2022 Lexus NX Infotainment: Mark Levinson + Touchscreen = Wonderful

2022 Lexus NX Mark Levinson

The Lexus NX has been a solid choice in the compact luxury crossover markeplace since its debut in 2015. With a quiet cabin and sublime materials, it’s provided a refined ownership experience in just about every way. Where it has lacked is infotainment. Lexus is looking to change that with the all-new 2022 NX.

The new NX ditches the old Inform interface and its clunky touchpad control methods. In its place is a beautiful 14-inch touchscreen running an entirely new system; Lexus calls it Lexus Interface. We apprecaite the simplicity in naming. We also appreciate how simply the system works. The screen is slightly canted toward the driver and is close enough to reach without leaning far forward. Thankfully, with all of these advancments, Lexus maintained the volume knob. Halelujia.

How Does it Work?

It’s a lot better than before, that’s for sure. Both the standard 9.8-inch screen and optional 14 feature the same operating system. (The new system is also featured in the hot, new 2022 Toyota Tundra.) We didn’t get a chance to test the smaller display, but the large panel was a pleasure. A static menu lives on the left side of the screen for map, audio, vehicle information, and settings. The bottom row is dedicated to climate controls, although there are still physical knobs for driver and passenger temperature. All virtual buttons are large and easy to touch. Menus are intentionally shallow—most actions require fewer than four taps. If we have to gripe, it would be to say there isn’t enough contrast between button outlines and streets on the maps. Everything is either very bright or very dark.

No More Discs

While Lexus models have been known to cling to ancient tech (the SC convertible was the last car in the US market to provide a tape cassette player), the NX finally ditches the CD player. In its place is built-in Apple Music and Amazon Music streaming, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, on top of the typical Bluetooth, AM/FM/SiriusXM, and USB inputs. You can have two phones pared at once, should you want to hand DJ duties to your passenger without forfeiting your BT communications.

How Does it Sound?

Lexus is a consistent favorite here at Daily Motor for audio quality. That being said, we don’t often get to test base Lexus Premium sound systems; most press cars are kitted out with Mark Levinson. But we did get to test both the base 10-speaker sound system and the upgraded 17-speaker Mark Levinson radios in the 2022 NX. We were impressed with both.

Featuring five speakers in the front row, four in the rear, and one cargo-mounted subwoofer, the 10-speaker system is a great choice for casual listeners. For a luxury vehicle starting around $40k, this radio setup will be plenty satisfying for non-audiophiles. We gave it a B.

The upgraded Mark Levinson makes liberal use of two-in-one unity speakers. By Lexus’s count, there are 12 speakers in the front row, 4 in the rear, and a cargo-mounted subwoofer. Strangely, Lexus removed the lower door woofers in the rear doors. The upgraded system is left with only high end sounds in the rear, so if you like to focus fader for the back row, you’ll be disappointed with the sound. With the fader in the middle, as most people will have, this Mark Levinson audio system sounds excellent. It lacks the top-notch wow factor of something like the GX, LX, or Volvo B&W systems, but for a compact luxury crossove, we were more than satisfited. A tier, for sure.

Our one suggestion to Lexus is to expand the audio adjustments. Most luxury systems come with five- or nine-band equilizer adjustments while the 2022 NX sticks with simple treble, midragne, and bass sliders. Even if the system sounds best at flat EQ, buyers in this market are impressed by more customization.

See it in Action

Want to take a look and listen? Check out our videos on both the 10-speaker premium audio system and the 17-speaker Mark Levinson systems.

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