LEXUS NX 300h (AWD)—tires: P225/60R18; wheelbase: 104.7 inches; length: 182.3 inches; width: 73.6 inches; height: 64.8 inches; suspension: MacPherson strut front, double wishbone rear; steering: electric power ; fuel capacity: 14.8 gallons; mileage: city 33, highway 30; weight: 4,180 pounds; base price: $46,810; price as tested: $47,835; and website:

Leave it to Lexus to shine in the compact luxury crossover segment. The add-on of the F Sport Black Line to the NX 300h makes it even more fun drive, responding with quickness in any driving situation while loaded with luxury and tech goodies. Zero to 60 is an impressive 9.1 seconds in this lively ride, which gets a standard blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert for 2021.

A 2.5-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine that cranks out 154 horsepower at 5,700 rpm. The battery-powered electric motor ups the total to 194 hp. It is mated to an ordinary continuous variable transmission, but drivers can pick the following modes: normal, eco and sport. During deceleration and braking, the vehicle uses regenerative decelerating to apply much of the wasted energy to recharge the hybrid battery.

The familiar Lexus spindle grille with a stylish satin chrome trim is flanked by bi-LED headlights, while the blue tint in the emblem and the penciled hybrid on the rear doors are a giveaway. Step into the well-lit and airy cabin and you will quickly get cozy and comfy in the plush semi-aniline leather seats. A mouse-like, easy-to-use Remote Touch enables the driver to toggle navigation, climate, audio and phone controls on the 8-inch touch screen. A 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen displays audio, eco charge, outside temperature, odometer and tire pressure readings.

Also standard are the dual auto AC, driver information center, power adjustable heated/cooled front seats and manual recline/fold 60/40 rear seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, eight-speaker premium sound and power tilt/telescopic steering column. Besides sport-tuned suspension, the F Sport comes with aluminum pedals, a blue-stitched interior, a heated steering wheel, front fog/cornering lights, a black headliner and more.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, a side curtain airbag, a driver knee airbag, a front-passenger cushion airbag along with side-impact door beams, four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic brake distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability and traction control, a rearview camera, push-button start, three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and front and rear crumple zones. These are complemented by a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians and bicyclists, lane trace assist and departure alert and dynamic cruise control, all part of the no-cost Lexus Safety Sense.

If you’re in the market for a compact luxury crossover with a forceful engine, decent gas mileage and plentiful creature comforts, the NX 300h fits the bill. The F Sport trim factor adds even more thrill to the ride!

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