36 MPG and 36 Miles of EV Range | 2022 Lexus NX 450 h+ Plug In Hybrid
This is the second best selling lexus model right after the lexus rx, which you could logically see getting a plug in hybrid system at some point in the future, and this is the best selling small luxury crossover in the u.s according to lexus. This is just the start of something new, because over the next four years were going to be getting 10 new electrified models from lexus and in lexus speak that could be hybrid, that could be plug in hybrid or it could even be a full ev version of The new toyota ev that were going to be seeing in about a month or so because i dont have much time with this nx plug in hybrid. This video is going to be a little bit quicker and a little bit different than normal lets just dive right on into the looks you can see up front. This looks a lot like the rest of the nx lineup with that big spindle grille there, but it has a much more modern headlight treatment, youll notice. We have the triple beam, led headlights up here: no divorce design, so the headlight and that turn signal theyre. All one piece down here at the bottom: we get fog lights and a really cool touch a turning lamp, as you can see right there, the vents at the bottom of the front bumper are not functional. Those are simply decorative. We have 20 inch wheels in this model 235 with tires.
I was a little bit surprised that the tires didnt get a little wider in terms of dimensions. This is just over 183 inches long, so this is almost exactly the same size as the very first generation. Lexus rx lexus has given the sheet metal a little bit more style with more creases going on on the side, and we still have a fairly round back end. The big change back here is that, instead of a lexus logo, we have lexus spelled out across the rear, like we find in some of the european alternatives. The full led tail lights, get a design thats somewhat similar to the es and the lexus is, and because this is a plug in hybrid, there are no exhaust tips underneath the vehicle. The new nx is the first lexus vehicle to get the new 450h plug in hybrid system, but i suspect its not going to be the last. It uses a two and a half liter four cylinder engine, coupled with two electric motors on this side of the engine bay and an electric motor on the rear axle. To give you 302 horsepower total in terms of design. This hybrid system is exactly the same as the lexus 350h. The difference is the battery pack. We have a much bigger battery pack under the vehicle 18.1 kilowatt hours, instead of just over one kilowatt hour and thats. How theyre able to give you 302 horsepower the standard lexus hybrid system has pretty powerful electric motors under the hood, but the reason they dont produce 302 horsepower is mainly due to the battery pack.
It doesnt provide enough oomph this battery pack does. This will give you 37 miles of all electric range and theres a mode where you can keep this in electric only mode if thats, something that youre interested in or you can allow it to use hybrid mode as well, and that will give you 0 60 in Six seconds making this the fastest version of the nx available in the united states. One specification that lexus has not given us is the rear electric motor horsepower figure. I suspect its gon na be right around 66 horsepower, but lexus, for some reason, is keeping that secret. At the moment, unlike some plug in hybrids that put the battery pack in the cargo area, lexus puts it underneath the vehicle it spans from about here in the vehicle to just about the middle portion of the rear doors under the vehicle. Then, behind that we have the gas tank and then behind that we actually have a cargo area. The positioning of the battery pack means that this doesnt lose any ground clearance over the regular model. Both come in at 7.7, inches of clearance, which is fairly high for a plug in hybrid vehicle charging, happens behind door number one which is in exactly the same place on the other side of the vehicle, as the gasoline goes in right over there on the drivers Side charging happens via a standard 3.3 kilowatt on board charger or an optional 6.
6 kilowatt charger, so your charge times will range between four and a half and two and a half hours on level. Two charging, obviously its gon na, be closer to around 18 hours. If you only have access to a level one charger thanks to the positioning of the battery pack, the cargo area is basically the same size as in the regular lexus nx. But if we go dive under the floor, youll notice a bit of a difference right here. Thats because the 12 volt electric battery is over here on this side, as with most plug in hybrid vehicles, it still has a 12 volt battery. Then we have access to a small amount of storage over here on this side, but no place to put a spare tire. Instead of a roller cargo cover. Lexus gives us one of these flexible fabric cargo covers and a place to store it right there under the load floor, the rear seats still fold in a 60 40 fashion, but it does not appear that you can get the electric folding rear seats in the plug. In hybrid model, because of the limited time ive had with the nx plug in hybrid im, not going to cover the interior in this vehicle. Instead, you should check out my full video on the nx350 and the nx350h. I was able to spend a lot more time in those vehicles, take a deep dive into the infotainment system, the dashboard, the seats etc.
So, instead lets just take this out on the road, as you might logically expect out on the road. This is going to feel an awful lot like the rav4 prime, because we have essentially the same plug in hybrid system here, a just over 18 kilowatt hour, lithium ion battery pack, just over 300 horsepower combined out of this system, and although lexus has not exactly said Exactly how much power is going to go to the rear axle, its probably the same electric motor that weve seen in this particular hybrid system for a while, its probably just under 70 horsepower total lexus says this battery should be good for 37 miles of full ev Range, it speeds up to around 85 miles an hour at which point its going to have to turn on the gasoline engine to go faster. You should also know that if you want the best acceleration youre going to have to put this in the hybrid mode, if i put this in ev mode and floor it its just going to use the power from the battery pack and in that mode, 0 to 60 is going to be around 10 seconds, or so so this is about as fast as a prius in electric only mode in hybrid mode. This is going to be fairly quick according to lexus 0 60 in six seconds. The 0 60 time in this vehicle is limited by the amount of power they can pull out of the battery pack.
Even though this has a big battery for a plug in hybrid, its, not a terribly big battery. As far as evs are concerned and thats, why? We dont get as much oomph out of it. The electric motors that are on board are actually fairly powerful, but thats all due to the hybrid system up front. Now, speaking of electric motors, you should know that the power balance when this is in ev mode is going to be a little bit more interesting than something like the volvo xc60 recharge in that vehicle when its in its pure ev mode, its a rear, wheel, drive Vehicle, the electric motor up front is only a small assist motor in that vehicle, so anytime power is needed on the front axle thats, mainly coming from the gasoline engine, when power is needed on the rear. Its coming from the electric motor. This vehicle is a little bit different because this can actually supply power to both axles when in eevee mode, so in ev mode, this is still an all wheel drive vehicle. Now the one limitation you should know about with this system is the power available for the rear axle its about the same as the regular hybrid nx. So when this system is delivering its total of 302 horsepower, the vast majority is coming from the front wheels and then about 70 horsepower or so again. Lexus has not said exactly is happening right back there on the rear.
Wheels controlling the hybrid system are those buttons. I showed you earlier in the center console. This vehicle has four basic modes charge mode, hybrid mode, ev mode and an auto mode in ev mode. If i engage that right here with this button, if i floor it its going to stay in electric only mode until the battery has either been exhausted or certain parameters are exceeded, i discovered with this system – and this is again basically the same system that we find In the rav4 prime, that if youre going up really long extended inclines, there is a point where the system decides that, maybe you should have the hybrid system engaged uh. If i put this in the auto hybrid ev mode and floor it, then the system is going to engage the gasoline engine because its realized, you want maximum acceleration and for me, thats, the most logical mode to be in unless you really really want to stay in Ev mode, all the time in the auto hybrid ev mode, its going to feel a little bit more like the volvo xc60 recharge or the bmw or the audi q5 plug in hybrid in those vehicles. There is no mode to just stay in ev mode. Even when you floor it in those vehicles, you have to be responsible with the accelerator pedal. If you want to stay in ev mode and if you go over a certain threshold, its going to engage the gasoline engine thats exactly what we see in this vehicle in the auto mode.
Because of the limited amount of time that ive been able to drive the new rx plug in hybrid, i cant talk too much about handling, but it definitely has a good sorted feel to it out on the road. Now, keep in mind. Curb weight is going to be fairly high. We see that in all the plug in hybrids available in this segment, but because this has one of the biggest batteries available. This is also going to be one of the heaviest the turbocharged nx and the regular hybrid nx have lost weight with this generation, but thanks to the addition of the massive battery pack, thats right here under the body, curb weight goes significantly up for the plug. In hybrid, the base model is 3660 pounds. This is 4475 pounds and it has essentially the same size tires on it that we find in the rest of the nx lineup. All nx vehicles for 2022 are gon na have 235 with tires on it. So definitely, keep that in mind when it comes to handling the best handling versions of the nx are likely going to be the lightest versions of the nx, but thanks to the position of the battery pack very low in the vehicle, the center of gravity is definitely Good – and this has again assorted – feel to it out on the road. It also has a decent quality ride to it as well. The roads that ive been driving on some of these are perfect, and some of them are a little less than perfect, but youll definitely notice that, even though this is a little bit firm thanks to the 20 inch wheels, we have on this model, lexus decided to Give this an awful lot of cushions.
The sidewalls are pretty tall and theyve tuned the suspension to be on the softer side of things, especially versus the european competition. Some of those options can be a little bit firm and we dont see that in the nx the cabin is also very quiet. I wouldnt be surprised if this came in somewhere between 70 and 71 decibels. This is likely going to be one of the quietest options in the segment. This is also likely going to be one of the most fuel efficient. Not only is it going to be giving you that 37 miles of ev range, but in real world driving, this is also going to be somewhere between ‘ and 40 mpg for most folks out there now, according to epa, the actual combined rating on this vehicle is A little bit lower, but if the rav4 prime is anything to go by, this hybrid system is extraordinarily efficient and i wouldnt be surprised if this got basically the same real world fuel economy that we see in that rav4 model. And that means that any way you slice it, this is going to be significantly more efficient than the european competition, the volvo xc60, the bmw, the audi q5 etc. Theyre all right around 25 to 27 miles per gallon combined. This is going to be at least 10 miles per gallon better than that, even if youre driving them all pretty hard. Now, on the flip side, you will get more power out of some of those alternative plug in hybrid systems.
The audi system is pretty quick. The volvo system is especially fast, 0 60 sub 5 seconds in that model, so its a full second faster, at least than this, and the next generation plug in hybrid system from volvo has already been announced. Thats going to butt power up to 450 horsepower and the battery pack is going to get a 62 range bump, its still going to have less range than this and its still going to be less efficient than this, but its also going to be significantly faster. It also especially has a much bigger electric motor in the rear, and that is the one thing youll notice with this system is that if you floor it, it definitely still has some front wheel, scrabble and a little bit of torque steer, because so much power is Happening on the front axle, the first thing, youll notice about this plug in hybrid system and the thing that i really love about it is how smooth it is whether were talking about acceleration in hybrid mode or transitions between electric mode, hybrid mode etc. This is incredibly smooth and its all due to the design of this plug in hybrid system. The hybrid system has two big electric motors up front anyway, and with the bigger battery pack, it can simply power. Those electric motors things are a little bit different in the audi and bmw competition in those vehicles when its operating in ev mode, its still sending power through an automatic transmission or in the case of the audi, a dual clutch transmission.
So, as you accelerate its still going to feel sort of like an automatic transmission vehicle, you will definitely feel those shifts as the vehicle accelerates in ev mode. This doesnt have that feel this feels more like a regular electric car, because when its in ev mode, it basically is one now. The volvo is an interesting twist because, when its in ev mode its going to feel very much like this, but volvo chooses not to have an ev mode that will actually keep you in ev mode. All the time, if you press the accelerator, pedal a little bit too much like the mode that im in here, then it will turn on the gasoline engine and you will feel those gear shifts as it steps along in this vehicle. Even when the gasoline engine turns on a the shift is going to be pretty smooth between electric mode and hybrid mode and youre not going to feel any transmission shifts, because this doesnt have a stepped automatic transmission. It has the planetary power split system that was seen out of lexus hybrids for quite some time and its a really really good fit. I think for the nx, the personality of this vehicle is obviously luxurious, but its also a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more relaxed, perhaps a little bit more isolated than some of those european options. So, if thats, what youre looking for, then the nx is going to be an excellent fit and, of course, if youre simply looking for the most efficient option, this beats every other plug in hybrid in the luxury segment by an absolute mile when it comes to efficiency, Especially efficiency, after that electric portion of the battery has been consumed, 37 miles of electric range would be enough for me to complete my daily commute, at least in one direction, and if i was able to charge at the office, i would be able to stay in Electric only mode, almost the entire way home again remember that if you live in an area with long uphill climbs several miles of uphill climbs, then eventually the gasoline engine will decide to turn on, even if the battery has not been completely depleted.
But for the rest of america, if you dont live in a hilly area, this will definitely stay in ev mode. All the time, if thats something that youre interested in itll heat the cabin in electric only mode, it will cool the cabin in electric only mode and it will definitely be able to go mild off roading in electric, only mode as well. The new nx plug in hybrid is gon na start at fifty five thousand five hundred sixty dollars, thats approximately fourteen thousand dollars more than the regular hybrid model. For that you get the 37 miles of electric range, significantly more power, 302 horsepower out of the system and a bit more standard equipment. I have to admit that the price tag of the plug in hybrid system surprised me a little bit because this is notably more expensive than an audi q5 plug in hybrid, its also more expensive than the base version of the bmw x3 plug in hybrid or even The 400 horsepower volvo xc60 plug in hybrid and the volvo plug in hybrid system is actually going to be getting a bump in mid 2022 up to 450 horsepower and about 30 miles of electric range, its probably going to be the closest competitor to this vehicle. It gets the best fuel economy of the european options, admittedly significantly less than this model at least 10 to 15 miles per gallon less in real world driving. It gets seven miles less range theoretically, once that battery pack has been bumped up.
But if youre looking at a 2021 or a 2022 model in early 2022, that volvos only going to get you 19 miles of range and really thats, where the vast majority of the european competition sit is just under 20 miles of real world range. Now the driving experience is going to be quite different in these options. The audi q5 for 52 900 is one of the vehicles that has a mechanical all wheel, drive system. So if youre looking for the most sure footed feel out on snow or ice or other slippery surfaces, thats probably going to be the best option for you. We see a very similar all wheel, drive system in the plug in hybrid version of the bmw x3, but the lexus here uses an electric rear axle about 70 horsepower again goes on on the rear. Axle exact specifications are not available from lexus for that rear. Electric motor – and that does mean that the feel of this out on the road is a little bit different. You will get a little bit of torque steer, especially in a corner, and you wont get the same kind of rear, end rotation that you can get in. One of volvos plug in hybrids and those low speed maneuvers because of the amount of power that lexus chooses to put towards the rear. But again we get excellent ev range and excellent fuel economy once that ev range has been exhausted. We also have legendary lexus reliability, of course, due to the nature of this hybrid system, its very design.
This is likely going to be much more reliable than anybody elses plug in hybrid system. This system is very, very simple: theres, an electric motor in the rear, two electric motors up front, one planetary gear set and an engine and a battery thats, all thats, going on under the hood and as a result, theres so much less mechanical complexity. Going on in this system, there isnt even a reverse gear. If it wants to go backwards, it simply spins the motors. The other way be sure – and let me know what you think about all that down there in the comment section below and what would you pick if you were looking to spend around 55 to 60 000 on your next plug in hybrid in the luxury segment? Although the starting price of this nx plug in hybrid is a few thousand dollars more than the european options, keep in mind, we get a ton of standard equipment on the nx. So comparing feature for feature, this is going to be significantly less expensive than a comparably equipped, volvo or bmw or audi plug in hybrid, and i apologize if i didnt say that upfront when i was initially talking about pricing, this is likely going to be several thousand Dollars less five to ten thousand dollars less than a comparably equipped, volvo or bmw or audi plug in hybrid, but its higher starting price is definitely something that you need to keep in mind if youre looking for something thats a little bit less expensive, ev tax credits Are based on the size of the battery pack, so this is going to get a bigger tax credit generally speaking than most of those european options, but again theyre going to be changes on some of those european plug in hybrids coming up a little bit later.
Next year, let me know what you would pick down there in the comment section below and, of course, check out my full video on the rest of the new nx lineup for 2022. youll find that releasing the same day that youre watching this video ill see.