2022 Lexus NX350h - Review by Thom Cannell +VIDEO
Bullet Points—Brief observations based on a decade’s experience.
Senior Editor, Technology Desk
THE AUTO CHANNEL
With emphasis shifting to electric vehicles, you’d think Toyota and Lexus had done little for the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Hybrids like the 2022 NX350h with its fuel sipping—41 City/37 Highway/39 Combined MPG—address climate change now, not in 2025-2035. And a plug-in hybrid sibling NX450h provides 36 miles of pure electric driving, typically delivering day-to-day EV-only use with an 84 mpg-e rating. That means no weekly gasoline fill-ups.
Lexus’ NX350h hybrid uses an uncommon method to achieve its standard All Wheel Drive; a normally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor drives the front wheels through a system derived from Prius (power from the gasoline motor combines with battery power to drive the front wheels) while on demand, a second electric motor drives the rear wheels.
The 2022 Lexus NX350h is a gorgeous vehicle, despite its redesigned oversized spindle grille. All-new for 2022, the most noticeable exterior change is the addition of a full-width tail lamp with LEXUS in block letters below.
Longer, wider and taller than the first generation NX, weight is reduced, some by replacing a full-sized spare with all-around run-flat tires. The larger vehicle delivers a near-14% improvement in cargo space behind second row passengers making a large cargo area even more useful.
Beyond purely mechanical features, Lexus promises innovation inside the cabin, with more soft-touch surfaces, increased noise dampening materials for an even quieter driving experience and a “thematic” ambient lighting option.
If you purchase the Luxury model, there’s more piano black accents and new Black Prism ornamentation which changes appearance with changes in sunlight. Finally, NX models offer a panoramic sunroof covering both front and rear passengers.
NX 350h now features a standard 9.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a 14-inch optional system includes a 36-month trial for services like navigation based on Google POI data, destination assist and what they call an intelligent assist. The available intelligent assistant can deliver weather, address and POI search plus other voice-activated features. I’m sure you agree that hands-free access to every facet of infotainment and navigation means more time with eyes on the road.
An exciting feature is an ability to predict when the vehicle is nearing a dead or poor cell data area and download maps and nearby services. That, plus now-required Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a door opening Digital Key for your cell phone which brings Lexus fully into the digital age.
Copyright 2020 First North American Serial Rights Unless Otherwise Noted. Original photographs copyright by Thom Cannell