The first Lexus NX model made its debut in 2014 expanding the lineup of Toyota's luxury brand to now include what was at the time, an entry level compact luxury crossover SUV; along with the first turbo engine for the venerable "L" brand. It is safe to say that the NX was a sales hit as we are now being introduced to an all new NX with more features than ever before. Lexus is using the NX to introduce some major upgrades to the brand's lineup that you can read more about below.
In any luxury vehicle it is inside the cockpit where you are made to feel as if the world is at your fingertips, and in this ethos Lexus does not fail. An all new North American designed Lexus Interface multimedia system debuts in the 2022 Lexus NX as a standard 9.8 inch touchscreen (14 inch optional) employs the use of Human Machine Interface that allows sight, voice, and touch to give access to a plethora of controls. A Virtual Assistant takes voice control to a whole new level as it implements dual microphones, enhanced noise-cancellation, seat detection and speaker location capabilities. The system enables the front seat occupant's voice to access navigation, media, phone, and vehicle settings like climate control and window operation. The Virtual Assistant features goes into the clouds with the ability to save profiles, upload them to the cloud, and tailor your behind the wheel experience through the Lexus app. A Digital Key feature now makes accessing your vehicle even easier as Bluetooth technology is used to give up to 7 guests the ability to start/stop and lock/unlock your new Lexus NX. Navigation within the Lexus Interface uses Google POI data to accurately present directions and mapping, and over the air updates to keep everything current. Finally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be accessed wirelessly as well as an optional wireless charging option giving you more space as your device is safely stowed away.
While infotainment is important in today's vehicles, lets not forget the other interior features that make the new NX special. First, Lexus is known for a quiet cabin and this is true for the NX, but a serene interior space is furthered by the addition of Thematic Ambient Illumination that bathes the interior in 14 different themes and 64 shades of light. Some of the themes like Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset give occupants a safe space that is calmer than the sometimes erratic nature of the roads in major cities. Seating is all new, standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats are both spacious and comfortable as headroom and legroom is increased with the use of the new Lexus GA-K platform. The interior comes in a variety of colors like Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe. Textures inside the cabin and console consist of Stippled Black for the entry level model with a smartly arranged dot pattern, Black Open Pore wood is used to put the L in the Luxury model, and Black Prism takes the Piano Black texture a step further with a high-tech material that changes its look with the angle of the light it faces. Finally, the NX has a first for the model; a panoramic moonroof that provides the front and rear occupants a perfect view of the sky with one touch of a button.
Road appeal is as much of a real thing as the curb appeal of your home, the all new Lexus NX does not lack in the looks department. The updated spindle grill uses tall U-shaped blocks to create a front fascia that is both fierce and elegant, the signature L-shaped daytime running lights are supported by three projectors which make up the headlight unit. The rear also features some updates for the Lexus brand, replacing the well-known "L" badge is a modernized Lexus lettering that is placed just below the full length blade taillights. Color can be considered the ultimate expression and at launch the selection will be an interesting rainbow of: Redline, Cloudburst Gray and Grecian Water. For colors exclusive to F SPORT models, the palette includes Ultra White, Obsidian and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0.
Looks aside, the Lexus NX intends to perform both as a driver and an efficient energy saver for perhaps the most versatile model in the luxury brand's lineup. Riding on the new GA-K chassis means that a lower center of gravity can be found along with added stiffness which allows the addition of a more powerful 2.4 liter turbo engine in the NX350 that pushes out 275 horsepower and 317 lb. ft. of torque to propel the people mover to a 6.8 second 0-60 time. The 8 speed transmission when attached to the turbo engine provides for a serious performance backed by the torsional rigidity from laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam; the first model to use such technology for the Lexus brand.
The NX also comes in a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant known as the NX450h+ that provides 36 miles of electric-only range with its high capacity lithium ion battery. The electric motor gives customers the same performance of a 2.0 liter engine but when combined with the 2.5 liter engine onboard, 0-60 times drop to 6 seconds flat while providing next level efficiency. As a plug-in hybrid vehicle, charging can be performed at home or at work with either a 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger that can fully charge the vehicle in two and a half hours, or the standard 3.3 kW on board charger that does the same with an additional two hours of time needed. The NX450h+ also comes with AWD standard that through complex electronics allow the system to be used to overcome light off-road use, tackle bad weather, or add performance.
Performance and efficiency can also be had with the NX350h as the normal hybrid in the range offers AWD but with greater fuel economy than the standard model. The hybrid model can get up to 36mpg as well as get up to 60mph in about 7.2 seconds. Combined output from the hybrid system is 239 horsepower that makes use of the 2.5 liter engine upfront and two electric motors mounted at each rear axle for both savings at the pump and in a straight line. Predictive Efficient Drive is employed to adapt to the driving habits and conditions experienced when driving the NX350h to lower fuel usage when needed, as well as to offer performance when applicable. Rounding out the lineup is the Lexus NX250 which can be had as either FWD or AWD using the non-turbo 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower and 184lb-ft of torque.
On both the turbo and PHEV models, F Sport Handling can be optioned on to add another layer of performance. Active Variable Suspension dampers front and rear make for a more dynamic time behind the wheel as part of the F Sport Handling package that also offers Dark Graphite Aluminum ornamentation, a unique meter, sport seats, a newly developed steering wheel, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates. Inside the option includes Black and Circuit Red NuLuxe perforated interior trim and with the addition of the Luxury trim can be had with the new 14 inch display, unique headlamps and 64-color interior illumination. On the outside, F Sport models come equipped with 20-inch gloss black wheels, exclusive front grill, rear bumper, black roof rails and daylight opening garnishes. Color ways of the F Sport models include: Ultra White, Obsidian and Ultrasonic Blue 2.0.
Lexus continues offering the safest vehicles on the road with the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which consists of:
Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist
Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking
Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking
Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management
Road Sign Assist
Intelligent High Beam
The all-new 2022 Lexus NX starts production in the third quarter of 2021, stay tuned for pricing when released.