Efficiency SUVs proceed to proliferate, however it’s unlikely Lexus will ever be part of within the revelry. Its solely mannequin inside spitting distance is the NX, the smaller and spunkier sibling to the comfortable RX. For the reason that NX debut in 2015, sharing a platform with the Toyota RAV4 and having the model’s first turbocharged engine, it has been a success—trailing solely the RX in gross sales.

For 2022, the second-generation NX continues this profitable system. The brand new design is evolutionary, and the sheetmetal once more sports activities quite a few creases. The acquainted spindle grille returns, though the checkmark-shaped daytime working lights are relocated above the headlights.

Marc UrbanoAutomotive and Driver

In comparison with the outgoing NX, the general size and wheelbase have elevated 2.2 inches. Lexus put these inches to good use, rising cargo area behind the rear seats by 5 cubic toes to 23 cubes. Conversely, the seats-down cargo area has decreased by eight cubic toes, however it appears a worthwhile tradeoff.

As a result of efficiency issues to us, we set our sights on the mid-tier NX350 with commonplace all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automated transmission powered by an all-new turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four. With 275 horsepower, it is extra highly effective than rivals such because the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Pronounced turbo lag hampers this benefit, nevertheless. The three,987-pound NX hits 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, 0.9 second behind the 228-hp X1. With the enhance absolutely on boil, the NX covers the quarter-mile in 15.0 seconds at 95 mph and reaches 100 mph in 16.1 seconds, 0.6 second slower than the X1.

Braking from 70 mph takes 175 toes—15 toes longer than the summer-tire-equipped Q3 and 6 toes shorter than the GLA250. All NXs roll on run-flat tires, and so they exacted a efficiency toll on our skidpad. The 235/50R-20 Bridgestone Alenza A/S02 tires howl underneath duress and solely managed 0.81 g of lateral grip, versus 0.89 g for the Cadillac XT4. Upgrading to the F-Sport dealing with bundle ($3,300) provides adaptive dampers that noticeably agency up the trip, however the summer season tire choice has been dropped. These decisions are all within the title of gasoline financial system: Lexus estimates the NX350 AWD will return a mixed 25 mpg.

Regardless of these middling efficiency figures, the NX350 additionally would not thoughts getting a little bit rowdy should you push its buttons. Loosening the restraints of the stability-control system means it is doable to pitch the NX350 sideways on a dust street, tossing rooster tails of dust excessive into the air. Not that any NX proprietor ever would, however they may.

Marc UrbanoAutomotive and Driver

Inside, we discover a new infotainment system that could be a huge leap ahead. The NX debuts a brand new Lexus multimedia interface that banishes all recollections of the outdated touchpad nightmare. The large 14.0-inch touchscreen is crisp, vivid, and responsive. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace, and you may stream music out of your Amazon or Apple Music accounts. “Hey, Lexus!” summons a digital assistant, who might hear our requests completely, even with the music cranked.

Many lesser controls are built-in into the touchscreen, leading to a much less visually cluttered sprint. Snug seats and high-quality supplies add to the air of serenity. On the street, the cabin will not be notably quiet, nevertheless. We measured 74 decibels at full throttle and 70 decibels at a 70-mph cruise. The non-obligatory 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system ($1,020) goes a good distance towards masking street noise.

The NX350 sits in the midst of the lineup and begins at $42,625. Beneath it, there’s the $39,025 NX250 with front-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4. There are additionally two hybrids: the NX350h and the plug-in NX450h+; the latter guarantees 37 miles of EV driving. The NX350h is $42,125, whereas the NX450h+ is a stratospheric $56,635.

Which brings us again to the NX350. Whereas it isn’t a efficiency crossover by any stretch of the creativeness, the turbo engine no less than provides it a sprightly demeanor. Cross-shoppers will discover rather a lot to love within the new infotainment system, and returning NX house owners will really feel proper at residence.

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