The all-new 2022 Lexus NX gets a complete makeover, including a Lexus first plug-in hybrid.
Despite being Lexus’ second best-selling model behind the RX, the Lexus NX has long been an also-ran in a segment full of compelling competitors like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. For 2022, Lexus has not only given the NX a new generation, but they’re also calling it the most thoroughgoing revamp of any Lexus vehicle ever. New body lines and a revamped grille (yes, it’s still huge) give the NX a more distinctive look while the cabin, powertrains, and infotainment system all get upgrades as well. Indeed, the next-generation Lexus NX looks to be much better positioned among its luxury compact cohort.
Inside and out, the 2022 Lexus NX receives new refinements. Formerly a truncated version of the larger RX, the new NX gets a more chiseled body, revised headlights, and the rear badge get deleted in favor of Lexus being spelled out across the back. In all, the exterior updates help give the NX the added nudge of unique styling that’s made other recent Lexuses, like the LC, so seductive.
The NX’s cabin is getting an even more significant overhaul, again realigning with the latest in Lexus design language. Finish and materials have been improved to ensure the NX feels less like a tarted up RAV4. A longer wheelbase gives NX (still on the same platform as the RAV4) additional cargo room, adding 5 cu.-ft. for a full 23 cu.-ft. behind the rear seats. The dash and center console have been reimagined with the most prominent addition a new 14-inch touchscreen.
That’s right, Lexus has listened and replaced their vexing touchpad with a proper touchscreen. Even the smaller, standard 9.8-inch version is fairly good sized and offers clear graphics and quick response times. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as well as Amazon and Apple music services. The Lexus’ exclusive Mark Levinson premium stereo is still on tap and still great. Despite a price tag of $1,020, it’s a steal compared to other premium stereos, like Burmester or Revel, which can cost four or five times as much.
The 2022 Lexus NX also gets major updates under the hood. There are four new powertrain options for the second-generation NX, include Lexus’ first plug-in hybrid option. The base engine in the NX 250 is a 2.5L naturally-aspirated four-cylinder making 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes exclusively in front-wheel drive. The NX 350 gets a turbocharged 2.4L four-cylinder. It makes 275 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque and, like the rest of the powertrains, comes with standard all-wheel drive.
For those in search of greater efficiency, there are now two hybrid options for the NX. The first, the NX 350h, pairs the 2.5L four-cylinder with two electric motors for 239 horsepower. Most impressive is the range topping NX 450h. It too has a 2.5L working in tandem with two electric motors making 302 horsepower. The NX 450h will offer up to 37 miles of all-electric driving and an overall fuel economy rating of 84 MPGe (according to Lexus, EPA numbers forthcoming). But like the RAV4 Prime, from which the NX 450h’s powertrain is derived, the plug-in hybrid NX is also the most fleet of foot version you can buy.
It appears that Lexus has been listening to customers and critics and directly addressed nearly all the deficiencies of the prior generation. With more cargo room, modern infotainment, a more upscale look inside and out, the 2022 Lexus NX has been equipped to make an entirely new case for itself. Though the 2022 Lexus NX has been delayed, like many new vehicles, thanks to the microchip shortage, it should be arriving at dealers sometime next month.