Skip advert
In-depth reviews

Lexus NX 300h engines, drive & performance

The Lexus NX isn’t a thrill-a-minute to drive, but it’s a refined and relaxed cruiser

Overall rating

2.5 out of 5

£44,410 - £65,630
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower

The CVT gearbox is the biggest thorn in the Lexus NX's side, as it makes the engine sound strained and feel lethargic when you need to accelerate – probably not what you expect from a premium SUV. When you don’t need to, the comfortable ride and refined performance are satisfying enough.

Lexus NX 300h hybrid engine, 0-62mph and acceleration

The Lexus NX 300h has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that works in harmony with electric motors to drive the car as efficiently as possible. Four-wheel drive is standard across the range, with the exception of the entry-level model, which offers the option of front-wheel drive for lower running costs. The NX 300h knocks off the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in 9.2 seconds on its way to a 112mph maximum speed. Neither figure is earth-shattering and the bigger battery packs and motors of newer plug-in hybrids tend to provide more scintillating performance.

Advertisement - Article continues below

While the engine and gearbox are very smooth in normal usage, the characteristics of the powertrain under acceleration are less impressive. The CVT makes the engine rev noisily before it starts to accelerate, and there’s a lack of initial responsiveness that’s frustrating. It’s also an issue when you’re driving up hill or overtaking, when the engine’s drone is intrusive and out of character with the otherwise luxurious feel of the car. Around town, it’s a different story, especially when you’re in electric mode which is almost silent.


The ride and handling of the NX 300h by and large live up to its luxurious image, although it’s not a match for latest SUV rivals. The ride is comfortable most of the time, but around town the suspension feels a bit firm and transmits too many road imperfections. At higher speeds, the ride feels more refined and comfortable, but it still crashes into potholes that wouldn’t make most of its rivals flinch. While the NX doesn’t lean too much in corners, you get nowhere near the same feeling of agility and poise that a BMW X3 would deliver. The Lexus' steering feels lifeless, too, which adds to the unexceptional drive quality.

Skip advert
Skip advert

Most Popular

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
hydrogen filling station
Your questions answered

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car in the UK
11 Apr 2024
Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes
2024 Audi RS e-tron GT - front tracking

Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes

Audi’s flagship RS e-tron GT electric sports car gets an upgrade in cutting edge tech and a performance boost
15 Apr 2024
​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024
Top 10 best small electric SUVs Cover Photo
Best cars

​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024

Small electric SUVs provide low running costs, decent practicality and are more affordable than larger models, so they’re very popular. Here are the b…
8 Apr 2024