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    William Maley

    Review: 2015 Lexus NX 300h AWD

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      So Close To Getting It Right, But Some Problems Prevent It

    The big thing for luxury automakers for the past ten to fifteen years has been the crossover. First was the midsize crossover. Then came the full-size. Now the latest craze is compact crossovers. Many luxury automakers have been introducing them within the past few years as a way to draw buyers in. The latest one is Lexus with the NX crossover. This small luxury crossover hopes to carve a nice slice of a growing market. We recently spent a week with the NX 300h to see if it has a chance of pulling this off.

     

    The NX’s overall shape looks to be a smaller version of the last-generation RX crossover mixed with some elements of Lexus’ L-Finesse design language. The front end boasts Lexus’ spindle grille paired with slim headlights. The side profile boasts a fair amount of sculpting on the fenders and on the lower door panels. Seventeen-inch wheels come standard, while our tester came equipped with the optional eighteen-inch wheels. Overall, the NX seems to work with the current design language without looking like a complete mess.

     


    2015 Lexus NX 300h AWD 12


    For the NX’s interior, Lexus made sure there was a fair amount of luxury appointments throughout. There is a fair amount of leather used on the dash, door panels, and center console. Many surfaces also feature stitching to increase the premium feeling. The front seats provided an excellent level of comfort thanks to the power adjustments and amount of padding used. Rear seat passengers will find a decent of legroom, but headroom is slightly tight.

     

    Where the NX falls flat is in cargo space. The NX 300h only offers 16.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 53.7 cubic feet with the seats down. Now some this can be attributed to the batteries used on the hybrid version. But the standard NX isn’t that much bigger (17.7 and 54.6 cubic feet respectively), mostly due to the sloping roofline.

     

    Like the RC 350 coupe we drove earlier, the NX 300h features the latest iteration of Lexus Remote Touch which swaps the joystick controller for a touchpad. We found the touchpad to be noticeably better than the joystick with moving around and choosing various functions. But we still had some issues with a slight delay of the cursor moving after moving our finger across the pad. We hope Lexus addresses this in a future update for the infotainment system.

     

    The NX 300h uses the same hybrid powertrain as seen on the ES 300h, a 2.5L inline-four paired with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total output stands at 194 horsepower. This comes paired to a CVT to either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models get an additional electric motor on the rear axle to provide the added traction. Lethargic is the best word to describe the NX 300h’s ability to get up to speed. The powertrain seems unwilling to get up to speed at a rate that would satisfy most drivers. You’ll end up having your foot almost planted to the floor to get the powertrain to move the vehicle at a somewhat decent clip. But this also brings a lot droning from the CVT.

     


    2015 Lexus NX 300h AWD 8


     

    The NX 300h does regain some points back in a couple of areas. One is the ability to run on electric power only at speeds below 25 MPH. This is perfect for driving in parking lots or in neighborhoods. The other is fuel economy. The EPA rates the NX 300h AWD at 33 City/30 Highway/32 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 31.6 MPG.

     

    As for driving, the NX 300h feels balanced. Over the potholed and rough roads of Detroit, the NX 300h felt composed. Bumps were largely isolated and the cabin was as quiet as a library. In the corners, the NX showed very little body roll and felt planted. We did wish the steering didn’t feel rubbery.

     

    The Lexus NX 300h is an odd species. On one hand, the NX is very well done for being Lexus’ first compact crossover. The model boasts distinctive exterior styling, well-appointed interior, and a balance between sport and comfort. But the NX 300h has a number of comprises as well. The most apparent is powertrain which feels and sounds quite underpowered. Not helping is a small cargo area and an expensive price tag. The NX 300h starts at $40,645 for the front-wheel drive version and $41,310 for the all-wheel drive version. This about $5,000 more than the NX 200t and we can’t think of any reason aside from the improved fuel economy that you should spend the extra money on the hybrid.

     

    You’re better off sticking with the regular NX 200t and having that extra $5,000 going towards some options.

     

    Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the NX 300h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Lexus
    Model: NX
    Trim: 300h AWD
    Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Dual VVT-i Antkinson Cycle Inline-Four, 650V AC Electric Motor
    Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 154 @ 5,700 (Gas), 141 @ 0 (Electric), 194 (Total Output)
    Torque @ RPM: 152 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 33/30/32
    Curb Weight: 4,189 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
    Base Price: $41,310
    As Tested Price: $52,013 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Luxury Package - $4,465.00
    Navigation Package - $2,140.00
    Pre-Collison System w/All-Speed Cruise Control - $900.00
    Electrochromic (Auto-Dimming) Outer Mirrors with Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Tilt, Heated, Memory - $660.00
    Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00
    60/40 Power Folding Rear Seats - $400.00
    Qi-Compatible Wireless Charger - $220.00
    Electrochromic (Auto-Dimming) Rear View Mirror and Lexus Homelink Garage Door Opener - $125.00
    Cargo Mat - $99.00
    Cargo Net - $69.00

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    I have a really hard time with that interior 1) In a Lexus and 2) for $52k

     

    It looks like an economy car interior with select pieces wrapped in leatherette.

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    I have a really hard time with that interior 1) In a Lexus and 2) for $52k

     

    It looks like an economy car interior with select pieces wrapped in leatherette.

    Well, it is their entry level CUV...below the RX.   I guess the luxury package and the hybrid spec drives the price so high..

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    There's really no compact luxury SUV that really has an interior to match that of its larger siblings. Maybe the GLC. Maybe the ambitiously priced MKC Black Label (in terms of materials only)...

     

    It really does look like Corolla Interior with more vinyl.

     

    If I were to get a Lexus, it'd probably be the GS. It's the only one that I think the new grille works well with.

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      How I would configure them:
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      Make: Volvo
      Model: S60
      Trim: T5 Momentum
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/34/27
      Curb Weight: 3,657 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ridgeville, SC 
      Base Price: $36,050
      As Tested Price: $46,249 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Premium Package - $2,050.00
      Multimedia Package - $1,850.00
      19" 5-Spoke Cut Wheels - $800.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Pebble Grey Metallic - $645.00
      Linear Lime Deco Inlay and Interior High Level Illumination - $600.00
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      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: Cross Country
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 4,202 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $45,100
      As Tested Price: $56,990 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
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      Cross Country Pro Package - $2,800.00
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
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      Birch Light Metallic - $645.00
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    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00
  • Posts

    • YES! 100% I was about to comment on that very same thing!!! In Quebec, the po-po dont give out tickets for left lane hogs. On top of that,  our Provincial police used to behave like this shyte cop-per too . "Used to" I said as they dont do that shyte no more.  Quebec has all kinds of speed traps in their arsenal. This was one of them.   But in Quebec, we dont seem to have a real left lane hog problem either.  It happens, but it aint a problem on our roads in general.  We speed more often than not though... And to be fair to the SQ (Surete du Quebec ie Quebec Provincial Police), they do put up with a lot of speeding.  Quebecois love to speed. A lot. And our speed limits are merely suggestions as the SQ tolerates us speeding. Its just that certain times of the year, like around holidays, or the start of summer, they button down and speed trap us to death...  They reel us in back to reality...   They left lane is NOT the fast lane. The left lane is NOT the lane to enforce speed limits in. What the left is, is allowing faster traffic to PASS SAFELY on the left, and then MERGE back in the center (or right lane if only two lanes)  going the FLOW of traffic. If traffic is such that going in and out of lanes is more dangerous, then the left lane is meant to be at a speed that travels FASTER than the other twom (if possible) and ESPECIALLY MAINTAINING THE FLOW of traffic.   If...IF...the LEFT lane is moving SLOWER than the RIGHT lane because of a LEFT LANE HOG then we gots a problem.  And if the left lane hog seems to be a cop....SHAME ON THAT DIRTY COP.  The cop had sooooo much time to accelerate BEFORE he clogged up the traffic. He realized and he accelerated and at that poiint in time, the 3rd lane became available and that is when the Subaru drove on the right to pass, but by that time when the cop accelerated to pass the Suburban, it was too late.  THAT cop created a DANGEROUS situation...  And Im not even talking about the road rage driving of that Subarau passing on the right...which is DEFINATELY a DANGEROUS situation...but FROM THE GET GO of the video, there are 5 cars, the cop car in front, one pick up truck on the left side in back of the cop car , one Suburban right beside the pick-up in the right lane, the Subaru in back...and the truck filming the whole thing and if 1 car in that group loses control...just one car losing control in that group...and a MULTIPLE car crash WILL occur...and there is NO REASON FOR THAT as there is LITERALLY NO OTHER CARS IN FRONT OF EITHER THE COP CAR IN THE LEFT LANE NOR THE Suburban.  The Suburban cant pass because he is in the right lane so that leaves the cop car in the left lane... PASS and GET THE PHOQUE OUT OF THE WAY!!!  CAUSING UNNECCESSARY  traffic jams and potential accidents. And that is WITHOUT the mentioning of road raging driving of folks trying to pass in the right lane...        
    • Can't stand the boy racer "Subu" drivers either, but the cop-per was cruising in the left lane holding up traffic which is illegal in most states "Keep Right Except to Pass". You will get pulled over here in AZ for cruising in the left lane, it's there for overtaking slower traffic and you are supposed to get back over to the right once safe to do so. Drivers in the NW are very annoying that way, all the same speed in all lanes. Get going or get over to the right! We don't have entrapment setups here like OR and WA, no traffic cops pulling everyone over doing 5- 8 over the posted limit. Big open smooth freeways 4- 5 lanes wide here, not beat to crap narrow freeways with Prius drivers everywhere "saving the planet" like the NW has. I don't miss the freeways up there at all! 
    • Sounds about right. Sweet Crude hit a hard negative value earlier this quarter for the first time ever. Crazy times we are living in for sure. The CCP will pay big time and already are. 
    • Someone needs to keep you big kids on here in check that's for sure. Running amok!! 😜
    • In 2019 the largest investment in oil refinery was finally allowing gas production to catch up to consumer consumption, then the Pandemic hit and Covid-19 brought people moving about to a halt. With that change and especially here in the US with everyone under shelter in place orders for the last 10 weeks, Electricity has become the biggest cost to a persons budget for the first time ever over oil / gas according to the latest reports from IEA (International Energy Agency) https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1128365_energy-investment-to-drop-20-in-2020-a-turning-point-toward-greening-the-grid Oil amounted to 50% of consumer spending on energy and electricity was 38%. World Wide oil consumption is expected to drop by over $1 Trillion dollars due to the pandemic. Due to a huge consumer change in taste to trucks and SUV's/CUV's auto efficiency took a significant hit in 2019.  Lots of interesting details in this IEA report story. https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-2020 To quote the story: Global energy demand declined by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2020, with most of the impact felt in March as confinement measures were enforced in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Global coal demand was hit the hardest, falling by almost 8% compared with the first quarter of 2019. Three reasons converged to explain this drop. China – a coal-based economy – was the country the hardest hit by Covid‑19 in the first quarter; cheap gas and continued growth in renewables elsewhere challenged coal; and mild weather also capped coal use. Oil demand was also hit strongly, down nearly 5% in the first quarter, mostly by curtailment in mobility and aviation, which account for nearly 60% of global oil demand. By the end of March, global road transport activity was almost 50% below the 2019 average and aviation 60% below. The impact of the pandemic on gas demand was more moderate, at around 2%, as gas-based economies were not strongly affected in the first quarter of 2020. Renewables were the only source that posted a growth in demand, driven by larger installed capacity and priority dispatch. Electricity demand has been significantly reduced as a result of lockdown measures, with knock-on effects on the power mix. Electricity demand has been depressed by 20% or more during periods of full lockdown in several countries, as upticks for residential demand are far outweighed by reductions in commercial and industrial operations. For weeks, the shape of demand resembled that of a prolonged Sunday. Demand reductions have lifted the share of renewables in the electricity supply, as their output is largely unaffected by demand. Demand fell for all other sources of electricity, including coal, gas and nuclear power. All fuels will be affected: Oil demand could drop by 9%, or 9 mb/d on average across the year, returning oil consumption to 2012 levels. Coal demand could decline by 8%, in large part because electricity demand will be nearly 5% lower over the course of the year. The recovery of coal demand for industry and electricity generation in China could offset larger declines elsewhere. Gas demand could fall much further across the full year than in the first quarter, with reduced demand in power and industry applications. Nuclear power demand would also fall in response to lower electricity demand. Renewables demand is expected to increase because of low operating costs and preferential access to many power systems. Recent growth in capacity, some new projects coming online in 2020, would also boost output.
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