When I first saw the 2022 Lexus NX 350h, I initially believed it might not be spacious enough for me in the long run. However, after driving it for a week, I realized that it actually has more room than it appears. Additionally, it performs exceptionally well with ample power. It’s like having a RAV4 with all the luxurious amenities that Lexus brings to the table. Let’s delve deeper into this crossover SUV.
The vehicle I tested came in an exquisite Green exterior color called Nori Green Pearl. As I walked around the vehicle, the first thing that caught my eye, as with most of the Lexus lineup, is the large, stunning spindle grille. They have refined it a bit for the 2022 model year. One of the most significant changes to the exterior is the new Lexus rear badging and full-width tail lamp. Lexus is ahead of the competition in terms of exterior design, and I believe many competitors would or should be studying Lexus as they excel in design and luxury. The 2022 NX 350h is stylish and looks slightly bolder with the new exterior enhancements.
The interior features beautifully colored leather-trimmed seats, state-of-the-art features, and ample passenger and cargo space. The design is focused on the driver, but Lexus did not overlook passenger comfort when updating the interior. The 2022 350h is equipped with advanced technology. If you adored the RAV4 but yearned for a more luxurious experience, then this is definitely something to consider.
Lexus has meticulously designed the interior with an eye on the future. With the Lexus App and increased cell phone integration and user profile, as well as numerous customization options, Lexus is undoubtedly at the forefront of innovation as drivers seek more connectivity between their technology and driving experience.
One particularly impressive feature I discovered was the Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that offers the NX interior a selection of 14 lighting and mood themes. It has a somewhat surprising effect, especially for passengers at night. It isn’t a necessity, but my friends were impressed with the various themes and had fun choosing different options.
Now, let’s talk about the technology! Demonstrating that Lexus has a driver-centric cockpit, The 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD), both firsts for the NX, are designed to convey vehicle information, alerts, and updates within the driver’s line of sight. The MID’s single meter layout is a high-definition screen, making it more visible. Most driving-related functions are concentrated on the steering wheel to allow you to keep your eyes on the road.
The NX comes standard with a 9.8-inch touchscreen that I found to be quite user-friendly. An optional 14-inch touchscreen includes a three-year trial for Drive Connect services such as location guidance with Cloud Navigation, Destination Assist, and Intelligent Assistant. The 14-inch screen looks remarkable and is definitely at the top of my list of desired options.
Once you get a taste for all this technology, it’s hard to go back. Think of dial-up versus high-speed internet. If you aren’t familiar with dial-up internet, then this car has plenty of tech for you.
Engine / Powertrain
The all-new Lexus NX 350h delivers power and fuel economy improvements in this hybrid edition.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine with not one but two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and excellent overall performance.
The AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to power the rear wheels when it detects that it is necessary to aid traction.
Drivers will also notice the quicker 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds, a full 1.5 seconds faster than the previous generation hybrid. The updated hybrid powertrain produces 239 combined system horsepower with an impressive combined EPA-estimated 39 MPG.
The 350h is responsive, and the acceleration was seamless. It performed well when I needed it to. Driving in Phoenix can be challenging due to sudden slowdowns and stops, debris, the immediate need for acceleration, and more. I found the performance to be robust on this Lexus hybrid, and the gas mileage to performance ratio is excellent.
The 2022 NX 350h is equipped with the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, standard on all-new NX models. New features such as Curve Speed Management and Intersection Support establish a foundation of protection from multiple angles. Optional Digital Key on NX 350h and NX 450h+ models make vehicle access and parking effortless.
Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 adds advanced safety features, including:
- Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – supports collision avoidance within the lane by applying gentle braking and steering operation.
- Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to apply a warning and automatic braking if the system determines a driver turning left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
- Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to apply a warning and automatic braking if the system determines a driver turning left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – managing speed in curves when cruise control is engaged.
The Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 also includes the current safety features for NX:
- Road Sign Assist – employs a built-in camera to provide select road sign information in the instrument panel or in the Head-Up Display.
- Pre-Collision System – engineered to identify a vehicle or pedestrian in the path of your Lexus under certain conditions. Should it detect a potential frontal collision, it’s designed to automatically prepare Brake Assist for increased brake force and, in some cases, can even automatically brake the vehicle to a stop. The enhanced radar and camera capabilities enable the system to also detect a preceding bicyclist in daytime and a preceding pedestrian in daytime and low-light conditions. Additionally, the Pre-Collision System has left-turn intersection detection of a pedestrian and vehicle.
- Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist – provides an audible alert if an unintended lane departure is detected. With Steering Assist, it can take corrective measures with a slight pull on the steering wheel.
- Intelligent High Beam – offers enhanced visibility for drivers by providing additional illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switching to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control – uses radar and camera technology to assist the driver in maintaining a preset speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead.
When exiting the luxury crossover, the all-new, standard Digital Latch and Safe Exit Assist can provide each occupant with protection from vehicles or bicycles approaching from the rear, a common blind spot in high traffic areas. The new, optional Digital Mirror provides a clear view of obstacles behind the vehicle.
The 2022 Lexus NX 350h Luxury AWD is an excellent option for a daily driver or commuter vehicle. It offers plenty of cargo space and passenger space. The interior is packed with technology yet doesn’t appear cluttered, and the design and user interface are intuitive. The NX 350h is efficient on gas but also offers strong performance and good handling. This vehicle provides a great deal of value for anyone seeking a compact SUV crossover.
The starting MSRP is $$42,700, and the version I tested has an MSRP of $50,150