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Lexus NX 300 F Sport AWD 2018 review

Does the Lexus NX match its European rivals?
Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

14 Dec 2017 • 13 min read

Things have been hectic to say the least. Between deciding what to cook for Christmas lunch, organising activities for the kids while we’re still at work and they’ve finished school, and trying to get everything done before the end of the year, it’s like juggling five differently weighted balls with one hand tied behind your back. 

This year, I have tried to be more organised (an ongoing self-development goal) and started the Christmas shopping in the Lexus NX 300 F Sport. Early. 

It’s a five seater AWD that goes up against cars like the Audi Q5 and the Range Rover Evoque. Here’s how it went on my week of shopping madness.

How does it drive?

Really well. It positively zooms up the hill near my house I test all cars on and is smooth and powerful. I’m high off the road so I feel safe and there’s no question that it’s solid, but also easy to manoeuvre and park with great handling and easy steering. 

I also feel like I’m in a luxury car - more than once this week I went to use the blinker on the left hand side because I thought I was in a European car, so it was actually a pleasure to be able to blinker from the right.

I did have a bit of trouble with the visibility out the back window because my children’s car seats came up over the top of the back seats, partially blocking the back windscreen. The booster seat in particular almost took up half the height, which I thought was an issue. It’s because the actual back seat is higher than in other cars, and putting a car seat on top of them makes it all too high.

The backseat has loads of room for my two girls aged four and six. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The backseat has loads of room for my two girls aged four and six. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How spacious is it?

There is loads of room in the front seats with enough space for me and my 185cm husband. It’s airy and bright with a sunroof letting in natural light and you definitely have enough of your own airspace. 

The backseat also has loads of room for my two girls aged four and six. They have enough room for their car seats and can play to their heart’s content. I did try and get a third car seat in the middle, and found it a bit squishy, so I would check that yours fits if you want to get three children’s car seats in the back. But with two there is loads of space.

And the boot - thankfully for me this week with all the shopping - is enormous. At 500 litres it’s 80 litres bigger than the Range Rover Evoque’s, but 50 litres smaller than the Audi Q5’s. It was plenty big enough for my Christmas shopping and with all the seats down flush, I could even fit in a very large, very real Christmas tree.

The Lexus NX300 has 500 litres of boot space. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Lexus NX300 has 500 litres of boot space. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How does it look?

You can’t really complain about the car’s design. From the outside, it’s swish. The shape, the curved lines, the way the blinkers work like KITT from Knight Rider… I mean, it’s hard to go wrong here. I don’t particularly love the huge grille at the front, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker. 

  • I don’t particularly love the huge grille, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker. (image credit: Dean McCartney) I don’t particularly love the huge grille, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • From the outside, the Lexus NX300 is swish. (image credit: Dean McCartney) From the outside, the Lexus NX300 is swish. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

Inside is just as good. The seats are particularly comfortable. I may even go as far as to say they are the most comfortable I’ve sat in, because I’ve had a twinge in my back and it didn’t become worse driving the Lexus, while it has in other cars. They’re also a lovely leather, and come with a heating and cooling feature. 

The steering wheel is leather and feels fabulous to drive with, as does the gear stick which I would never normally comment on, but this one made me feel like a professional driver. 

The steering wheel is leather and feels fabulous to drive with. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The steering wheel is leather and feels fabulous to drive with. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

The whole effect of the interior is luxury. I like the matt black console and the way the centre is designed. There’s one particular spot of storage that completely stumped me though - it was too small to fit anything in and the lid had a mirror on it. I couldn’t figure out what it was for and that area could have been better laid out.

How safe is it?

There are eight airbags in the Lexus NX 300 F Sport with the driver and front passenger getting knee airbags, and side curtain airbags extending to the back seat. 

It has two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats which means your kids will be locked in place. It also comes standard with Auto Emergency Braking and things like pre-collision warning systems and active cruise control. It gets a five star ANCAP rating

What’s the tech like?

With 14 speakers in the sound system, you won’t be lacking any moments where you can let loose in the car on your own and pretend you’re Beyonce (just me? I doubt it). There’s also a digital radio and a 10.3 inch multimedia screen.

Less easy to use is the mousepad which controls the screen. I found it tricky to navigate and only landed on what I needed after a few tries, which is not ideal. You can control it with the voice control system if you’d prefer, though.

How easy is it for everyday use?

I really enjoyed having the Lexus for the week. The boot opens automatically via a touch on the keys, which I find to be enormously helpful, especially when overloaded with all the shopping. It’s now one of my favourite features on a car and if you can get a car with this, I highly recommend it. The boot isn’t too high off the ground so you can lift groceries in quite easily, but it also automatically lowers if you do find it too high.

The boot isn’t too high off the ground so you can lift groceries in quite easily. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The boot isn’t too high off the ground so you can lift groceries in quite easily. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

There are two cupholders in the front and two in the back centre armrest for rear passengers, plus a bottle holder and storage spot in each door. The centre storage console has a phone charger in it if you’re an Android user, but it’s missing a spot at the front to throw your phone - one thing I find very useful. 

What does it cost to drive?

The Lexus NX 300 F Sport AWD I am in this week comes in at $71,022 and is a fairly fuel efficient car for an SUV of this size, coming in at 7.9L/100km on the combined cycle.

The Lexus NX 300 F Sport AWD delivers 7.9L/100km on the combined cycle. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Lexus NX 300 F Sport AWD delivers 7.9L/100km on the combined cycle. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

It’s covered by Lexus’ four year/100,000km warranty and you'll be given a loan car during each service, or your car will be picked up and dropped off from your home or work. 


The Wrap

This is a properly luxe SUV which will get you and your family around in comfort and style. It drives beautifully, is spacious, feels fabulous every time you climb in to drive and also is more fuel efficient than its rivals.

I gave it eight family stars out of 10, taking points off for the multimedia mousepad and also the poor visibility because of the children’s seats out the back. My girls gave it eight Christmas cookies out of 10. They liked the space and the fact that because the back seat was so high, I could actually see their faces in the rear vision mirror - something we’ve never experienced before! 

Would you buy a Lexus over a European car? Tell us in the comments below. 

Likes

Super stylish
Good fuel efficiency
Great interiors

Dislikes

Rear windscreen visibility
Multimedia mousepad

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$57,300 - $76,300

Based on new car retail price

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