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Review of the 2022 Lexus NX 250: The Ideal Five-Seat Crossover SUV

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

The 2022 Lexus NX is stepping up its game to establish itself as a top-tier crossover with its enhanced display resolution. This SUV, featuring five seats, has undergone a significant redesign for the latest model year, boasting a striking exterior, a plug-in hybrid option, and a vast touchscreen-centric infotainment system. It competes with vehicles like the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and prestigious German counterparts such as the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC SUVs.

In most of its variations, the 2022 Lexus NX offers efficiency and comfort, although it leans towards comfort rather than sportiness in a highly competitive segment filled with well-established European rivals. The new touchscreen infotainment system keeps pace with modern trends, while the exterior design caters to those with a preference for more daring aesthetics.

Almost everything has been revamped for the 2022 model year, starting with the car’s design. The 2022 NX maintains some of the prior version’s distinct features but with a touch of exaggeration. The iconic spindle grille now sits broader and lower, the side windows have a more pronounced taper, and the styling around the headlights and taillights is more defined. The new design establishes a stronger connection with other Lexus SUVs in terms of size, such as the smaller UX and the larger RX models.

Inside the NX, Lexus has integrated the dashboard around large touchscreen displays, with a standard 9.8-inch screen that can be upgraded to a massive 14.0-inch display, set against a stylish contrast-color trim. The prominent technological display emphasizes Lexus’ new touchscreen interface significantly.

The NX offers a variety of powertrains, with four new options available. The NX 250 features a base engine that generates 203 horsepower from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The NX 350 comes with a more powerful 2.4-liter turbo-4 engine producing 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, combined with the same 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

For better efficiency, two options rely on electric power. The NX 450h+ combines a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine with an electric motor and battery pack for a quicker acceleration, promising a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.0 seconds and a range of 37 miles in electric-only mode. The hybrid models are equipped with a rear motor for providing all-wheel drive capabilities.

Additionally, the NX 350h, a hybrid model without plug-in functionality, delivers 239 horsepower and achieves up to 39 mpg. It utilizes an eCVT transmission with 10 simulated gears. The F Sport NX variant, available in NX 350 or NX 450h+ configurations, includes adaptive dampers, distinctive dark-gray trim, aluminum accents, and 20-inch wheels.

The 2022 NX is slightly larger than its predecessor, primarily benefiting front passenger space. However, cargo space is reduced and falls on the smaller side within its class. The inclusion of more sound deadening materials and standard active noise cancellation results in a quieter cabin compared to the previous model. Base models feature synthetic leather upholstery available in black, brown, beige, or red, along with a choice of open-pore wood and piano-black trim.

Every 2022 NX comes equipped with essential safety features, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and a safe exit system. Optional safety technologies comprise a rear camera mirror, front cross-traffic alerts, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, and automatic parking assistance. The IIHS has awarded the NX with a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

The NX 250 has a starting price of $39,025 for the front-wheel-drive variant, with an additional $1,600 for all-wheel drive. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, a 9.8-inch touchscreen, cloud-based navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, streaming services for Amazon Music and Apple Music, a Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite radio, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The price range for the NX extends up to $56,635 for the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid model. High-end models offer premium features such as the 14.0-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system, ambient lighting, and 20-inch wheels. One notable drawback is the absence of a panoramic sunroof in a luxury SUV priced at $60,000.

The 2022 Lexus NX impresses with its unique offerings in a crowded small crossover market. Whereas competitors have favored larger sizes and rugged off-road aesthetics, Lexus has distinguished the NX through its innovative powertrains, distinctive design, and cutting-edge technology. Coupled with refined driving dynamics, renowned Lexus comfort and quality, the 2022 Lexus NX establishes itself as a standout contender in the competitive SUV segment.

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

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