Upon first glance at the 2022 Lexus NX 350h my initial thought was this would be too small of a vehicle for me long term. After driving it a week, I realized it had way more space than it looks. It also performs very well with plenty of power. It’s like having a RAV4 with all all the luxury features Lexus brings to the table. Let’s take a closer look at this crossover SUV.
My tester came in an opulent Green exterior color called Nori Green Pearl. Walking around the vehicle the first thing that sticks out , as with most of the Lexus line-up is that big, beautiful spindle grille. They refined it a bit for the 2022 model year. One of the most notable exterior changes is the new Lexus rear badging and full-width tail lamp. Lexus is ahead of the game with exterior design and I imagine a lot of competitors would or should be studying Lexus as they do design and luxury so well. The 2022 NX 350h is stylish and looks a bit more bold with the new exterior enhancements.
The interior has beautifully colored leather-trimmed seats, state-of-the-art features, and plenty of passenger and cargo space. The design is centered around the driver but Lexus didn’t forget about passenger comfort when updating the interior. The 2022 350h is loaded with advanced technology. If you loved the RAV4 but really wanted more of a luxury experience then this is definitely something to consider.
Lexus has designed the interior with a lot of thought in regards to the future. With the Lexus App and more cell phone integration and user profile and a lot of customization options. Lexus is definitely a leader for innovation as drivers look for more connectivity between their technology and driving experience.
One really cool thing I discovered was the Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that gives the NX interior a choice of 14 lighting and mood themes. It has a bit of a wow factor, especially for passengers at night. Not a must have but my friends were impressed with the different themes and had fun selecting different theme options.
Let’s get to the technology! Proving that Lexus has a driver-centric cockpit, The 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD), both NX firsts, are designed to convey vehicle information, alerts and updates, within the driver’s line of sight. The MID’s single meter layout is 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 which I found to be rather intuitive. 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 amazing and is definitely on the most wanted options list for me.
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 don’t know what dial-up internet is then this car has plenty of tech for you.
Engine / Powertrain
The all-new Lexus NX 350h brings 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 great overall performance.
The AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when it detects it is needed to help support traction.
Drivers will also notice the quicker 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds, a full 1.5 seconds quicker 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 smooth. When I needed it, it performed. Driving in Phoenix can be a challenge between sudden slow downs and stops, debris, the instant need for acceleration and more. I found the performance to be solid 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 like Curve Speed Management and Intersection Support create a foundation of protection at multiple angles. Optional Digital Key on NX 350h and NX 450h+ models make vehicle access and parking a breeze.
Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 adds advanced safety features, including:
- Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – helps support 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 – uses a built-in camera to help provide select road sign information in the instrument panel or in the Head-Up Display.
- Pre-Collision System – engineered to help detect 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 make it possible for the system to also help 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 – designed to provide an audible alert if an unintended lane departure is detected. With Steering Assist, it can take corrective measure with a slight pull on the steering wheel.
- Intelligent High Beam – provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control – uses radar and camera technology to help the driver maintain 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 give each occupant 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 a great choice for a daily driver or commuter vehicle. It has plenty of cargo space and passenger space. The interior is loaded with technology but doesn’t seem cluttered and the design and user interface is intuitive. The NX 350h is great on gas but also offers performance and good handling. This vehicle offers a lot of value for anyone looking for a compact SUV crossover.
The starting MSRP is $$42,700 and the version I tested MSRP is $50,150