2022 Lexus NX

By June 17, 2022

The Lexus NX crossover comes to 2022 with a redesign that delivers dramatic styling, a cabin with a giant touchscreen, and four new powertrains including a plug-in hybrid, to better challenge its many European competitors. It’s built more for comfort than sport, with a pleasant ride the best facet of its handling.

The NX 250 hosts a 2.5-liter inline-4 making 203 horsepower, mated to an 8-speed automatic with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. The NX 350 has a 2.4-liter turbo-4 making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, using the same transmission but sold with AWD only.

There are two hybrids. The NX 350h makes 239 horsepower and uses a CVT designed for electric power, with 10 simulated gears. The new NX 450h+ is a plug-in hybrid with a range of 37 miles of electric-only driving. It pairs a 2.5-liter inline-4 with two electric motors and batteries, with the rear motor providing all-wheel drive. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a quick 6.0 seconds, using its total of 302 horsepower.

The EPA rates the base FWD NX 250 at 26/33/28 mpg, and the AWD version at the same combined mpg. The turbo-4 engine gets 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined.

The NX 350h hybrid with AWD is rated at 41/37/39 mpg. The 450+ plug-in hybrid gets 36 mpg combined after it’s used its 37 miles of electric range, for a net of 84 MPGe.

The 2022 NX has earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and active lane control. Options include a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and automatic park assist.

Model Lineup

Made in Canada, the NX comes as NX 250, NX 350, NX 350h and NX 450h+.

The NX 250 for $39,025 comes with synthetic leather, wood or black trim, a 9.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 10-speaker 296-watt sound system, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Optional all-wheel drive is $1,600.

The $41,625 NX 350 and $42,125 NX 350h are equipped the same, but with turbo and hybrid powerplants, respectively. The Luxury package on these models for $7,500 adds leather seating, a 14.0-inch touchscreen, a 10.0-inch head-up display, a sunroof, LED headlights, satellite radio, ambient lighting, and 20-inch wheels. The 350 models can be had with an F Sport package with distinctive wheels and trim; stand-alone options include a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.

For $56,635 the powerful 450h+ hybrid comes with the Luxury trim, plus adaptive dampers and 20-inch wheels; the F Sport package is also available. Its standard charger is 3.3 kw, but with the optional able 6.6-kw charger on Level 2 charging system, it can reach full charge in 2.5 hours.


The 2022 NX now looks more like its siblings, the mid-size RX and subcompact UX. The sharp wrinkles and character lines of the outgoing NX are retained and amplified, and the fender flares enlarged, to make the new version bolder and more dramatic. The glass in the side windows is more steeply tapered.

The spindle grille is also exaggerated, wider and taller than it was before–both higher and lower. The taillights are connected by a band of light spanning the rear.

The F Sport has a similar titanium-look swath around the car, from the dark grille to the rocker panels to the bottom of the rear bumper.


The big new available touchscreen is located at the driver’s fingertips, under a bezel integrated with the center console. The standard screen is a mere 9.8 inches compared to this 14-inch giant that shouts high technology.

The cabin materials are of high quality and chosen well. They come in a variety of colors from ivory to maroon, and can be lit in 64 different shades with the ambient lighting. The standard upholstery is synthetic leather in black, brown, beige, or red, with a choice of piano-black or wood trim.

The NX introduces Lexus’ new infotainment system, that does away with the old touchpad on the console. This new system uses the touchscreen or voice commands. The 14-inch screen controls climate functions, while its navigation display can fill the screen. The system can stream Amazon or Apple music, is automatically updated, and can save the profiles of different drivers, including learning how they drive.

The NX’s wheelbase has grown by 1.2 inches and overall length by 0.8 inches (it’s also 0.8 inches taller), without adding any more room to the rear seat or cargo area. The driver gets it all: 1.8 more inches for their legs, and 0.9 inch for their head. The back seat is comfortable for two medium-sized people.

The NX has 22.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, and 46.9 cubic feet with the seatbacks lowered.

Driving Impressions

The 2.5-liter inline-4 in the NX 250 posts output of 203 horsepower, and it takes the front-drive model 8.2 seconds to reach 60 mph; it’s 8.6 seconds with AWD. NX 350h Hybrids aren’t much quicker, but feel stronger because of their low-end electric power.

The turbocharged NX 350 hits its stride with 275 eager horsepower. It’s fluent at highway merging and passing, and its transmission shifts cleanly.

The NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid is the secret performance weapon. It can do 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds. With battery power and a net 302 hp, it has instant torque from a start, and decent passing power. The 18.1-kwh lithium-ion battery pack can deliver 37 miles of all-electric driving, a tease of future electric Toyotas and Lexuses with all-electric power.

The NX 350 and 450h+ are available as F Sport models, with adaptive dampers and damped chassis crossbars that make the structure more rigid. No NX is agile, but these improvements make the most of the NX’s conventional suspension design and its carefully controlled ride and steering feel.

The all-wheel-drive system, standard on every NX but the NX 250 where it’s optional, is not designed or intended for off-roading, instead offering security on slippery pavement.

Final Word

The 2022 Lexus NX leans heavily into digital displays and driver assistance for its crossover credibility. It’s best in hybrid forms, where fuel economy soars, but the strong performance of the NX 350 is a great alternative.


—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

You must be logged in to post a comment Login