2022 Lexus RX

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
December 13, 2021

Buying tip

We’d pay the upcharge for the RX 450h hybrid, but not for the long-body RX L; the space isn’t worth it.

features & specs

RX 350 AWD
RX 350 F SPORT Appearance AWD
RX 350 F SPORT Appearance FWD
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
MPG
20 city / 27 hwy
MSRP
$46,970
MSRP
$50,450
MSRP
$49,050

The 2022 Lexus RX seeks a luxury-crossover edge with an eye-grabbing shape, but performance toes the usual line.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Lexus RX? What does it compare to?

The RX is a luxury crossover SUV with seating for up to seven people and a catchy shape. It’s still a quiet, comfortable cruiser at its best, which makes it a rival for the Volvo XC60, Lincoln Nautilus, and both Infiniti crossovers. 

Is the 2022 Lexus RX a good SUV?

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It’s strong and silent, though crash-test scores raise an eyebrow. In hybrid spec, the luxury Lexus crossover earns a TCC Rating of 6.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Lexus RX?

A few new colors appear on its palette. The RX leaves its boisterous body unchanged, from the tall hourglass grille at the front end to the black bands that blot out part of the rear roof pillars, giving it a canopy-style look. The interior wraps conducively around the driver, building a wall of controls and metallic trim between them and the front passenger. There’s a lot going on, inside and out, and it’s intriguing—even if it hangs together a little less well than the same ideas on rival crossovers.

A V-6 engine is the RX’s prescription for power, with either 295 hp in the RX 350 or a 306-hp hybrid drivetrain in the RX 450h. Either can reach 60 mph in under eight seconds, but the hybrid’s fluid power delivery and exceptional fuel economy make it our pick. Either RX rides well, and most make steering response on a low-priority item; the RX F Sport changes things up with stiffer tuning, firmer seats, paddle shift controls, and a rorty exhaust note, but composure is still its long suit.

The five-seat RX has all the space most drivers need, and interior comfort and quality are high. The three-row RX L doesn’t have enough head, knee, or shoulder room to host any but the smallest passengers who don’t need car seats. Cargo space works better in the five-seat version, too.

Lexus fits all RX crossovers with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control. The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick, but the NHTSA has some concerns for crash safety in front-drive RXs.

How much does the 2022 Lexus RX cost?

It’s $46,395 for the front-drive RX 350 with LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We’d take the $49,095 RX 450h, with its hybrid powertrain and standard all-wheel drive. 

Where is the 2022 Lexus RX made?

Ontario, Canada. 

6

2022 Lexus RX

Styling

Lexus has dropped the party manners; now the RX just wants to party.

Is the Lexus RX a good-looking car?

It’s vibrant and eye-grabbing; time will tell if the Murano-like shape will read well years down the road. We give it a point for the tiptoe out on the edge of the styling ice, for a 6.

Lexus launched decades ago with anonymous clones of German cars, rendered with perfectly calm interiors and faultless durability. The RX signals the sea-change: it’s full of swooping lines, a massive mesh hourglass grille, lots of surface textures, and a hot red leather interior, if you’re brave. The massive front end shape telegraphs that its old egg shape has been doing Pilates, but we’re not quite sure what to make of some of the gratuitous shapes that puncture its surfaces, like its large side air intakes. It’s on trend at the rear, with blackout trim panels that make the roof appear to float, but the same idea works with more refinement on rival crossovers.

The RX cabin has dumped symmetry for sizzle. A big touchscreen atop a canted stack of controls dominates the dash, while a ribbon of metallic trim divvies up the front-seat space between the driver and controls, and a now-socially-distanced passenger. The engaging shape comes with a helping of visual clutter, which gets toned down by some handsome wood and aluminum trim choices—or called out with the F Sport’s available red-leather upholstery.

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6

2022 Lexus RX

Performance

The RX is built for comfort, not for speed.

With a gas V-6 in the RX 350 and a hybrid V-6 in the RX 450h, Lexus specs out a mid-size crossover SUV with middling performance aspirations. It rides well no matter the version chosen, for a point above average here, which makes for 6.

Is the Lexus RX 4WD?

The RX 350 has front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive can be fitted to it. Hybrids come with a special type of all-wheel drive.

How fast is the Lexus RX?

It’s quick for a vehicle that weighs about 4,200 lb. The RX 350 sports a 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that twists out 267 lb-ft of torque, and sends it to the front or all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic. It tow up to 3,500 lb, or it can launch the RX to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds with ordinarily low-key exhaust sounds and well-coordinated shifts. On F Sports, Lexus cranks up shift speed and the sporty sounds, with no change in acceleration. 

The RX 450h makes 306 hp net from the V-6 teamed with a battery pack and two electric motors. Engine power heads to the front wheels, while a motor handles power across the rear wheels for what’s sometimes called “through the road” AWD. A hybrid transmission pulls it all together for smooth power delivery that’s no slower or quicker than the gas-only model, thanks to the hybrid’s added battery-pack weight.

There’s little difference, too, between the handling of the RX 350 and 450h. It’s mostly tranquil, and its steering has little feel and not much weight, though a drive-mode selector can alter that once it’s dialed into Sport mode. The RX’s softly damped ride remains unperturbed, even by the largest available 20-inch wheels. 

That’s less the case with the F Sport models, which add adaptive damping and 20-inch wheels, as well as a stiffer suspension setup that can still deliver the ride comfort expected from a Lexus. With a bit more bite in its brakes and paddle shift controls to tap into lower gears manually, the RX grows more alert and less relaxed, as if it’s had a cup too much of coffee.

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9

2022 Lexus RX

Comfort & Quality

Skip the L’s cramped rear row; the stock RX suits five well.

With a high-quality interior sized for five passengers and lots of carry-on luggage, the RX earns a 9 here.

Stock RX crossovers wear synthetic leather on their seats, and have good shape and range of adjustment for front passengers. The RX suits smaller drivers too with a low step-in height. Heating and cooling come with more expensive models, but real leather is an option, once the Luxury package is selected. Those colorful wood-and-leather combinations would garner the final point here, were they available for less than the $5,880 quoted by Lexus’ configurator. F Sports can wear lipstick-red leather and front seats with massive, chest-hugging bolsters.

The seats are less snug in row two, but the bench has good padding and reclining seatbacks, not to mention 38.0 inches of leg room and seatbacks that fold down to expand cargo space. They convert to captain’s chairs on the three-row RX L, but we’d pass on that model entirely; with just 4.4 inches more space into which the third-row seat is fitted, the space is nearly unusable (it has just 23.5 inches of third-row leg room) and not at all luxurious.

The RX sports 16.0 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats, and that expands to 32.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. RX L crossovers have 6.2 cubic feet behind the third row, 23.0 cubic feet behind the second row, and 58.5 cubic feet behind the front seats. 

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7

2022 Lexus RX

Safety

The RX’s federal scores pose concerns.

How safe is the Lexus RX?

We score it at a 7 this year, due to mixed crash-test scores from the NHTSA. 

The all-wheel-drive RX earns a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, though that includes four-star front-impact scores. With front-wheel drive, it’s rated four stars overall, with a worrying three-star score for driver-side front protection. We’d usually deduct a point for any four-star overall score and grant one for a five-star rating; it’s a wash here.

The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick, but versions with the base LED headlights—rated “Poor”—don’t qualify for the award.

The RX adds one point above average for standard automatic emergency braking. It also has standard adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and active lane control, as well as blind-spot monitors, which come in handy since the raked rear glass and tapered roofline limit vision to the rear.

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8

2022 Lexus RX

Features

The RX touches all the luxury-crossover bases.

With plentiful features standard and with a long options list, the RX earns two points above average, for an 8. A strong warranty adds one more—and it nearly adds a point for value in the recommended trim.

The base $46,395 RX 350 comes with all the usual power features, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Step up to the seven-seat RX 350L and it starts at $49,225.  

On both of these models, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation is an option, as is leather upholstery. 

The sport-flavored $49,875 RX 350 F Sport gets distinctive badging, sport suspension tuning, 20-inch black wheels, heavily bolstered front seats, and aluminum and wood interior trim.

Which Lexus RX should I buy?

We like the $49,095 RX 450h, which carries the same features as the RX 350 but subs in the hybrid powertrain, including standard all-wheel drive. 

How much is a fully loaded Lexus RX?

The RX 450h F Sport costs $52,575—and here Lexus still charges extra for heated and cooled front seats, 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound, wireless smartphone charging, and a hands-free power tailgate. 

The RX carries a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, which also includes the first two scheduled maintenance visits for free.

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4

2022 Lexus RX

Fuel Economy

Pick the RX 450h for superior fuel economy.

Is the Lexus RX good on gas?

It’s very good with the hybrid, but more buyers pay for the gas-only crossover. Its EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined in front-wheel-drive versions earns a 4 here.

With all-wheel drive, the RX 350 slips a mile per gallon on the EPA cycle. Hybrids, however, would pick up a couple of points. They’re rated at 31/28/30 mpg.

Long-body RXs rate lower. The RX 350L AWD checks in at 18/25/21 mpg; the RX 450hL at 29/28/29 mpg.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$45,570
MSRP based on RX 350 FWD
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 7
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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2022 Lexus RX Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Lexus RX arriving; 2021s sold out
  • Lease: From $449 for 39 months
  • Rebate: No cash offers
  • Finance: From 2.49% APR for 60 months
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