The 2022 Lexus RX seeks a luxury-crossover edge with an eye-grabbing shape, but impresses with hybrid performance. The RX is a luxury crossover SUV with seating for up to seven people and a catchy shape. It’s still a quiet, comfortable cruiser at its best, which makes it a rival for the Volvo XC60, Lincoln Nautilus, and the Infiniti QX50/60 crossovers.
For 2022, a few new colors appear on its palette. The RX leaves its boisterous body unchanged, from the tall hourglass grille at the front end to the black bands that blot out part of the rear roof pillars, giving it a canopy-style look. The interior wraps conducively around the driver, building a wall of controls and metallic trim between them and the front passenger. There’s a lot going on, inside and out, and it’s intriguing.
A V-6 engine is the RX’s prescription for power, with either 295 hp in the RX 350 or a 306-hp hybrid drivetrain in the RX 450h. Either can reach 60 mph in under eight seconds, but the hybrid’s fluid power delivery and exceptional fuel economy make it our pick. Either RX rides well, and most make steering response on a low-priority item; the RX F Sport changes things up with stiffer tuning, firmer seats, paddle shift controls, and a throaty exhaust note, but composure is still its long suit.
The five-seat RX has all the space most drivers need, and interior comfort and quality are high. The three-row RX L doesn’t have enough head, knee, or shoulder room to host any but the smallest passengers who don’t need car seats. Cargo space works better in the five-seat version, too.
Its EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined in front-wheel-drive versions with all-wheel drive, the RX 350 slips a mile per gallon on the EPA cycle. Hybrids, however, are rated at 31/28/30 mpg. Long-body RXs rate lower with the RX 350L AWD checking in at 18/25/21 mpg, and the RX 450hL at 29/28/29 mpg.Lexus fits all RX crossovers with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control. The IIHS dubs it a Top Safety Pick.
It’s $46,395 for the front-drive RX 350 with LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We’d take the $49,095 RX 450h, with its hybrid powertrain and standard all-wheel drive.
The base $46,395 RX 350 comes with all the usual power features, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Step up to the seven-seat RX 350L and it starts at $49,225. On both of these models, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation is an option, as is leather upholstery.
The sport-flavored $49,875 RX 350 F Sport gets distinctive badging, sport suspension tuning, 20-inch black wheels, heavily bolstered front seats, and aluminum and wood interior trim. The RX 450h F Sport costs $52,57 with a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound, wireless smartphone charging, and a hands-free power tailgate. The RX carries a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty, which also includes the first two scheduled maintenance visits for free.
The Lexus RX remains at the top of the midsize luxury crossover class that Lexus helped first create. With the Hybrid version, RX retains all its core virtues that Lexus has built a legacy with; composed driving dynamics, a quiet and cosseting ride, and unwavering reliability. The fact that this is the best looking RX yet, doesn’t hurt either.