electric motor through its unique transmission. The system varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both as needed. The result is a combined 194 system horsepower.

Regenerative braking changes the electric motor to a generator that captures the kinetic energy of the wheels when the brake is applied, storing it in the nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery pack. In EV drive mode, under certain conditions, the NX 300h can run solely on the electric motor at lower speeds (below approximately 25 mph).

The NX 300h offers an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.

This year’s model is offered in Nori Green Pearl (the color of my tester), and includes the addition of a Blind Spot Monitor wit Rear Cross Traffic alert as standard equipment.

Luxury features are everywhere, highlighted by the NX 300h’s perforated, leather-trimmed interior with heated and ventilated seats, navigation system with 10.3-inch display, power moonroof and rear door, linear black shadow wood trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, Mark Levinson premium audio system with 14 speakers, and intuitive parking assist.

Lexus multimedia connectivity is at a premium with Apple CarPlay functionality and Android Auto compatibility. With Android Auto, guests can now seamlessly cast their device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Play music via their favorite apps such as Spotify and Pandora, send messages through a range of commonly used apps like WhatsApp, navigate with Google Maps or Waze, and request information – all with just the sound of their voice – through Google Assistant.

Designers carved out maximum space with the NX design, leaving plenty of room to carry your passengers and gear – or anything else. Storage in four compartments beneath the cargo floor provide space for keeping your valuables out of sight. There’s a place for everything throughout the cabin, including a large glove box and console box, a console mid-tray, utility box, sunglasses holder, two front and two rear cup holders and front and rear door pockets.

The standard 60/40 split rear seat with recline can be upgraded with a power-folding option. You can lower or raise the seats individually using switches on the instrument panel, on the side of each rear seat or within the luggage compartment. The available power rear door, which includes memory height, likewise can be operated by switches on the instrument panel, door and wireless remote.

Completing the NX 300h package is a Lexus Safety System suite that includes lane tracing assist, road sign assist, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, eight airbags, push-button start/stop, and a backup camera with dynamic guidelines.

Base Price: $47,535

Price As Driven: $52,855

Destination charge is included in base price Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

2020 Honda Insight. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Honda Insight

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Civic and Accord have been bestsellers for… Continue reading

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor With each passing year Toyota continues to refine… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Toyota’s venerable Corolla received a bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

By Larry Lark, contributor Volkswagen’s full-size Atlas SUV received a bold refresh… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a call to action when a… Continue reading

Eleanor Knight, 14, and her younger brother, Ivan, then, 9, horse around while waiting to surf a wave on the Class III Wenatchee River. Courtesy photo.
Kayaking kid conquers raging rapids

“Between Two Swims” captures family’s brave adventures on film.