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2022 Lexus NX350 F Sport AWD assessment


The brand new-generation Lexus NX is a giant deal, contemplating the success of the present RAV4 with which it shares the majority of its DNA, the model has a giant alternative to take its new platform and powertrain into the premium segments.

Whereas the majority of individuals may have a hybrid as their first alternative – be it the NX350h or plug-in NX450h+ – there’s a extra athletic alternative obtainable within the type of the 2022 Lexus NX350 F Sport.

No, there’s no a free-revving V6 below the bonnet just like the badge suggests, however the NX350 packs a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine which may make you suppose twice committing to an Audi Q5 45 TFSI or a BMW X3 xDrive30i.

It’s not simply concerning the powertrain, both. The brand new-generation NX packs a recent, aggressive design exterior, and an overhauled cabin which brings the newest and best tech Lexus has to supply.

Whereas appears to be like are subjective, our take a look at automotive’s pearl white exterior with pink leather-based inside appears to be like the enterprise for my part, and the large 14-inch central infotainment system makes anybody go ‘wow’ whenever you first hop in.

Has Lexus lastly shaken its “tarted up Toyota” picture with this new NX? Must you be contemplating this $80,000+ mid-size SUV over German-badged rivals?

Effectively, there’s just one method to discover out.

WATCH: Paul’s video assessment of the NX 350h F Sport

How a lot does the Lexus NX350 F Sport price?

The brand new-generation NX vary opens at $60,800 for the bottom NX250 with its naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive, however our high-spec 2022 Lexus NX350 F Sport AWD with Enhancement Pack 2 is priced from $83,900 plus on-roads.

We’ll element the total record of inclusions within the subsequent part, however you are able to do with out the contents of the EP2 specification and pocket the $6000 distinction – offered you are able to do with out the (x).

It’s price noting the equal previous-generation NX, the NX300 F Sport AWD, began round $10,000 cheaper than the brand new model, however that’s offset by the gamut of upgrades which have include this new-generation mannequin.

2022 Lexus NX pricing:

  • Lexus NX250: $60,800
  • Lexus NX250 with Enhancement Pack: $63,800
  • Lexus NX350h Luxurious 2WD: $65,600
  • Lexus NX350h Luxurious AWD: $70,400
  • Lexus NX350h Sports activities Luxurious 2WD: $73,100
  • Lexus NX350h F Sport 2WD: $73,100
  • Lexus NX350h Luxurious AWD with Enhancement Pack: $73,400
  • Lexus NX350h Sports activities Luxurious AWD: $77,900
  • Lexus NX350 F Sport AWD: $77,900
  • Lexus NX350h F Sport AWD: $77,900
  • Lexus NX350h Sports activities Luxurious AWD with Enhancement Pack 1: $80,900
  • Lexus NX350 F Sport AWD with Enhancement Pack 1: $80,900
  • Lexus NX350h F Sport AWD with Enhancement Pack 1: $80,900
  • Lexus NX350h Sports activities Luxurious AWD with Enhancement Pack 2: $83,900
  • Lexus NX350 F Sport AWD with Enhancement Pack 2: $83,900
  • Lexus NX350h F Sport AWD with Enhancement Pack 2: $83,900
  • Lexus NX450h+ F Sport AWD: $89,900

All costs exclude on-road prices

Key rivals embody:

Costs exclude on-road prices until specified (D/A)

What do you get?

NX F Sport highlights:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • “Excessive-grade” 8.0-inch driver’s show
  • Head-up show
  • Encompass-view cameras
  • Ventilated entrance seats
  • Wi-fi cellphone charging
  • Adaptive suspension
  • F Sport efficiency dampers
  • F Sport seats
    • Incl. driver reminiscence perform
  • F Sport pedals, scuff plates, steering wheel and shifter
  • F Sport grille and bumpers
  • Tri-beam LED headlights with adaptive high-beam
  • Hadori aluminium trim
  • Selectable drive modes together with Sport S+ and Customized

Enhancement Pack 2 ($6000) provides:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Digital rear-view mirror
  • 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
  • Semi-autonomous parking help (NX350h F Sport AWD solely)

Specification carried over from decrease grades consists of:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights with auto-levelling
  • Computerized high-beam
  • 8.0-inch driver show
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired)
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Lexus Related Companies
  • Energy tailgate
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Lexus Local weather Concierge
  • Eight-way energy entrance seats
    • Incl. two-way driver’s lumbar assist
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Keyless entry and begin
  • Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
  • Selectable drive modes

Is the Lexus NX350 F Sport secure?

The brand new Lexus NX was lately awarded a five-star ANCAP security ranking with a 2022 date stamp, based mostly on exams performed by Euro NCAP earlier this yr.

The mid-sized SUV scored 91 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for little one occupant safety, 83 % for susceptible highway consumer safety and a formidable 92 per cent for security help.

ANCAP praised the NX’s spectacular AEB efficiency in addition to its safety of the motive force and entrance passenger within the facet influence and frontal offset exams respectively.

The NX was, nevertheless, solely awarded a marginal ranking for driver chest safety within the frontal offset take a look at and was penalised accordingly (-1.21 pts out of 4.00 pts).

Customary security tools consists of:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection (day/evening)
    • Bicycle owner detection (day)
    • Junction help
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keep help
  • Lane Tracing Help (centring)
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic help
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • Emergency Steering Help
  • Secure exit help
  • Visitors signal recognition
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Entrance and rear parking sensors
  • 10 airbags
    • incl. driver’s knee and front-centre inflators

What’s the Lexus NX350 F Sport like on the within?

Whereas the outside design is extra of an evolution slightly than the revolution, it’s fairly onerous to see any genetic hyperlinks to the earlier NX inside.

The overhauled cabin minimises switchgear, ups the prominence of digital shows, and does extra to separate itself from the associated Toyota RAV4.

Lexus merchandise are recognized for his or her vault-like construct high quality and high-end supplies. A criticism of the final automotive was that whereas it was solidly screwed collectively, the combo of supplies left a bit to be desired in locations. Additional, the appear and feel was dated for a while.

This new mannequin actually presents higher, and our tester’s red-on-black inside actually brings a way of ‘wow’ issue. I’m a giant fan of the brand new steering wheel, the clear digital devices, and naturally the look of that massive 14.0-inch central infotainment system.

It appears that evidently among the shiny stuff has come on the costly of some inside components, nevertheless. The onerous, scratchy glovebox trim feels low cost, additionally used across the switches to the fitting of the steering wheel, as do among the gloss-black components on the centre console.

In all equity, it’s slightly nit-picky to name these items out and house owners aren’t more likely to care given these aren’t essentially high-contact surfaces, nevertheless it didn’t actually scream ‘Lexus’ to me.

The seating place is nice. Lexus F Sport seats are among the finest within the enterprise, with figure-hugging bolsters and supportive cushions, full with a variety of electrical adjustment and reminiscence presets.

A private spotlight of Lexus interiors is the electrically-adjustable steering column, which is one thing of a rarity at this finish of the market. The very fact it kinds a part of the seat reminiscence characteristic can also be useful, as is the comfort entry and exit perform that shifts the seat again and steering wheel ahead to permit simpler ingress and egress.

Storage is fairly good, with a big cubby below the front-centre armrest, door bins able to storing standard-sized bottles, two cupholders within the centre console, in addition to a cubby forward of the shifter with the lid doubling as a wi-fi cellphone charger.

Annoyingly, the brand new Lexus infotainment system doesn’t supply wi-fi smartphone mirroring, so the wi-fi cellphone charger is principally a shelf whenever you’re wired to the infotainment utilizing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Past the smartphone connectivity, the software program is an enormous enchancment from earlier Lexus know-how. The load occasions and graphics are higher, and distance the premium Lexus model from its Toyota dad or mum. Decision and response from the 14.0-inch show is superb, with smartphone-like pinch to zoom inputs and easy animations between menus and features.

Nonetheless, it nonetheless lacks the high-end really feel of rival programs from Audi and BMW, in addition to Mercedes-Benz, although the “Hey Lexus” clever voice assistant can carry out social gathering methods like adjusting the local weather or opening the sunroof.

An actual spotlight is the non-compulsory 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system – it’s price ticking the Enhancement Pack 2 field alone for the sound system. Mark Levinson programs are persistently a few of my favourites, with deep and clear {surround} sound.

The second row is much less spectacular than the primary, and highlights the NX’s dimensional shortcomings towards rivals just like the GLC and X3.

At 6’1 I didn’t have significantly snug lodging behind my very own driving place, with restricted knee and legroom. I can solely think about the (lack of) house behind somebody like my silly-tall colleague Scott Collie.

Youngsters and smaller adults must be superb again right here if the entrance occupants are common top, and there’s ISOFIX anchors for the outboard positions in addition to top-tether factors throughout all three rear seats.

Facilities within the again embody a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, directional rear air vents (although no third zone of local weather), USB charging factors and a 12V socket, in addition to map pockets behind each entrance seats. There are additionally bottle holders within the rear doorways.

The brand new-generation mannequin’s boot measures a formidable 520L with the rear seats in use, a useful 20L improve over its predecessor. Drop the second row and the quoted quantity raises to 1141 litres.

It’s price noting, nevertheless, the BMW X3 (550L/1600L) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (550L) supply extra space, whereas the Audi Q5 is comparable in five-seat kind (520L) however gives extra capability with the rear seats folded (1520L).

As you may see from the pictures above, the load space isn’t fully flat in two-seat guise, although there’s no annoying hump between the boot flooring and seat backs.

Helpful boot extras embody a netted cubby within the facet, underfloor storage, in addition to a 12V energy socket.

What’s below the bonnet?

Energy within the NX 350 comes from a brand new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, teamed with an eight-speed torque converter computerized and normal all-wheel drive.

Lexus quotes outputs of 205kW (6000rpm) and 430Nm (1700-3600rpm), and claims the NX 350 AWD can full the 0-100km/h dash in 7.0 seconds.

Being petrol solely, the NX 350 doesn’t have the spectacular gas economic system figures of its hybrid counterparts – it’s the thirstiest NX variant with its 8.1L/100km mixed declare, and is the best emitter at 181g/km.

As with the broader vary, the NX 350 requires minimal 95 RON premium unleaded for its 55-litre tank. The two.4-litre petrol engine, in addition to the broader NX powertrain line-up, is Euro 6b licensed in Australia.

How does the Lexus NX350 F Sport drive?

Given the ‘350’ badging and sporty appears to be like of this NX variant, I hoped for a funds heat SUV expertise with the NX350 F Sport. Let’s simply say these expectations weren’t actually met.

The brand new 2.4-litre turbo gives fairly sturdy outputs, greater than the likes of the Audi Q5 45 TFSI, BMW X3 xDrive30i or Mercedes-Benz GLC300, however the real-world efficiency and soundtrack go away a bit to be desired.

Little has been achieved to make the NX350’s powertrain sound or really feel significantly sporty, with a buzzy engine observe and robust, however not tremendous keen engine response higher suited to relaxed driving and touring. Lexus claims a 7.0-second sprint from 0-100, which feels proper by the seat of the pants, nevertheless it’s slower than the aforementioned Germans.

The eight-speed auto has additionally been tuned extra for effectivity, so rolling response generally is a little laggy if you happen to instantly punch the throttle. The drivetrain has a little bit of a boosty really feel and isn’t as linear, nor does it really feel as responsive, as BMW’s glorious 30i four-cylinder powertrain.

You may flick it into Sport mode for enhanced throttle response and weightier steering, however this can be a Lexus on the finish of the day and it’s finest suited to extra relaxed inputs and cruising down straights.

It’s additionally price noting the NX is front- slightly than rear-biased like most rivals, that means it generally spins up the entrance tyres below onerous acceleration. It has that pull really feel, slightly than the push you get from a rear-driven automobile.

Refinement is normally a Lexus strongpoint, however once more I felt the NX was missing.

Tyre roar from these large 20-inch alloys and thin 235/50 Bridgestone Alenza rubber is worse than anticipated of a Lexus SUV, and as famous earlier the petrol engine can get vocal when pushed. Contemplating this badge has traditionally been used on silky easy, brassy sounding petrol V6s, I believed Lexus would have put in additional effort.

It’s not all dangerous, although.

The Toyota GA-Okay structure forming the foundations of the Lexus NX is a confirmed platform that kinds the idea of well-regarded merchandise like the present RAV4 and Kluger, and the NX F Sport’s sporty appointments enhance the dynamics additional.

Sharp flip in and responsive, correct steering makes the NX a cinch to string by way of metropolis streets and winding B-roads, and physique roll is properly minimised whenever you navigate a sharper bend.

It rides decently, if not with the finesse of smaller-wheeled platform mates, with a reasonably stiff rebound significantly on the rear finish over sharper hits. I’d recommend preserving the Consolation mode engaged within the metropolis, because the F Sport’s Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) strikes steadiness between consolation and management over pimpled inner-city streets.

Lexus’s help programs obtained excessive reward from ANCAP, and in follow they do job serving to the motive force with out fully taking up like we’ve seen in earlier Lexus merchandise.

The adaptive cruise and Lane Hint (centring) programs mix properly for semi-autonomous freeway driving, and aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic help and surround-view cameras all have each day advantages.

What’s not so nice, at the very least for me, are the tough management sequences. Lexus has made the change to configurable touch-capacitive controls on the steering wheel which might be fiddly on the transfer when utilizing adaptive cruise – and when cruise is lively you’re unable to change by way of views or menus within the instrument cluster.

It’s maybe much less fiddly than the stuff you’ll discover within the newest Volkswagens, for instance, however whereas colleague Mike Costello warmed to the Lexus on the Australian media launch, I wasn’t so fond even after per week of residing with the NX.

How a lot does the Lexus NX350 F Sport price to run?

Each Lexus is roofed by a five-year, limitless kilometre guarantee.

Capped-price servicing for 3 years or 45,000km is about at $495 per go to. The NX could be collected from the proprietor’s house or administrative center, with a complimentary mortgage automobile delivered door-to-door.

You additionally get entry to the Lexus Encore possession program, which provides house owners entry to Caltex gas reductions, invites to luxurious dinners and occasions, in addition to luxurious lodge partnership advantages

Lexus Australia is rolling out a brand new smartphone app that lets house owners observe and investigate cross-check or management elements of their automobile from the sofa.

By way of real-world gas consumption, we noticed an indicated readout within the 10L/100km in combined metropolis and freeway driving. That’s about double what you’ll get in an NX350h hybrid, which is one thing to contemplate given right now’s gas costs.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Lexus NX350 F Sport

The most recent Lexus NX appears to be like the bee’s knees, and continues to supply a extra value-driven various to established German gamers within the premium mid-sized SUV section.

Nonetheless, I’m a agency believer the NX does its finest work in 350h hybrid kind, as this NX350 F Sport left me fairly underwhelmed.

The turbo petrol NX isn’t as quick, enjoyable or refined as its German rivals, and when specified with the non-compulsory Enhancement Pack 2 (essential for that candy Mark Levinson audio) it’s asking some severe coin.

Lexus fashions are finest served with out the sporty bits; both an NX350h Luxurious or Sports activities Luxurious with Enhancement Pack 2 fits the model’s relaxed, luxurious vibe and are hundreds cheaper than the automotive you see right here.

That mentioned, Lexus already has prolonged ready lists for the hybrids, that means the NX350 F Sport AWD might be your fast ticket into the NX vary now – and whereas it isn’t all dangerous, there are higher choices for the cash.

Have a take a look at drive of the turbo petrol to see if you happen to prefer it, and I’d additionally advocate having a back-to-back steer with one thing like an X3 xDrive30i or Q5 45 TFSI quattro to see in the event that they higher fit your tastes.

Then once more, if you happen to’re in search of a correct efficiency SUV expertise it might be price placing your title down for the rather more reasonably priced Volkswagen Tiguan R, which can not have the badge cred of a Lexus however greater than makes up for it in punch and gives related tools ranges for rather a lot much less.

Click on the pictures for the total gallery

MORE: Every part Lexus NX



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