2022 Lexus NX Goes For Maximum Styling, Debuts New 450h+ Model

The Lexus NX is the Japanese luxury brand’s entry for city-dwelling millennials and Gen Z buyers looking for a utility that not only delivers the goods in terms of luxury appointments but is also compact enough to zip its way through city streets. While the NX proved to be popular with buyers, Lexus admitted that the outgoing model wasn’t perfect and has attempted to fix all of its shortcomings with the 2022 NX.


Slicker Styling Aims To Turn More Heads And Project A Sportier Image

The exterior styling of the outgoing NX was, for better or for worse, a distinctive styling statement. One part was disjointed, one part athletic. It tried its best to make the NX stand out from its peers. The 2022 model has all new clothes, and we really think Lexus is on to something here. The design is much more balanced, and it appears to finally hit the sweet spot in terms of offering design clarity.

The front fascia retains the familiar spindle grille, but the headlights have been reworked and now incorporate arrow-shaped running lights. In addition, Lexus revealed that three projector LED headlights are available as an optional extra if you need more light. The side profile has an athletic stance, leading out to the back, which has undergone changes of its own. A prominent one is that the long-running rear-mounted Lexus “L” logo is gone and in its place is a lettered version spelling out Lexus. This trend is a relatively recent one, and we have seen a few other automakers do this, including Bentley. The taillights are also full-width units that snake their way from one end of the rear to the other.


Lexus Interface Aims To Transform Interior Experience

A recurring punchline in all of our Lexus reviews is just how woefully bad the brand’s infotainment systems are. The awkward mouse-style controller evolved into an overly sensitive touchpad, and we wondered when the company would have a definitive solution to its infotainment woes. Lexus has been listening and has made a third attempt at not being the butt of jokes anymore.

Dubbed Lexus Interface, the system is a radical departure from past efforts with the system pitching the touchpad into the dust bin for a control layout that is more screen-centric than before. Three physical knobs control core essentials such as the climate system, and buyers get a 9.8-inch screen standard. An optional 14.3-inch screen enhances image clarity and brings more integrated features to owners. It also appears that Lexus has finally turned the corner in this regard, and we look forward to trying it out for ourselves soon.

Meanwhile, the rest of the cabin benefits from decidedly minor revisions, but they still manage to make an impact. Heated front seats are standard equipment, and buyers can add seat heaters to the rear bench seats. In addition, the cabin can be adorned in several distinctive hues, including Rijola Red which is perhaps a nice way of saying blood red (it’s our favorite hue of the bunch.)


2022 NX Aims To Satisfy With Four Different Engines

That’s not an exaggeration either, with Lexus bringing four different engines to the 2022 NX. The engine lineup is split depending on how you spec the NX, with non-hybrid models getting two engines and the remaining pair being reserved for the hybrids. The NX 250, for example, comes equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 203 hp and is paired with an eight-speed automatic. The beefier NX 350 brings turbocharging to the NX and makes 275 hp. It also helps the CUV make the sprint to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.

But if your a buyer that likes to cruise in the green lane, the NX hybrid family has two engines of their own to choose from. The NX 350h uses the 250’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but the air breather is paired with an electric motor at each axle which helps increase performance to 239 hp. Lexus claims that this engine can achieve 36 mpg, but we’ll have to wait until the NX is EPA tested to see if that figure will stick.

Last but not least is the appearance of a new plug-in version of the NX, which is called the NX 450h+ and serves as the range-topper of the model family. Lexus is not ready to talk final performance numbers just yet but promises that it will be worth it in the grand scheme of things. Like the 350h, this model uses the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder but possibly with stronger electric motors. This would align with Lexus’s claim that the 450h+ not only has performance equivalent to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine but that it can also make an estimated sprint to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds. Look for pure EV range to be between 30 to 36 miles. A 3.3 kW battery charger is standard on the 450h+ and can get the NX to full charge in 4.5 hours. A stronger 6.6 kW unit is optional and helps slash the wait time to 2.5 hours.


When Can I Buy A 2022 Lexus NX

Production of the 2022 Lexus NX will kick off later this year, with the first units potentially arriving in dealerships early in 2022. Pricing will be released closer to launch but look for it to differ significantly from the outgoing model, especially regarding the two hybrid models. In addition, buyers will have access to a wide range of safety technology here, with some new technology joining all the equipment already carried over from the old model.

They include an upgraded radar cruise control system with built-in curve management, risk avoidance emergency steer assist, and a tweaked Pre-Collision System that can now activate automatic emergency braking if it detects an oncoming vehicle.