The Best 2022 Lexus NX Powertrain ‘Carries a Substantial Cost’

Lexus has modernized its offerings with its NX line as the luxury subcompact SUV segment continues to grow. For 2022, the Lexus NX has all-new streamlined styling to set it apart from the Toyota RAV4 on which it’s based with LED lighting signatures and a more aggressive front fascia.

Additionally, Lexus provides powertrain choices of two different gasoline-powered engines and two hybrids, one of which is a plug-in. 

2022 Lexus NX powertrains by trim level

For 2022, Lexus provides an unprecedented number of trim and drivetrain combinations for the NX subcompact SUV. Even if buyers aren’t looking for a hybrid but want to save at the pump, all gas-powered Lexus NXs are Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV III).

The five trim levels are:

  • NX250
  • NX350
  • NX350 F Sport Handling AWD
  • NX350h AWD
  • NX450h+ AWD

The NX250 comes standard with front-wheel drive and the base 2.5-liter I-4 engine found in Toyota’s RAV4. While it won’t thrill drivers with its performance specs, with 203 horsepower and a paddle-shifted eight-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission (ECT-i), it has enough oomph to get you from 0-60 in 8.2 seconds. Starting at $39,425 MSRP, the NX250 is also available in an all-wheel-drive configuration for $1,600 more, Lexus promotes, but that does drop time to 8.6 seconds. 

A turbocharged 2.4-liter I-4 provides the NX350 trim level with 275 horsepower. Standard all-wheel drive propels the subcompact SUV from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, all for an MSRP of $43,025.

The F Sport package takes the previous drivetrain and mates it with a corner-hugging adaptive variable suspension. For $48,125 MSRP, drivers with this NX350 can even measure their performance on the road and around traffic circles with G-Force and turbo boost displays.

The third NX350 trim package combines a 2.5-liter I-4 with Lexus’ Hybrid Electric Drive system. Both powerplants put out a combined 240 horsepower, managed by a paddle-shifted, Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT).

A 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds is impressive for this 39-mpg, Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV). The NX350h starts at an MSRP of $42,625.

The NX450h+ is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Consequently, this is where things get pricey.

Buyers can have 304 horsepower at their disposal from a 2.5-liter I-4 combined with plug-in hybrid componentry. With standard all-wheel drive, the SULEV NX450h+ has a six-second 0-60 time, all the while giving an EPA-estimated 36 mpg and 84 MPGe. However, all of this comes at a price of $57,225, which can be increased to $58,475 by adding the optional F Sport Handling package.

The most powerful 2022 Lexus NX is also the most expensive 

2022 Lexus NX powertrain 450h driving in the desert
2022 Lexus NX 450h+ | Lexus

Lexus’ NX450h+ is an intriguing, powerful plug-in in the NX lineup. It’s speedier than comparables in the subcompact SUV segment, and with its impressive EV range and rapid charging capabilities, the NX450h+ is a better top-of-the-line choice than its most direct competitors, including the Acura RDX, Genesis GV70, and Infiniti QX50, TrueCar reports.

Nevertheless, the price hike may be too high to pay for some. Luckily, the NX line offers trim and powertrain choices to fit any budget.

Which Lexus NX should you buy?

For those looking for a luxury hybrid SUV, the NX350h is the one to choose. At just over $42,000, it’s actually priced lower than the non-hybrid version. While $400 may not sound like a lot, it’ll nearly pay for an optional panoramic glass roof to add to your luxury SUV.

Although the NX450h+ PHEV looks fantastic, the price hike it comes with might not be worth it. The NX350h is priced well for what it offers, including the hybrid powertrain. Outfitting an NX350h with either the standard or premium trims will keep the SUV affordable.

Standing on Lexus’ perennial reliability, the 2022 NX is encroaching on its European rivals—the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class—at a quicker pace than its first-generation predecessor, Car and Driver reports.

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