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MSRP: $36,485 - 40,125

2019 Lexus NX Review

The 2019 Lexus NX finishes in the bottom third of our luxury compact SUV rankings. Despite its positive attributes, the NX just doesn't have the all-around quality of many competitors.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, spacious seats
  • Above-average gas mileage
  • Subpar cargo capacity
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Less athletic than rivals

Is the Lexus NX a Good SUV?

The Lexus NX is a good SUV. It gets good fuel economy, provides two rows of spacious seats, and offers lots of tech features. However, it lags behind its competitors in many other areas, including cargo space, interior quality, infotainment usability, and overall performance.

Should I Buy the Lexus NX?

The NX isn’t a great value despite having one of the lowest price tags in the class. There’s little reason to choose this Lexus over higher-ranked rivals that offer everything the NX does and then some. Instead, consider alternatives like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Compare the NX, X3, and GLC »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus NX?

The 2019 NX belongs to a generation that began with the 2015 model year. There are no major changes for 2019, but there were plenty for 2018. The NX received styling updates, a larger standard infotainment screen, and new standard driver assistance features like lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and more. Models from 2015 through 2017 are nearly identical.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used model, though you may miss out on the newer models' updates. If you are interested in a used NX, take a look at our reviews of the 2018 Lexus NX and 2017 Lexus NX. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to see what kind of savings and discounts you can get on a used vehicle.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 NX »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current NX generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lexus NX Cost?

The NX's base price is just over $36,000. Almost every other luxury compact SUV costs more. There are no higher NX trims, but you can add optional features and packages that increase the price. A fully loaded NX sports a price tag in the mid-$40,000s, which is far less expensive than some fully loaded competitors. We review the Lexus NX Hybrid separately.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

Lexus NX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lexus NX or BMW X3?

The BMW X3 has energetic engine options, and it's one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the class. It comes with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but you may want to upgrade to the available turbocharged six-cylinder, which has 355 horsepower. The X3’s great performance will cost you, though: It has a significantly higher starting price than the NX.

Which Is Better: Lexus NX or Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC finishes near the top of our class rankings, and it has one of the best interiors in the class. It offers more second-row legroom than the NX, as well as more cargo space and a serene ride quality. If you're looking for a plush luxury ride, the GLC is one of the best choices you can make. The Mercedes carries a higher starting price than the Lexus, but it's worth the extra money.

Compare the NX, X3, and GLC »

NX Interior

How Many People Does the NX Seat?

This 2-row SUV seats five people. Both rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, and they provide more head- and legroom than you'll get in some rivals. However, the vehicle's sloping roofline and narrow windows can make the cabin feel small.

NX and Car Seats

The NX features two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The system earns a rating of Good (the highest rating) for its ease of use, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

NX Interior Quality

The NX's interior contains a mix of high-quality materials and hard plastics. Some reviewers like the design of the cabin, but others think it looks too cluttered and is uncharacteristic for a Lexus product.

NX Cargo Space

Most competitors give you more cargo space than this Lexus. You get just under 18 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats – enough room for about 14 grocery bags. Folding down the rear seats expands that space to 54 cubic feet.

NX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the NX 300 include an infotainment system with an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and HD Radio. Available features include navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, a 10-speaker sound system, and a moonroof.

The NX's infotainment system leaves a lot to be desired. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, which most rivals offer, aren't available. You control the infotainment system via the Remote Touch controller, which is frustrating and distracting to use. Many rivals have more user-friendly systems.

Read more about interior »

NX Performance

NX Engine: Only One Option

The NX comes with a 235-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While it's fine for driving around town, this engine lacks pep and provides slower acceleration than rivals' engines. Unfortunately, more-powerful options aren't available for the NX.

NX Gas Mileage: Above-Average Numbers

Few other luxury compact SUVs get better fuel economy ratings than the NX, which delivers 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. You'll save about $100 per year with the NX compared to a rival like the Acura RDX.

NX Ride and Handling: Poised, but Not Athletic

The NX 300 doesn't feel as sporty as many of its classmates. It's relatively competent on winding roads, and the ride is comfortable, though it’s firmer than you might expect for a Lexus.

Read more about performance »

NX Reliability

Is the Lexus NX Reliable?

J.D. Power has yet to give the 2019 NX a predicted reliability rating.

Lexus NX Warranty

Lexus backs the NX 300 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

NX Safety

NX Crash Test Results

The 2019 NX earned a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NX Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. Available features include a bird's-eye-view camera system, parking sensors with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Read more about safety »

Which Lexus NX Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus makes it easy to choose an NX model because it only comes in one trim. It carries a base price of $36,185 and features a 235-horsepower turbo-four engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include an infotainment system with an 8-inch display screen, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker audio system, and satellite radio.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

You can add all-wheel drive for $1,400, and you can upgrade to the F Sport package for $2,390. The NX F Sport has select upgraded components to enhance handling, such as an F Sport-tuned suspension and Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes. Other features in this package include paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, special body panels and badges, and front sport seats with enhanced bolsters for added side support.

There are various packages and individual features you can add, though they'll add thousands of dollars to your final price. These features include navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, a 10-speaker sound system, a moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a bird's-eye-view camera system, parking sensors with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

See 2019 Lexus NX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Lexus NX gets great gas mileage, features roomy seats, and has one of the lowest starting prices in the class. In most other areas, however, it simply doesn't stack up against its competition. Instead, consider higher-ranking luxury compact SUVs like the BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Lexus recipe for success: Hide the Toyota mass-market roots under the Lexus logo by filling a car with amenities and luxury trappings, a more supple ride, and a quiet, soothing cabin. Even a pro can't sniff out the Camry beneath an ES sedan. But with the new, compact NX, the souffle falls. The car doesn't coddle you like the wildly successful Lexus RX – the midsized crossover vehicle that started the whole craze. Nor does it thrill you with BMW-like handling. It just feels like an upmarket Toyota RAV4." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "You'll Like This Car If... The 2018 Lexus NX 300 serves up the luxury brand's most desirable features in a compact-luxury-crossover SUV as efficient as it is fun to drive. … You May Not Like This Car If... If you regularly carry four adults, or need a luxury SUV with a large cargo area, an RX 350 is probably a better choice." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Buyers looking for more satisfying cargo capacity and infotainment controls would do well to check the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, both of which also offer a wider range of engines and specifications. The new Mercedes-Benz GLC looks promising, too, while the Acura RDX is a conservatively styled counterpoint to the NX that matches its promise of Japanese reliability. The Edmunds 'B'-rated 2016 Lexus NX 200t remains a solid choice, though, especially if the dramatic design language speaks to you." -- Edmunds (2016)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: February 14, 2019

Steady, Strong Sales: The Lexus NX was one of the best-selling luxury compact SUVs in 2018. The NX is currently behind the Acura RDX, Mercedes Benz GLC, and Audi Q5 for top sales spot in the segment. Additionally, NX sales remained steady in 2018 relative to 2017. The trend continued in 2019 as sales were only up 5.3 percent relative to the same span last year.

Research more buying advice »
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