All new in all the right places. The 2022 Lexus NX is a fully redesigned SUV. It was about time for Lexus to come out with a new NX, as the previous generation of the SUV was on sale from 2015 to 2021. Against newer competitors, the old NX wasn’t competitive. The good news for Lexus fans is that the fully redesigned NX is a far better vehicle and a competitive option in the compact segment.

It’s easy to tell the 2022 NX apart from the previous generation, as Lexus has smoothed out the SUV’s design. While the previous-gen model had a decisive look, the new NX is far more appealing. Lexus’ spindle grille has been toned down at the front, while the check-mark running lights are now integrated into the headlights. The rear end of the 2022 NX looks nearly the same as the last-gen model, except for new taillights that are connected by a horizontal light bar. Overall, the changes result in a far better-looking SUV.

The full redesign also results in an all-new cabin, which is far more luxurious and modern than before. The cluttered center console from the last-gen model has been replaced with a cleaner design with larger touchscreens. The infotainment is integrated into the instrument cluster. Without the touchpad, the NX’s interior looks and feels like it’s a product from a luxury brand.

Well-rounded powertrain lineup. The last-gen NX was available with two powertrains, while the 2022 model is now available with four. None of the engines will blow you away with their performance and the electrified options are pricey upgrades compared to the base powertrain, but it’s nice to see so many options.

The NX lineup starts off with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 203 horsepower. The NX 350 is offered with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that churns out 275 hp. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and route power to all four wheels. The base NX 250 comes with front-wheel drive. Out of the two, we believe the turbocharged engine is a far better fit for the SUV.

Lexus is offering the 2022 NX with two different electrified powertrains. The NX 350h comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors for a combined output of 239 hp. For more exciting straight-line performance, there’s the NX 450h+ that shares the same powertrain as the Toyota RAV4 Prime. It has the same 2.5-liter engine and dual-electric motor configuration but adds a larger battery pack for 302 hp. The electrified models come with a continuously variable automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

We’re huge fans of the NX’s electrified powertrains, but they’re large upgrades over the base model. The hybrid is an additional $3,100 and the PHEV powertrain is a staggering $17,700. The NX 450h+ can travel up to 36 miles on electricity and is eligible for up to $7,500 of the federal tax credit, but it’s priced way too high to be a realistic consideration for the majority of consumers.

Present-day technology. The 2022 NX finally comes out of the dark ages and into modern times with upgraded infotainment systems that have touchscreen capability. It may seem odd to highlight the fact that a luxury SUV has a touchscreen, but Lexus’ old touchpad system was one of the more infuriating flaws with the old NX. Thankfully, the touchpad is gone for 2022.

The new infotainment system in the NX is a 9.8-inch touchscreen, while a 14-inch touchscreen is available. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard and the infotainment system has over-the-air updates. Things like a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system are available. The infotainment system is a major upgrade over the outgoing model’s, with improved graphics and menu layout. A lot of functions are handled through the touchscreen, but Lexus has included a few physical controls for ease of use.

Lexus has also introduced a few high-tech features with the 2022 NX. There’s a new Digital Key feature that allows owners to use their smartphone to unlock, lock, and operate the SUV. There’s a new camera system called Panoramic View Monitor that provides drivers with a helpful 360-degree view of the SUV’s surroundings.

The 2022 NX now comes with the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which is an extensive suite of advanced safety features. Higher trim levels come with rear pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic park assist, front cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist.

Growing in odd places. Growing in size is typical for a fully redesigned model, but the 2022 NX has grown in interesting places. The wheelbase is slightly longer than before, while the track has also increased. The increases result in a more spacious cabin for passengers in the front, but not in the back.

The larger body results in 1.8 more inches of front legroom and 0.9 inches of front headroom. Space in the back remains the same, which isn’t a bad thing as the last NX offered spacious accommodations in the back. Rear cargo room grows to 22.6 cubic feet with the second row in place but actually decreases to 46.9 cubic feet of total cargo space. The old NX was able to hold up to 54.6 cubic feet of cargo.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Lexus NX finally gives the automaker a realistic competitor in the compact segment. While it doesn’t have the same dashing design as rivals or the same sporty performance, it’s still a practical, comfortable, and value-forward SUV. It also compares well to the competition on the tech front and has a wide range of engines to choose from.

The Genesis GV70 is another value-oriented compact SUV. It has a gorgeous design, powerful engines, sporty handling, and loads of tech features. It doesn’t have the same spacious interior as the NX, though. The BMW X3 offers agile handling, punchy engines, high-tech features, and a spacious cabin. It’s not available with any electrified powertrains like the NX.

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