Lexus NX 300h: a hybrid RAV4 that’s still butch but with a lot more luxury & glitter

2016 Lexus NX 300hToday, we’ve come to expect everything to be everything, so when it comes to cars, it’s not enough to be, say, just a sports car. It must now have luxury – and economy. Economy cars can’t just get you from Point Absolutely to Point Fabulous cheaply – these vehicles now must also entertain and impress. Consumers are not happy with a car that is just a Nova, Pinto or Satellite. Indeed, this is just one reason automobile prices have gone up considerably (though much of that jump in price is because of incredible safety features).

The 2016 Lexus NX, now in its sophomore year, is one heck of a nice car that really does try to be everything. Lexus specializes in luxury, so climb inside the NX (which stands for Nimble Crossover) and you’ll automatically get that feel of Lexus luxury with a hint of leather lust.

2016 Lexus NX 300hThis car is solidly in the luxury small SUV category. At a base price of around $35,000 (the 300h starts around $39K), the NX is on average about ten-grand more than its sister-from-another-mister, the Toyota RAV4. Like the RAV4, the NX can be rugged, yet this one is more of that gal-pal that is ready to go hit the runway anytime you are.

All the way around, the NX delivers. The ride is smooth, handling is good, it looks great. This is a small-ish SUV, so make sure you want something that isn’t meant to do a lot of big hauling of big items. Well, it’s not that small an SUV – it’s a crossover, yes, but, well ….. if you want a car with more fun that practicality, give the NX a spin.

Now for the really good news, as far as I am concerned. Gone is that sensitive joystick that sat in the center console and had to be used to do anything in the car. Finally, it has now been replaced with a softer, gentler finger pad (be careful as some remaining 2016s still have the joystick). Much like what you have on those non-iPad laptops, this finger pad is finger friendly and can take you where you want to go.  But be careful, because it’s still sensitive, but now it only needs a finger to respond and not an entire fist or thrust. Hooray.

2016 Lexus NX 300hI’ve never really cared for how most cars are named these days – NX, RX, GS, BLT, QT, whatever. I don’t know how people keep track of all the letters and numbers, which to me don’t give the same sense of pride as when you say Corvette, Corvair or Edsel. Maybe it’s just the times – long gone as well are commercial jingles and TV show theme songs, like Gilligan’s Island and Green Acres. Seems like nobody sings or jingles anymore.

As a polar bear in the big gay world, I sing and jingle and jiggle all the time. I’m quite proud of it, even when it comes with the letters XXXL.