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2022 Lexus NX - Review By Larry Nutson

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)


By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

In spite of the challenges that 2021 brought, Lexus sales for the year were up about 11 percent. Lexus says its NX model is the best-selling entry luxury utility vehicle (UV).

The NX compact UV is completely redesigned for 2022. The NX is longer, wider and taller and has fresh new styling both on the outside and inside. There are more powertrains to choose from. And the infotainment system’s much criticized console-mounted touchpad has been replaced by a more user friendly touchscreen.

Up front, the Lexus signature spindle grille design has a three-dimensional effect and feels more integrated with the body of the vehicle. Framed on top by the L-shaped daytime running lights (DRL), the optional three-projector headlamps add balance to the design.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

In the rear, the Lexus logo has been redesigned to be more expressive. The L emblem has been replaced by a new, unified LEXUS logo located in the center. New is a full-width blade rear taillamp and an L-shaped lamp on the rear fender.

Inside, the more spacious cabin has 14-percent more cargo space. A 7-inch Multi Instrument Display and optional 10-inch Head Up Display are new. Within easy reach is a standard 9.8-inch touchscreen or there is an optional 14-inch touch screen. Dial controls continue to be used for climate control and media volume. There’s also a new Voice Assistant command system and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Based on the same platform as its cousin, the Toyota RAV4, the NX has a lower center of gravity and an overall more rigid structure. Four powertrains are available to choose from. The NX 250 features a 203-hp 2.5-L four-cylinder engine. The NX 350 has a 275-hp turbocharged 2.4-L four-cylinder. An 8-speed automatic transmission is used with both these engines. The NX 250 is offered in front-wheel of all-wheel drive whereas the NX 350 is only offered in all-wheel drive configuration.

The hybrid (HEV) NX 350h has a 2.5-L four-cylinder combined with two electric motor-generators for 239 total system horsepower. Lexus’ first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is the NX 450h+ which has 302 total system horsepower. It combines two electric motor-generators with the 2.5-L four-cylinder and has an estimated all-electric driving range of 36 miles. Both of these powertrains use a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and both are all-wheel drive.

Depending on model, EPA fuel economy ratings range from 25 mpg combined to 39 mpg combined. Zero to 60 mph acceleration times range from 6.0 seconds to 8.6 seconds.

Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) features are standard on all models.

Pricing starts at $39,025 for NX 250 FWD. It’s $40,625 for NX 250 AWD, $42,625 for NX 350, $42,125 for NX 350h and $56,635 for NX 450h+. All prices listed are inclusive of $1,075 delivery, processing and handling fee.

There’s an F Sport trim available on the NX 350 and NX 450h+ that include unique front and rear bumpers and grille, 20-inch gloss black wheels, adaptive suspension, black exterior trim, aluminum interior trim, bolstered front seats, head-up display and additional items.

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My initial exposure to the all-new Lexus NX was in the NX 450h+ F Sport model. Nothing like starting out at the top. With its ability to sprint in a quick 6-seconds to 60 mph from stop, there’s no disappointment in the overall drive train performance. With 36 miles of pure battery operation available, I could drive around the city streets of my neighborhood in silence and not burning any gas.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The interior is nicely appointed, very well laid out, and has a more contemporary instrument panel. The large, center-mounted screen, angled toward the driver, is within easy reach. This is a significant departure from other Lexus models that feature a central display mounted far from the driver with a touchpad on the console. Kudos to Lexus. The 10-way adjustable, well-bolstered two-tone seats proved both comfortable and supportive. I liked the interior push button door handles, but my wife thought otherwise.

More details on the new Lexus NX can be found at The 2022 NX has the latest Lexus Safety System Plus 3.0. It now features oncoming vehicle detection as well as oncoming pedestrian detection. The dynamic radar cruise control now features curve speed management. There’s also road sign detection. Automated driving continues to advance!

Overall the 2022 Lexus NX should be a good choice for those wanting a stylish and luxurious vehicle that’s not too large on the outside but offers decent interior space for a couple of couples.

Happy Motoring!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy