2022 Lexus NX 350 AWD Review – Getting with the Times


2022 Lexus NX 350 AWD Fast Facts

2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (275 horsepower @ 6,000 RPM, 317 lb-ft @ 1,700-3,600 RPM)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

22 city / 29 highway / 25 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

10.5 city / 8.3 highway / 9.5 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $43,025 (U.S) / $54,850 (Canada)

As Tested: N/A (U.S.) / N/A (Canada)

Prices include $1,075 destination charge in the United States and $2,245 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Lexus’ NX compact crossover. I’ve found it to be fairly sporty – in general, and not just by staid Lexus standards – and overall more engaging to drive than the larger (and highly popular) RX, but also a bit cramped inside. Not to mention that the NX, like most Toyota and Lexus products, just seemed a step behind when it came to infotainment.

Lexus addressed two of those criticisms with the current model and did so quite nicely.

The NX gains about an inch of length and half an inch of height, and it’s a bit wider. There are four new powertrains, including two hybrid setups, and I got my mitts on the 350, which has a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque and mates to an eight-speed automatic.

The increase in size is subtle, but I felt less cramped while tooling around town. That tooling wasn’t too boring, either – the NX is just sporty enough, at least for a small crossover, to entertain. The engine is stout enough for the cut and thrust of urban driving.

It’s a Lexus, so silence and a compliant yet not soft ride are part of the deal, even with some sport dialed in. The “sport” does make occasionally make the NX feel a bit stiff, but generally, the smooth ride that most Lexuses (Lexii?) have ended up being the dominant setting.

The updated infotainment system is vastly superior to what it replaces – it not only looks better but the user experience is much improved. Toyota and Lexus have taken a leap forward here. For those who still prefer their smartphone to factory systems – I am often among that crowd – wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

It’s not perfect – there’s a mix of haptic touch and knobs, and we all know that haptic touch can be confounding, though it wasn’t too bad here. Still, it looks so much better, and again, the user experience is just so improved, even with haptic touch, that you’ll be mostly happy.

Lexus and/or my local fleet didn’t provide me with a Monroney – I believe my tester was a pre-production vehicle, so I can’t tell you exactly how it was equipped. I can tell you that Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 is standard across the board and it includes emergency steering assist, left-turn oncoming vehicle braking, curve-speed management, intersection support, dynamic radar cruise control, road-sign assist, pre-collision alert, and lane-departure alert with steering assist.

All-wheel drive is standard on 350 models, and the EPA lists fuel economy at 22/28/25.

Spending some time online building an NX similarly equipped to the one I drove put the sticker at around $52K, with a base of $43,025, including $1,075 for destination, which is somehow not listed on the Lexus consumer site. Standard features include keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Bluetooth, and LED exterior lighting.

Options include the 14-inch touchscreen for infotainment, moonroof, cooled front seats, 20-inch wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power rear liftgate, ambient lighting, and Mark Levinson audio.

Some change is subtle – the NX is a bit bigger but it will be hard for the naked eye to see that. Some change is obvious – new powertrains, bigger infotainment. Either way, the NX is better than what it replaced, and it no longer feels half-baked.

What’s New for 2022

The 2022 Lexus NX gains new powertrains, more size, and an improved infotainment setup.

Who Should Buy One

The moneyed yuppie who found the previous-gen to be cramped and who is impressed by new tech.

[Images © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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