All new in 2022, the Lexus NX 350 enters its second generation with a sharper look on the outside and advanced technology inside. Latino Traffic Report (LTR) recently test drove the NX, specifically the Luxury trim level. From its Circuit Red leather-trimmed quilted seats to its Lexus Interface multimedia system, the as-tested NX embraced its premium tag.
Covering all its bases, Lexus makes three versions of the NX available including a hybrid, the NX 350h, and a plug-in hybrid electric (a first for Lexus), the NX 450h+. LTR tested the gasoline-powered NX 350 with all-wheel drive (AWD).
Matched to an eight-speed transmission, the turbo-charged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 275 horsepower and 317 lb.–ft. of torque and speeds from 0–60 in 6.8 seconds. It has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. It averaged 22.5 mpg on the weeklong test drive. Its performance was further enhanced by paddle shifters and the standard Drive Mode Select with Normal, Eco, and Sport options.
Redesigned from the inside out, the NX reflects the Lexus DNA with a “refined” spindle grille. It also adds a new block LEXUS rear badge and full-width tail lamp. The sleek exterior look is complemented by a plush interior. Standard features include a power moonroof, wireless charger, and dual zone climate control. The Luxury trim added the afore perforated leather-trimmed seating, head-up display, 14-inch touchscreen (a 9.8-inch one is standard), real wood accents, and thematic ambient lighting, among other features.
Lexus seems most proud of its new technology featured in the new NX, starting with Lexus Interface Assistant that enables a voice-activated interaction with its multimedia system, from the phone to climate control. Intelligent Assistant accesses convenience features like weather and points of interest (POI) searches with navigation. Add Wi-Fi Connect and it can access audio streaming.
The Lexus Interface Cloud Navigation system offers 100 percent cloud capability and integrated Google POI data. While this service and other connected services like Safety Connect and Service Connect, are nice, they all require a paid subscription to access them after the trial term ends.
On a more basic level, AppleCarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on all NX models and the radio channel preset function was simple and intuitive though 18 channels seemed to be the maximum of presets. If there was an ability to expand that number, it wasn’t apparent.
Standard on all-new NX models is the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 that includes nifty features like right and left turn oncoming pedestrian/vehicle detection and braking, dynamic cruise control, and Road Sign Assist, it doesn’t include the blind spot monitor because it’s standard.
Lexus hasn’t left off utility on the NX. With the rear seats folded, the cargo room expands by 14 percent to 46.9 cubic feet.
Pricing for the 2023 NX 350 starts at $44,665. The as-tested price came to $55,225.
Sí: The all-new NX 350 improves on looks and functionality.
No: Much of the new technology requires a subscription.