2022 Lexus NX

2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
June 14, 2021

Buying tip

We’ll drive the new NX later this year.

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 edition, and massive touchscreen-driven infotainment. It’s a competitor for cars like the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Cadillac XT4.

Is the 2022 Lexus NX a good SUV?

Review continues below

We’ll drive it later this year—and we’ll assign a TCC Rating then. (Read more about how we rate cars.) 

What’s new in the 2022 Lexus NX?

Nearly everything, starting with the shape. The ‘22 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, either 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 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. It’s able to reach 60 mph in 8.2 seconds (FWD; 8.6 seconds with AWD). A step-up 2.4-liter turbo-4 churns out about 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, according to Lexus. It’s teamed to the same 8-speed automatic and front- or 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 36 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 NX hybrid comes with through-the-road all-wheel drive (a motor powers the rear wheels, not the engine) and with navigation that helps predict routes for higher efficiency. 

Finally, an NX 350h with hybrid power but without plug-in ability delivers 239 hp and up to 36 mpg, as well as a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. The NX 350h uses an eCVT with 10 simulated gears.

An F Sport NX, in NX 350 (2.4-liter turbo-4) or NX 450h+ (plug-in hybrid) spec, gets adaptive dampers, its own dark-gray trim, aluminum trim, and 20-inch wheels.

Interior and cargo dimensions haven’t been released, but Lexus says the new vehicle’s been quieted with more sound damping material. Heated front seats are standard, and rear heated seats are available. Base models come with synthetic leather in black, brown, beige, or red, with a choice of open-pore wood and piano-black trim. More head and leg room are on the docket, as is more cargo space, Lexus says.

Every 2022 NX comes with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control with steering assistance, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams. A rear camera mirror will be available, as will a head-up display.

All NX crossovers will come with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and keyless entry on all four doors. Smart door handles called Digital Latch will prevent the door from opening on the inside if the blind-spot monitors detect a passing car, cyclist, or runner going more than 5 mph. Options will include wireless smartphone charging.

How much does the 2022 Lexus NX cost?

Pricing hasn’t been released; it’ll be confirmed when the NX goes on sale late in 2021. The outgoing 2021 NX cost at least $38,535, while fully loaded versions topped out at $41,805.

Where is the Lexus NX built?

In Canada.

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