By RANDI PAYTON
Hot off the assembly line, the new 2022 Lexus NX 450+ hybrid joins the NX family of luxury SUVs. With a price tag of $55,560 and a $7,500 federal tax credit, the NX 450h has a “best in class” all-electric range of 36 miles. The plugin hybrid electric NX signifies a crucial step for Lexus toward electrification as it plans to launch more battery-powered plugins and hybrids. If your computes do not exceed 36 miles, you can avoid the high cost of gasoline by recharging it whenever you’re at home or at a public charging station. You can also enjoy up to 36 miles of quiet EV driving before the gasoline engine kicks in.
The all-new Lexus NX 450h is a compact luxury plugin crossover built on the same platform as Toyota’s RAV4. The NX 450h and RAV4 hybrid share the same 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four and plugin hybrid electric motors. As a result, they leave competitors in the dust on the electric range.
The Lexus NX 450h trim comes loaded with high tech and luxury features, including the Lexus multimedia interface with an optional 14-inch touchscreen display, over the air updates, wireless charging, Wi-Fi, “Hey Lexus” virtual assistance, cloud navigation, and an ambient lighting system with 64 different colors.
Standard features include a power moonroof, LED tail- and headlamps, paddle shifters, dual-zone climate control with air filters, and the Lexus Safety System that packages all the latest safety features to keep you safe on the road.
Models/Pricing: The Lexus NX model range includes: The Lexus NX 250 ($39,425), NX 350h ($42,625), NX 350 ($43,025), NX 350 F Sport ($48,125), NX 450h+ ($57,225), and NX 450h+ Sport ($58,475).
Power/Charging: The Lexus NX 450 offers four different engine options: gasoline and hybrid-powered engines. The NX 250 base model has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, while the NX 350 generates 275 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.4-liter. Both models have an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on the NX 250 and standard on the NX 350 version.
The hybrid models include the NX 350h, which generates 230 horsepower from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, and the top-of-line NX 450h+ plugin that gets 302 horsepower. AWD is standard on both models.
The plugin hybrid takes about four and a half hours to charge on a 240V 3.3-kW onboard charger and about two and a half hours with the optional 6.6-kW onboard charger and plugged into a 220-volt outlet.
I experienced the 2022 Lexus NX 450+ Sport model with an adaptive suspension system that produced a firm and agile ride on various road conditions. It eagerly attacked sharp curves and bumpy conditions.
Fuel/Electric: The EPA estimates that the NX 450h can average a combined 84 MPGe for city/highway on gas and electric, with 36 combined MPG on fuel. It averages about $1,200 for annual fuel costs.