Thursday, February 2, 2023
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2021 Lexus NX?

Should You Buy a 2021 Lexus NX?

The 2021 Lexus NX300h is plenty comfortable and very efficient

  • Pricing for the Lexus NX starts at $44,600 in Canada, $37,610 in the US.

  • The NX Hybrid is priced from $47,100 in Canada, $40,160 in the US.

  • The Lexus NX is a right-sized premium SUV for those looking more for luxury than capability.

Lexus’ timing for the compact NX could not have been better. Back in 2014, the small premium crossover/SUV was rapidly growing. In true Lexus fashion, the car company delivered a product that had everything going for it, from design to luxury features. Now, as Lexus unveils the new 2022 version, let’s take a look at the 2021 model.

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The small premium SUV segment has experienced near-unprecedented expansion in the car industry over the last decade. Every luxury automaker has at least one entry while some like Mercedes-Benz, have up to three. From the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 (and X2), Cadillac XT4, upcoming Genesis GV70, and all the way to the Volvo XC40, the stakes and competition are fierce. In fact, so lucrative and strong is the category that some mainstream automakers like Mazda are getting in on the action.

I recently reviewed a Mercedes-Benz GLA and mentioned that my neighborhood is littered with luxury-branded vehicles. I listed a number of makes and models including the Lexus NX but did not mention that the latter was actually as popular as the Benz. Truth be told, there are five GLAs and six NXs.

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As you can see, there are nearly endless options in this segment. The NX is a favorite among buyers but is it the one for you? Time to read on:

Why you should buy a 2021 Lexus NX:

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

  • The NX’s pricing structure is fairly competitive, offering a huge amount of standard features despite being priced slightly higher than others.
  • The NX300h hybrid version is incredibly efficient, capable of returning as little as 7.5L/100km in real-world driving.
  • Power from the hybrid powertrain is beyond acceptable for the application. The NX300 with the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine has plenty of get-up and go.
  • On the road, the NX is generally comfortable and fairly refined.
  • Styling-wise, the NX is truly all Lexus inside and out. Some may not like however it is undeniably unique and upscale.
  • Despite being intimate, the cabin is quite spacious for four adult occupants.
  • As expected, fit and finish are exemplary and second to none in the segment.
  • The available F Sport seats, no matter the package, are extremely comfortable and supportive.
  • Overall reliability is projected to be very good.

Why you should not buy a 2021 Lexus NX:

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

  • The infotainment system is inextricably made complicated and non-user friendly because of the terrible Remote Touch Interface.
  • The dashboard’s ergonomics are unusual with some controls in odd positions.
  • The NX’s brake pedal response is sloppy and soft. Older Toyotas suffered from this issue which has been addressed in more recent products.
  • Cargo capacity is negatively affected by the battery’s placement. The loss isn’t huge but can make a difference for some.
  • The hybrid system relies on an eCVT transmission which, when the petrol engine comes to life, will regularly peg engine speeds under acceleration. Toyota’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine is not exactly quiet.
  • Value-wise, once priced in the mid-$50,000 range with options, the Lexus RX comes into play and is a far superior vehicle in every way. 


2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

As you read these lines, Toyota will have revealed details on the new 2022 Lexus NX. At the time of writing these lines, it seems as though the new NX will move upscale and join the current lineup’s newfound extreme levels of refinement.

In the meantime, the 2021 Lexus NX is a fine small premium SUV but option packages quickly boost the price to RX levels. Unless there are features that you cannot live without that are not included in the base RX and that your budget hovers around $55,000, it’s best to skip over the NX. The tested NX 300h included the F Sport Blackline Edition package for a grand total of $58,350.

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

In the segment, we are partial to the Cadillac XT4, the Volvo XC40 (especially the Recharge), Mercedes-Benz GLB, and, quite honestly, the new Mazda CX-30 (with the Turbo). If the NX is a must, we’d wait for the 2022 and see what’s up.

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Lexus NX 300h | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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