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2018 Lexus NX

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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2018 NX 300 Base 4dr Front-wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $35,985
2018 NX 300 Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $37,385
2018 NX 300h Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $38,335
2018 NX 300 F Sport 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $38,375
2018 NX 300 F Sport 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $39,775


Lexus took their time joining the compact crossover party, but the 2018 Lexus NX remains a strong entrant. Available with either hybrid or gas power, the NX is one of the more affordable hybrid- and AWD-capable vehicles in Lexus’ lineup, which makes it practical in more ways than one.

What's New for 2018

The Lexus NX 200t is renamed the NX 300 for 2018, though the engine remains the same. Lexus retuned the suspension for a smoother ride, and adaptive dampers are a new option. The exterior sees a few aesthetic tweaks, like power-folding side mirrors and revised taillights. A major addition is standard active safety features, including collision warnings, pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Lexus NX

Choosing Your Lexus NX

Of the two powertrains, the gas engine is the more powerful, producing 235 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The hybrid has to make do with 194 hp and 152 lb-ft from an electric motor pair with an 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine.

Those two engines delineate the two NX trims: 300 for the gas engine and 300h for the hybrid. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option on the NX 300, but it’s standard on the 300h. Even so, the hybrid powertrain manages an estimated 33 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 31 combined. Estimates for a front-wheel drive NX 300 are 22/28/25 mpg, and adding all-wheel drive changes efficiency very little.

Though not as beefy as its big sibling Lexus RX, the NX still seats five and provides 16.8 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats. Putting down the second row boosts capacity to 53.7 cubic feet. Exterior features includes automatic headlights, power-folding side mirrors, and 17-inch alloy rims. On the interior are dual-zone automatic climate control, faux-leather upholstery and trim, push-button start, and an eight-inch multimedia screen with a nifty remote touch pad. A rearview camera complements assisted braking and Lexus’ roadside and collision assistance system.

Five packages dole out the rest of the features, though availability and price varies from model to model. The most basic is a Cold-Weather Package, which provides a wiper de-icer. On all trims except the F-Sport, a Comfort Package adds heated and ventilated seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alerts, and auto-tilt side mirrors. Next up is a Navigation Package, which includes a fancier 10.3-inch infotainment display (with navigation, naturally), a 10-speaker sound system, an extra USB port, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

For more plush outfits, a Premium Package adds all the features of the Comfort Package plus a sliding moonroof, memory settings for the seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, upgraded LED running lights, and a power tilt-and-telescope wheel. If that’s still not enough, the Luxury Package includes all of that plus a blackwood-and-leather trimmed interior, rain-sensing wipers, and a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel.

Lexus NX

NX 300

After a $995 destination fee, the NX 300 starts at $36,980. On this trim, package prices break down like so: Cold-Weather is $110, Comfort is $980, Navigation is $1800, Premium is $3,270, and Luxury is $4,705. All these packages except Cold-Weather require buyers to first add an auto-dimming rearview mirror and compass as a standalone option. Inexplicably, this option is $150 with the Comfort and Premium packages but only $125 with Navigation or Luxury. Go figure.

Many of the package elements (and a few other features) are available as individual options. Highlights include the moonroof ($1,100), a power rear door ($400, or $550 with a kick sensor), a panoramic view monitor ($800); heated steering wheel ($150), parking assist ($535), heated front seats ($440), power folding and reclining rear seats ($400), and triple-beam adaptive LED headlights ($1,515).

Lexus NX

NX 300F Sport

The NX 300 F Sport starts at $39,370. It keeps the same engine as the NX 300 but adds a sport-tuned suspension, bolstered seats, exclusive alloy riims, aluminum pedals, paddle shifters, and more aggressive styling. A few extra exterior colors are available, the exhaust note is boosted to sound sportier, and the trim and instrument gauges see some tweaks. A heated leather steering wheel is now standard.

The Cold-Weather Package remains $110, but other packages shift. The Comfort Package now provides a power tilt-and-telescope wheel with memory settings (along with the auto-tilt mirrors), but costs $1,140. The Premium Package provides exactly the same features as it does on the NX 300, but here it only costs $2,865. The Navigation Package remains the same, and the Luxury Package is not available. The Comfort and Premium Packages no longer require the mirror option, but Navigation still does.

Adaptive variable suspension is a $770 option, but only if you’ve already added the Premium Package. Other options remain the same (except for the heated steering wheel, which is Standard).

Lexus NX

NX 300h

The NX 300h gets the hybrid powertrain with standard all-wheel drive and starts at $39,330. Otherwise it closely resembles its gas-powered counterpart. Package pricing remains the same, but the Cold-Weather Package isn’t available. In its place, a towing-capacity package provides a hitch for $160.

Standalone options remain the same in price, but heated front seats are not available as an individual option.

CarsDirect Tip

No matter how hard it tries to look like one, the NX will never be a sports car. Stick to the hybrid or base models, where the all-wheel drive is a bargain on a luxury compact crossover. If you’re eyeing the package list, the Premium Package is a sweet spot for features.

Get your price on a Lexus NX »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Contributing Writer

Rivals may have caught up to it in the design department, but the 2018 Lexus NX remains a comfortable, well-equipped, compact crossover with a wide range of standard driver-assistance features. At the same time, it disappoints with mediocre handling and fuel economy, a fussy infotainment interface, and the lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.

Best Value

Pricing for the 2018 NX 300 starts at $36,980 (including destination) for a front-wheel-drive model in base trim and can top out at over $54,000 for an optioned-up all-wheel-drive F Sport. Only one engine/transmission combination is offered: a 235-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Although the F Sport looks more menacing, the tweaks are largely visual while the performance differential is minimal (summer tires are optional on F Sport models). That being the case, we'd forego all-wheel-drive and stick with the base trim that includes a plethora of standard features including a rearview camera, LED low and high beam headlights, fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, power folding outside mirrors with LED turn signals, keyless push-button start, faux leather seats (power driver and front passenger), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a GPS-enabled clock, an eight-inch touchscreen with remote touch interface, satellite radio, Siri EyesFree, and HD Radio with traffic and weather.

Also standard this year is the Lexus Safety System+ with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. We'd also opt for the Premium Package that adds a number of luxury and safety touches.

Here’s how we’d build our Lexus NX:

  • Model: 2018 Lexus NX 300
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 235 hp / 258 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 22 City / 28 Hwy
  • Options: Premium Package ($3,270, auto-dimming outside mirrors with auto tilt-down in reverse, heated and cooled front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, 18-inch alloy wheels, power tilt and slide moonroof, power-adjustable steering wheel, driver's seat and steering wheel memory system, enhanced daytime running lights and turn signals), Navigation System Package ($1,800, required with Premium Package), Electrochromic inside rearview mirror ($125, required with Premium Package)
  • Base Price: $36,980 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $42,175


The MacPherson strut, coil spring front and trailing arm double wishbone rear suspensions do a nice job of soaking up everything from minor road irregularities to large potholes. Off-center steering feel and brake pedal feedback is very good, it's easy to modulate the brake pedal, and there's a nice initial bite to the brake pads. The F-Sport takes things up a notch with standard all-wheel drive and lower-profile tires (stickier summers optional) on larger 18-inch wheels. The transmission also receives a Sport mode that sharpens it up over the base model. The F-Sport also pumps engine noise into the cabin on demand, making it sound sportier, as well.

But make no mistake, the NX's overall performance is only average compared to its peers, with Lexus' smallest crossover not feeling particularly quick or light on its feet. In the "normal" setting, body roll is noticeable in sharper turns, while the F-Sport's low-profile tires are louder and offer up a harsher ride without any discernible improvement in handling. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 235 hp – more than many competitors – but it and the transmission are tuned for fuel economy rather than performance, while turbo lag makes smooth power delivery hard to manage.

Finally, an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 combined is surprisingly average for the class, despite some fuel injection trickery to increase efficiency. In addition, those numbers (and, it should be noted, the horsepower figures) are achieved using premium gasoline – a significant additional expense these days. If fuel efficiency is important, consider the hybrid-powered NX 300h (covered separately).



It may have been the first Lexus crossover to sport the brand's more aggressive styling cues when it made its debut in 2014, but much of the competition has caught up – and what once was shocking is now taken for granted. It all starts up front with the signature spindle grille containing horizontal bars on the standard model and a more menacing blacked-out cross-hatch design on F-Sports that's enhanced with a larger chin spoiler and re-worked, horizontal fog lights. Bracketing the grille are narrow, triangular-shaped headlight enclosures that rest above thin, L-shaped LED daytime running lights.

Along the sides, a deeply-sculpted, triangular-shaped, lower character line rises from the base of the front wheel wells to the mid-point and leading edge of the rear wheel wells. The door handles are lit with LEDs that also act as puddle lamps, while the front and rear wheel wells are surrounded by prominent arches.

In back, the L-shaped theme from the front fascia carries over to the three-dimensional taillight lenses that ride high on the fenders, while twin chrome exhaust ports are integrated into a blacked-out lower fascia.

That highly-stylized and creased exterior is wrapped around an interior that's far more restrained, although the shape of the raucous spindle grille is cleverly integrated into the three-dimensional upper center console. The doors and upper and lower dash areas feature soft-touch surfaces, while the center console sports soft “kneepads” on either side. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, and an available fuel-saving “S-Flow mode” can detect the absence of a front seat passenger and direct airflow only to the driver’s seat.

The front seats are very comfortable, with Lexus taking the extraordinary step of first sewing the seat covers and then injecting them with foam to avoid any air pockets. The materials used throughout feel upscale, with F-Sport models getting a unique interior with more firmly-bolstered sport seats that grip better in tight turns, along with black or red upholstery.

But all is not perfect, as the haptic touch pad remains a fussy distraction while driving, the infotainment system still lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, while the overall design promises a sportier character that the NX is capable of delivering.

The Best and Worst Things

Despite a starting price that's a bit higher than competitors, the list of standard features, including the addition of a suite of driver-assistance features, makes it a compelling pick.

At the same time, the performance of the NX 300 is disappointing and hardly befits the exterior styling. The engine wants to be efficient instead of playful, but fuel economy numbers are still only mediocre.

Right For? Wrong For?

Empty-nesters and small families looking for luxury, safety, and comfort should appreciate all the NX has to offer.

At the same time, enthusiasts won't be fooled by the sporty trimmings of the NX F-Sport.

The Bottom Line

Despite a fussy infotainment interface and mediocre handling and fuel economy, the 2018 Lexus NX is a well-equipped, safe, and competent small luxury SUV – attributes that make it a top pick in its class.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 235 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
22 / 28 / 25 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 235 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
22 / 28 / 25 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
15.9 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
54.6 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
72 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
182.3 "
Exterior Width
73.6 "
Exterior Height
64.8 "
Front Headroom
38.2 " / 37.4 "
Rear Headroom
38.1 " / 38.0 "
Front Legroom
42.8 "
Rear Legroom
36.1 "
Front Shoulder Room
57.3 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.3 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,940 Lbs.
Wheel Base
105 "
Turning Radius
19.9 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
17.0 " Silver Aluminum / 18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum / 19.0 " Silver Forged Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated / Dual Power Remote W/tilt Down Heated
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Nuluxe Leatherette / Leather
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
8 / 10
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt / Power Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front And Rear
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Pre-collision System (pcs) Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Auto High Beam Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Intuitive Park Assist Front And Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / 10,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
48 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles

Used 2018 Lexus NX for Sale

6 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
300 Sport Utility 4D
Color: Silver Lining Metallic



176,247 mi

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Phone: (714) 894-0063
F Sport
Color: White



58,002 mi

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Audi West Covina (31 mi)

Phone: (626) 384-3400
300h Sport Utility 4D
Color: Silver



100,002 mi

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Cartimela (24 mi)

Phone: (747) 774-7707
F Sport
Color: Black



42,855 mi

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Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel (49 mi)

Phone: (949) 612-2109
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