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  • Willis Kuelthau
    Automotive Editor - July 1, 2019

    2020 Lexus NX OVERVIEW

    The 2020 Lexus NX is back with no major changes. A previously available Luxury Package has been spun off into its own trim level, and the NX gets the Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0 suite of safety features standard across the lineup. Frustratingly, the lack of change means the finicky touchpad infotainment system returns and there's still no Android Auto – despite the fact that the 2020 Lexus RX is getting it.

    Choosing Your Lexus NX

    Lexus offers the NX 300 in three trims: Base, F Sport, and Luxury. A hybrid version, the NX 300h, is available in Base and Luxury trims. The gas version starts at $37,745 including destination for the NX 300, while the hybrid starts at $40,095 for the NX 300h. Prices top out at $44,835 for a gas-powered NX 300 Luxury, or $47,185 for the hybrid NX 300h Luxury.

    Engine Choices

    Gas-powered Lexus NX models use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while hybrid variants get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor. The hybrid system does have the advantage of an electric-only drive mode, which can run at speeds under 30 mph until the battery is drained.

    Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
    2.0L Turbo23525825 mpg (FWD), 24 mpg (AWD)
    2.5L Hybrid19415231 mpg (AWD)

    The gas powertrain uses a six-speed automatic transmission, but the hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission with overdrive. Gas-powered models start with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is a $1,400 option. All-wheel drive is standard on hybrid models.

    Passenger & Cargo Capacity

    All Lexus NX models seat up to five. Regular models have 17.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats and 54.6 cubic feet with the second row folded, which is low for the class. Hybrid models only contain 16.8 cubic feet with the seats up.

    Safety Features

    The Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0 suite of safety tech is standard on all NX models. It includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.

    Other safety features like blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system, and park assist are standard on higher trims and optional everywhere else.

    This year’s NX hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA or IIHS yet. With no major changes, ratings should repeat last year’s, which were strong. The NHTSA gave the 2019 NX a five-star safety rating, while the IIHS awarded ratings of "Good" or "Superior" in every category.


    All NX models are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, but Android Auto hasn’t made the cut. Lower trims start with an 8-inch version of Lexus' infotainment screen with its notoriously frustrating remote touchpad interface, but a 10.3-inch display comes optional with a Navigation Package or standard on either Luxury trim.

    The NX is also available with seven Lexus Enform services. Enform provides next level connectivity with wi-fi, emergency assistance, vehicle health reports, remote services, destination assist, dynamic navigation, and an app suite that allows owners to access certain mobile apps through the infotainment display.

    NX 300 - From $37,745

    For a compact luxury crossover, the NX 300 is well equipped. Standard fare includes 17-inch alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors, power-adjustable front seats, keyless entry, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The steering wheel and shift knob are trimmed with leather, but the rest of the upholstery is synthetic.

    To add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, buyers have to add the $980 Comfort Package, which also includes heated and ventilated front seats. However, the box for that package can't be ticked without first adding a $150 auto-dimming rearview mirror, which means the price is really $1,130.

    Shoppers can get those features plus a moonroof, memory functionality, 18-inch wheels, integrated turn signal indicators, and enhanced LED daytime running lights through the Premium Package, which costs $3,270.

    The $1,860 Navigation Packages brings the aforementioned 10.3-inch infotainment screen and a 10-speaker audio system, while the same features are available with a 14-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system in a $2,920 package.

    If buyers don't want package bundles, many of these options are available à la carte, such as the moonroof ($1,100) and heated front seats ($440).

    The NX 300h hybrid starts at $40,095, and is identically equipped aside from the powertrain and standard all-wheel drive. Essentially, buyers pay a $950 premium for the hybrid powertrain over an AWD non-hybrid NX 300.

    Even packages and options are the same with one exception. The gas-powered NX 300 has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, but the hybrid requires a $160 standalone option to unlock a 1,500-pound towing capacity.

    NX 300 F Sport - From $39,985

    Although the F Sport trim doesn’t get a power boost, it does come with a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, a performance drive mode, and displays for G-force and turbo boost.

    It also brings a unique look with a more aggressive front fascia, rear bumper, and headlights, black exterior mirrors, and 18-inch, split-five-spoke wheels. On the inside, there's front sport bucket seats, a leather-trimmed shift knob, and a heated steering wheel. F Sport badging is present in a variety of places from the steering wheel to the front fender.

    Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are still optional as part of the $1,140 Comfort Package. LED running lights and 18-inch wheels are standard on the F Sport, so the Premium Package drops to $2,865.

    In addition to exclusive rim options, the F Sport can have an adaptive suspension for $770.

    NX 300 Luxury - From $44,835

    The big upgrade for the NX 300 Luxury is all-leather upholstery, but it comes with a lot of other goodies. The Luxury also comes loaded with a moonroof and all of the other features from the Premium Package, a navigation system and the rest of the contents of the Navigation Package, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power liftgate, and black wood interior trim.

    Buyers can take things further with the 14-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system, which is offered in the only available package that costs $1,060.

    The NX 300h Luxury simply adds the hybrid powertrain and AWD to the NX 300 Luxury's contents for a starting price of $47,185.

    Compare NX Trims Side-By-Side

    CarsDirect Tip

    The 2020 Lexus NX is well equipped and is a good value, but buyers still have to add packages to get features many expect to come standard on a luxury model on most trims, such as a moonroof, leather upholstery, and blind-spot monitoring. Considering the small premium associated with moving up to the hybrid variant, it's certainly worth a look if fuel economy is a priority.

    Top Lexus Deals & Must-Know Advice In January

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