Don’t Wait for ‘Moonfall’ to Check out the 2022 Lexus SUV Lineup
2022 Lexus SUV and crossover lineup article highlights:
- Two 2022 Lexus SUVs are the star cars in Moonfall: the updated GX and the redesigned NX
- The Lexus LX is also redesigned for 2022, while the UX and RX get minor cosmetic updates
- There’s at least one electric crossover that might debut later in 2022
Although Lexus didn’t invent the luxury SUV, it arguably created the luxury crossover with the original RX. It’s therefore not surprising that it’s still a strong player in both segments. And with a new year comes a host of upgraded, tweaked, refreshed, and redesigned SUVs that are starting to hit dealers. So, if you’re shopping for a new luxury SUV or crossover, Lexus may have something for you in 2022.
The 2022 Lexus GX SUV and NX crossover have starring roles in Moonfall
If you go see the upcoming sci-fi thriller Moonfall, you may recognize two of the stars’ whips. Halle Berry’s character drives a 2022 GX 460 in the movie, while Sonny Harper’s character has a 2022 NX 250 AWD. Lexus updated both SUVs for 2022, albeit to different extents.
For 2022, the Lexus GX gets at least one significant upgrade. The 2022 GX, along with most of the Lexus SUV lineup, ditched its touchpad-based infotainment system for a center touchscreen. It’s something that consumers and reviewers have requested for years, and it should make the GX easier to live with. Plus, the 2022 GX finally offers standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Otherwise, this stalwart luxury SUV is mostly identical to the 2021 version. Available only with a 4.6-liter V8, the 2022 Lexus GX 460 is still a body-on-frame, off-road-capable SUV. However, the 2022 version does have standard power-folding heated mirrors, navigation, and a parking assistant feature. Also, there’s a new blacked-out Black Line Special Edition model and an extra paint option, Car and Driver says.
In comparison, the 2022 Lexus NX is significantly more overhauled. Fully redesigned for 2022, the NX now offers two hybrid powertrains in addition to the standard internal combustion one. The base model, the NX 250, has the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the RAV4, while the NX 350 ditches the NX300’s engine for a 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder one. Meanwhile, the NX 350h has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors that make it more powerful than the RAV4 Hybrid. And the range-topping 2022 NX 450h+, the first plug-in hybrid Lexus, shares its powertrain with the RAV4 Prime.
Besides its new looks and powertrains, the 2022 Lexus NX also gets the brand’s new center touchscreen. The redesigned crossover has more rear cargo space, too, as well as optional heated rear seats and a panoramic sunroof. Plus, apart from the 250, all 2022 NXs have standard AWD. And in addition to some blacked-out trim, the NX 350 and 450 F Sports get adaptive dampers.
Lexus also redesigned the LX off-road SUV for 2022
We’re not getting the new Land Cruiser in the US, but we are getting its Lexus sibling, the 2022 LX. It’s still a body-on-frame, off-road-capable luxury SUV, but it’s fully redesigned for 2022. And that means more than just a new face.
For one, the 2022 Lexus LX 600 ditches its predecessor’s V8 for a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V6. The engine might have fewer cylinders, but it makes more horsepower and torque. It’s also more efficient than the outgoing LX and has a higher tow rating, Car and Driver reports. And while a 10-speed automatic replaces the old eight-speed one, 4WD is still standard.
Moving outside the engine bay, the 2022 Lexus LX is 441 pounds lighter than the 2021 model, thanks in part to an aluminum roof. That’s a first for Lexus, BTW, MotorTrend notes. Another LX first is the 2022 model’s F Sport trim, which sits in the middle of the luxury SUV’s five trims. And speaking of, ‘Luxury’ isn’t the 2022 LX’s highest trim. That’s the Ultra Luxury, which ditches the third-row seating but adds virtually every feature, including massaging seats.
But though it doesn’t have the new power-folding third-row seats, even the base 2022 Lexus LX has adaptive dampers and a locking center differential. It also benefits from a redesigned interior, with a dual-touchscreen center console and less “trucklike” seats, Car and Driver says. The steering is less trucklike, too, as is the overall driving experience. Don’t worry, though—HVAC controls are still physical.
The 2022 UX and RX get minor updates
Besides revising the GX SUV for 2022, Lexus also gave the UX and RX crossovers some minor tweaks.
For 2022, the Lexus RX gets standard fog lamps on all trims and some new color options. And like the GX, there’s a Black Line Special Edition trim available. Lexus is only making 2500 examples, which offer blacked-out trim and wheels as well as a Zero Halliburton luggage set.
The 2022 Lexus UX’s updates are similarly cosmetic-focused. The entry-level luxury crossover has more exterior and interior color combos, as well as more color options. Plus, buyers can now get body-colored plastic fenders.
Otherwise, the 2022 Lexus RX and UX are mechanically-identical to their 2021 versions. Both offer hybrid and internal-combustion-only powertrains as well as a choice between AWD and FWD. However, while the 2022 RX has a center touchscreen, the 2022 UX sticks with the touchpad-based center screen controls.
We might see more of the upcoming Lexus electric SUVs later in 2022
As of this writing, Lexus doesn’t have any electric SUVs or crossovers. However, that may change soon.
Firstly, Lexus is getting its own version of the Toyota bZ4x. Tentatively called the Lexus RZ, this EV is set to debut in late 2022 as a 2023 model. And while it will use the bZ4x’s powertrain, the 2023 RZ will likely also get an upgraded interior, as well as steer-by-wire and torque-vectoring AWD.
Lexus calls that AWD system ‘Direct4,’ and it first debuted on the 2021 LF-Z Electrified concept. Also, Lexus says its powertrain tech and styling will appear on production models by 2025. But while it was initially just a concept, Lexus now says that a production LF-Z is in the works. And if the brand’s timeline holds true, we should see the first glimpse of that electric crossover by the end of 2022.
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