Compared: 2022 Lexus NX vs. 2022 Lexus RX

Compact or midsize? Gas, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid? Room for five or seven? Between these two Lexus luxury crossovers, those boxes are checked.

2022 Lexus RX 450h in blue and 2022 Lexus NX 350 in Caviar BlackLexus | RX (top), NX

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Even within a single brand, there are seemingly endless choices on the market for luxury SUVs and crossovers. Two that may be worth considering are the 2022 Lexus NX and the 2022 Lexus RX.

Now entering its fifth generation, the midsize RX helped establish the Lexus brand in North America. The compact NX was introduced in 2014 and is now in its second-generation iteration.

2022 Lexus RX 450h models in silver and whiteLexus

Lexus NX Is Less Expensive Than the Popular Lexus RX

The 2022 Lexus NX and RX lineups offer no end of choice with front- or all-wheel drive (AWD), gas, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid power, and room for five or seven passengers.

The NX 250 is the entry model, starting at more than $39,000. Next is the NX 350 at around $43,000. There are also two hybrid models, the nearly $43,000 NX 350h and the plug-in NX 450h+ at a little over $57,000.

The larger RX starts at almost $47,000 for the base two-row RX 350. The RX 450h hybrid is exclusively AWD, starting at almost $50,000.

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport interior dashboardLexus

Though Smaller on the Outside, the Lexus NX Boasts More Cargo Capacity Than the RX

The compact NX is slightly smaller than the midsize RX. The NX has approximately 23 cubic-feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 47 cu-ft with the seats folded.

The two-row RX has a bit more headroom for both front-seat and rear-seat passengers, more legroom for both sets of occupants, and more shoulder room all around compared to the NX. It can only handle about 16 cu-ft with the rear seats in place, and 33 cu-ft with the seats folded. The long-wheelbase, three-row RX L goes from 6 to 23 to 59 cu-ft, depending on how many rows are in use. The hybrid RX 450h and 450hL models give up some cargo space to the battery pack.

The NX 250 comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 9.8-inch center touchscreen, a 10-speaker audio system, and power-adjustable heated front seats.

The base version of the RX 350 features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power-adjustable front seats (unheated), keyless entry with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport in Caviar BlackLexus

Hybrids Lead the Way on Fuel Economy for Both Models

No matter which wheels are being powered, the four-cylinder NX 250 making 203 horsepower gets an EPA-rated 26/33/28 mpg city/highway combined. The NX 350, with its 275-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, delivers 22/29/25 mpg with either FWD or AWD. Topping these two trims, the 350h hybrid gets 41/37/39 mpg estimate with 240 horsepower.

The base Lexus RX 350, with its 295-hp V6, is estimated to deliver 20/27/23 mpg. Opting for the extended L reduces that estimate to 19/26/22 mpg, while the L with AWD gets 18/25/21 mpg.

It's no surprise that the 308-hp 450h hybrid scores the best fuel economy in the RX range: 31/28/30 mpg for the two-row and 29/28/29 mpg for the three-row version. However, the most fuel-efficient in either Lexus lineup is the NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid with 304 horsepower, a score of 84 MPGe, an all-electric range of 37 miles, and 36 mpg using gas alone.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Mark Hacking
Mark Hacking is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years experience covering the automotive scene for some of the world's most popular publications. Mark holds an FIA International Race license and has his sights set on competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future. He was the first automotive journalist to race in the Ferrari Challenge series (in 2013) and the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series (in 2019).