Judy Rae

Lexus NX300 F Sport may be the SUV crossover with all the answers

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Beach Wheels

By Jeff Mitchell

Recently, I test-drove a 2020 Lexus NX300 F Sport and found the smallish crossover sport utility nearly perfect for life in the city.

My five-seat tester came in all-wheel drive and was powered by a 2.5 liter turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine that developed 235 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque

While there are no major changes for the 2020 model year, the NX300 continues to stand out as an example of excellent fit and finish and comfort.

From the outside, the F Sport, with its special badging throughout, offers its now-iconic hour-glass grill with blacked-out meshing that give it an aggressive “all business” look. Beautifully designed LED head and taillights contribute to the vehicle’s unique, dare I say, sexy looks.

My tester came sitting on five-spoke steel alloy wheels and featured a generously-sized moonroof. 

In the cabin, you’ll find things a bit tight but cozy with perforated NuLuxe leather found on the bucket seats and on the dashboard and door panels.

My arctic white tester featured a generous 10.8-inch multimedia display, a programmable gauge cluster and a great-sounding Mark Levinson audio system.

My biggest pet peeve is the insistence by Lexus to keep including its infuriating trackpad used to manipulate the aforementioned media screen. The biggest problem, besides the trackpad being awkward to use, is that it also takes your eyes off the road which is obviously not a good thing.

My tester did feature a great head-up display projected onto the windshield — a device that thankfully is becoming more and more common these days.

The NX300 F Sport does get a few new goodies for 2020, including a lane departure warning alert, lane-keeping assist and forward collision mitigation all standard as part of the manufacturer’s “2.0 Safety System.” My tester was also equipped with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.

Out on the road, I found my tester zippy, giving me more than adequate power to merge onto freeways or pass other vehicles on the highway when needed. Steering is light but precise.

In terms of gas mileage, I received 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg out of town — numbers that are pretty good for a luxury crossover.

As optioned and equipped, the retail price on my tester was about $51,000.

Final thoughts: The NX300 F Sport is a comfortable, well-made SUV crossover that’s perfect for daily city commuting. While you won’t be clambering over boulders with this thing, you will enjoy its refinement and luxury. 

Jeff Mitchell is a Los Angeles-based automotive writer and reviewer. Reach him at j.edward.mitchell@gmail.com

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