2022 Lexus NX 350/350h

Developed with a human-centered approach
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

The all-new Lexus NX lineup is expected in showrooms as early as December 2021 with production beginning at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada in early 2022

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The new NX with Digital Key function. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The “Next Chapter” for the brand is being further invigorated by the all-new 2022 NX. The announced pricing are:

  • NX 250 FWD – $37,950
  • NX 250 AWD – $39,550
  • NX 350 – $41,550
  • NX 350h – $41,050
  • NX 450h+ – $55,560

The focus for this review will be the traditional gasoline NX 350 and its hybrid sibling NX 350h.

From the outside, the NX is easily recognized. The signature spindle grille has refined the front; however, the most notable expression is the elegant rear badging and full-width tail lamp.

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Connected taillamps. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Lexus Interface equals all-new elegance, with an intuitively connected multimedia system. This all-new multimedia system allows the NX to effortlessly integrate into the owner’s lifestyle and brightens up day-to-day life.

The beautiful eye-catching standard 9.8-inch touchscreen supplies “intuitive technology,” at the occupants’ fingertips. The screen’s new “Human Machine Interface enhances user interaction through sight, touch and voice, while balancing accessibility needs.”

There is an optional 14-inch touchscreen which includes a three-year trial for Drive Connect services, which provides location guidance with Cloud Navigation, Destination Assist, Intelligent Assist, and more.

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Red NuLuxe interior. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Lexus Interface has incorporated a new Voice Assistant feature. You can get its attention through voice activation, or via the button on the steering wheel. This system allows for a natural and intuitive way for guests to interact with the all-new multimedia system.

This voice control system has been designed with dual microphones, enhanced noise cancellation, seat detection, and speaker location capabilities. The voice-first system allows front seat occupants an expanded and interactive experience to access media, phone and vehicle settings such as climate control. The above-mentioned Drive Connect subscription expands Voice Assistant with Intelligent Assistant, which adds more convenience features like weather, and address and POI search with navigation.

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Lexus Interface multimedia system. (Courtesy of Lexus)

User Profile stores the driver’s personalized settings in the cloud, and can be recalled through smartphone and applied on other Lexus Interface equipped vehicles. Toyota/Lexus has a Digital Key system that turns compatible smartphones into software keys. Extending the User Profile feature, Digital Key can be shared with up to seven more guests, granting them the ability to lock/unlock and start/stop the vehicle through their smart phone when within Bluetooth proximity with Remote Connect. This feature also enables quick vehicle pickup from rental companies.

The NX 350 is powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-four, delivering 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. NX 350 delivers an estimated 25 mpg combined city/highway average, and is propelled 0-60 in a time of 6.6 seconds.

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2.4L turbo engine. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The all-new NX 350h brings power and fuel economy improvement to the alt-fuel family. The Lexus Hybrid Drive System pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5-liter gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance.

The NX 350h employs an electronically-controlled AWD system for a confident, sporty driving experience. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when it is needed to help support traction. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver has more controls. In turns, the NX AWD supplies exhilarating, yet elegant control for normal to aggressive driving styles.

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Digital instrument gauge panel in the hybrid model. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Drivers will also notice the quicker 0-60-time of 7.2 seconds, a full 1.5 second quicker than the previous generation hybrid. The updated hybrid powertrain produces 239 combined system horsepower, achieving the 7.2-second dash time with an impressive EPA-estimated fuel consumption of 39 MPG.

The new NX is longer, wider, and taller than previous models. It took a light-weight and compact approach in redesigning the interior. Cargo space was increased by 14% with the second-row seats up, while overall gross vehicle weight was reduced by 170 pounds on the gasoline NX 350 and more than 210 pounds on the hybrid NX350h. The use of extended mobility run-flat tires removes the need for a spare tire, reducing weight while creating more space for underdeck storage.

Interior seat and console colors include Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe trim.

There is also an optional panoramic moonroof that gives both the front and rear passengers the ability to see the sky with just the push of a button. Its smooth gliding opening and closing motion supplies easy stargazing or added airflow on a sunny day.

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Panoramic moonroof. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Black open pore wood trim adds an opulent touch to this Lexus luxurious model. Newly developed Black Prism ornamentation, an advanced looking Piano Black texture, features a three dimensional fractal that is gradually carved more densely toward the rear. It changes expression with transitions of sunlight, creating a high-tech feeling.

Lexus Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles Basic Coverage
6 years/70,000 miles Powertrain Coverage
6 years/unlimited miles Rust-Through Coverage
8 years/100,000 miles Hybrid Vehicle System
4 years/unlimited miles Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.