The new NX is a compact luxury SUV that has received much redesign treatment for the 2022 model year, bringing along a new infotainment system. My focus will be on the Lexus NX 450h+, the all-new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).
Powering the NX 450h+ AWD is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine combined with Lexus Plug-In Hybrid Electric Drive. Electronically controlled, full-time all-wheel drive is standard. This whole drivetrain produces up to 304 horsepower and that’s good enough to accelerate the NX from 0-60 in six seconds, making the model the quickest in the NX lineup.
The electric component greatly push the fuel economy rating to 84 MPG equivalent (MPGe). Under normal driving conditions, the fuel economy is 36 mpg city and highway combined — the exact mpg I got during my test drive.
The NX 450h+ is the first plug-in hybrid electric in the Lexus lineup. This vehicle also introduces the all-new Lexus Interface multimedia system.
The high-efficiency charging system is engineered to reduce power loss when converting from AC to DC power and resulting in faster charging times. With the optional 6.6 kW onboard charger hooked up to a 240V outlet, the Lexus NX plug-in hybrid battery pack can be fully charged in approximately two and half hours. When using with the standard 3.3 kW onboard charger, the charging time goes up to approximately four and a half hours.
Lexus states that the new NX 450h+, like future vehicles, will center around four pillars: Design, Lexus Driving Signature, Electrification, and Advance Technology.
Outside, the brand’s signature Spindle Grille has been redefined in the front. I liked the elegant new block-letter Lexus rear badging and full-width tail lamps. My Lexus NX was painted a beautiful Cadmium Orange.
The cabin is filled with technology like the Lexus Interface multimedia system. The system provides intuitive controls to the user through screen UI design, Voice Assist, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The cloud-enabled navigation is capable of Points of Interest (POI), and over the air updates. This all-new US-developed Lexus Interface multimedia system allows the NX to effortlessly integrate and navigate your choice of direction. Available Digital Key extends the User Profile function and can be quickly shared with up to seven guests.
The standard 9.8-inch optically bonded touchscreen supplies direct interaction at the occupant’s fingertip. An optional 14-inch touchscreen included a three-year trial for Drive Connect services such as location guidance with cloud navigation, destination assist, and intelligent assist.
The most impressive technology for me was the new Voice Assist available through voice activation or via a button on the steering wheel. It has been developed with a human-centered approach. However, the remote touch pad was challenging to use.
The NX 450h+ is a leader in safety technologies. The Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 provides driver assists like Lane Assistance, Road Sign Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, to name just a few.
The moonroof, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and the ten-speaker Premium Sound System with 4 USB join together to present good-viewing outside, and entertainment inside as you relax behind the wheel. Perfectly in control!
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the 2022 NX 450h+ AWD starts at $57,225.
4 years/50,000 miles Basic Warranty
6 years/70,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
8 years/100,000 miles Hybrid Warranty
6 years/unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or [email protected]