2022 Lexus RX

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2022 Lexus RX Test Drive Review: Sunset Driving Elegance

The 2022 Lexus RX is aging fast. Launched for the 2016 model year, the fourth-generation RX shares a platform with the recently redesigned Toyota Highlander. An RX redesign should be just around the corner. In the meantime, the midsize RX remains a formidable player in its luxury crossover segment though the competition has caught up in several key areas. A styling update inside and out in 2019 has kept the RX relatively fresh, along with the addition of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Carried over from the previous model year is the powertrain lineup, consisting of either gasoline or hybrid options. The 2022 trim lineup is extensive, with multiple trims providing enough variety in terms of aesthetics and features. All trims come powered by a 3.5-liter V6. It makes 295 horsepower in the RX 350 and 290 hp in the RX 350L. In the 450h, it develops 308 hp thanks to the inclusion of three electric motors. Non-hybrid trims receive an eight-speed automatic while those AWD-only hybrids have an electronically controlled CVT.

The 2022 Lexus RX is a direct rival to the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and Acura MDX. The Lexus isn't as powerful as its German competitors, but neither is it as expensive.

One thing, however, has made the current generation polarizing for many: that spindle grille design. It's clearly not for everyone but it has grown on us over the years. We recently sampled a 2022 RX 450h F Sport, which is the hybrid model with some sporty flair. All in all, it's a highly capable luxury vehicle and the new-for-2022 Grecian Water paint color caught plenty of people's eyes. The RX Hybrid may not be the sportiest of the bunch, but it offers an incredibly comfortable and confident ride, a nice list of standard safety features, and good fuel economy.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2022 Lexus RX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 RX?

For 2022, the Black Line special edition returns. Only 2,500 will be made for the 2022 model year - 2,100 gas models, and 400 hybrids. As the RX is the Japanese brand's most popular car, we don't expect these models to last long. The Black Line has darkened exterior accents and a Zero Halliburton luggage set.

Fog lights are now an option across the range, and Iridium, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water have been added to the color palette for 2022, with the latter available to the F Sport.

Pros and Cons

  • Name a comfier SUV
  • High safety levels
  • Hybrid models are frugal
  • Lots of standard features
  • High-quality cabin
  • Touchpad remains infuriating
  • ICE models aren't frugal
  • Not even slightly engaging
  • The third row is cramped

What's the Price of the 2022 Lexus RX?

The range kicks off with the base RX 350 at an MSRP of $45,570. Opting for the L increases the asking price to $48,400, while the F Sport retails for $49,050. The Black Line Special Edition in 350 guise starts at $49,700 while the 350 L Black Line is $53,055 MSRP. Going the AWD route adds $1,400 to the Lexus RX's price.

The hybrid models come standard with AWD. The RX 450h costs $48,270, increasing to $51,660 for the L model. A top-spec 450h F Sport retails for $51,750. The two Black Line special editions of the Lexus RX will cost $52,675 and $56,050 for the standard and extended body length, respectively. Pricing does not include the $1,075 destination charge. Our 2022 RX 450h F Sport tester came to a grand total of $62,450, including all the options and destination fee.

Best Deals on 2022 Lexus RX

2022 Lexus RX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
RX 350
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
RX 450h
3.5L V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
RX 350L
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
RX 350 Black Line
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Lexus RX Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite the aggressive exterior styling, the RX is not particularly exciting to drive. Nor is it fast, unlike some of its rivals (which are also not always speed demons). The RX, no matter which powertrain it's equipped with, behaves like a more luxurious previous-generation Toyota Highlander. That's not necessarily a bad thing for many buyers, but can be disappointing for others who seek something more aggressive. Again, looks can be deceiving.

The RX is, however, an extremely comfortable daily driver whether you're just running a few errands or going for a long highway drive. The F Sport's stiffer suspension is certainly nice but doesn't really translate into an exciting ride. The RX's greatest strength in this realm, whether you opt for the F Sport package or not, is its smooth approach to driving. It's a wonderful cruiser with just a touch here and there of mild excitement.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Lexus RX A Good SUV?

It's literally impossible not to recommend the 2022 Lexus RX SUV - or any Lexus for that matter. They're simply outstanding luxury cars, but they're not always the best driver's cars, specifically the crossovers. Point being, if you want a spirited and fun-to-drive crossover, a BMW or Audi might be your best choice. But if you desire something extremely comfortable, reliable, well-built, packed with the right amount of luxury kit, and a sporty but not too sporty driving personality, then the RX is for you. Like any hybrid, the RX Hybrid will appeal to those looking to save some money at the pumps. We do recommend opting for the slightly pricier F Sport version available with the hybrid because of the included adaptive suspension. It makes driving a bit more fun in what would normally be mostly plain vanilla.

What Lexus RX Model Should I Buy?

At first, we weren't wild about driving the RX Hybrid model, but it quickly grew on us. It manages to achieve an ideal balance of power, performance, and fuel efficiency. If you're able to swing the extra money, go for the F Sport, mainly because of the adaptive suspension. It manages to make 308 hp feel like more at times. The base naturally aspirated non-hybrid RX's 295 hp and 268 lb-ft is barely enough, plus you don't get the fuel savings from the hybrid.

It's also worth bearing in mind that you can get the extended-length RX L with the hybrid setup but, unfortunately, not with the F Sport goodies. If you need the third row, the L variant offers the added bonus that you get second-row captain's chairs in 450h L guise to feel even more posh.

Check out other Lexus RX Styles

2022 Lexus RX Comparisons

Toyota Highlander CarBuzz
Lexus NX

2022 Lexus RX vs Toyota Highlander

The Highlander and the RX are essentially the same car if you're in the market for a three-row crossover. It uses the same naturally-aspirated V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. The Highlander can also be had with a less powerful 243-hp hybrid powertrain, though. You'll even notice similarities on the center console if you look close enough. Toyota built the Highlander to be more affordable, so you lose out on some higher-quality materials, but the ride and refinement are essentially the same. With a base price of around $35,000, the Highlander is also a lot cheaper.

You can also tell the Highlander was meant to be a three-row crossover from the start. With three rows in place, it offers 16 cubes of space. Not mind-blowing, but at least enough to accommodate six kids and their school bags, which is the same amount of space the five-seater RX offers by comparison. If you can live without the upper-middle-class badge, the Highlander is the obvious choice, here.

See Toyota Highlander Review

2022 Lexus RX vs Lexus NX

The NX makes the RX look irrelevant. Yes, you can have an RX with three rows, but the third row in an RX hardly makes it a more practical car. In five-seat guise, the NX provides more cargo capacity than the RX. The NX has 22.7 cubes behind the second row, while the RX only has 16. On paper, the RX is more powerful. The NA V6 produces 295 hp, while the NX's available 2.4-liter turbocharged four-pot produces 275 lb-ft. But the NX has more torque (317 lb-ft) much lower down. This low-down torque gets the NX to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. If frugality is your thing, a hybrid is also available, which easily beats the RX's claimed figures. It's also a plug-in hybrid, which means you score a full 36 miles of EV-only range.

The interior of the NX is just as high-quality. The ergonomics are better, and the large infotainment screen is easy to operate. We do miss the old-school analog clock, but that's not enough of a reason to go for the RX. The NX is a much better all-around SUV.

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