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2018 Lexus NX Review

The 2018 Lexus NX finishes in the top half of our luxury compact SUV rankings. It has a stellar predicted reliability rating, plenty of standard features, and a spacious cabin with comfortable seats. However, it's not as athletic as some rivals, and it doesn't have a ton of cargo space.

Pros & Cons

  • Fantastic predicted reliability rating
  • Great fuel economy estimates
  • Generous standard features list
  • Roomy seats
  • Most rivals have more cargo space
  • Distracting Remote Touch infotainment controller




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 6.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus NX Overview

Is the 2018 Lexus NX a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2018 Lexus NX is a good luxury compact SUV. It's attractive and provides plenty of room for passengers, despite being one of the smallest SUV in the Lexus lineup. There are plenty of features, though its infotainment system can be tricky to use while driving. The NX trails the competition when it comes to cargo room. Still, the good outweighs the bad for this Lexus.

The 2018 NX stands out for several reasons:

  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Plenty of standard tech features and driver aids
  • Lots of legroom in both rows
  • More fuel-efficient than most rivals

However, there are also some drawbacks:

  • Infotainment controls are difficult to use
  • Less cargo space than many rivals
  • Not as sporty as its appearance may suggest
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Lexus NX review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 34 automotive sources.

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Is the 2018 Lexus NX?

There are about 200 listings for the 2018 Lexus NX on our site, with an average list price of $36,700. Prices range from $32,000 to $41,300 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 Cost to Own?

The 2018 NX’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $30,820 or $6,164 per year. That’s slightly above average among luxury compact SUVs.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New NX?

Lexus did not make any major changes to the NX 300 for 2019. You can likely save money and get a virtually identical SUV with an older used model.

Read about the new NX 300 »

The 2018 Lexus NX 300 belongs to a generation that launched for the 2015 model year. Lexus refreshed the 2018 model, giving it an 8-inch screen (larger than before) and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver aids. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and brake assist. The NX was also renamed, from NX 200t to NX 300. If those updates aren't important to you, consider saving money with an older model.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 NX »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 NX?

The 2018 NX 300 has a stellar predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about NX reliability »

2018 Lexus NX Recalls

There are no safety recalls for the 2018 Lexus NX 300 as of this writing.

See more information on Lexus NX safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus NX Trim Is Right for Me?

The high-tech NX comes in one well-equipped trim level: NX 300. It has a generous helping of standard tech and safety features. There’s also an F Sport package that adds some performance upgrades. We review the hybrid NX 300h separately.

Several packages and standalone features are available too, including a navigation system, a 10.3-inch infotainment screen, the Lexus Enform App Suite with Yelp and Pandora, a 10-speaker sound system, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, power-folding rear seats, a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera.

  • Lexus NX: The base Lexus NX has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an 8-inch infotainment display, a Wi-Fi hot spot, the Remote Touch controller, an eight-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, synthetic leather seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. A standard suite of safety features includes lane keep assist, a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.
  • Lexus NX F Sport: NX models equipped with the F Sport package feature a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, front sport seats, Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes, and unique exterior styling elements.

See 2018 Lexus NX 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?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 NX a Top Safety Pick, giving it the highest rating of Good in all crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Lexus NX an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • pre-collision warning and braking system with pedestrian detection
  • rearview camera
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • automatic high beams
  • adaptive cruise control

Available advanced safety features:

  • surround-view parking camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • adaptive headlights
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers

See NX safety scores »

2018 Lexus NX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus NX or 2018 Audi Q5?

The 2018 Audi Q5 is a good luxury compact SUV. It has more rear-seat head- and legroom than the Lexus, as well as a larger cargo hold. The Audi also has a range of powerful engine options, all of which make more horsepower than anything you’ll find in the NX. It’s more agile too, tackling twists and turns with confidence. However, the Audi has a subpar predicted reliability rating. It’s also likely to be more expensive. Both are solid SUVs, and choosing between them is a matter of preference and where your priorities lie. 

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus NX or 2018 Jaguar F-Pace?

The 2018 Jaguar F-Pace is a decent luxury crossover SUV. It has more cargo space than the NX, but where it truly shines is on the road. Standard all-wheel drive, sharp handling, and a range of powerful engine options, including a supercharged V6, all help make it fun to drive. On the other hand, the Lexus NX has more standard features and a much better predicted reliability rating. On average, buying the NX will save you several thousand dollars compared to the F-Pace. For many shoppers, that makes the NX a better choice.

Compare the NX, Q5, and F-Pace »

2018 NX Performance

How Does the 2018 NX Drive?

Most critics found the turbocharged four-cylinder engine that powers the Lexus NX 300 to be capable, delivering ample power for city and highway driving. However, some noted that the acceleration is leisurely with this turbo-four and that the NX doesn't live up to its sporty image. The ride is a bit firm, but not uncomfortably so. The NX is nimble, but some luxury crossover SUVs, like the BMW X3, are more agile. F Sport models have an adaptive suspension and different driving modes.

  • Base engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive.
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 NX Get Good Gas Mileage?

Regardless of the drivetrain, the NX gets good fuel economy estimates for the class.

  • FWD: 22/28 mpg city/ highway
  • AWD: 22/28 mpg

Models with the F-Sport package lose 1 mpg from highway ratings. We review the hybrid NX 300h separately.

Read more about NX performance »

2018 NX Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 NX Seat?

This luxury crossover SUV seats five people in two rows. Up front, the seats are comfortable and spacious. The rear seats are reasonably large as well, and they're spacious enough for most adults to fit comfortably. Some critics praised the NX’s modern cabin and soft-touch materials, while others criticized its use of hard plastics.  

Standard seating features:

  • NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • power-folding second-row seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lexus NX?

The NX 300 has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the middle seat. The whole setup received the highest rating of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2018 Lexus NX Features

The Remote Touch infotainment system can be difficult to use. The physical buttons are tightly packed together and oddly positioned, and the system's touchpad controller is distracting to use while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch infotainment screen, Remote Touch controller, satellite radio, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker stereo, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a navigation system, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, the Enform App Suite, and a 10-speaker stereo
  • Additional standard features: push-button start, proximity keyless entry, a rearview camera, and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a moonroof

See 2018 Lexus NX specs »

Read more about NX interior »

2018 Lexus NX Dimensions

Lexus NX Cargo Space

The NX 300 has 17.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 54.6 cubic feet with them folded down. Most rivals, such as the Buick Envision, have more space. A hands-free power liftgate and power-folding rear seats are available.

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 Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,940 to 4,050 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 5,090 to 5,200 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lexus NX Built?

Lexus built the NX in Japan.

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