With the redesigned 2022 Lexus NX, Toyota’s luxury brand adds a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, drops the touchpad infotainment system interface, and expands upon the company’s collection of advanced driving assistance systems ADAS.
No fewer than four different powertrains are available for the new 2022 Lexus NX. The NX 250 has a modest 203-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, while the NX 350 offers a more potent 275 hp turbocharged 4-cylinder. The NX Hybrid returns as the NX 350h, now with a gas-electric powertrain offering a total of 239 hp and an estimated 36 mpg in combined driving.
However, the big news is the new Lexus NX 450h+, a PHEV supplying responsive acceleration, up to 36 miles of electric driving, and battery recharging in as few as 2.5 hours. Lexus makes all reported claims, which are not independently verified.
In addition to the improved hybrid and new PHEV offerings, the 2022 Lexus NX ditches the company’s Remote Touch Interface (RTI) infotainment system. Despite recent improvements in some Lexus models, such as using a touchscreen rather than a static display, Lexus RTI remains poorly received.
In its place, Lexus introduces its new Lexus Interface infotainment system. The touchpad control system is gone, and the touchscreen display measures a standard 9.8 inches across or an available 14 inches. Lexus Interface supports over-the-air software updates that keep the system current.
Though Lexus makes concessions in the form of a volume knob, physical climate controls, and steering wheel switchgear, the company is trying something new with Lexus Interface. Called Virtual Assistant, the NX’s new natural voice recognition technology promises a “voice-first” method of interacting with the SUV’s technology.
A next-generation Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 (LSS+ 3.0) version of the company’s ADAS also debuts in the 2022 Lexus NX. It expands upon the LSS+ 2.5 technology that arrived in the 2021 Lexus IS, adding:
- Curve speed management to the adaptive cruise control system
- Oncoming pedestrian and cyclist detection when making both left and right turns
- Oncoming vehicle detection to try to avoid motorists who cross the center line as they approach the NX
Lexus says the new 2022 NX represents “the most technological vehicle changes since we launched Lexus 32 years ago.” Undoubtedly, this powertrain, infotainment, and ADAS hardware and software will find their way into future Lexus models as the automaker plays catch-up to segment leaders.
When the redesigned Lexus NX goes on sale later this year, it will compete with a wide range of compact luxury SUVs, including the Volvo XC60, which is already available in Recharge PHEV form.