This Luxury Crossover Has Fuel Economy Almost as Good as a Toyota Corolla

Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been our privilege to spend some time driving both the 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport and the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE. After the miles spent with each one, I’ve learned about each model. One thing that struck me is how close they come in terms of miles per gallon average for my daily driving. This luxury crossover has fuel economy that is highly competitive with a practical commuter car like the Toyota Corolla.

Most of my time behind the wheel involves city driving. Practices, games, grocery runs, and other suburban mom stuff. However, if I’m not navigating the city streets, I’m headed up to the ranch. It’s a long stretch of highway, then some backroads in the country leading up to the property. These cars were put through the paces on the same streets, performing the same weekly routine.

Luxury crossover fuel economy

After the 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport and 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE were driven for a few days on the same streets they both earned a miles per gallon average surprisingly close in number––all things considered. I’ll admit I put the Corolla XSE into sport mode more often than with the Lexus NX. In addition, the way sport mode is more greedy for fuel from both machines is noticeable.

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Overall I noticed that each of these very different vehicles delivers very similar fuel economy. I typically saw about 32 mpg for the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE. The 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport saw about 27 mpg. Considering that one is a mainstream commuter car and the latter is a luxury crossover, these numbers are actually very alike. But how do they compare on paper? For this, we’ll turn to the EPA and see if my real world findings are comparable to what the EPA ratings are.

EPA ratings for the 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport and the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

The United States Environmental Protection Agency rates both of these vehicles in terms of fuel economy. For the AWD 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport, the EPA shows 22 mpg in the city. For highway fuel mileage, the EPA rating of the 2020 Lexus NX is 27 mpg. The average for the NX is shown as 24 mpg. During our week with the 2020 Lexus NX, we saw an average closer to the highway rating in terms of numbers. We drove a pretty even mix of city streets and highway miles. However, the 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport performed extremely well in the area of fuel economy.

silver Lexus NX compact luxury SUV on sand
Lexus NX | Lexus

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For the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE, the EPA gives a fuel economy rating of 31 mpg in the city. This compact car is rated for 38 mpg on the highway with an average mpg rating of 34. However, after the week I spent with the Corolla I saw an average of 32 mpg. This is, of course, still excellent and practical fuel economy. Still, I am surprised by how close these two actually came.

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
2020 Toyota Corolla XSE | Toyota

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Unexpected numbers

There’s no doubt the Corolla on the highway without turning to sport mode so frequently would deliver a far higher average mpg. Still, the Lexus crossover SUV surprised us. It turns out that the Lexus NX is a luxury crossover with fuel economy that competes with the trusty Toyota Corolla.

a cadmium orange lexus nx 300 f sport driving in the city
2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport | Lexus