2022 BMW X3 vs. Lexus NX Comparison

Erin Riches-Wong | Aug 11, 2021

Consumers love compact premium SUVs. The BMW X3 and Lexus NX rank among the best-selling entries in the segment, and a redesign of the NX for 2022 could elevate its status.

A wider variety of powertrains on the 2022 Lexus NX puts it in a better position to counter rivals like the BMW X3, which already comes in distinct variations, each with its own personality. People shopping in this class also care about infotainment and advanced safety technology, and the new NX benefits from significant upgrades in these areas.

Only time will tell if consumers appreciate all the differences, but if you're shopping for a compact premium SUV, you should certainly look at both the BMW and the Lexus. Here's a 2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Lexus NX comparison to aid your research.

Price and Value

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport Black Front Quarter View

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport

Consumers will find that the 2022 BMW X3 comes in three basic models. A base, turbocharged 4-cylinder model comes in rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive30i and all-wheel-drive (AWD) X3 xDrive30i versions. Consumers seeking more performance can go with the 6-cylinder X3 M40i, which has standard AWD. For those with more extreme tastes, there's the high-performance BMW X3 M. For 2022, BMW has discontinued the X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid.

BMW's X3 compact SUV ranges in price from $43,700 to $69,900, not including a $995 destination charge.

Connected services on the 2022 X3 include remote access features (lock the doors, start the engine, etc.), live emergency assistance, concierge services, digital key access, and even a drive recorder. You'll typically need to purchase additional options to unlock specific features, and then you'll need to manage them in the My BMW app. There's also a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Scheduled maintenance is on the house for the first three years or 36,000 miles that you own a new BMW X3.

Consumers will find that the 2022 Lexus NX comes in NX 250, NX 350, NX 350h, and NX 450h+ models. Lexus will offer F Sport versions of the NX 350 and NX 450h+ featuring an adaptive suspension and numerous cosmetic touches.

The NX 250 is the entry-level model with a 4-cylinder engine and a choice between front-wheel drive and AWD. The NX 350 has a more potent, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and standard AWD.

The NX 350h is a gas-electric hybrid SUV that combines a 4-cylinder engine with electric motors and a battery pack. It's AWD, too, though it achieves that via front- and rear-drive electric motors rather than a conventional driveshaft as on the non-hybrid trims. At the top of the 2022 NX line is the NX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It's the quickest NX and offers an estimated 36 miles of all-electric range.

Lexus has not yet announced pricing on the 2022 NX. With the addition of the NX 250 to the lineup, pricing will likely start comfortably below $40,000, as it did for the 2021 model year. Meanwhile, the Lexus NX 450h+ will command a higher price tag than previous versions of this compact premium SUV. You can expect the upper end of the range to exceed $50,000.

Owners will have access to a wide variety of connected services on the 2022 NX. In addition to expected features like remote access, rapid access to emergency and roadside services, and Wi-Fi, there's a fully cloud-based factory navigation system, which requires a subscription once the trial period expires. In addition, a user profile feature allows you to save personalized settings in the Lexus smartphone app and apply them in the vehicle. You also get digital key access for up to eight people.

Lexus provides two complimentary scheduled maintenance visits during your first 12 months of ownership. The previous-generation NX ranked highest among Compact Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2020 Resale Value Awards.

Advantage: Lexus NX

Reliability and Quality

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Front Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Neither the BMW X3 nor the previous-generation Lexus NX ranked among the top three Compact Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study or the 2020 Initial Quality Study.

Lexus ranks highest in the automotive industry for dependability at the brand level, while BMW is in the upper half. Neither brand ranks as high for initial quality, though Lexus has the edge there as well.

The 2022 BMW X3 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

The 2022 Lexus NX comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 10 years or 150,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage 

Advantage: Lexus NX

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport Interior Dashboard

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport

Most consumers will equip the 2022 BMW X3 with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For 2022, BMW has added a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that can power the SUV's electrical system, provide a slight power boost when needed, and smooth out the operation of the compact SUV's start-stop system. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on both the X3 sDrive30i and xDrive30i versions.

Next up is the 2022 X3 M40i model. It uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that makes 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The X3 M40i also gets a mild-hybrid system for 2022, and it has an 8-speed automatic transmission. Both the X3 30i and M40i models are available with a dynamic handling package that provides adaptive suspension damping and upgraded steering and brakes.

If you're bent on having the quickest compact SUV in your neighborhood, the 2022 BMW X3 M is an excellent place to start. The high-performance X3 uses a special turbocharged inline-6 engine developed by BMW's M performance division. The base version of this engine generates 473 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque. The X3 M Competition offers 503 hp and 479 pound-feet. An 8-speed automatic transmission with multiple shift modes is standard, and the AWD system biases engine torque to the rear wheels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet released fuel-economy ratings for the 2022 BMW X3, but, likely, they will at least match the combined ratings on the 2021 models. For comparison, the 2021 X3 xDrive30i rated 25 mpg in combined driving, while the X3 M40i rated 23 mpg combined. As its focus is speed, the X3 M is unlikely to improve much on last year's 16 mpg rating.

There are four powertrain options on the 2022 Lexus NX. The entry-level NX 250 has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 203 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The base engine will get the job done in the city, but shoppers planning to take road trips to the mountains will want to proceed directly to the 2022 Lexus NX 350, which has a turbocharged, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 275 hp and 317 pound-feet of torque. The NX 350 also uses an 8-speed automatic.

If you're wanting a hybrid Lexus NX, you have two choices for the 2022 model year. The NX 350h combines a 2.5-liter engine with two electric drive motors and a battery pack. Combined horsepower is 239, and the Lexus NX 350h uses an electric continuously variable transmission (eCVT).

The other option is the Lexus NX plug-in hybrid known as the NX 450h+. It also uses a 2.5-liter engine and two electric drive motors, but it has a higher-capacity battery pack. Lexus says it will provide up to 36 miles of all-electric range. Total system horsepower is 302. An eCVT blends the power sources.

The AWD provided by the front and rear electric motors is meant to do more than improve grip on slippery roads. It's programmed to give the Lexus NX 450h+ a more dynamic feel than the NX 350h.

Lexus will offer a choice between a 3.3-kilowatt and a 6.6kW charger on the NX 450h. The latter provides shorter charging times, but if you're able to plug in at home, the 3.3kW charger will likely meet your needs.

The EPA has not yet released fuel-economy ratings for the 2022 NX. Lexus estimates that the NX 250 will earn a 24-mpg rating in combined city and highway driving, while the NX 350 should come in at 22 mpg combined. Look for 36 mpg combined ratings on both hybrid Lexus NX models.

Advantage: BMW X3

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Front Seat

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

The 2022 BMW X3 comes standard with all of the essential advanced driving assistance aids (ADAS). Every X3 has Active Driving Assistant, which includes a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking (AEB). You also get lane-departure warnings (LDW) and a blind-spot warning (BSW) system with rear cross-traffic warnings.

Still, you'll want to consider adding the available Driving Assistance Professional package, which adds lane-keeping assistance (LKA), upgraded side-collision avoidance functionality for the BSW system, and front cross-traffic warnings. This package also provides Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance in the form of a traffic jam assist (TJA) system that integrates adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, lane centering, and evasive steering assistance.

The 2021 BMW X3 earned a 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) overall crashworthiness rating. The 2021 X3 also earned Good ratings in all the crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but it wasn't a Top Safety Pick due to Marginal ratings for headlight performance and child-seat anchor location.

Every 2022 Lexus NX comes with the same package of ADAS known as Lexus Safety System 3.0. This list includes FCW with AEB. It's capable of detecting pedestrians in broad daylight and low-light conditions along with cyclists in daylight. It can also intervene if you're about to make a right or left turn into a pedestrian or cyclist or in situations when an oncoming vehicle strays into your path. You also get BSW with rear cross-traffic warnings, LDW, and LKA as standard.

When the standard adaptive cruise control is engaged, there's stop-and-go capability, lane centering, and Curve Speed Management, which automatically reduces speed for curves (on highway interchanges, for example). For 2022, Lexus has also added a feature called Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist. Still, it's not yet clear whether it will function as side-collision avoidance technology for the BSW system or as evasive steering assistance.

Since the 2022 Lexus NX represents an all-new vehicle design, it has not yet been rated by the NHTSA and IIHS.

Advantage: Lexus NX

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport Black Rear Quarter View

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport

All versions of the 2022 BMW X3 have a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface backed by the iDrive 7 infotainment platform. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are standard, and the system uses over-the-air (OTA) updates. A Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system is optional.

Every 2022 Lexus NX comes with the all-new Lexus Interface infotainment system. A 9.8-inch touchscreen display is standard, and a 14-inch touchscreen is optional. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included with both setups. The available factory navigation system uses OTA updates. Another option to consider is the 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.

Advantage: Neither

Lexus offers a bigger touchscreen, but you'll want to schedule some test drives to try both systems yourself.

Comfort and Utility

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Rear Quarter View

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Inside, the 2022 BMW X3 is all business, and it's hard to distinguish its cabin from other BMW SUVs. Still, it offers rich, high-quality furnishings and simple controls (apart from iDrive). The seats feel great, as does the thick-rimmed steering wheel. The X3 M has a more dramatic interior, with a standard digital instrument panel (optional on other X3s), carbon-fiber trim, and sport seats with quilted inserts.

You won't find much storage space for small items in the BMW X3, but cargo capacity is good for this class. The cargo bay measures 28.7 cubic feet, and folding the rear seats provides 62.7 cubic feet.

Clean, simple design rules in the 2022 Lexus NX. Early photos show the interior only with the optional 14-inch touchscreen, and aesthetically, it's likely a better choice than the 9.8-inch screen. In addition to dramatic paint choices (Nori Green Pearl, anyone?) and interior colors (there are two different red upholstery options), Lexus will offer ambient interior illumination with 14 themes (Rain Forest, Waterfall, Sunset, etc.) and 64 colors.

The previous NX offered ample passenger space in both the front and rear, and Lexus says the latest version will provide more headroom and legroom. You can also look forward to additional cargo capacity, though the 2022 NX probably won't top the X3 in this area.

Advantage: Neither

The Lexus offers more dramatic and colorful design, but the BMW might just be more practical.

Learn More About the BMW X3 and Lexus NX

If you'd like to learn more about these compact premium SUVs, be sure to read our reviews of the 2022 BMW X3 and 2022 Lexus NX. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on August 11, 2021, 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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