With four trims and four engine options, the 2022 Lexus NX tries to offer something for every compact luxury SUV buyer. Having so many options can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. Our advice? First pick an engine from the NX250, NX350, NX350h hybrid, and NX450h+ plug-in hybrid models and go from there. That sounds easy enough until you discover that the NX350h hybrid is actually priced $500 less than the NX350 turbo. Decisions, decisions.
2022 Lexus NX Models and Pricing
NX250: Lexus has never offered so much variety on the NX. The standard model is the NX250, for those who want a Lexus SUV but aren’t interested in the smaller UX’s unusual design. With only 203 hp from a RAV4 engine, the NX250 won’t offer exciting performance, but it may thrill its buyers with its base price of about $39,000. On standard, Premium, or high-end Luxury trims, add $1,600 for AWD (the NX250 is pictured here in white).
NX350 turbo: If you want an F Sport model, upgrade to the NX350 turbo, which starts at around $42,500. As you compare prices with the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and others, keep in mind that every NX350, NX350h, and NX450h+ has a mechanical or electric-based AWD system; the only FWD version is the base NX250.
Lexus expects the 275-hp NX350 turbo to be the most popular model, and that’s reflected in the large number of configurations available. The non-F Sport NX350 is offered in standard, Premium, and Luxury versions, while the NX350 F Sport can be had in standard and Luxury forms. The least expensive NX350 F Sport carries a base price of about $47,500, making it thousands more than the last NX F Sport model but right in line with the AWD version of the Acura RDX A-Spec.
NX350h hybrid: The big surprise of the 2022 NX lineup is that pricing for the 239-hp NX350h hybrid falls $500 below the NX350 turbo. That means about $42,000 buys you a standard NX350h model with 4 hp more than the last-gen NX300 turbo and more efficiency than almost every other compact luxury SUV you can buy. What’s most special about the NX350h is that it stands alone; Volvo and Audi offer plug-in hybrids to rival the NX450h+, but no other moderately priced hybrids challenge the NX350h. It’s a real advantage. The NX350h lacks an F Sport model, but does offer standard, Premium, and Luxury trims.
NX450h+ plug-in hybrid: The very top of the 2022 NX lineup is the NX450h+ plug-in hybrid, the best model in the fleet. But it’s also the most expensive version, by far, with a starting price of more than $56,500. As you compare the NX450h+ to the Volvo XC60 Recharge and Audi Q5 plug-in, keep in mind that the NX plug-in starts at the higher-end Luxury trim. (There’s no standard or Premium trim.) The NX450h+ is the other NX model to offer an F Sport trim, and here it costs about $58,000.
NX250 vs. NX350 vs. NX350h vs. NX450h+: Which Is Best?
If money grew on trees, the NX450h+ would be the model to get. We like how the NX450h+ drives and appreciate its segment-leading 37 miles of EV range, but that mid-$50,000 price point limits its audience. Also, for now, it’s only available in a handful of states: California, Oregon, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Maine.
Focusing on the core 2022 NX models, that leaves us with the NX250, NX350, and NX350h. If the NX250’s 203-hp engine is anywhere near as loud as the same engine in the RAV4 on which the Lexus is based, we’d skip that model for that reason alone. We haven’t driven the NX250, and it’s might be something to listen for it in a test drive. Between the NX350 and NX350h, we’d drive the quicker model that’s also cheaper—the NX350h hybrid. That’s right, in addition to being priced $500 below the NX350 turbo, the NX350h is also slightly quicker in MotorTrend testing on the track, and it’ll feel quicker on the street, too, thanks to the hybrid system’s low-speed assistance.
Even though the NX350h is our pick for when the plug-in hybrid is out of reach, the hybrid could use more refinement. In our experience, we felt too much through the pedals, and the end-of-travel brake feel could be improved, as well. Still, no one else in this vast segment offers an affordably priced hybrid, and there’s value in that. If the 41/37 mpg city/highway results don’t impress, perhaps a driving range well over 550 miles will. You won’t stop for fuel as often in an NX350h as you will in the non-hybrid competition.
OK, So Which 2022 Lexus NX Trim Should I Choose?
Great! So you’ve decided on a 2022 Lexus NX350h hybrid. We like the added bolstering on NX F Sport trims, but because the F Sport is only offered on the NX350 turbo and NX450h+ plug-in hybrid, you’ll have to make do with the standard seats. If you really want the 14.0-inch touchscreen, by the way, know that it’s an option on the Premium trim across all NX models.
NX350h in standard trim: The standard NX350h features an electric AWD system, a 9.8-inch touchscreen display (with a quick and modern infotainment system), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10-speaker sound system, and Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. That’s a fancy way of saying that every 2022 NX comes with a ton of safety tech, including adaptive cruise control that can slow for curves, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning that can nudge you back in your lane, automatic high-beams, and features that can apply the brakes if you’re at risk of hitting an oncoming vehicle while turning left or a pedestrian while turning right. The base NX350h also includes blind-spot monitoring and, like all NXs, the Digital Key feature with Safe Exit Assist (if you’re about to open the door into an oncoming car or bicyclist, the vehicle can warn you of this danger).
NX350h Premium: That standard $42,000 NX350h includes a decent amount of content, but there are some omissions. If we had the means, we would definitely make the $3,050 jump to the NX350h Premium trim to add a power liftgate with a hands-free open feature, a moonroof, a power tilting/telescoping steering column, basic single-color ambient lighting, and rear cross-traffic braking, a very useful safety feature for busy parking lots and neighborhoods with lots of pedestrians.
NX350h Luxury: For another $4,400, the NX350h Luxury trim throws in most but not all Lexus has to offer. Spending about $49,500 on an NX may sound like a lot if you’re cross-shopping loaded Toyota RAV4s and Venzas, but this is actually a value compared to the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, and Infiniti QX50, though not against the Acura RDX. For that near-$50,000 price, you add the 14.0-inch touchscreen (it’s an option below the Luxury trim), 20-inch wheels instead of other trims’ 18s, a 10.0-inch color head-up display, upgraded ambient lighting, leather seats, and dark wood trim. About that trim, the open-pore wood looks great but, like the other trim options, doesn’t provide enough contrast against the dark door panels.
How We’d Build Our Lexus NX350h
Our choice would be a carefully optioned 2022 NX350h Premium, the middle trim between standard and Luxury. The higher the NX350h’s price gets, the more we want to simply jump to the excellent NX450h+ plug-in hybrid, the model with the most X-factor in the NX lineup.
Keeping an eye on the MSRP, we’d start with the $45,000 NX350h Premium model and add the 14.0-inch touchscreen display for $1,105 and upgraded ambient lighting for $100. Twenty-inch wheels are available for $1,310, though we’d only push the button on that after looking in person at NXs with both 18- and 20-inch wheels. A 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system is available (for $2,125 on Premium, $1,020 on Luxury), as is a panoramic glass roof for $500 on the Luxury trim. We’d skip that, as the thick structural bar between the two glass panels hampers the airy feel some glass roofs provide for those in the driver’s seat.
The one real disappointment on the NX350h Premium is that the $480 Remote Park feature isn’t available. This cool feature is exclusive to the Luxury trim of the hybrid and plug-in hybrid, and it’s worth consideration if it’s half as fun as Hyundai’s version of the tech. At best it can help people with tight parking spots, and at worst, it’s a cool party trick. As of this writing, we have yet to test the Lexus version of the tech, which requires using a smartphone instead of the key fob like Hyundai’s simple system.
Add up the bigger wheels, ambient lighting, and 14.0-inch screen, and our NX350h Premium costs about $46,500. You don’t get wood trim or real leather, but the NuLuxe seat material feels premium and soft. We’ll take ours in Nori Green Pearl with the light saddle brown Palomino interior.
2022 Lexus NX Models:
- 2022 NX250 (203 hp)
- 2022 NX350h hybrid (239 hp)
- 2022 NX350 turbo (275 hp)
- 2022 NX450h+ plug-in hybrid (302 hp)
2022 Lexus NX Trims:
- Standard (NX250, NX350h, NX350)
- Premium (NX250, NX350h, NX350)
- Luxury (NX250, NX350h, NX350, NX450h+)
- F Sport (NX350, NX450h+)
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