February 27, 2020

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review

Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2015 Lexus NX 300h.

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review
2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

The 2015 Lexus NX 300h is the latest model to join the Australian Lexus range and at this stage is a hybrid-only offering.

Priced from $55,000, the NX 300h range starts with a front-wheel drive only variant and tops out at $75,000 for the Luxury/AWD grade of the small/premium SUV. I had a week getting about in the most expensive offering.

Across the range the Lexus NX 300h is powered by a hybrid drivetrain that provides a total output of 147kW and 210Nm. Fuel consumption comes in at a claimed combined 5.7L/100kms.

Typical of all Toyota/Lexus hybrids the electric drive is smooth, quiet and efficient. If/when more grunt is required, or the batteries need a top-up, the petrol engine kicks in.

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review
2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

Now, I’m a hybrid fan, but in a $75,000 luxury SUV I would expect just a little more excitement than what the hybrid drivetrain in this application provides.

Granted, if you use excessive amounts of acceleration the petrol engine in the NX 300h gets it along respectably, it’s just that for the rest of the time acceleration is just dreadfully dull.

Perhaps less noticeable in the small Prius and IS 200h offerings, the hybrid system here just doesn’t seem to suit the rest of the car.

The low fuel consumption is welcome, but the trade-off is a vehicle that really isn’t at all fun or exciting to drive.

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review
2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

On the road the Lexus NX 300h displays a slightly nervous feel in the corners – a feel that could be put down to a high ride-height and short wheelbase. The ride though is passable and the steering is direct enough.

The brakes are very touchy (a common hybrid trait) and the turning-circle is nothing to write home about.

Inside the cabin of the Lexus NX 300h you will find excellent Lexus fit and finish and other highlights including the large centre display screen and the clear and large gauges and driver info screen.

Operated by way of the Lexus mouse system, from a software viewpoint the infotainment system/GPS is reasonably easy to navigate around, though the fact that you have to manipulate the mouse system with your left hand makes the operation feel awkward and clumsy (if you are right-handed).

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review
2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

The dashboard is an attractive design but it tends to impede into the cabin, especially on the passenger side. Speaking of space, legroom in the front is only reasonable, things are slightly better for rear seat passengers.

The seats are a highlight though, while the switchgear has a quality feel about it and the steering wheel feels particularly good in your hands. Cabin storage areas are reasonably well-sized.

Visibility from the driver’s seat is aided by large wing-mirrors, though chunky pillars all-round the NX 300h cabin can produce blind-spots. Thankfully a reversing camera is standard.

Standard features in the Luxury grade of the Lexus NX 300h include a reasonably large sunroof, electronic tail-gate, front seat heaters, electric seat adjustment (front row), auto parking brake, push-button ignition and electric steering adjustment.

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

One odd little feature is a small removable vanity mirror located in the centre console.

Cargo space in the rear is passable and you get a small under-floor storage area in the back too.

As yet there isn’t an ANCAP safety rating for this vehicle.

2015 Lexus NX 300h Review
2015 Lexus NX 300h Review.

Summing it up; the new Lexus NX 300h is a strikingly good-looking offering with quality Lexus feel and finish throughout. The standard features list is about what you would expect for this kind of money.

The hybrid drive-train though feels out-of-place here and gives an otherwise fairly fun and exciting little premium SUV a boring and conservative feel.

Perhaps the entry-level model would be more enticing, but from $75,000 I feel the Luxury grade of the Lexus NX 300h is going to be a hard-sell for Lexus Australia.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Lexus NX 300h

Engine: 2.5 litre petrol/electric hybrid producing 147kW and 210Nm

Transmission: CVT automatic (only)

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: 4yrs/100,000kms

Origin: Japan

Price: From $55,000

About Joel Helmes 3108 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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