Why Does Consumer Reports Recommend the 2022 Lexus NX Despite Finding Plenty of Problems?

Consumer Reports, which often praises Lexus SUVs, evaluated the 2022 model year of the Lexus NX and found several issues its reviewers didn’t like. However, the publication still gave it a pretty high overall score and even marked it as a recommended vehicle. What made them endorse an SUV that didn’t seem to live up to its expectations?

What does the 2022 Lexus NX offer?

A 2022 Lexus NX luxury compact SUV model parked outside a luxury home with a wooden garage
2022 Lexus NX 350 | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Lexus NX runs on a few different powertrains. First, the NX 250 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (non-turbo), which can produce 203 hp. It also comes standard with front-wheel drive, but you can add an AWD drivetrain for extra money. Its starting price is $39,000

According to Consumer Reports, the NX 350 model comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 275 hp that’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Pricing begins at $42,500, but the F-Sport version starts at $47,500.

The hybrid version of the 350 comes with an electric drivetrain combined with the same engine, but it’s paired with an electric CVT instead. The starting price is $42,000, but the 450h Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) begins at $56,500 for the base and $58,000 for the F-Sport version. 

Its suspension system isn’t too bad on average road surfaces, but CR reports that large potholes and rougher pavements could be felt more easily. Wind noise is well controlled with gas-only and hybrid versions, but tire noise could be heard on the fuel-powered one, which is surprising for a luxurious SUV. 

The NX doesn’t have a spare tire on any of its models. Lexus offers run-flat tires, which means you can continue driving if you have a puncture on one of them. This gives you time to get to a repair shop to handle the problem without the need to change it. 

What Consumer Reports didn’t like about it

Consumer Reports has a long list of complaints against the 2022 Lexus NX. Braking performance is one of them. CR test results showed that the NX Hybrid model had disappointing stopping distances. For dry surfaces, it took 138 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 to 0 mph. 

On wet pavement, the NX Hybrid stopped at a whopping 152 feet, which is quite a bit further than some of its rivals. Consumer Reports also didn’t like how the brakes felt at lower speeds. The editors said the pedals felt spongy, and there wasn’t much of a braking motion until you pressed on the pedal harder when it would suddenly have stopping force. 

CR also wasn’t pleased with a few of the interior features. One is the gear selector, which the reviewers felt was too unintuitive. It was just too easy to select the wrong gear, like landing on Neutral when transitioning from drive to reverse. Also, the electronic door releases were too difficult to locate at night. 

The last problem the reviewers had with the luxury SUV was the vehicle’s visibility when driving. While the windshield offers a nice view, the sides and rear sorely lack vision. The windows were too small, and the roof pillars in the back were too thick, causing substantial blind spots for the driver. 

Why did Consumer Reports still recommend the 2022 Lexus NX?

With all the issues CR found with the Lexus NX model, you’d think the reviewers wouldn’t want to recommend it to consumers. However, the publication did. What made them want to endorse it as a viable choice to purchase? Well, despite its problems, the SUV still has some redeeming features

One is the braking performance of the gas-only model, which is far better than the hybrid version. The stopping distances on dry surfaces measured at 127 feet. For wet pavement, it was able to come to a complete stop at 138 feet, making it one of the best on the market. 

Fuel economy is the second best feature the SUV excelled at. While the gas-only model only got 25 mpg overall, the hybrid got 38 mpg combined, which is a significant increase. The last area that pleased CR’s reviewers was the model’s fit and finish. 

The NX showcased what the Lexus name is known for: luxury. There’s plenty of padding within the interior and high-quality materials covering the seats. Storage units, like the console and the glovebox, are fully lined, which you don’t often see with its rivals. As for the infotainment screen, a 9-inch display comes standard, but you can upgrade to a 14-inch one instead. 

Another benefit to this model is that both the standard NX and the plug-in hybrid version received the Top Safety Pick + awards from the IIHS.

The 2022 Lexus NX has quite a few problems to take note of, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t a good buy. If the issues aren’t a dealbreaker with you, consider this model for your next purchase, as you might be happy you did. 

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