2022 Lexus NX450h+ Is a RAV4 Prime in a Fancier Wrapper

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The second technology of the Lexus NX, the brand’s compact luxury SUV, does not look an entire lot totally different than the primary, however there are substantive modifications beneath the sheetmetal. Nowhere is that more true than with the brand new NX450h+ plug-in-hybrid variant.

The reworked NX exterior is not fairly the riot of creased sheetmetal that its predecessor’s was, though it nonetheless eschews the smooth minimalism of, say, the Volvo XC60. The NX once more presents a pinched face to the world, with its double-angled grille and checkmark-shaped working lights.

The inside is barely roomier than earlier than, though small home windows diminish that impression. Typical of Lexus, all inside touchpoints, beginning with the steering-wheel leather-based, have a top quality really feel. Talking of touchpoints, each the outside and inside door handles are digital, popping open with a delicate press (identical to a Corvette!); the within handles are also mechanically disabled if a car or bicycle owner is approaching on that aspect. Like so many Toyota hybrids, the NX450h+ has a stubby digital shifter with an uncommon double-J shift sample, though an proprietor would doubtless develop accustomed to that oddity.

Lexus is lastly shifting away from its distant touchpad infotainment interface, and the brand new NX has a touchscreen as an alternative. Grandly sized at 14.0 inches (a 9.8-inch model seems in lesser trims), the show appears to be like nice, however regardless of all that actual property, it will possibly present two capabilities without delay solely when smartphone mirroring. Each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are wi-fi, and Apple Music and Amazon Music are built-in throughout the system. Wi-fi smartphone charging is an choice and is paired with digital-key performance. As is typical, the interface would profit from a couple of extra bodily controls past merely a tiny quantity knob and two knobs for cabin temperature. And there is nowhere to relaxation your hand when attempting to hit the proper touchpoints on the big display (for audio tuning, say, or adjusting the fan pace). Nor are we followers of the steering wheel’s multimode four-way buttons, which have two units of capabilities, which means there is a 50 % probability they are not within the mode you want.

HIGHS: Simply outhustles the opposite NX variants, genuinely helpful EV vary, 36 mpg general.

The large information with this technology, nevertheless, is beneath the floor with that new plug-in-hybrid powertrain, which joins the naturally aspirated base engine, turbocharged uplevel engine, and common hybrid. All are four-cylinders. With 302 horsepower, the plug-in NX450h+ is the clear alpha canine amongst its siblings.

The powertrain is basically lifted from the Toyota RAV4 Prime (the 2 automobiles share a platform). It makes use of the identical 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4 as within the base NX250 and the usual hybrid, the NX350h. (The nonhybrid NX350 has a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4.) Electrical motors help the gasoline engine and are the only motive supply for the rear wheels, offering all-wheel-drive functionality.

An 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds the motors. That substantial battery affords a hefty 37 miles of EV vary, per the EPA—or 33 miles on the freeway in our testing (identical because the RAV4 Prime). The one different plug-in hybrids on this class are the XC60 T8 Recharge, the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, and the Audi Q5 55 TFSI e. The Volvo got a larger battery pack for 2022 that upped its vary to 35 miles, however the Lincoln is sweet for less than 28 miles and the Audi simply 23.

Our tester was fitted with the elective 6.6-kW onboard charger, which drops full recharge time from 4.5 to only 2.5 hours utilizing a 240-volt energy supply. On paper, it is an $800 choice, however Lexus tells us that each NX450h+ bought within the U.S. will likely be geared up with this worthwhile function as an alternative of the three.3-kW tools customary in different world markets.

Even when it isn’t working as an electrical, the NX450h+ is a fuel miser at an EPA-estimated 36 mpg general. We obtained 35 mpg in our 75-mph freeway fuel-economy take a look at (precisely matching the determine for the common NX hybrid).

Simply as with the RAV4 Prime, the NX450h+ simply outhustles its siblings. Whereas the common NX350h plods to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, and the turbo-four NX350 takes 6.6 seconds, the NX450h+ wants simply 5.6 seconds. (We have not examined the bottom NX250, however that model’s 203 horsepower is the weakest within the group.) The plug-in hybrid equally stands tall after we take a look at passing instances, zipping from 50 to 70 mph in 3.8 seconds, in opposition to 5.0 for the common hybrid and 4.5 for the NX350. That is additionally one plug-in hybrid that, when switched into EV mode, does not wake the fuel engine while you flooring the accelerator. Actually, it is fairly perky as an EV when squirting round city, though its 9.4-second time to 60 mph below battery energy would not be thought of fast.

LOWS: Not materially faster than rivals’ turbo fours, whopping worth premium over different NX fashions.

Look exterior the home windows of the Lexus dealership, although, and the NX450h+’s muscular picture fades a bit. Its 60-mph time, as an example, is simply 0.1 second forward of the 228-hp BMW X1. And the Lexus trails its mainstream-badged cousin, the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which rips to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. The plug-in-hybrid Audi Q5, which bristles with 362 horsepower, is considerably faster, storming to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The Lexus simply walks away from the Corsair, however, which needs 7.0 seconds to finish that run.

As you would possibly count on, the journey is posh, with some head toss the one aftereffect of an encounter with patchy pavement. Even with the 20-inch wheels which might be customary right here, the 235/50R-20 tires have beneficiant sidewalls, serving to to cushion sharp-edged bumps regardless of being run-flat tires. These tires held on to the tune of 0.81 g on the skidpad, however the NX450h+ F Sport has little curiosity in brisk cornering. Tire squeal units in early, as does physique roll and understeer. This class is hardly rife with fun-to-drive choices, however the Acura RDX, the BMW X1, and even the Mazda CX-5 are all extra partaking than this Lexus.

That is doubtless not a lot of a priority for NX buyers. The larger subject for them is whether or not the plug-in hybrid is the best selection. At a beginning worth of $57,300, the NX450h+ prices $14,600 greater than the NX350h and an identical $14,200 greater than the nonhybrid NX350. (Add one other $1250 in order for you the 450h+ F Sport trim discovered on our take a look at pattern.) If gasoline economic system is the driving concern, higher to avoid wasting that $14K and go together with the equally economical NX350h. For these looking for high efficiency, the NX450h+ is your best option, though it will not be sporty sufficient to fulfill. The client who’s going to be diligent about plugging in would be the one who actually makes the a lot of the NX450h+, given its lengthy EV driving vary. Issue the battery-powered miles into the combo, and gasoline economic system will exceed the common hybrid’s, with the way more strong acceleration a pleasant bonus. As you in all probability might have guessed, Lexus’s first plug-in solely realizes its potential and manages to be a plus should you really plug it in.

Specs

Specs

2022 Lexus NX450h+ F Sport

Car Kind: front-engine, front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $58,550/$64,105

Choices: Imaginative and prescient bundle – panoramic view monitor, lane change help, entrance cross visitors alert, $1070; triple-beam headlights w/washers and cornering lamps, $850; 6.6-kW on-board charger, $800; illuminated door and cargo sills, $760; Extremely White premium paint, $595; smartphone comfort bundle – digital key, wi-fi cellphone charging, $450; exercise mount – receiver for bike mounts, and so on. (not for towing), $390; rear and aspect puddle lamps, $325; carpet cargo mat $110; rear seat common pill holder, $110; wheel locks, $95

POWERTRAIN

DOHC 16-valve 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4, 181 hp, 165 lb-ft + 3 AC motors, entrance: 179 hp, 199 lb-ft; rear: 53 hp, 89 lb-ft (mixed output: 302 hp; 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 6.6-kW onboard charger)

Transmission: constantly variable automated

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 12.9-in vented disc/12.5-in vented disc

Tires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S 02 RFT

235/50R-20 100V M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 105.9 in

Size: 183.5 in

Width: 73.4 in

Top: 65.8 in

Passenger Quantity: 92 ft3

Cargo Quantity: 23 ft3

Curb Weight: 4487 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 5.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.1 sec @ 99 mph

100 mph: 14.4 sec

130 mph: 33.9 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 6.0 sec

Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.9 sec

Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec

Prime Velocity (gov): 130 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 179 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.81 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Noticed: 38 MPGe

75-mph Freeway Driving, EV/Hybrid Mode: 78 MPGe/35 mpg

75-mph Freeway Vary, EV/Hybrid mode: 33/500 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 36/38/33 mpg

Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 84 MPGe

EV Vary: 37 mi

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED


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