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2019 Lexus NX Hybrid Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.2

The 2019 Lexus NX Hybrid doesn't have the swankiest cabin in the class, but the styling is OK. Materials quality is a mixed bag, as there are high- and low-grade materials throughout. The seats are comfortable, but the infotainment system controls are frustrating to use. Cargo space is subpar for the segment.

  • The interior styling is a bit funky, but it's nothing objectionable." -- Edmunds
  • Forget about Lexus's traditionally cosseting, parlor-room luxury. The NX is surprisingly hard-edged, including its cabin. Protruding contours and a jumble of multiple panels give it a high-tech anime feel. Don't confuse that with austerity, however. After all, there are numerous padded surfaces and lines of decorative stitching providing relief from all of the blackness. But too many parts are hard plastic, including multiple dash panels and the interior door latches. Worst, those parts look cheap, costing the NX our top score for fit and finish." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • Fit and finish are up to entry-luxury standards, and Lexus' NuLuxe simulated leather upholstery (real leather is optional) does a very convincing impersonation of the real thing. Soft-touch surfaces on the upper part of the dashboard and doors are nice, but the silver trim on the center console can't hide the fact that it's painted plastic. The strip of imitation carbon fiber on the doors isn't convincing, either, and many of the buttons, knobs and switches aren't that different from what you'd find in a mainstream SUV from Toyota, Lexus' parent company." -- Cars.com (2017)

Seating

The NX 300h seats five people and comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and reclining rear seats. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Most reviewers find that the front seats offer plenty of space and all-day support, ensuring that you stay comfortable even on long drives. A few dissent, however, noting that the front seats feel a bit cramped. Climb in back, and you get a decent amount of head- and legroom for two adults to sit in relative comfort. Visibility isn't great because of the wide roof pillars and tapered windows.

For securing child safety seats, the NX 300h comes with three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors. This LATCH hardware requires extra elbow grease to use. The lower anchors are buried deep in the seat cushions and are tricky to maneuver around, and the middle-seat tether anchor is hard to find.

  • "The front seats are superb with plush cushions for all-day comfort, plus well-padded armrests. The rear seats are perched up high and you sit more on them than in them. The rear seatbacks, however, do recline." -- Edmunds
  • "Sitting behind the steering wheel feels tight. You're hemmed in by a tall, wide center console that protrudes into right knee space. Combine this with the small windows and the cabin can feel either a bit snug or claustrophobic (pick your poison). The short left foot rest means your toes might hit a panel above it. Power adjustments for the tilt-and-telescope steering wheel are … standard. … some drivers wanted to pull the wheel closer." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "The NX 300h feels bigger inside than some compact luxury SUVs. The front seating position is comfortable and the seats have soft cushioning. The roomy second row features a comfortable reclining bench seat and generous legroom." -- Cars.com (2017)

Interior Features

The NX 300h comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, a USB port, an eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch display screen, smartphone app navigation, smartphone integration with the Enform App Suite, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include an additional USB port, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, a navigation system, a 10-speaker sound system, and a moonroof.

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

The infotainment system's interface and display screen work fine, but the Remote Touch control system (which works like the trackpad on a laptop) is one of the most disliked infotainment control mechanisms on the market. It's tough to use while driving, and it takes a lot of practice to master.

See 2019 Lexus NX Hybrid specs »

  • "Even the seemingly simple conventional knobs and buttons are a challenge to use. Climate controls are tightly packed together, and the radio's volume and tune knobs are tucked low on the dashboard, beneath an overhanging ledge. Climate switches get round dials for 2018. Frustrations grow when you get to the touchpad controller. … The problem isn't the screen design; it has large fonts and simple enough logic. Actually making selections is the challenge. Rather than simply tapping the screen, you're required to use the aforementioned console-mounted touchpad. Scroll your finger on the pad and an on-screen cursor follows, much like using a computer mouse, eventually landing on the desired on-screen 'button.' Tracking where the cursor is and moving it to the desired goal, takes a lot of time and attention." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "I'm a fan of almost every part of the NX's cabin, save the centerpiece. The infuriating last-generation Enform system is still present here, and is still controlled with the capacitive touchpad, which almost never works correctly and at worst is downright distracting to use while driving. After just a few days with the NX, I was wishing for anything else to use, even the toggle-like switch found in other Lexuses." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "The luxury segment has fallen hard for multimedia systems controlled by a console interface instead of – or in addition to – a touchscreen. Lexus' version is called Remote Touch. Unlike systems from Audi and BMW that use a rotary knob controller to navigate menus on a dashboard screen, Remote Touch uses a joystick-like controller or laptop-style trackpad, depending on the model, with no touchscreen functionality for the display. … Remote Touch isn't a paragon of usability even with the joystick controller, and the trackpad makes it one of the most frustrating systems I've ever tested." -- Cars.com (2017)

Cargo

The NX 300h has 16.8 cubic feet of storage space behind the second-row seats and 53.7 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. Those are among the smallest totals in the class. Additionally, the slanted roofline makes the cargo hold less useful than some rivals' spaces. Available features like power-folding rear seats, a power liftgate, and a hands-free liftgate are nice conveniences.

  • "Neither model's space is that great, and the sloped roof compromises practicality a little further." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Cargo space is skimpy, however, even if the NX 300h avoids the typical hybrid problem of significantly reduced cargo capacity relative to the traditionally powered version. Its 53.7 cubic feet of total volume falls short of all competitors, and the raked liftgate seems to make it even less versatile than this modest number suggests. That's driven home by its 16.8 cubic feet with the seats raised, making it less spacious than even some subcompact crossovers." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Also like the X4, the sloping roofline restricts the usable cargo space." -- Car and Driver (2015)
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