Imagine the early days of motorcars. Every manufacturer had a few different styles, but for the most part, each brand had its spot in the hierarchy of functional sedans to luxury motorcars, with many of those brands still around today. Manufacturers didn’t tend to spin off completely different lines, but instead expanding through acquisition and consolidation, hence conglomerates like General Motors. Autos also used to be more regional, with Americans buying American cars, Germans buying German cars, and so on. Things change, and now quite a few global brands have their luxury brands, typically sold through the same dealer network. One of the most successful is Lexus, the luxury brand of vehicle giant Toyota Motor Company. With the cross-engineering and efficiencies of scale in manufacturing facilities, high-end Toyota vehicles are also pretty luxurious. So what does Lexus bring to the party? Good question!
That question is why I’m always interested in the chance to drive a Lexus vehicle, and when it’s an SUV / sports car hybrid like the 2022 Lexus NX 450h F-Sport, it’s a great chance to drive one of the best-engineered vehicles in the industry. After a week of driving the NX 450h throughout Northern Colorado, I can confirm that it really is a remarkably fun and comfortable plug-in hybrid SUV. It does, however, have some weaknesses too…
First off, though, the vehicle has an arresting appearance with an enormous front grill. This model shows off the vivid Ultrasonic Blue Mica and the 20″ F-Sport wheels:
You can also see the interior in that photo, a bold and exciting black and burgundy premium leather two-tone. It’s a really comfortable vehicle with seats that have all sorts of lumbar and back adjustments to ensure comfort even as it has the soul of a sports car (hence the F-Sport designation). But what most stands out with the 450h is that it’s a plug-in hybrid from a company that’s been refining the idea of hybrid for longer than just about anyone else in the industry.
In a word, it’s a delight to drive. The 450h looks like an SUV but it drives like that’s just a shell over something lower, sleeker, and ready to hug the road as you take curves at a good clip. I’m also a fan of plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs, as they’re known, offering a great compromise technology for people who aren’t quite ready to fully embrace the world of EVs but still want something more flexible than a straight hybrid. EPA ratings for fuel efficiency puts the vehicle at gas + electric at a whopping 84mpg, and gas only at a respectable 36mpg. Keep in mind that once charged, the vehicle can go 38 miles on just electric, which proves to be plenty enough for most daily commutes. Since it’s a relatively small battery, it’s also easy to charge with a 110v plug overnight, no worries about rewiring the garage for a 240v or finding the closest charge point for a full recharge like you’d have with an EV.
Review continued at PlanetDave.com as “Car Review: 2022 Lexus NX 450h F-Sport“.