Car Review: Refreshed Lexus NX crossover has new looks and even a plug-in hybrid

The 2023 Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport is a plug-in hybrid that can deliver up to 37 miles of all electric driving. (WTOP / Mike Parris)

The second generation NX crossover came out last year with a new look, a better interior and a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) to charge up the lineup.

The new NX 450h+ F Sport is a PHEV, which says it delivers 37 miles of electric driving before the gas engine kicks in. However, using climate control and weather conditions can change that. This new plug-in NX is more fun to drive than other versions. Its combined 304hp makes this little crossover scoot thanks to the gas engine and electric motor working together. Turning a dial in the F Sport version to Sport+ allows for a tighter suspension that allows for better handling.

The redesigned NX has a new look too, one that better fits with the other crossovers and SUVs in the Lexus lineup, unlike the first generation NX that had its own look. The NX 450h+ F Sport grabs your attention with blacked-out grill and trim pieces, and 20-inch wheels, the largest on any NX model. You also notice that the body sports more curves and creases, and bulging fenders cover those large wheels. Even the rear end carries high style with vents and body creases to keep your gaze.

Jump inside and the NX 450h+ F Sport interior has a sporty driver-focused vibe. The seats look racy when covered in red and black perforated leather. The chunky leather-covered steering wheel with red stitching feels nice in your hands and looks cool. The back seat sits high, so taller riders might find less head room than some other small crossovers.

The new Lexus interface with a 14-inch touch screen is easier to use and has better graphics. The best part is that there’s no touchy mouse pad to deal with.

Cost: $59,905; as tested $63,670

MPG: 84MPGe (sticker). I managed 36.7 mpg on mostly gas on a 270-mile road trip

Options: $595 Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0; $850 premium triple beam headlamps, washers and cornering lamps; $450 digital key; $800 6.6 KW onboard charger; $1,070 Panoramic view monitor

Safety: Lexus Safety System 3.0; pre-collision system with pedestrian detection; high-speed dynamic radar cruise control; lane departure alert; intelligent high beam headlights; lane change assist; front cross traffic alert and steering wheel touch sensor; panoramic view monitor; digital key;

Things to know: The Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport is the most fun-to-drive NX crossover, yet gets over 30 miles of electric driving.


  • Provides good power thanks to the electric motor and gas engine
  • Improved interior with a better layout than previous NX models
  • You can drive 30+ plus miles on electric power


  • Some rivals offer more space
  • Pricey compared to all gas versions of the NX crossover
  • Limited availability

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