- Grabby shape
- Striking interior with contrast colors
- Massive infotainment screens
- Turbo-4 power
- Hybrid and plug-in options
- Divisive looks, maybe?
- No sport even in F Sport
- Artificial feel in hybrids
- Lexus warranty just average
features & specs
The 2022 Lexus NX amps up the pixel count in its quest for crossover street cred.
What kind of car is the 2022 Lexus NX? What does it compare to?
The 2022 Lexus NX is a five-seat crossover SUV that’s been revamped for the new model year with a dramatic shape, a plug-in hybrid model, and a massive touchscreen-driven infotainment system. It’s a competitor for vehicles like the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Cadillac XT4.
Is the 2022 Lexus NX a good SUV?
Efficient in most of its forms, the 2022 Lexus NX is a comfortable but not sporty choice in a tough segment that includes established European rivals. New touchscreen infotainment keeps up with the times, and the exterior design appeals to those with bolder tastes. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new in the 2022 Lexus NX?
Nearly everything, starting with the shape. The 2022 NX doesn’t stray far from the prior version’s gumbo of creases and slits, but it’s exaggerated in new ways. The hourglass grille dips lower and flares wider, the side glass tapers more dramatically, and the sculpting around the headlights and taillights grows more pronounced. There’s more of a connection with the Lexus SUVs that flank it in size, the subcompact UX and the mid-size RX. Inside the NX, Lexus wraps and molds the dash around very large touchscreen displays—a standard 9.8-inch unit can be upgraded to a massive 14.0-inch screen—perched on a modish flag of contrast-color trim. The overwhelming technological flourish calls attention to Lexus’ new touchscreen interface, in a big way.
In the performance arena, the NX doles out a foursome of new powertrains. The NX 250’s base engine pushes out 203 hp from 2.5 liters and four cylinders, paired to an 8-speed automatic and front- or all-wheel drive. In the NX 350, a step-up 2.4-liter turbo-4 churns out 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It’s teamed to the same 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
Two alternatives tap electricity for better efficiency. The NX 450h+ teams a 2.5-liter inline-4 with a motor and battery pack for a quicker SUV: It’ll scoot to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, Lexus promises, and will deliver 37 miles of battery-only driving. On a Level 2 charging system, it can be topped off in about 2.5 hours with an available 6.6-kw charger (a 3.3-kw charger comes standard). The hybrids use the rear motor to provide all-wheel drive.
Finally, an NX 350h with hybrid power but without plug-in ability delivers 239 hp and up to 39 mpg. The NX 350h uses an eCVT with 10 simulated gears.
An F Sport NX, available in NX 350 or NX 450h+ spec, gets adaptive dampers, its own dark-gray trim, aluminum trim, and 20-inch wheels.
The NX is slightly larger for 2022, which is a boon only to front passenger space. Cargo space actually falls, and it’s on the small side for the class. More sound deadener and standard active noise cancelation make for a quieter vehicle than the outgoing model. Base models come with synthetic leather in black, brown, beige, or red, with a choice of open-pore wood and piano-black trim.
Every 2022 NX comes with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control with steering assistance, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and a safe exit system. Available are a rear camera mirror, front cross-traffic alerts, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, and automatic parking.
How much does the 2022 Lexus NX cost?
The NX 250 starts at $39,025 with front-wheel drive, with an extra $1,600 for all-wheel drive. It comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, a 9.8-inch touchscreen, cloud-based navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, streaming Amazon Music and Apple Music, a wi-fi hotspot, satellite radio, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The NX ranges all the way up to $56,635 for the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid model.
Features available on higher end models include the 14.0-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, a Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system, ambient lighting, and 20-inch wheels.
Where is the Lexus NX built?
2022 Lexus NX
The Lexus NX stands out with bold exterior styling highlighted by the tall spindle-shaped grille.
Is the Lexus NX a good-looking SUV?
The changes to the 2022 Lexus NX’s look are subtle, but they come together to make a better looking vehicle. We rate the NX a 7, adding a point for its brazen exterior and another for its simple, but attractive interior.
Lexus’ bold design starts with the tall and almost overwhelming spindle grille. It sits up too high, but it looks better this time around. The sides get sharp character lines that remind us of origami, and the wheel flares are pronounced. A full-width light in the rear connects the taillights. F Sport models feature darkened exterior trim, including the grille, rocker panels and lower rear bumper.
Inside, the biggest change is the large touchscreen placed close to the driver. It sits within a seemingly tacked-on bezel that grows out of the digital instrument cluster and integrates with the center console for a very driver-centric look. We don’t find this look attractive, but it is functional. The interest comes in the form of well-chosen materials available in contrasting colors, including maroon, red, tan, and cream, plus 64-color ambient lighting.
We should also note the design of the door handles. They have electric buttons inside and out. On the outside, you can pull just like you would any other vehicle to activate the buttons on the inside of the handles or clamp down. Inside, a push with the thumb opens the doors.
2022 Lexus NX
The NX trades in comfort and efficiency, not in sportiness or robust power.
Lexus sells the NX with a variety of powertrains and the volume model is powerful enough to garner a point here. The pleasant ride quality is offset by sloppy handling to earn the NX a 6 out of 10 for performance.
Is the Lexus NX AWD?
The NX 250 has standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. The rest come standard with all-wheel drive, and the hybrid models use a rear electric motor to enable it. All are made for all-weather security instead of off-road capability.
How fast is the Lexus NX?
That depends on the model. The 203-hp NX 250 hits 60 mph in 8.2 seconds with front-wheel drive, and 8.6 seconds with all-wheel drive, both of which we find disappointing for a premium vehicle. The NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid cuts that time to 6.0 seconds, according to Lexus.
The NX 450h+ powertrain uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder aided by one electric motor up front and another in the rear to make a total of 302 hp, similar to the Toyota RAV4 Prime. The power comes on strong, with immediate torque off the line. It has decent passing power on the highway but runs out of steam at higher speeds. Its 18.1-kwh lithium-ion battery pack is good for 37 miles of electric range, but it cedes power to the gas engine when drivers get deep into the throttle or drive at higher highway speeds. A standard 3.3-kw on-board charger enables a full charge in 4.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet, but buyers can cut that time almost in half with the available 6.6-kw charger.
The motor that aids the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine in the 239-hp NX 350h hybrid also adds some pep off the line that fades away as the speeds rise. The best feel comes from the 2.4-liter turbo-4 in the 275-hp NX 350, which has more conventional power delivery with strong power at launch and for passing.
Lexus offers the NX 350 and 450h+ in F Sport trim, which adds adaptive dampers, and damped underbody cross bars for more body rigidity. Even with these features, no NX feels sporty due to numb steering and plenty of body lean. That’s OK because the NX aims more at a smooth ride than agile handling.
2022 Lexus NX
Comfort & Quality
Better space up front and decent rear seats make the 2022 Lexus NX good at carrying four.
The NX grows for 2022 to make the front seats more spacious, but it doesn’t improve upon rear seat space. Cargo room actually falls, but the NX still has a very utilitarian crossover SUV design. We rate it a 7 for its comfortable front seat and useful cargo space.
The 2022 Lexus NX grows 0.8 inch on a wheelbase that’s up by 1.2 inches. It’s also 0.8 inch taller. These changes benefit front occupant space almost exclusively as the driver gets an additional 1.8 inches of leg room and 0.9 inch of head room. That will make the NX comfortable for taller riders. Two average-size adult passengers will be comfortable sitting in the rear seat, but those over 6-foot might want more head and leg room. Three rear passengers will be packed in.
Rear cargo room increases from 17.7 to 22.6 cubic feet behind the second row, but it falls from 54.6 to 46.9 cubic feet with the rear seat folded—the latter figure is rather small for the class. The batteries in hybrid models don’t intrude on cargo or passenger space.
All occupants are treated to fine, soft-touch materials that are well assembled, though most models get synthetic leather instead of the real thing.
2022 Lexus NX
The 2022 Lexus NX has no crash-test scores, but it comes with plenty of safety features and more are available.
How safe is the Lexus NX?
The NX is newly redesigned and doesn’t have crash-test scores yet, so we can’t give it a safety rating for the time being.
The 2022 Lexus NX comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and steering assist, a feature that applies the brake when turning left against traffic, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, road sign recognition, and automatic high beams. Safety options include blind-spot monitors, front cross-traffic alerts, a system that prevents occupants from opening the doors if a car or bike is too close, a rear camera mirror, a surround-view camera system, and automatic and remote parking features.
2022 Lexus NX
Lexus NX buyers can choose from a variety of models and options, and they finally get good infotainment.
The NX comes well equipped in a variety of models, offers a healthy options list, and finally offers good infotainment. That earns it an 8 for features on our scale.
The 2022 Lexus NX comes in four models—NX 250, NX 350h, NX 350, and NX 450h+—each available with two to four trim levels. The NX 250 comes with front- or all-wheel drive and is offered in Standard, Premium, and Luxury trims. The rest of the lineup has all-wheel drive, the NX 350 adds an available F Sport trim, and the NX450h+ comes only in Luxury and F Sport trims.
The NX 250 starts at $39,025 and comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, a 9.8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10-speaker audio system with 296 watts of power, and 18-inch alloy wheels. All-wheel drive adds $1,600.
Which Lexus NX should I buy?
We’d skip the base model and move up to the $41,625 NX 350 or $42,125 NX 350h. The NX 350 has more power and the NX 350h gets fantastic fuel economy. These models are equipped like the base NX 250, and Lexus makes buyers move up to Luxury trim for about $7,500 to get the 14.0-inch touchscreen, plus leather upholstery, a 10.0-inch head-up display, satellite radio, ambient lighting, a sunroof, LED headlights, and 20-inch wheels.
How much is a fully loaded 2021 Lexus NX?
The NX tops out at $56,635 for a 450h+ model. It’s equipped like other Luxury or F Sport models, but has the 302-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. That’s a lot to pay for 37 miles of electric range and a few more horses.
Buyers can also opt for a rear camera mirror, automatic parking, and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
Lexus NX infotainment
The NX debuts Lexus’ new infotainment system with a standard 9.8-inch touchscreen and an available 14.0-inch touchscreen. The outgoing center console-mounted touchpad gives way to touch and voice controls. The larger screen incorporates the climate controls in its lower portion, which makes the effective viewing area 12.4 inches for all but the navigation display, which can take up the whole screen.
The touchscreen is laid out like other systems with main categories along the left side. Icons for wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto join that column when connected. Users can activate voice commands by saying “Hey Lexus” or taping an overlay icon on the screen.
Voice commands can control vehicle functions or tap into a cloud-based virtual assistant. The system also streams Apple or Amazon music, gets updates over the air, saves driver profiles and learns their habits, and adds cloud-based support for navigation. It’s a quick-acting system developed in house and it should result in far less driver distraction than the outgoing system that required owners to look between the touchpad and screen.
2022 Lexus NX
The most-powerful NX isn’t very efficient, but Lexus offers three other models that are.
Is the Lexus NX good on gas?
Most of the models are, though we base our 4 rating on the least-efficient engine, the turbo-4, which will sell in the highest volume. It carries fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined.
The NX 250 with its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is estimated at 26/33/28 mpg with front-wheel drive and 25/32/28 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The NX 350h hybrid comes only with all-wheel drive and has EPA estimates of 41/37/39 mpg. Lexus’s first plug-in hybrid, the NX 450h+, doesn’t have ratings yet, but Lexus says it goes 37 miles on a charge compared to 42 for the RAV4 Prime, which shares its powertrain. Expect the plug-in Lexus to come in just below the RAV4 Prime’s 94 MPGe and 38 mpg combined EPA ratings.