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2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Review

The 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid finishes midpack in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. It has an excellent predicted reliability rating, good safety scores, pleasant driving dynamics, and a posh interior. Awkward infotainment controls and sluggish highway acceleration keep this Lexus from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Many standard safety features
  • Refined handling
  • Distracting infotainment controls
  • Lackluster passing power
  • Limited headroom for tall people

New for 2018

  • Lexus Safety System+ (suite of advanced safety tech) became standard
  • 8-inch infotainment screen replaced 7-inch display

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Hybrid SUVs category. Currently the Lexus NX Hybrid has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 5.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Overview

Is the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the Lexus NX Hybrid is a great option in the used hybrid and electric SUV class. Also known as the NX 300h, this Lexus succeeds at bundling everyday practicality into a luxurious package.

The 2018 NX Hybrid has a long list of highlights:

  • Upscale interior with five seats
  • Comfortable ride and secure handling
  • Terrific fuel economy
  • Superb predicted reliability rating
  • Good safety score
  • Many standard safety features
  • Low projected ownership costs

There are a few drawbacks, but these aren’t enough to dash the SUV's appeal:

  • Clumsy infotainment controls
  • Mediocre passing power on the highway
  • Snug headroom for tall drivers and passengers

Consider alternatives like the 2018 BMW X3 and 2018 Audi Q5 if you want a vehicle with more power and a simpler infotainment system. We review the nonhybrid 2018 Lexus NX separately.

Compare the NX 300h, X3, and Q5 »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 33 Lexus NX Hybrid reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid?

Based on listings for the 2018 NX 300h on our site, the average list price is $39,000. Prices range from $38,000 to $40,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Cost to Own?

The NX Hybrid’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $24,000, or $4,800 per year. That’s about average for the hybrid and electric SUV class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New NX Hybrid?

The 2019 Lexus NX Hybrid starts at around $39,000, but you may want to stick with a used 2018 model. The 2018 costs less, and you’ll find similar styling, safety features, and fuel economy. That said, it may be worth upgrading to a 2019 model if you want the latest convenience features. The 2019 NX Hybrid is available with support for Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. These features were not available in previous models.

Read about the new Lexus NX Hybrid »

You can save even more money by purchasing a used 2015, 2016, or 2017 NX Hybrid. These SUVs are part of the same generation as the 2018. The biggest difference across these model years has to do with safety features. All 2018-and-newer NX models have forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning as standard equipment. These upgrades were optional from 2015 to 2017. If these are must-have items, you may find it easier to buy a 2018 or newer model rather than trying to find an older model with these features.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 NX Hybrid »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid?

The 2018 NX Hybrid has a great predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about NX Hybrid reliability »

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no safety recalls for the 2018 NX 300h.

See more information on Lexus NX Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus NX Hybrid Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 NX Hybrid is available in just one trim: NX 300h. This model is well-equipped with standard tech and safety features. However, many of its luxury items – such as heated seats, leather upholstery, and satellite navigation – are limited to optional packages. If these items are important to you, search used models carefully to make sure these features are provided.

  • Lexus NX 300h: The NX 300h has a 194-horsepower hybrid system and all-wheel drive. Standard features include an 8-inch infotainment screen, an eight-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, a CD player, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Lexus Safety System+ is also standard. It includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include a 10.3-inch infotainment screen and navigation system, a touchpad, a Wi-Fi hot spot, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, genuine leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, a hands-free power liftgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 18-inch wheels.

See 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the NX Hybrid?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 NX Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The SUV received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the NX a 2018 Top Safety Pick. The SUV earned a top rating of Good in all areas tested, including for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. It also received the highest rating of Superior for its front crash prevention system.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • pedestrian detection
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • automatic high-beam headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • front and rear parking sensors
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See NX Hybrid safety scores »

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid or 2018 Acura RDX?

The 2018 Acura RDX is another luxury compact SUV. It features a V6 engine that delivers snappy acceleration. It also has a roomier cargo area and a lower average price than the NX Hybrid. On the other hand, the Acura can’t match the NX Hybrid’s fuel economy. Its cabin styling and materials don’t feel as nice, either. It may come down to gas mileage and personal preference when choosing between these two.

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid or 2018 Volvo XC60?

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is impressive in a number of ways. The stylish XC60 has one of the most luxurious cabins in the class, featuring a sleek tabletlike infotainment system touch screen. The Volvo also earns top-notch safety scores, and it comes packed with a large suite of active safety features. Factor in a refined ride, potent engine performance, and an efficient plug-in hybrid variant, and the XC60 looks like a clear winner. The caveat is the XC60’s low predicted reliability rating. Stick with the NX if that concerns you.

Compare the NX 300h, RDX, and XC60 »

2018 NX Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Drive?

The NX 300h drives and handles much like the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, an SUV it shares its powertrain and a few other components with. The NX stays balanced around sharp turns, its steering is light and responsive, and its brakes slow down the SUV confidently. This isn’t always the case for vehicles with a regenerative braking system (these use deceleration to recharge the electric motors). The NX’s ride quality is on par with most other luxury compact SUVs. Its suspension glides comfortably over smaller bumps and dips in the road, though rougher pavement tends to jiggle the vehicle around.

The NX’s hybrid system consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a set of electric motors. This setup operates smoothly, and it supplies adequate zip for driving around town and cruising on the highway. The one area it comes up short is passing power; the NX feels sluggish when trying to overtake another vehicle.

  • Powertrain: 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that produce a combined 194 horsepower
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2018 NX 300h delivers solid fuel economy for a hybrid vehicle.

  • 33/30 mpg city/highway

It’s substantially more fuel efficient than its nonhybrid sibling, 2018 NX 300, which gets 22/28 mpg city/highway in its base configuration.

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Towing Capacity

The NX 300h is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds, when properly equipped.

Read more about NX Hybrid performance »

2018 NX Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 NX Hybrid Seat?

The NX 300h is a two-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are comfortable and generously padded. The rear seat cushions are similarly cozy. That said, front headroom is a bit slim for tall drivers and passengers. The back seat feels roomier in this regard. The NX’s narrow windows and thick roof pillars are partly to blame for the cabin’s snug feel. They also hinder rear visibility.

The NX’s cabin has a few hard plastics here and there, but overall the interior looks stylish. Many surfaces are trimmed with rich upholstery, metal accents, and soft-touch plastics. The interior also keeps road and wind noise to a minimum.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather seats (NuLuxe)
  • power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • leather seats
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • power-folding rear seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid?

The 2018 NX has two full sets of LATCH connectors in its second row for securing child car seats. This system is quite practical to use, thanks to its easy-to-locate anchors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup a top rating of Good for ease of use.

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Features

The NX is available with two different infotainment systems. The standard setup is called Lexus Display Audio, which has an 8-inch screen that is controlled using a knob on the center console. There’s a slight learning curve, but overall this layout is pretty user-friendly. However, the available Lexus Remote Touch system is not. This setup is bundled with a 10.3-inch screen and a navigation system, and it’s controlled using a touchpad, similar to one on a laptop. It has a sleek appearance, but it requires too much attention to use while driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch infotainment screen, eight speakers, Siri Eyes Free, HD Radio, satellite radio, a CD player, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.3-inch screen, a navigation system, a touchpad, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Additional standard features: keyless entry and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a moonroof and a hands-free power liftgate

See 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid specs »

Read more about NX Hybrid interior »

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Dimensions

Lexus NX Hybrid Cargo Space

The NX 300h has 16.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 53.7 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s low for the class, but competitors like the 2018 Lincoln MKC and 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC offer similar cargo space.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,180 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lexus NX Hybrid Built?

Lexus built the 2018 NX 300h in Japan.

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