2022 Lexus NX Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 11, 2021
  • Redesigned compact luxury crossover SUV
  • Four different powertrains, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid
  • Lexus claims more room for passengers and cargo
  • Debuts new Lexus Safety System 3.0 technologies
  • Debuts new Lexus Interface infotainment systems
  • On sale at the end of 2021

Serving the role of the compact luxury crossover in the lineup, the redesigned 2022 Lexus NX is vital to Toyota’s luxury brand. Aside from the larger RX, the NX is Lexus’s best-selling vehicle, and it must remain so.

2022 Lexus NX Gray Front Quarter Action

To ensure its continued success, Lexus says the new 2022 NX “includes the most technological vehicle changes since we launched Lexus 32 years ago.” The 2022 NX comes in NX 250, NX 350, NX 350h, and NX 450h+ model series. Powertrains range from 4-cylinder and turbocharged 4-cylinder to hybrid and plug-in hybrid, with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. 

In addition to the standard specification, and depending on the model, you can add a Luxury package or an F Sport Handling package. Highlights of the redesign include a roomier interior and cargo area, new infotainment and safety technologies, and design changes that will proliferate throughout the Lexus lineup.

Exterior Features - Find the best Lexus deals!

2022 Lexus NX F Sport Blue Rear Quarter

For better or for worse, Lexus has built its brand identity around something called a “spindle grille” design. Historically, the approach has worked better on some of the company’s models than it has on others.

For the 2022 NX, Lexus says the grille is “better integrated into the design,” and that appears to be true. But it remains large and in charge, so if you didn’t like it before, you’re not gonna like it now. It still juts far forward of the front axle, giving the SUV a nose-heavy appearance. But it also drops lower to the ground, F Sport-style, to eliminate the buck-toothed look of the previous-generation NX.

Familiar L-shaped running lights reside atop small 3-element projector headlights, and the new Lexus NX has a fast rear window angle. A new full-width “blade” taillight stretches across the rear of the SUV, anchored by L-shaped lamps on each end. New Lexus lettering across the rear liftgate replaces the old “L” logo.

If you choose the NX F Sport variant, offered for the NX 350 and NX 450h+, you’ll get a unique grille, different bumper designs, 20-inch gloss black wheels, body-color overfender trim, black roof rails, and black window surrounds.

Interior Features - Find the best Lexus deals!

2022 Lexus NX Interior Lexus Interface

Though Lexus takes a significant technological leap forward with the new 2022 NX, the dashboard adopts a simpler and less technical appearance. The layered, cluttered look is gone, replaced by a cleaner design with reduced physical controls.

The stars of this show are the new Lexus Interface touchscreen and voice-controlled infotainment systems and a new 7-inch digital instrumentation panel. But Lexus also strives to make the NX’s interior more user-friendly, quieter, and roomier for people and cargo. 

NuLuxe simulated leather upholstery is standard, paired with what Lexus says is textured Black Prism trim. With the Luxury package, open-pore wood decorates the cabin. 

Ambient cabin lighting offers 14 themes and 64 colors. Examples of the themes include Rain Forest, Sunset, and Waterfall. A panoramic sunroof is also available, and Lexus is touting its new Digital Latch technology, which it says smoothly opens and closes the doors with the touch of a button.

With F Sport trim, the NX features:

  • Dark Graphite trim and accents
  • Aluminum pedals and scuff plates
  • Unique instrumentation
  • F Sport steering wheel
  • Sports seats
  • Perforated NuLuxe upholstery

You can also add the Luxury package to the NX F Sport for the optimum blend of racy looks and creature comforts.

Under the Hood - Find the best Lexus deals!

Lexus offers four distinctly different versions of the 2022 NX. They include the NX 250, NX 350, NX 350h, and NX 450h+, each equipped with a unique powertrain meant to serve specific customers.

The 2022 Lexus NX 250 

The NX 250 is the least expensive and least powerful version of the new SUV. It has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The transmission powers the front wheels unless you opt for all-wheel drive. According to Lexus, the NX 250 accelerates to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds (front-wheel drive) or 8.6 seconds (all-wheel drive).

The 2022 Lexus NX 350

The NX 350 has a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It also uses an 8-speed automatic, and Lexus says it gets to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. Lexus offers only one performance number for the NX 350, suggesting that AWD is standard with this engine. Given the healthy torque rating, that makes sense.

The 2022 Lexus NX 350h

The NX 350h is a gas-electric hybrid vehicle. It makes a total of 239 horsepower, a big increase over the old NX 300h. It will also get an estimated 36 mpg in combined driving, according to Lexus, while scooting to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. It uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motor/generators to create an electronic AWD system.

The 2022 Lexus NX 450h+

The NX 450h+ is a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the SUV. It provides an estimated 36 miles of driving range purely on electricity and then operates as a gas-electric hybrid with heavy reliance on its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Acceleration to 60 mph takes six seconds flat, says Lexus.

An electronic full-time AWD system is standard with the NX 450h+. This model also has a predictive efficient drive system that uses navigation data to predict upcoming roadway and traffic conditions in order to optimize efficiency. It also learns your driving habits, and in combination with the navigation’s GPS, can tell where you typically slow or stop to improve driving efficiency.

The NX 450h+ includes a standard 3.3 kW charger, and when using a 240-volt home charging station, it will fully recharge in about 4.5 hours. The optional 6.6 kW charger cuts that time to 2.5 hours. Use a standard household outlet, and it could take at least 12 hours, if not longer.

The NX F Sport Handling Option

Thanks to its construction on a new platform, the 2022 Lexus NX sits lower to the ground and features a lower center of gravity. This promises improved ride and handling qualities on the pavement.

Additionally, Lexus offers an F Sport Handling upgrade for the NX 350 and NX 450h+. In addition to all of the F Sport design goodies, it adds an adaptive damping suspension to the SUV.

Safety Systems - Find the best Lexus deals!

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX contains the Lexus Safety System (LSS) core elements, and the list is a now-familiar one, including the collision avoidance and driving assistance systems common to luxury vehicles.

However, the new NX also debuts Lexus Safety System 3.0 (LSS 3.0), a significant upgrade to the automaker’s collection of advanced driving assistance systems.

These are the highlights of Lexus Safety System 3.0:

  • Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist. Lexus says this “helps support avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.” However, it is unclear if this is the same thing as evasive steering assistance or if it is an active blind-spot intervention system.
  • Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking. Otherwise known as intersection assistance, this technology detects oncoming vehicles and can brake if the driver attempts to turn left across traffic when it is unsafe to do so.
  • Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking. This is essentially an automatic braking system that identifies pedestrians or cyclists as the NX is turning. It can then warn a driver or automatically brake the vehicle if necessary.
  • Oncoming Vehicle Detection. This is a new addition to the Lexus Safety System forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking system. It detects an oncoming vehicle that might be crossing over a dividing line and can activate the automatic emergency braking.
  • Curve Speed Management. This is added to the adaptive cruise control system and can automatically adjust speed in curves.

Additionally, the Lexus NX comes with blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and a safe exit assistance system that can warn occupants not to open a door if traffic or cyclists are approaching from behind the SUV.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Lexus deals!

The technological breakthroughs continue when it comes to the NX’s new infotainment systems. The old setup using the distant, static display screen and the aggravating Remote Touch Interface touchpad is gone, replaced by new Lexus Interface infotainment technology.


Lexus Interface offers a choice between a 9.8-inch and a 14-inch touchscreen display. Selected features that Lexus shared when debuting the new NX include:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wireless Android Auto
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • 100-percent cloud-capability
  • Over-the-air updates
  • Integrated Google point-of-interest data
  • Unique user profiles

Lexus Interface also boasts new Virtual Assistant technology. The automaker says this is a “voice first” approach to infotainment, and Lexus envisions this to be how most people will interact with the system. 

Virtual Assistant equips the NX with dual microphones, noise cancelation to improve accuracy, and the ability to identify the speaker’s seat location. Lexus says occupants can use Virtual Assistant with navigation, media, phone, climate control, and other vehicle settings, including opening and closing windows.

Don’t worry. In addition to touchscreen and voice control, you can operate the Lexus Interface using steering wheel controls, and the company supplies a stereo power and volume knob. Versions with the 14-inch display have integrated rather than separate climate controls, but temperature adjustment knobs remain.

Lexus did not detail what premium sound-system options might be available, but you can bet Mark Levinson will be involved and that the speaker count will be in the double digits.

Other technologies coming to the 2022 NX include an available 10-inch head-up display, an available digital key to transform your smartphone into the SUV’s key, and an available Digital Mirror rear camera mirror providing an unobstructed view to the rear of the vehicle.

2022 Lexus NX Competitors - Find the best Lexus deals!

When the 2022 Lexus NX goes on sale later this year, it will face a long list of alternatives:

The redesigned 2022 NX is the first of 20 all-new or updated vehicles the automaker expects to roll out between now and 2025. Production starts in the third quarter of 2021, and the SUV should be on sale just in time for December to Remember sales events.

Lexus is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of June 11, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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