Tuesday, July 26, 2022

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport AWD: Luxury Brand Redesigns Compact Crossover

Highlight: The NX is also available as a plug-in and a hybrid.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $56,830 (Base Model NX 250: $39,426)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a stability control system; pre-collision system with pedestrian detection system; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane departure warning system; a pre-collision system with pedestrian protection; a lane departure alert with steering assist; a lane trace assist system; automatic high beams; an electronic blind spot monitor with a rear cross traffic alert; a rear camera; a vehicle stability control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and race inspired paddle shifters

Standard Equipment NX 250: 18-inch wheels; front wheel drive; an 8-speed automatic transmission; roof rails; a push button ignition system; a dual zone a/c system; pseudo leather seating; power front seats; a leather trimmed steering wheel; heated front seats; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; leather trimmed steering wheel; heated front seats; a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system; and a variety driving modes

Standard Equipment NX 350 F Sport: 20-inch wheels; a 2.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine; 275-hp engine; premium fuel; all-wheel drive; front tuned suspension; independent MacPherson struts; gloss Black roof rails; mesh grille insert; rain sensing windshield wipers; color matched wheel fender arches; power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; leather trimmed steering wheel and shift knob; sport aluminum pedals; front seats with enhance bolsters; dark graphite aluminum trim; active sound control; G-force and turbo boos displays; a variety of driving modes; and an adaptive variable suspension  

Options: heated steering wheel; fast response interior heater; power panoramic sunroof; power rear door with kick sensor; memory operated driver’ seat; power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; intuitive parking; automatic braking; a 14-inch touchscreen display; cloud-based navigation system; a 360-degree monitor; an adaptive front lighting system; a lane change assistance; front cross traffic alert system; a steering wheel touch sensor; 2,000 lb towing package; a wireless charger; smartphone digital access to vehicle; triple beam LED headlamps; headlamp washers; cornering lamps; and 17-speaker Mark Levinson speaker system

Other Trim Levels:



Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 10-speaker audio system with AM/FM/HD/CD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 70,000 miles

Standard 250 Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine/203-hp

Standard 350 Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine/275-hp (test model)

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded (250 model)/ Premium (350 model)

Standard Fuel Mileage: 31-city/28-hwy

Maximum Towing Capacity: 2,000 lbs

What’s New:  The Lexus NX has been reinvented for the 2022 model year. The premium compact crossover is wider, taller and longer than its predecessor.



Well executed premium-level interior

Supportive seats

Roomier than previous generation

Easy to navigate

Sporty appearance with the F Sport Handling Package

An oversized touchscreen infotainment system

A variety of driving modes

HUD (heads up display) available

A high-level of driver assist features

A panoramic sunroof

The F-Sport Handling provides a high-level ride quality

AWD availability

A wireless charging pad

Ability to activate select features with smartphone

Available in a variety of powertrains


A complicated audio system; takes a moment to master changing and programming stations

The brand's Siri-like voice activated system is recommended to navigate the infotainment center; however, it doesn't always recognize one's request 

The navigation system is cloud-based; must have access to a smartphone and subscription to activate.

Like last year's model, the new turbo engine requires premium fuel

Limited rear seat legroom

Pricy, when adding on options

Verdict:  Lexus restyled second-generation NX made its debuts in 2022. The luxurious compact crossover shares a platform with Toyota’s popular RAV4. At a starting base price just shy of $40,000, the stylish NX is available in four trims, ranging from base to luxury.

This year’s model base price increased about $800, when compared to the outgoing model. The well-equipped 2021 NX 300 F Sport with options we reviewed last year priced out at $51,785. And this year’s F Sport model we tested, which is both larger and wider, which equates to a roomier interior, priced out near $57,000.  That's a significant price increase.

Lexus has justified that increase by offering the following features on the all-new NX: a gigantic infotainment center screen, 17 speakers, 20-inch wheels, a larger turbo engine, which spews out more horsepower, and by removing the fussy mouse-like central infotainment controller. Does this justify the healthy price increase?

Whew, to put this in perspective, this compact crossover is just $3,000 shy from having a $60,000 price tag. That's steep. Last year, we were alarmed when the pricing of the NX tipped over $50,000. 

Before making such an investment, buyers should consider stepping up to larger RX, finding a 2022 RX, before the 2023 model RX trickles into showrooms later this year? Moreover, Lexus requires that one has a smartphone to activate the cloud-based navigation system. Lexus is pushing its customers to use its new voice activated system to engage with the vehicle. This is going to be a learning curve for consumers. And unfortunately, without a smartphone, one can no longer use the navigation system. 

Overall, we love the new design, the driving and handling capabilities, and most of the new features -- despite the NX's hearty price tag. 

Competition: Acura RDX; Audi Q3; BMW X1; BMW 2 Series; Cadillac XT4; Jaguar F-Pace; Land Rover Discovery Sport; Lincoln Corsair; Mercedes-Benz GLC; and Volvo XC40




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