The Lexus NX is a small SUV that slots between the extra-small UX and midsize RX. It's fully redesigned this year, with the hybrid-powered 2022 Lexus NX 350h replacing the previous NX 300h. At first glance, the changes appear to be more evolutionary than revolutionary. The new NX retains the crease-heavy design language of its predecessor, and Lexus' trademark spindle grille is back and more Predator-like than ever. There are some differences, however. The checkmark turn signals are now incorporated into the headlight — resembling a sort of furrowed brow — and a new full-width taillight makes the back end a little more distinctive at night.
2022 Lexus NX 350h
Power comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine matched with hybrid components to produce a total of 239 horsepower. That represents an increase of 45 hp over the outgoing NX 300h. Lexus says the additional output drops the NX 350h's 0-60 mph time to 7.2 seconds — a marked improvement over the last NX 300h we tested, which took 8.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. All-wheel drive is standard with the 350h.
The first thing you'll notice upon entering the cabin is the wide central display canted toward the driver. A 9.8-inch touchscreen is standard, and can be upgraded to a 14-inch screen with a combination of virtual and physical controls for the climate system. This is a massive departure from other Lexus models, which usually are equipped with a central display mounted far from the driver and controlled by touchpad. We haven't even tried this system firsthand, but desperately hope the new screen percolates throughout the Lexus lineup. We panned the previous NX's display screen/touchpad combo for being overly distracting to use while driving.
The Lexus NX 350h comes with a ton of cool tech features. All models are equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, so you can access your smartphone's entertainment and map apps without having to plug in. On the options list is a 10-inch head-up display that projects useful information onto the windshield for easy viewing. The available navigation system is now cloud-based, which Lexus says allows for more accurate mapping. The system even recognizes when you're about to enter an area with low 4G coverage, and will download maps in advance so navigation is uninterrupted.
The 2022 Lexus NX 350h presents a compelling package to small luxury SUV buyers. It offers more power, better fuel economy and a more intuitive infotainment interface that will make its way to all Lexus models in the coming years. We're looking forward to trying it out in person and seeing how much of an improvement it actually is.