$31,311 - $34,380

2018 Lexus NX Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Lexus NX was new.


Interior: 6.7

The 2018 Lexus NX is cozy and posh inside. Highlights include pleasantly spacious seats (even in the rear) and an impressive list of standard features. The infotainment system isn't very driver-friendly, however, and there's little room for cargo.

  • "It's no surprise that the cutting-edge exterior of a car looking like the 2018 NX has a cutting-edge interior. And we do mean edge, as the multiple levels, cutlines, materials and finishes could distract some drivers. Schizophrenic design choices aside, there's no mistaking the quality. From the stitched material on the dash to the many soft and padded surfaces, the Lexus NX exudes the sophistication of a higher class of vehicle than what you're actually driving." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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
  • "The NX's cabin isn't as radically designed as the vehicle's exterior, but it still exudes a cool, modern vibe that won't be mistaken for anything else in the segment. Construction is absolutely top-notch, with materials that look and feel rich. The soft leather-like material that lines the doors, dash and center console feels expensive, and we appreciate the padded areas that cushion the center console to keep your legs from whacking against a hard surface. Details such as contrast stitching, wood trim and a modern analog clock are tastefully applied." -- Edmunds (2017)


The NX 300 is a 2-row SUV with room for five people. Synthetic leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and reclining fold-down rear seats with a 60/40 split are standard. Seating options include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and power-folding rear seats.

The NX offers more front-seat legroom than most compact SUVs. While the second-row dimensions are closer to average, this zone still reasonably accommodates adults. For some, the SUV's sharp exterior styling and the cabin's limited side-to-side room makes the interior feel closed in. Visibility is also restricted out of the sides and rear.

The NX’s LATCH child-seat system earns a rating of Marginal for its ease of use, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Two of its tether anchors are easy to use, but the middle one is tricky to find. Both sets of lower anchors are mounted deep in the seat cushions, and clipping in a child safety seat can be problematic.

  • "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." -- Consumer Reports
  • "However, the NX should be praised for its interior comfort, both in the front and back. Strip away the sporty branding and this is yet another luxurious, comfortable Lexus SUV. Rear passengers come in for special treatment, as Lexus has managed to incorporate more rear legroom than most rivals." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "The NX is great at carrying people, less so their stuff. Rear passengers should find generous room despite the vehicle's modest overall dimensions, but cargo space is tight." -- Edmunds (2017)

Interior Features

The infotainment system in the 2018 NX 300 contains an 8-inch display screen, an eight-speaker audio system, smartphone app navigation, smartphone integration with the Enform App Suite, Siri Eyes Free, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, and satellite radio. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, and push-button start are also included.

Among the list of options is a navigation system, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, a 10-speaker sound system, a moonroof, 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 interface itself is decent. When outfitted with the 10.3-inch display, you can split the screen to show more than one function. However, the controls can be frustrating to use. Settings are made using a touchpad controller – a small plastic rectangle mounted between the seats. Using it requires a significant amount of attention from the driver. The redundant buttons are not much easier to use.

See 2018 Lexus NX 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
  • "The improved touch-pad interface for the Remote Touch is clever, but still not as intuitive as touch-screen or knob-based systems." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The high-mounted climate controls are easy to reach and see, and other secondary controls are intuitive. The infotainment controls are less so, however … With Remote Touch, various menus and icons are selected with a console-mounted touchpad like a laptop's. There is haptic feedback (vibration) through that pad when you click something, but in general, we find that using Remote Touch draws too much of your attention from the road. (The touchpad is also harder to use than the small joystick-like Remote Touch controller in the Lexus RX.) Tech-savvy users might also be disappointed by the absence of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support." -- Edmunds (2017)


Behind the second-row seats, the NX 300 has a 17.7-cubic-foot cargo hold. Folding down the rear seats nets you 54.6 cubic feet of storage space. Both numbers are small for this class, and the SUV's sliverlike style further limits usability. A power liftgate, a hands-free liftgate, and power-folding rear seats are available.

  • "Cargo space behind the … rear seats is 17.7 cu ft., with 54.6 cu ft. when they're folded down. … Neither model's space is that great, and the sloped roof compromises practicality a little further." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "The NX's 54.6 cubic feet of total volume brings up the rear in this segment, and the raked liftgate seems to make it less versatile than even its modest volume number would suggest. With the seats up, cargo space shrinks to 17.7 cubic feet, making it less spacious than even some subcompact crossovers." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Lexus says four golf bags fit behind the rear seats. If that's the case, certain competitors must be able to fit the bags plus a caddy. The 2011-2014 X3, plus the Q5 and Acura RDX both have 25-plus cubic feet behind their rear seats, but the NX … has just 17.7 – a little more than the GLK's undersized cargo area, but small for the class and less than half the cargo space of the RX." -- Cars.com (2015)

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