First Drive: 2022 Lexus NX

The big news about the new 2022 Lexus NX is the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid in the Lexus line-up. But beyond that, the SUV has received its first full revamp since 2015 that has upped its appearance, tech and performance game.

2022 Lexus NX 350h

After a very short introductory test drive – we had the opportunity to drive the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid and the F Sport 3 NX 350 gas engine versions for about 90 minutes each – the 450 hybrid easily came out on top in the first impressions department. It delivered a much better driving experience than the gas powered F Sport 3, with smooth and direct acceleration, great road manners and apparently good fuel economy. The F Sport, on the other hand, is encumbered by a horrible-sounding engine and transmission combination that left this driver cringing with every shift.

But with 15 different models across the gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid spectrum, starting at $47,400 and topping out at $76,350, a prospective buyer has a lot to choose from in the NX lineup for 2022.

2022 Lexus NX 350h

Powertrain: Although there are four different powertrains available, from the 250 with a gas powered 2.5 litre four cylinder to the 350 with its 2.4 litre turbo engine and 350 hybrid, plus the 450+ plug-in, Lexus says the 350h will be its volume seller.

The hybrids start at $49,900 and our estimation is the extra $2,500 would be worth it. Based on our driving experience, it looks like Lexus is right in pointing people to the hybrid models, as the gas 350 F Sport, paired with an 8-speed automatic was atrocious.

2022 Lexus NX 350h

The plug-in hybrid has a 50-km range on electric power only, and can be fully charged on a 240 volt fast charger in 2.5 hours. The hybrid transaxle and 2.4-litre four cylinder engine makes 239 horsepower.

Exterior: Love it or loathe it, the Lexus front end has become even more dramatic with the 2022 NX. The grille has been reshaped, and SUV is even more cut and chiseled than before. The greenhouse is small, and compressed towards the rear, where Lexus has added new badging and a full-width taillight. Overall the effect is athletic, sleek and eye-catching.

2022 Lexus NX 350h

Interior: The interior design of the NX is quite understated, but pops with  stunningly beautiful seat colour combinations and 14 ambient light themes. An optional panoramic sunroof opens the space for rear passengers. Because the new body is longer, taller and wider the 2022 NX has gained 14 percent more cargo capacity.

Infotainment: With the new Lexus infotainment system aboard the NX it took a few minutes to get the navigation to play nicely with an Android phone, but once it did, the experience was seamless. The interface is either a 9.8-inch touch screen or the optional 14-in screen, which we used. With the latter buyers get a three-year trial of cloud navigation services, and intelligent assistance.

2022 Lexus NX 350h

Many functions can be voice activated, and there is a button on the steering wheel that activates a menu on screen just with a touch. No clicks required. Thanks to excellent microphones and a super-quiet cabin, call quality in the NX was crystal clear, and background noise was less noticeable than at the office.

Drive: Both of the NX models we drove delivered an insulated, remote driving sensation. There’s nothing analog about this vehicle, making it a very comfortable –even luxurious – ride.

Although our test was short, we did roll through some twisty, hilly roads with ease as well as cruising on the highway. A quick test of the NX’s self-driving capabilities revealed that like so many vehicles today, it suffers from the ‘ping-pong ball’ effect of bouncing between the white lines. The distance keeping system worked well, however, which would make congested commuting easer.


If a luxury mid-size SUV is on your shopping list, take a look at the 2022 Lexus NX hybrids. There are eight models to choose from, and three are the new plug-in versions.

They offer a luxury driving experience, great styling and decent value across a variety of trims. For its first foray into PHV territory, Lexus has delivered a product that really makes a great first impression.

2022 Lexus NX 450-h Executive Plug-In Hybrid
Price as tested: $75,650.00
Freight: $NA
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.5-litre four-cylinder with hybrid transaxle
Power/torque: 239 horsepower/ 186 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Premium (55 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (Le/100 km): 2.8
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Acura RDX, BMW X3, Infiniti QX3

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport 3 Gas
Price as tested: $64,900.00
Freight: $NA
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder/ 8-speed automatic
Power/torque: 275 horsepower/ 317 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Premium (55 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.5
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km
Competitors: Acura RDX, BMW X3, Infiniti QX3

Link: Lexus Canada

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