Image result for lexus nx300By Will Chamberlain, For The Times

Looking for a small but mighty luxury CUV?

There are a lot of really good examples out there. Whether you want interior luxury or just functionality from point A to B, there are small CUVs all over. But this week, we’ll take a closer look at the Lexus NX300 FSport.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter Turbo 4-cylinder that produces 235 horsepower and 258 pound-foot of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic and down to the pavement via all-wheel drive. This is a tried and true powertrain that will pick up when you need to and gets decent mileage most of the time. It’s a bullet-proof transmission that doesn’t fumble through gears or hesitate when downshifting. Anytime you need to merge or get ahead of the pack, just press the go pedal and hold on.

Exterior styling is where the Lexus comes out ahead with me.

The razor-sharp character lines from front to back really make this CUV appealing. The LED daytime lights are now separate from the headlamp housing and look amazing. The newly refined LED headlamps are shaped like three “L” and bring a high-tech appearance to an already cutting-edge design. Don’t forget the oversized spindle front grill that is larger than life.

Follow the design down the door lines to the rear where the tail lights pick up and carry it around the tailgate. LED tail lamps that have a back lit effect look truly futuristic at night.

Slide into the driver’s seat for a cockpit finished for the driver. There are a mixture of materials that all complement each other really well in this design. The center console appears to be supported by a magnificent brushed-aluminum bracket that flows from the touch-screen to the gear selector and cup holders.

The top touch-screen is wide angle and displays all the essentials for navigation, stereo and car settings. Just below that is an analog clock that drives me crazy and dedicated HVAC controls.

I love having dedicated buttons for everything. I know it makes the dash a bit congested but the need to change temp, fan speed and mode is crucial and I don’t want to flip through a million screens to find it.

The drivers instrument panel is also very useful and beautiful to look at. The brushed-graphite rotary gauges are classic and provide the info at a glance. The overall feel of the interior design is tight and performance geared. Front seating is uber comfortable and also provides decent support. Rear seats are just the right size for an adult and my kids car seats installed quickly. The legroom is a little cramped for adults but kids are just fine. Rear trunk space is decent and allows for a good grocery trip or sports equipment.

On road the NX is tight and smooth. It will take bumps a little harsher than in other luxury vehicles and that’s to be expected especially on the F Sport trim in this review. My favorite points of the Lexus begin with the steering. It’s incredibly tight and sporty. You feel connected with the CUV and lends itself to spirited driving. The size of the CUV is perfect for urban driving and parking in tight spots and lastly the appearance of the Lexus is top-notch. At night the LED headlamps are some of the best quality and brightness. Flip on the high beams on a back road and it’s literally like daylight down the road. Overall, the Lexus NX is a great luxury CUV for smaller families and can really make the daily commute much more enjoyable.

MSRP for the NX 300 F Sport is $48,180 and that includes the F Sport package. Lexus claims an average of 24 mpg and I was able to maintain that overall during my road test.