2022 Lexus NX Adds a Plug-In Hybrid Option to the Lineup06/14/2021
Buyers are all still ga-ga over crossovers. Just look at Toyota/Lexus. Toyota’s biggest-selling vehicle by far is the RAV4, with over 430,000 sales last year. The top two biggest-selling Lexus vehicles are the RX crossover and the NX. Come this fall you’ll see an all-new NX in Lexus showrooms, loaded with electronic safety, convenience, and entertainment features, and sporting new drivetrains to cater to a wider audience of potential buyers.
Those trying to save money will want the entry level NX 250, which is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline four shared with the RAV4. That engine makes a perfectly adequate 203 horsepower sent to your choice of the front or all four wheels.
Next up is the NX 350 with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four making 275 hp.
At the top of the NX heap is the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive and a combined output of 302 hp from a 2.5-liter inline-four and as-yet undefined hybrid drivetrain components. Regardless, Lexus estimates it’ll go 36 miles on electricity alone, which could cover the commutes of many buyers.
The powertrains seem to take a back seat to all the electronic features that guide the decision-making processes of so many crossover buyers today, and the NX lineup has plenty of electronic and infotainment to lure those buyers.
Since screens are the cupholders of the new generation, the NX offers the following: a 7-inch Multi Instrument Display, a 10-inch HUD, and a semi-monster-sized 14-inch optional touchscreen that “delivers an immersive multimedia experience.” (The standard touch screen is only 9.8 inches across.) A new human-machine interface offers a Virtual Assistant as the primary way drivers interact with the new multimedia system. The Virtual Assistant uses voice interface to access NAV, media, phone, and vehicle settings. Looking forward to trying that one out to see how it’s different from existing systems on the market.
The NX will also get the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, with a host of features to make driving safer—or maybe drive you insane. For instance, Risk Avoidance Steering Assist gently brakes and steers the car when it senses you’re about to hit something. Likewise, Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking will similarly keep you from cutting in front of oncoming traffic. Automatic braking will intervene if you are about to hit a pedestrian, an oncoming vehicle, or if it looks like you’re about to try and take a curve too fast. Looking forward to trying all that out, too, to see exactly when the system thinks we’re trying to kill ourselves. It’s not clear at this point whether these “features” can be turned off or not if they’re too intrusive.
Then there’s the usual list of safety acronyms, from Lane Assist and Road Sign Assist to Pre-Collision System and Road Sign Assist, all well-intentionally aimed at prompting you to stay safe.
An optional F Sport Handling model will offer Active Variable Suspension and 20-inch wheels, along with several cosmetic trim features, will also be offered.
Look for the new NX in showrooms in the third quarter, with pricing announced closer to that time. Prices for the current NX range from $38,635 to $41,185.
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