SEATTLE – When it comes to the premium, Japanese, market – Lexus is the top seller and its 2020 NX 300 F-Sport looks to continue its sales dominance. Fewer sedans are being made than ever before in auto history – the reason is simple. People want more cargo room and the ability to sit-up higher on the road so SUV sales have taken root.
Starting at $39,110, this capable compact SUV is powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine that’s good for 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Lexus gives it a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds and the EPA rates its fuel economy at 22 around town and up to 28 on the highway. Not too shabby for a rig that weighs in at 4,800 pounds. The engine’s power goes to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that does include paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.
The aesthetics continue on with Lexus’ signature spindle grill and do an admirable job of giving the NX 300 F-Sport an assertive look. While we realize the grill can be rather polarizing, most of our readers like it.
Take a look inside:
Stepping inside, you’ll find ultra-soft Nu-Luxe material on the seating, a decent infotainment center that’s plagued by Lexus’ touch pad surface interface, a host of driver aids and safety features. Our F-Sport model had the Mark Levinson audio system with 835 watts going to a multi-speaker setup with a subwoofer. This system features a 10.3-inch widescreen display that’s very clear and easy on the eyes. The addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto help you steer clear of the car’s standard infotainment interface.
If there’s one area that Lexus has always done a fabulous job on, it’s safety and this NX 300 F-Sport is no exception. Standard safety features include, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, frontal collision avoidance, automatic high-beams, stolen vehicle information, emergency roadside assistance and a 3-year trial of Lexus’ Enform Remote. Enform Remote allows you to control things like climate, lock and unlock from your smartphone.
Seating comfort is above average and you’ll find ample room throughout the cabin and there is a generous cargo capacity as well – especially with the second-row of seats folded down.
On the road, you’ll find that this vehicle provides a very smooth, if not predictable driving experience. It’s super quiet with a well-dampened suspension to smooth out any road bumps. Adjusting the drive mode to “Sport” does adjust the transmission to hold gears for a longer duration, but ultimately it will force a shift.
There is a bit of mild body roll into hard corners but overall the NX 300 still feels a bit light on its feet – and that’s a good thing. While it’s not the most spirited driving experience you’ll find in its price range, what Lexus has put together is a ride that its loyal fan base will appreciate. Add in the brand’s reliability and you continue the winning formula of creating great sales numbers like Lexus has mastered in this segment.