2015 Lexus NX 300

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Lexus NX 300h is an all-new model.

Not only is there an abundance of compact luxury crossovers on the market now, it's hard to pick one we wouldn't recommend. It also just got a bit harder, thanks to Lexus and its entry with the generally impressive all-new NX. However, while the regular turbocharged version struggles to stand out appreciably from its rivals when it comes to fuel economy and performance, the 2015 Lexus NX 300h hybrid version certainly does.

Perhaps to no one's surprise, the company that is almost synonymous with luxury hybrids has produced by far the most fuel-efficient luxury compact crossover. Through its combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and multiple electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, the NX 300h is capable of returning a Lexus-estimated 32 mpg combined with all-wheel drive. It also boasts bold design outside and in, with exemplary cabin construction and a long list of the latest high-tech entertainment, convenience and safety options.

Exterior Highlights
Five-passenger, compact luxury crossover SUV, available in a single trim level

The 2015 Lexus NX 300h is a five-passenger, compact luxury crossover SUV. It is technically available in a single trim level,.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED foglights and running lights, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, driver-selectable vehicle dynamics settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way driver lumbar), 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats, "NuLuxe" premium vinyl upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a cargo cover and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Standard electronic features include a 7-inch display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri-based voice controls and readouts for iPhones, the Display Audio electronics interface and an eight-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod audio interface.

Other packages are also available, though availability can vary by region, so you'll want to check with your local dealer. The Premium package adds 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a sunroof and heated and ventilated front seats. The Luxury package also includes those items plus a power liftgate, automatic wipers, a tow package, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and wood trim. A power-folding rear seat can be added to the Luxury package.

The Navigation package obviously includes a navigation system, but also adds the Remote Touch electronics interface, two additional speakers, voice control, various Lexus Enform smartphone-integrated apps and a special smartphone app that allows you to remotely control and monitor various vehicle functions.

Stand-alone options include the 18-inch wheels, a blind-spot warning system (includes rear cross-traffic alert), front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control (includes a pre-collision warning and vehicle preparation system), upgraded LED headlights, a power liftgate, a sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel and a wireless charging tray for Qi-compatible phones.

Modern vibe in interior, top-notch construction, padded center console, modern analog clock on dash, generous space for rear passengers

The NX's cabin isn't quite as radical as the exterior is, but it nevertheless 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 -- especially in the available two-tone color schemes. Soft leather lines the seats and passenger-side dash, as well as the padded areas that thoughtfully cushion the center console to keep your legs from whacking against a hard surface. Details like contrast stitching, wood trim and a modern analog clock are tastefully applied.

The high-mounted climate controls are easy to reach and see, while other secondary controls are intuitive. Rear passengers in the NX should find a generous amount of space, at least compared with most other compact luxury crossovers.

Every 2015 Lexus NX 300h comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a front passenger cushion airbag that prevents occupants from submarining under the seatbelt and off the seat. A rearview camera is also standard, along with Lexus Enform Safety Connect telematics that includes automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assist button. Optional features include a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, as well as a lane-departure warning system and a frontal pre-collision system (included with adaptive cruise control) that warns of a possible collision and can automatically apply the brakes in the event of driver inaction.

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