New 2022 Lexus RX 350 Release Date, Redesign, Interior – The 2022 Lexus RX 350 F Sport hybrid crossover is sinuous, frugal and impressively quiet — exactly what I want in a luxury vehicle. There is, however, one aspect of this Lexus that’s unforgivable, a mortal sin that drags down an otherwise pleasant vehicle: the infotainment system.
Hybrid versions of the RX come standard with all-wheel drive. Still, this example is also fitted with the F Sport package, which includes dress-up items like a unique grille, aluminium pedal covers, 20-inch wheels and even performance dampers. A $970 handling package is also offered for extra sportiness, bringing an adaptive suspension system, retuned power steering, and more goodies to the table. Beyond those F Sport upgrades, my tester features the Black Line Special Edition package. The good news is this upgrade costs just $685 and includes special body-side graphics, a black grille surround and a Halliburton Edge lightweight two-piece luggage set. The bad news is the Black Line Special Edition package is limited to just 750 gas-powered RXs and 250 hybrid models.
New 2022 Lexus RX 350 Redesign
The Lexus RX’s styling is certainly aggressive, with its comically large grille, angular headlamps and chiselled surfacing, but its interior is much more restrained and pleasant. The cabin’s quality is stellar, and its materials are generally very good. The headliner and roof pillars are wrapped in a flannel-like fabric, soft plastics are used liberally throughout and nearly all the switches and knobs feel slickly lubricated. Sure, you’ll find a smattering of Toyota-sourced buttons here and there; stuff you get in, say, a Camry, but these carryover controls are well hidden and hardly objectionable.
Just behind this Lexus’ unusually deep dashboard, the front bucket chairs are all-day comfortable and attractive, rendered in black and white with contrasting blue stitching, a combo that’s also part of the Black Line Special Edition package. Storage space up front is good, consisting of a decently sized bin under the center armrest, a few other small cubbies on the console and generously proportioned front door pockets that pop outward when you pull on them. Moving rearward, the RX’s backseat is nearly sprawl-out spacious, with plenty of legroom and a decent amount of noggin space. Comfortable cushions provide great support, with the lower one being a nice distance above the floor for a chair-like seating position. Providing easy access, this Lexus’ rear doors open nice and wide.
The Lexus RX was updated in 2022, gaining a stiffened structure and revised suspension for better handling. This year, the vehicle gains some new technology, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, which are now standard across the range. Auto-dimming, power-folding mirrors are included at no extra charge, too, as is Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0, a suite of driver aids that includes daytime cyclist detection, low-light pedestrian detection, road sign recognition and lane-keeping assist. Thankfully, I have not had an opportunity to test the pedestrian-detecting systems, but the lane-keeping aid is gentle yet quite effective.
Underway, the RX 350 is one smooth operator. Whether you’re traversing frost-heaved highways, tiptoeing along a cratered dirt road or just cruising around your subdivision, this Lexus’ ride is always curved. Even rolling on 20-inch wheels, small expansion joints barely register and larger impacts are easily deflected, all with no harshness or gritty vibration percolating through to the passenger compartment. Despite its smooth ride, the RX 350’s body is decently controlled. Sure, it could feel a bit tighter in corners, and it might be nice if the steering were quicker and heftier, but the whole chassis feels so well balanced that these changes aren’t necessary, plus they might ruin the fluffy ride, which would be a shame.
New 2022 Lexus RX 350 Engine Design
The RX’s cabin remains incredibly silent, quieter than naptime in a nursing home, with almost no wind, tire or engine noise being heard. The RX 350’s hybrid powertrain is built around a 3.5-litre V6, one augmented by two electric motor-generators upfront that forms a continuously variable transmission and a separate motor at the rear, which provides an all-wheel drive. Whispering while it works, this arrangement provides a net 308 horsepower, though a torque figure is not listed because the math with hybrids is weird. On its own, however, the V6 engine whips up 247 pound-feet of twist. The RX 350’s easy handling and all-wheel drive add immensely to my confidence one day as the weather goes from drab to dangerous, with a winter storm dumping sleet on the roadways.
Stand on the accelerator, and this Lexus scoots. Performance, while not awe-inspiring, is still very good, the engine sounding like it’s operating far off in the distance rather than a few inches ahead of your toes. The hybrid parts of this drivetrain are similarly polished, barely drawing any attention to themselves. The brake pedal is also friendly, with a seamless transition between regenerative and friction braking. The RX 350 offers an EV mode for added versatility, which allows you to run it solely on electrons. The onboard battery pack has enough juice for you to sneak down a cul-du-sac or into the garage without running the engine, but as soon as you go too fast or prod the throttle too aggressively, the engine fires up. Remember, this is not a plug-in hybrid, so the electric-only range is not the primary focus.
New 2022 Lexus RX 350 Price And Release Date
With its upscale interior, refined manners and, yes, unfortunate infotainment tech, a base 2021 Lexus RX 350 starts at just shy of $49,000, including $1,025 in destination fees. That’s about $2,650 more than an entry-level, front-wheel-drive, non-hybrid RX 350. As it sits, this F Sport example checks out for $59,380, a figure goosed by a few add-ons like a $200 wireless charger, $640 heated and ventilated front seats, $1,365 for parking assist and a 360-degree camera system, plus a few additional goodies. Still, that outlay gets you a family-friendly vehicle that’s more docile and refined than the sportier Acura MDX. Moreover, thanks to its aggressive styling (which you may or may not love), it is more visually interesting than a Lincoln Nautilus or Mercedes-Benz GLC.