2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid Review

The NX 300h is Lexus’ solution to competing crossovers like the Range Rover Evoque, Acura RDX, and even the BMW X3. Helping it stand out from the competition is aggressive styling and an optional hybrid drivetrain, which none of these competitors offer, except the Audi Q5 … Will a battery pack and some electric motors suffice to launch this vehicle to the top of its class or should it be avoided like a cup of Kool-Aid in Jonestown? I don’t know about you but I’m absolutely thirsting for an answer!

You can argue whether car buyers actually care about saving fuel but what’s not up for debate is this is Lexus’ sixth hybrid model, joining the RX, CT, ES, GS and LS. Toyota is clearly committed to electrification and at first blush, this application of it certainly does not disappoint.

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-mpg

NX 300h models with optional four-wheel traction are rated at 32 mpg combined. Front-drive models are, of course, even thriftier. However, the ability to maximize every single drop of gasoline isn’t this crossover’s only virtue.

The 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid is also quite roomy with about 54 cubic feet of maximum space and accessing this space is super-easy. For a little extra money the second-row backrests will power-fold down, which you can do from a convenient switch in the rear or the driver’s seat (just don’t expect a full-flat surface when you’re done).

Supposedly, the 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid was designed to accommodate up to four golf bags in the back but to achieve this the back seats actually have to be lowered, which means only two passengers can ride in the cabin, leaving you a little short for your golfing foursome. But who’s counting anyway? Math is hard!

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-interior

2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid Interior

What’s easy though is keeping passengers happy because when those rear backrests are not folded the aft accommodations are downright laudable with a very comfortable cushion height plus a lot of legroom and headroom.

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-rear

So far we’ve determined that this 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid is fuel-efficient, spacious and comfortable, important attributes for any vehicle but now it’s time to discuss a couple of faults.

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-trackpad

It’s biggest one we think is in the remote-touch interface. What exactly is the problem? Instead of a control nub found in other models, this has a small track pad that is somehow even more difficult to use; it’s challenging (at best) to click on the icons you want, plus the seven-inch screen is quite restrictive.

Easing the pain, the test model we spent time with came with a few welcome extras including all-wheel drive, blind spot monitoring and LED headlamps with automatic high-beams. You also get wireless phone charging and Apple Siri integration.

Out-the-door, the 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid fully-optioned costs $50,505 but if you skip the options you can pick one up for less than $41,000.

Mirroring the cushy back seats, the front buckets we found to be extremely comfortable, dramatically better in fact that the ones found in the RX crossover (which made our rear end go numb after only twenty minutes!)

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-steering-wheel

While not quite as substantial-feeling as its larger sibling, the NX steering is quite a bit sportier and on-center it’s as sharp as a barber’s straight razor, almost to the point of feeling somewhat jittery. But we soon got accustomed to it and quite appreciated the responsiveness.

As for the power train, it moves this crossover at a, shall we say, measured pace. The 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid will hit 60mph in about 9.1 seconds, which by today’s standards is paltry. We’d appreciate more giddy-up from the powertrain.

2016-Lexus-NX-300h-drivetra

But, in all honesty, what can you expect? It only has a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, nickel-hydride battery pack and a few electric motors. All told, this power system puts out 194 horsepower. As for torque? We have no idea as Lexus doesn’t list a figure for that on the spec sheet.

The drive modes are also offered, all accessible by a control knob on the center console. There’s Normal, Sport and Wet Blanket, sorry Eco mode. These supposedly adjust the throttle response and steering assist, though as we’ve mentioned in the past, it’s virtually impossible to denote one from another; they all feel exactly the same!

Well, as we expected, the 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid is smooth and quiet in nearly every driving situation. It really is a commendable compact crossover!

2016 Lexus NX 300h hybrid eview

Capping off this review, we appreciate the roomy, capacious interior cabin, precision steering, economical fuel-efficient drivetrain and Autumn Shimmer exterior paint color (a brand new hue for 2016!).

However, we’re no fan of the remote-touch interface which we found to not even be remotely helpful. Additionally, apathetic acceleration and indistinguishable drive modes disappointed us.

The 2016 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid has space, style and efficiency to spare but if you want something a little bit quicker, you might want to consider a non-hybrid model but of course it’s not going to be nearly as economical. During our testing and review, we averaged better than 30 mpg, meaning it’s not thirsty at all. Frankly, neither am I after all this talk of Jonestown Kool-Aid.

Top 10 Ugliest Cars of 2016

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten ugliest cars available for sale in America in 2016. Without further ado, let’s blitz through an itemized collection of the most revolting, homely or downright unattractive vehicles out there! You may want to avert your gaze lest these eyesores make you dry-heave.

ugliest-honda-hrv

The Honda HR-V may be imminently efficient and perfectly practical but this subcompact crossover is oddly proportioned and has a bizarre front end. To be certain, it’s not one of Honda’s proudest styling efforts. But the HRV’s ghastly prow pales in comparison to what Toyota plastered on its…

ugliest-toyota-yaris

Toyota Yaris subcompact hatchback. This fuel-sipper’s face brings to mind a half-witted mouth-breather with its floppy jaw dangling wide-open in the true spirit of Napoleon Dynamite.

Unlike the first two models on this list, the next car is neither small nor affordable.

ugliest-infiniti-qx80

Coming in at number eight is the Infiniti QX80. This beast of an SUV is simply too ungainly for its own good and is lathered in more chrome than a 1959 Cadillac and you can’t help but be blinded by its tastelessness. Toss in tacky fender vents that look like they were pulled off a Pep Boys clearance rack and you have all the key ingredients for a stylist disaster. That said, we love Infiniti design; just not this particular vehicle.

Moving on, what has squinty headlights and a jumbled-up front end?

ugliest-jeep-cherokee

The stomach-turning 2016 Jeep Cherokee off-roader, of course! How can you not think this vehicle is all kinds of unattractive?

ugliest-mitsubishi-marage

At number six is the tripe-diamond brand’s rudimentary subcompact offering spruced-up for the new 2016 model year. This bottom-feeder looks every bit as chintzy as it feels, which is a remarkable accomplishment.

ugliest-toyota-prius

Speaking of redesigns, Toyota’s seminal fuel-sipper the Prius was recently overhauled; gaining new features and even more efficiency but evidently these improvements came at the expense of design because it’s more horrid than ever with lines and shapes that make you astonish the sense. Take a gander at that back end; it’s vile.

ugliest-nissan-juke

Next we have an automotive oddball that’s been the butt of jokes since its introduction. We’re talking about the Nissan Juke which can best be described as a baffling cross between an alligator and a gourd. This subcompact crossover is homely six ways to Sunday!

ugliest-bmw-i3

What if washing machines had four wheels and were made of carbon fiber? Well, then they’d be exactly like the BMW i3 (that we recently spent time with and reviewed!).

This frumpy fuel-saver is an incongruous mix of odd shapes and lines. Why, oh why does the automotive future have to look so weird?

Now we’re on to our runner-up finisher, the…

ugliest-lincoln-mkt

What pops into your mind on first sight? Admit it, a Victorian-era funeral carriage. The Lincoln MKT is probably the most Hearse-like vehicle on the market today (short of an actual, well, Hearse, of course). You have to give Lincoln credit for actually trying something different with this model (just not enough to actually be measurable). I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s hideous from every angle.

With that, there’s just one car left on our top ten list of ugliest cars in America for 2016 and I assure you it’s an ocular assault that few can gave upon without losing consciousness. Viewer discretion is advised!

But before we reveal the “winner” here are a few dishonorable mentions:

ugliest-bmw-x6

BMW X6: It’s more expensive, less practical and homelier than the X5 on which it’s based, so why does it even exist?

ugliest-toyota-mirai

Toyota Mirai: This Toyota moonshot is hydrogen-powered and promised true emissions-free motoring but unfortunately this alien craft looks like what crash-landed in Roswell.

ugliest-subaru-impreza

Subaru Impreza: This car essentially has no design whatsoever; it’s just shaped like it is and really that’s all there is to say.

But now for the ugliest car in America available today, it’s the…

ugliest-fiat-500

This unsightly people-hauler is like an Italian version of a GM dustbuster van from the 1980’s. Wonky lines, ovoid lamps and a top-heavy silhouette make it very difficult to look at. Cementing this choice at “the top” the Fiat 500 L is (astonishingly) even worse to drive than it is to gaze upon. Yes, Fiat’s engineering department actually managed to outdo it’s design studio. How? I have absolutely no idea!

And that’s it for this shortlist. What did you think of our vehicular choices? Did we miss anything particularly horrible? If so, make sure to leave a comment down below.

Oh, and if you disagree with my unimpeachable opinions, never may your restaurant recommendations, investment advice or suggestions for making important life decisions be trusted again!