2022 Lexus NX delivers new plug-in hybrid and an overdue dash tech treat

The second-generation 2022 Lexus NX is debuting with an updated face, a fresh interior, and a new plug-in hybrid model. The latest Lexus NX now gains athletic styling cues from its larger RX brethren and is better suited to outclass other competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLB, Infiniti QX50, and Acura RDX.

The NX is Lexus' second best-selling model after the RX, so the Japanese carmaker isn't fooling around with its small premium crossover. It still has the brand's infamous spindle grille flanked by slimmer headlights and redesigned LED running lights. At the rear, the newest NX has a bold LEXUS script across the tailgate. The taillights now feature a light bar that spans the width of the tailgate.

The 2022 Lexus NX is available in four powertrain choices. The base NX250 has a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Toyota RAV4, pumping out 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel-drive remains optional. Both drivetrains receive an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, the NX350 has a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, making it more potent than the outgoing NX300. Equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, Lexus claims zero to 60 mph in 6.8-seconds.

Meanwhile, the NX450h has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors producing a combined output of 239 horsepower, around 20 more horses than a comparable Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.2-seconds and achieves 36 mpg.

However, the crème of the crop is the NX450h+ PHEV. Equipped with the hybrid powertrain from the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the NX450h+ has 302 horsepower and an all-electric range of 36 miles, around six miles less than in a RAV4 Prime. Nevertheless, we're expecting the NX450h+ to be pleasantly quick, with Lexus claiming zero to 60 mph in only six seconds.

In terms of charging, the NX450h+ has a standard 3.3 kW onboard charger to replenish the batteries in 4.5-hours. The optional 6.6 kW charger reduces the charging time to around 2.5-hours.

Of course, Lexus is offering an F Sport Package for the NX350 and NX450h+. It consists of darker exterior trim, including gloss black 20-inch wheels, new front and rear bumpers, adaptive suspension, and body-color fender trims. Other options include heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and upgraded driving aids.

Inside, Lexus finally got rid of that annoying and fiddly touchpad controller from the previous model. Instead, it now has a standard 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen or an optional 14.0-inch touchscreen display. The driver gets to stare at a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, while a 10-inch heads-up display is optional if you like that sort of thing.

Safety-wise, the 2022 Lexus NX comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, a comprehensive array of driving assist features built upon the outgoing model's Safety System+ 2.0. It still has blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning. But now, it also gets risk avoidance emergency steer assist, an upgraded radar cruise control system with curve speed management, and left-turn vehicle detection with a new pedestrian detection system that works on both sides of the vehicle.

Pricing remains unannounced, but expect to pay a bit more for the 2022 Lexus NX when it arrives at dealerships this fall. The outgoing Lexus NX has base prices at around $38,700 for the base FWD model, and about $41,200 for the NX300.