2022 Lexus RX

By June 17, 2022

The Lexus RX is a mid-size, five- or seven-seat crossover with vibrant styling and a quiet, luxurious cabin. Built for comfort despite an F Sport handling package, it’s a luxurious family vehicle with a dramatic shape and, for 2022, a handful of new colors on its palette.

The base V-6 turns out 295 horsepower in the RX 350, or 306 total horsepower in the hybrid version, the RX 450h. Acceleration is competitive—both do 0-60 in 7.7 seconds—but the hybrid’s power comes on with a fluid feel.

With standard front-wheel drive, the RX 350 is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined, and with AWD it’s only 1 mpg less. The AWD 7-seat version, the RX 350L, drops another 1 mpg to 18/25/21 mpg.

The RX 450h hybrid gets 31/28/30 mpg as a five-seater, and 29/28/29 mpg with that third row in the L version.

The NHTSA gives the AWD RX five stars for safety, with four stars in frontal impact. The front-drive version gets four overall stars, with three stars for frontal impact. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick for all versions with upgraded headlights.

Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and active lane control.

Model Lineup

Made in Canada the RX comes as a 350, 350L, 350 F Sport, 450h, and 450h F Sport.

The $46,395 RX 350 is equipped with synthetic leather, LED headlamps, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The RX 350L adds a third row, for $49,225.

The $49,095 RX 450h is equipped like the 350, but has the hybrid powertrain and AWD.

Options for these include real leather and a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation.

The $49,875 RX 350 F Sport adds a firmer suspension, front seats with a lot of bolstering, cabin trim in wood and aluminum, and black 20-inch wheels.

The $52,575 RX 450h F Sport adds a Mark Levinson sound system with 15 speakers, wireless phone charging, and a hands-free power liftgate.

The 4-year/50,000-mile warranty comes with two maintenance trips to the dealer.


The RX styling has a gregarious design, starting with its gigantic spindle grille made of mesh, and a churning ocean of waves on the sides, breaking over air intakes. Meanwhile the black roof pillar pieces create a so-called floating roof. It’s busy to look at, but it’s distinctive—and it’s been a hit with Lexus drivers.


The cabin curves slightly around the driver for a better view of the instrument panel, which features a large touchscreen over a slanted column of controls. It’s a bit cluttered, but the handsome wood or aluminum trim helps. The hot red leather in the F Sport takes your breath away.

The quality of materials is high. The standard upholstery is synthetic leather, and the front seats are shaped well with power adjustment. In addition to heating and cooling, leather is optional with the Luxury package. The step-in height is low, and the RX is roomy enough in front and comfortable enough in the second row, with soft cushions and reclining seatbacks with 38.0 inches of leg room.

The RX L comes with captain’s chairs in the second row, while the third row is cramped for adults, lacking not just leg room (a mere 23.5 inches), but also shoulder room and head room. It cuts into cargo space, with only 6.2 cubic feet available behind it when it’s in use. When the third row is folded there’s 23.0 cubic feet.

Compare that to the five-seat RX, with 16.0 cubic feet behind the second row and 32.6 cubic feet with it folded.

The sloped roofline and rear window limit what the driver can see out the back, in the rearview mirror.

Driving Impressions

The performance of the base RX hits the mainstream mark squarely, with a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds. With 295 hp and a crisp-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, it can tow 3,500 pounds.

The F Sport doesn’t add speed, despite the paddle shifters. It has a firmer ride and slightly heavier steering—but sounds more assertive with its sporty exhaust.

The RX 450h makes 306 horsepower from its V-6 and two electric motors. With only 11 more horsepower to carry the weight of the batteries, it’s no faster than the RX 350. It’s an impressive achievement nonetheless: The engine drives the front wheels, while an electric motor powers the rear wheels. It’s all knit together for exceptionally smooth power.

Both the RX 350 and 450h ride well, soft even on 20-inch wheels. The steering response is tranquil, without much feel or weight until it’s dialed into Sport mode.

The F Sports add adaptive damping along with the bigger wheels, and bring a ride that feels more alert. The brakes are better too, and the paddle shifters bring some fun to the 8-speed transmission.

Final Word

The 2022 Lexus RX has an eye-grabbing shape, but performance leans far more toward comfort and efficient driving. We’d opt for the five-seat RX 450h hybrid as an excellent all-around family luxury wagon.


—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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