It's not often you get behind the wheel of a vehicle that boldly reimagines itself. That was the case however during my recent week in the all-new 2022 Lexus NX 350 Luxury AWD. This is an SUV that heralds a new chapter in Lexus design and innovation. It's also a redesign that's critically important for the brand, given the NX's popularity. And I have to say, Lexus, fantastic job.
The NX is more than simply a successfully redesigned model. It introduces some amazing new design and technology features to the entire brand. Notably, they include the new Lexus Interface multimedia system. The new NX is also the first Lexus to wear the brand's new logo. And inside, you'll be wowed by new digital door latches that are just plain cool.
The new NX is longer, wider and taller than the previous model. You'll find a refined spindle grille in the front. The Luxury trim rides on 20-inch 20-spoke alloy wheels with a silver finish. The luxury model is equipped with auto-leveling head lamps with an adaptive front lighting system.
Two notable changes are on the tail end. That's where you'll see the first use of Lexus' new block LEXUS rear badging which brings a new elegance to the logo. I think it looks great. The new full-width blade taillamp is also new to the NX.
The NX is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine mated to a new smooth-shifting 8-speed transmission with paddle shifters. It delivers 275-horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, both of which feel great in this 5-passenger SUV. My model is also equipped with available all-wheel drive.
You step into this vehicle and immediately notice it's entirely different. Lexus re-imagined this interior that ushers in a new generation of design and technology. For example, as you open the door, you'll notice cool new, standard, digital door latches integrated into the soft-touch door panels.
You'll also find the high level of craftsmanship and quality materials you expect from Lexus. The Luxury grade features a perforated leather-trimmed interior with unique Chevron quilted seating along with Black Open Pore Wood trim. Bolstered Circuit Red seats are cushiony, supportive and comfortable all in one. Both 8-way power driver and passenger seats are heated and ventilated. The driver adds 4-way power lumbar.
An animation lights up the digital driver display when you push the start button. (I'd love remote start added on the key fob.) The leather-trimmed steering wheel is completely redesigned -- all-new except for the Lexus logo in the center. It's much more tech forward. Controls on each side of the steering wheel directly correlate to an innovative, large 10-inch head-up display with a definite cool factor.
The glossy black center console is home to a new, much shorter, gear shift knob along with cupholders and controls for the auto brake hold and automatic start stop.
The new NX is wider and roomier than the outgoing model. However, if you're very tall head room might be an issue. Back seat passengers get optional heated seats and their own A/C vents and USB ports. Power rear folding seats and headrests are also optional.
Above, my model is equipped with an optional panoramic roof, the first for the NX.
A new multimedia system as pivotal to the brand as this one deserves special attention. It's also exactly the reason Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds says you need to take the time to learn about your vehicle. This one has a user curve, but in a good way. There's just a lot to it so you need to take your time to learn about it's features.
The available 14-inch touchscreen in my model is a scene-stealer in the cabin. The new screen is massive, allowing for a high degree of interaction. Which means NO MORE TOUCHPAD. You read that right. Lexus did away with the Remote Touch Interface.
The multimedia screen is super responsive, delivers great graphics and mapping. The touchscreen also houses an outstanding available 360 camera view. Voice Command works great. While most of the display is a touchscreen, there are also dials to select dual zone climate, and they are colorful ones too. You'll control most every feature via touchscreen, including the Luxury model's heated and ventilated seats and optional heated steering wheel.
The new multimedia system is compatible with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, receives over-the-air-updates and more. My model is equipped with a fantastic upgraded 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
When you start looking through the system, you'll note the high degree as to which you can customize various features from the door locks, to the lights and more in addition to creating user profiles. You can also digitally control the rear seats and choose among 14- ambient lighting themes to help set the cabin mood (as well as illuminate the wireless charger.) Other features include winter glove mode.
The only thing I didn't love was the high degree of smudging on the screen. It would be great if Lexus provided a cloth to clean it.
The new 10-inch head up display is one of the most advanced systems I've ever experienced. You control it by sensors of the steering wheel that are touch intuitive. It's pretty cool.
Cargo space increases 14% with the second-row up with the redesign. Power controls are located in the cargo area. There's also extra hidden storage space underneath the cargo floor.
The optional hands-free power lift gate with a kick sensor makes loading easy. There is no spare tire, the NX is equipped with run-flat tires instead.
Ride and Drive
Lexus lowered the center of gravity on the NX and it's also 170 pounds lighter than the old model. All of that combined with the 275-hp powertrain adds up to a confident, enjoyable ride and drive with nice acceleration and it's a great highway ride. The NX offers great visibility too from the driver's seat and delivers a smooth and quiet ride as well.
The NX is equipped with Lexus' newest safety system Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. It adds some great new features to Lexus' already great system. They include Dynamic Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management that manages speed in curves when cruise control is engaged and Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking, which delivers a warning and applies automatic braking if the system determines a driver is turning left in front of an oncoming vehicle. Other new safety additions include Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist and Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian/Braking.
Standard Safe Exist Assist is also new for 2022, while a new digital rearview mirror is also available.
Without a vehicle Monroney, using the Lexus Build tool I calculate my test model's MSRP to be at least $55,195 without destination. (A Lexus spec sheet I've received since calculated this model's MSRP to be an estimated $54,150.)
My model has the Luxury package ($7,450). While the following options are not listed on the late pre-production vehicle spec sheet, based on my experience in the vehicle, it adds the following options: heated steering wheel ($250), power folding rear seats ($1,030 ), Triple Beam LED headlights ($850), Panoramic view monitor, Panoramic moonroof ($500), steering wheel touch sensor, lane change assist, power rear door ($400), front cross traffic alert (a great feature) ($1,070), and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson Sound System ($1,020).
The all-new 2022 Lexus NX is an extremely well-executed redesign and the brand's most advanced SUV ever. It's an exciting showcase of the future of the Lexus brand.
- What I Liked Most: Interior, Technology.
- What I would change: Toss in a touchscreen cloth to keep smudges at bay.
- MSRP: Base price $42,625 ; as equipped $55,195+ without destination. (Lexus estimated price: $54,150.)
- Official Color: Caviar.
- Fuel Economy: 22 city/29 highway/25 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4,417 miles.
- Weight: 4,035 pounds.
- Spare Tire: None. Run Flat Tires.
- Length-Width-Height: 183.5” long/73.4” wide (windows folded)/64.6” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.53 gallons with the filler on the driver's side. Premium fuel required.
- Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds. ($160 option.)
- 2022 Lexus NX 350 in a few words: A fantastic SUV that will propel the brand forward in important ways.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty, 6-year/Unlimited Mile Perforated Corrosion.
- Final Assembly Location: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
- Manufacturer's website: Lexus.
If you want to compare the new NX to the last generation model click here.