Lexus RX: Which Should You Buy, 2021 or 2022?

lexus-rx350-2022-0053-dynamic-exterior-rear-angle-red 2022 Lexus RX 350 | Manufacturer image

Most significant changes: The 2022 Lexus RX SUV carries over with new paint colors and a standalone option of foglamps for all trim levels. Also, Lexus again will offer RX Black Line Special Edition versions with distinct exterior and interior appearance details — but with more availability. There will be nearly 3,000 built versus the 1,000 for model-year 2021 — and for the first time, the longer three-row RX 350L will be available in a Black Line version.

Pricing: For 2022, the base gas-powered RX 350 two-row SUV with front-wheel drive starts at $46,395, up $150 including a $50 bump in the required destination fee to $1,075. The three-row gasoline RX 350L with FWD starts at $49,225, up $150. All-wheel drive for either adds $1,400 (a $50 increase). The base hybrid RX 450h with standard AWD starts at $49,095, and the RX 450hL AWD hybrid starts at $52,485, both $150 increases.

On sale: Now

Which Should You Buy, 2021 or 2022? The price increases for 2022 are modest but so are the changes, so unless you have your heart set on a Black Line Special Edition model, look for a deal on a 2021.

The Lexus RX luxury mid-size SUV takes a breather for 2022 after an update for 2020 with big multimedia tech improvements; additional standard safety tech and convenience features were added for 2021. The RX is nearly unchanged for 2022, except for three new paint colors and a standalone foglamp option for all trim levels.

Related: 2022 Lexus NX Brings Smart Looks, Smart Tech

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2022 Lexus RX 350 Base
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2022 Lexus RX 350 Base
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Also unchanged are the qualities that have made it the premium brand’s best-selling vehicle. It has a classy interior with quality materials and controls, a ride that’s pillow-soft and quiet, and a well-earned reputation for reliability that goes back to its 1998 arrival in the U.S. The RX continues to be offered in two-row versions with five seats and in 4.4-inch longer L models, with a small third row and two more seats.  

Gas or Hybrid Powertrain

The standard powertrain for the gasoline RX 350 and 350L is a refined 295-horsepower V-6 that provides plenty of power mated to an eight-speed automatic with front- or all-wheel drive. The RX 450h and 450hL hybrid models combine the V-6 with three electric motor-generators and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, a continuously variable automatic and standard AWD. The hybrid has a small boost in combined power output to 308 hp and a big boost in gas mileage to a combined EPA rating of 30 or 29 mpg (the L version). The gasoline models range from 21 to 23 mpg combined.

Sportier Black Line and F Sport

Despite the RX leaning toward serene rather than raucous, the regular RX and L models can be had in slightly edgier variations. The F Sport trim level adds sportier looks, interior trim and suspension tuning, and offers a Handling Package starring a variable adaptive suspension.’s experience with the F Sport is that it is only mildly sportier than the rest of the line, and that the Handling Package costs more (nominally $1,050, but also requiring $1,350 to $1,850 in additional options) than its limited added performance justifies.

RX Black Line Special Editions are back in a new form and more will be built, though not so many that the appeal of exclusivity will be lost. Formerly based on the F Sport, the blacked-out 2022 Black Line models are based on the RX Premium Package, and they are all about the looks and interior details. That’s not a bad thing since they are arguably the best-looking RX models. For 2021, just 1,000 were built, split between gas and hybrid RX two-row versions. For 2022, there will be 2,995 available in North America, including 2,100 gasoline and 400 hybrid RX two-rows. And for the first time, there also will be three-row RXL Black Line editions — 389 gas and 106 hybrids.

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Robust Standard Safety Tech

All RX models come with a strong roster of standard safety and driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and lane-centering steering down to a stop. Also on the list are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams and a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. Rear automatic braking and a parking assist system are options.

2022 Pricing

All prices include $1,075 destination (up $50 for 2022).

  • RX 350: FWD $46,395 (up $150), AWD $47,795 (up $200)
  • RX 350 F Sport $49,875 (up $200), AWD $51,275 (up $200)
  • RX 350 Black Line: $50,525, AWD $51,925
  • RX 450h AWD: $49,095 (up $150) 
  • RX 450h F Sport AWD: $52,575 (up $250)
  • RX 450h Black Line AWD: $53,500
  • RX 350L: FWD $49,225 (up $150), AWD $50,625 (up $200)
  • RX 350L Black Line: FWD $53,880, AWD $55,005
  • RX 450hL AWD: $52,485 (up $150)
  • RX 450hL AWD Black Line: $56,865 

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