The 2022 Lexus RX has been a long-running and well-liked premium crossover. Currently in its fourth generation, the design has gotten considerably more avant-garde in its styling, though we’ve now had plenty of time to accustom ourselves to design cues like the "spindle grille" (an aesthetic shared across the Lexus lineup). While it may not be the newest, flashiest or most powerful midsize crossover on the market, it has broad appeal thanks to its standard V6 and optional hybrid powertrains, two- or three-row formats, attractive interior, comfortable ride and reliable Toyota underpinnings. It’s not superlative in any way compared to the competition, but it strikes a fine balance that will make it the right crossover for a wide range of customers.
What's new for 2022?
While there are no significant changes for the 2022 model year, the RX does offer new paint colors, and now offers fog lights as a standalone option on any trim.
What are the RX’s interior and in-car technology like?
The RX interior is a fine place to spend time. With excellent interior design, high-quality materials and attention to detail, you’ll never forget that this is a premium vehicle. The cabin isn’t just stylish, attractive and comfortable; it’s also clearly well-built with good fit and finish, sturdy touchpoints, soft plastics, smooth faux leather and textures that are pleasing to both the eye and the fingertip.
If you’ve had nightmares about weird infotainment interfaces of Lexuses, including bizarre joysticks and frustrating touchpads, you can sleep well knowing the RX began using an actual touchscreen for the 2020 model year. We like the higher-end 12.3-inch units (part of the Navigation Package) more than the standard 8-inch screen, as it’s simply easier to use, and can put more information on display. If you had already gotten used to Lexus’ kooky interfaces, you’re in luck — there’s still a touchpad down below you can use. You can also use voice recognition if you want to keep your hands on the wheel. The RX also provides Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Alexa compatibility as standard. A head-up display and wireless phone charger are available as options.
How big is the RX?
The RX is a midsize crossover SUV that comes standard with two rows of seating, with the L designation representing the slightly elongated version with three rows of seating to accommodate up to seven occupants. It’s surprisingly roomy inside, able to accommodate a rear-facing car seat behind the driver seat without even a long-legged driver having to sacrifice their ideal, comfortable seating position. When you opt for the third row in the L, keep in mind that extra row is quite cramped, and ought to be saved for your least favorite children. Competitors like the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX60 and Volvo XC90 have roomier and far more usable third rows.
If you’re shopping the RX against other vehicles based on cargo volume, pay attention to the real-world space, as the Lexus is not as miserly with it as it appears on paper. Oddly enough, Lexus lists the cargo capacity of the RX 350 and 450h at just 16.0 cubic feet with the rear seats up. For whatever reason, Lexus measured that capacity from the floor to the cargo cover, instead of from floor to roof like most automakers do. As such, we found the five-passenger RX (below left) to offer much more room than advertised, as you can see in our luggage test of the vehicle. The 350 L (below right) apparently has a little less cargo capacity. Judging by the below photos, it's hard to see how that's possible, but perhaps it has a higher floor, which cancels out the extra length? Either way, with that seat raised, there's only 7.5 cubic-feet of space, as measured from floor to roof. That's a tiny number and it's a tiny space in person, too.
What are the RX’s fuel economy and performance specs?
The RX is offered with a choice of two powertrains. The RX 350 uses a 3.5-liter V6 good for 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, or 290 hp and 263 lb-ft in the L version, but it recommends premium fuel to hit these output figures. Lexus says that it's good for a 7.7-second 0-60 sprint with front-wheel drive, or 7.9 seconds with all-wheel drive. The L FWD does 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, or 8.1 for the L AWD. All these 0-60 times are quite slow for a luxury SUV – a Toyota Highlander is actually quicker. So too is the smaller Lexus NX 350.
The standard-length RX 350 with FWD gets an EPA-rated 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg highway and 23 combined. The RX 350 AWD gets docked a single mpg across the board, at 19/26/22 mpg. The RX 350 L FWD gets 19/26/22 mpg, while the L AWD gets 18/25/21 mpg.
The RX 450h uses a 3.5-liter V6 paired with three electric motors. It is only offered with all-wheel drive, and provides a net output of 308 horsepower. Lexus doesn’t list a torque rating for the hybrid. Lexus cites a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds, which is again, slow. The EPA gives it a fuel economy rating of 31 city, 28 highway, 30 combined. Considering this superior efficiency and equal acceleration, the hybrid is our powertrain of choice.
What's the RX like to drive?
Whether you pick the standard RX 350, the longer 350 L or go for the hybrid 450h, you’re going to get a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride from this Lexus. Steering is surprisingly responsive and it handles itself in the corners well, too, again with an emphasis on smoothness and comfort. The F Sport model improves handling further, while not sacrificing ride quality thanks to its adaptive suspension. If anything, the ride might actually be a bit better.
The other key differences come from the available powertrains. The gas and hybrid versions boast similar performance numbers, including 0-60 times, but the actual experience is different. The 450h, with its electric motors, feels quicker off the line, while the 350 waits to unleash its full motivation as the revs build. The 350 also uses a traditional eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the hybrid employs a continuously variable transmission that lets the V6 drone a bit under the hood.
The RX also offers various drive modes — the usual Normal, Eco and Sport that govern throttle response and steering. The F Sport models get an extra Sport+ mode, which is most noticeable in the V6 models since it'll do a better job of keeping the transmission in lower gears while driving exuberantly. Still, while any RX feels responsive to driver inputs, they’re not quick or engaging enough that we’d call them sporty, regardless of what any drive mode or exterior badge says.
What other Lexus RX reviews can I read?
A review of the three-row version of the RX. Yes, the third row really is that tiny.
We give the RX’s 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system after the car received a mid-cycle refresh.
Ignore the numbers you see on paper, as the RX has more cargo space than stated.
About 15 minutes into this episode, we argue why the RX might be underrated, with the ability to appeal to a wide range of customers
Our first drive review of this generation of the Lexus RX. Some things, like appearance and infotainment technology, have been updated since then, but the drive experience remains the same.
How much is the 2022 RX price and what features are available?
The 2022 Lexus RX pricing starts with the base 350 FWD, at $47,145, including destination, while the RX 350 AWD starts at $48,045. The base RX includes 18-inch wheels, power folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery, a nine-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, six USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa compatibility, HD radio and three-month trials of SiriusXM radio and in-car WiFi.
Other important features available in other trim levels or as standalone or packaged options include 20-inch wheels, LED auto-leveling headlights and LED taillights, LED fog lights, a sunroof, a panoramic glass roof, windshield wiper de-icer, aluminum roof rails, a hands-free power liftgate, surround view parking cameras, three-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, front power extending seat cushions, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, LED ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, wireless charger, integrated navigation, 12-speaker audio and Mark Levinson 15-speaker audio.
The full pricing breakdown for the 2022 RX lineup is as follows:
F Sport FWD: $50,125
F Sport AWD: $51,525
Black Line Special Edition FWD: $50,775
Black Line Special Edition AWD: $52,175
RX 350 L
Black Line Special Edition FWD: $54,130
Black Line Special Edition AWD: $55,255
F Sport AWD: $52,825
Black Line Special Edition AWD: $53,750
Black Line Special Edition AWD: $57,115
What are the RX’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?
Standard safety equipment includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, automatic high beams and a three-year subscription to Lexus’ Enform Safety Connect, which can sent help to the vehicle’s location in event of a crash, or locate a stolen vehicle. Also available are parking assist with automatic braking, as well as a surround-view parking camera system.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t rated the 2022 model year, we’d expect it to retain the previous model year’s five-star overall rating, with four-star frontal, five-star side and four-star rollover crash ratings. Similarly, we’d expect it to retain the 2021 model’s Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It falls short of the Top Safety Pick+ rating due to a “Poor” headlight rating, and only an “Acceptable” headlight rating for the upgrade lights. IIHS gave it its top “Good” rating for all crashworthiness tests, a top “superior” rating for front vehicle-to-vehicle accident avoidance, and second-best “Advanced” for vehicle-to-pedestrian accident avoidance.
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