Redesigned 2022 Lexus NX Gets Zippy Plug-in Hybrid Option, New Infotainment Setup

2022 Lexus NX
The Lexus NX 450h+ Plug-In F Sport is a fiercely optioned model. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Fresh powertrain options, a stylish new stance, and a wide variety of new technology take center stage with the debut of the 2022 Lexus NX. The subcompact crossover model is seen as the entrance into a new era of electrification for the luxury arm of Toyota Motor Company. Lexus plans to introduce 20 new or updated vehicles by 2025. The 2022 NX is the first.

"The all-new Lexus NX sets a new standard in the luxury crossover market with class-leading innovations in electrified powertrains, infotainment, driving dynamics, styling and safety," said Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. "The 2022 NX includes the most technological vehicle changes since we launched Lexus 32 years ago."

The new Lexus NX continues to slot between the larger Lexus RX and smaller Lexus UX SUVs in the company's lineup. It has proportions similar to its generational predecessor but its center of gravity has been lowered.

The new NX will be sold in NX 250, NX 350, NX 350h, and NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid variants with F Sport options available for select vehicles.

A fresh grille pattern made up of tall U-shaped blocks takes center stage on non-F Sport versions of the NX's face. L-shaped daytime running lights flank the grille. Buyers can upgrade to three-projector headlights.

Wide haunches give the NX a new, shapely posterior. The SUV's liftgate wears new "Lexus" badging in a fresh font that will not replace the traditional Lexus logo. Instead the automaker is using the typography to create a new brand signature. Above that are full-width blade rear combination lamps that are similar to what is on the Lexus IS and UX.

The redesigned NX will be available in a fresh exterior color palette that includes Redline, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water tones. Lexus NX F Sport models get Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 as exclusive options.

The base Lexus NX 250 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is available in front- and all-wheel drive, and yields 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Lexus debuts the NX 350 for the 2022 model year, equipping the model with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is also mated to an eight-speed automatic. The power plant gets 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque resulting in a zero to 60 mph time that is a half-second quicker than the NX 250's.

2022 Lexus NX
Blackened exterior accents abound on the 2022 NX 350 F Sport. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

In the new Lexus NX 350h, buyers get a combination of improved horsepower and fuel economy. The power of the car's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is added to two electric motors to produce 239 horsepower and get a manufacturer-estimated 36 mpg. However, the car is slightly slower off the line than the NX 250 and 350. All-wheel drive is standard.

The new NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid sits atop the subcompact crossover's lineup. It combines the power of a battery with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and hybrid transaxle to deliver a manufacturer-estimated all-electric range of 36 miles and 6.0-second zero to 60 mph time. A full-time all-wheel drive system comes standard on the model.

The car accepts up to a 240-volt charge and can be full in just two-and-a-half hours when utilizing the available 6.6-kilowatt Expedited Onboard Charger. A 3.3-kilowatt charger is standard and ups the charging time to four-and-a-half hours.

The Lexus Predictive Efficient Drive system uses the NX 450h+'s on-board navigation system to learn the owner's driving habits and combines that data with real-time traffic reports and roadway information to optimize fuel consumption.

The cabin of the NX has been thoroughly refined and modernized for this new generation. Additionally, Lexus has increased the vehicle's ability to keep road and powertrain noise at bay.

1 of 19

In front of the driver is a new cockpit that features a 7-inch driver information screen that has a higher resolution than the outgoing model's display. Buyers can add a 10-inch head-up display to the SUV

After a decade of contention with reviewers and the buying public over its infotainment screen and touch pad/remote mobile controller setup, the automaker is launching the new Lexus Interface in the NX. The integrated multimedia system is available on the car's 14-inch infotainment touchscreen display. A 9.8-inch screen is standard. Lexus Interface is paired with technology that enables over-the-air updates, wireless charing, and untethered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lexus has kept physical dial controls for some vital infotainment system functions.

Lexus delivers its new Thematic Ambient Illumination in the 2022 NX. The technology gives the vehicle owner the opportunity to choose from 14 themes and 64 colors, bathing the nature-inspired ambient lighting meant to "express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings".

Newly designed heated front seats and available heated rear seats provide comfortable accommodations in tandem with expanded head- and legroom thanks to the car's new architecture. There is more cargo space in the new NX than the old.

Interior colorways include Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe. All in-cabin accents have been redesigned and the options now include black open pore wood and Black Prism, a Piano Black textured surface. A panoramic moonroof is available.

The luxury automaker introduces Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 with the new model, making it standard across the board. Each vehicle also gets blind spot monitoring technology. New Safe Exit Assist tech works in a way similar to Hyundai's similarly named feature to keep passengers and passersby (pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles) out of harms way by sensing if a moving object is approaching the SUV's doors.

Turbocharged and plug-in NXs are available as Lexus NX F Sport models. Those cars come with an active variable suspension, front and rear performance dampers, Dark Graphite Aluminum badging, an F Sport-themed driver information screen, sport seats, a newly designed steering wheel, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates. The autos are fitted with a Black and Circuit Red NuLuxe interior, 14-inch infotainment touch screen, and ambient lighting.

F Sport models are distinguished by their unique grille and front and rear bumpers. There are color-keyed overfenders and black roof rails (ornamental only) as well.

Lexus will commence production of the 2022 NX in the third quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date.