The 2022 Lexus RX450h has always been the go-to luxury SUV from Japan. It offered multiple powertrains and it is available with both two and three row seating. However, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is all-new for the model year and it is poised to take on the Lexus head-on.
Engine – In the Lexus RX, you have the option of a 3.5L V6 engine that can power the SUV on its own or with the aid of an electric motor in the form of a hybrid. This RX450h is the latter. The total system output is 308 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque (230 kW & 335 Nm). The non-hybrid V6 produces 295 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque (220 kW & 363 Nm). The hybrid powertrain in this Lexus RX450h doesn’t feel quite as punchy when you put your foot down as one would expect from a hybrid vehicle. Electric motors are able to provide all of their torque at an instant but this hybrid powertrain is more gradual in its power delivery. Switching the drive mode to Sport doesn’t really change the characteristics of this engine either. Throttle response is a bit sharper and it doesn’t run on electricity alone as often but you still don’t get that “kick to the backside” when you put your foot down. However, it never feels as though it’s lacking power.
By comparison, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 only has one engine option for this model year. It is also a 3.5L V6 engine that produces 295 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque (220 kW & 201 Nm). In the normal drive mode, this naturally aspirated V6 engine feels a bit more responsive than the hybrid powertrain of the Lexus. However, I have driven the Toyota Highlander V6 in the past (which shares the same engine with the non-hybrid Lexus RX) and both the Infiniti & Lexus/Toyota V6 engines feel remarkably similar. Quick but smooth acceleration is the order of their respective engines.
The 2022 Lexus RX450h is capable of towing up to 3,500 lbs and tips the scales at 2,150 kg (4,740 lbs). One of the big selling points of the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is that it can tow up to 6,000 lbs when properly equipped. It weighs in at 2,096 kg (4,620 lbs).
Fuel Economy – With the Infiniti QX60 not being a hybrid, it doesn’t get as good fuel economy numbers as the RX450h. It is rated for 11.9 L/100km (19.7 MPG) in a city and 9.5 L/100km (24.7 MPG) on a highway. However, those numbers are not far off from the non-hybrid version of the Lexus RX. In fact, the QX60 gets better city fuel economy but slightly worse highway fuel economy.
The Lexus RX450h is rated for 7.5 L/100km (31.4 MPG) in a city and 8.4 L/100km (28 MPG) on a highway. Yes, the RX450h gets better fuel economy in a city rather than on a highway. That’s because the hybrid system does not let the SUV run on electricity alone at higher speeds. Every time I drove the RX450h on a highway, I never saw the little EV icon light up telling me that it was driving on electricity. However in a city environment at slower speeds, the RX450h runs on electricity quite often.
Transmission – The big news with the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is that the engine is longer paired with a CVT automatic. It is now a new 9-speed automatic transmission. The new 9-speed is smooth to change between the gears but it’s not the fastest to react to driver inputs via the paddle shifters. Ideally, you should just leave it in “D” and let the transmission’s computer decide when to change gears depending on your throttle inputs.
The Lexus RX450h is paired with an eCVT automatic. Under normal driving conditions, it’s a CVT automatic through & through. It can replicate virtual gears via the paddle shifters but it’s not really fooling anyone.
Braking – The brakes in the QX60 are plenty strong to bring the almost 2.1 tonne SUV to a stop. The brake pedal is not too sensitive but it doesn’t have a long travel either. In the Lexus, the first little bit of brake application is used to recharge the battery. Press further on the brake pedal and the physical brakes take over. The good thing is that there is no discernable difference between regen braking and the physical brakes.
Handling – The 2022 Lexus RX450h received updated suspension for the 2020 model year to better cope with the added weight of the battery. It does help the SUV with body roll through corners but this is far from being a sports SUV. The Mazda CX-9 & Acura MDX are far more engaging to drive if that’s what you’re after. The Lexus RX450h has light steering for easy maneuverability when driving through a city core. That’s where this SUV excels and it is evident by the fuel economy numbers.
By comparison, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 feels a bit more athletic than the RX450h when the roads get twisty. Better yet, it’s a heck of a lot better than the previous generation of QX60. The last QX60 felt like a big boat on city streets. This new generation goes around corners without too much body lean. The steering is also more communicative and a little bit firmer than the steering in the RX450h.
Also, the Infiniti QX60 is only available with AWD here in Canada. Optional in the United States. The Lexus RX450h is also only available with AWD but it’s an eAWD system. That means that there is no physical drive shaft from the engine to the back wheels. The engine and one electric motor provides power to the front wheels while another electric motor provides power to the rear wheels.
Ride Comfort – Between these two luxury SUVs, it is the Lexus RX450h that provides a slightly more supple ride. The suspension takes the edge off sharp, quick bumps and potholes that you may drive over. The ride in the QX60 is by no means uncomfortable but compared to the RX450h, it is noticeably firmer. A few more of the shunts from hitting a pothole get translated into the cabin and into your bum.
But when it comes to seat comfort, it’s the Infiniti that has the edge over the Lexus. The RX’s seats don’t contour to your body as well as the “zero gravity” seats in the Infiniti.
Interior Space – This is where things are a bit different between these two luxury SUVs. Starting with the front row, both SUVs have an almost identical amount of legroom but the Infiniti has a little bit more headroom. So much so that I actually had to raise the seat a bit to get a better sightline over the dashboard.
In the second row, the Lexus RX450h has more legroom and headroom than the QX60. However, this particular Lexus RX is not the L version with a 3rd row. If we include the RX450h L into the mix, then it would be the Infiniti QX60 that would have more legroom in the 2nd row by quite a big margin. The QX60 has a maximum of 906 mm (35.6 “) of 2nd row legroom while the RX450h L has a maximum of 786 mm (30.9”).
Getting into the 3rd row of the QX60 is easy. There’s a button that springs the 2nd row seat forward and you can leave a child seat latched in the 2nd row. The 3rd row however was not designed with adults in mind. It does have a little bit more legroom and headroom than other 3-row SUVs like the Toyota Highlander but it is less than something like the Acura MDX. Compared to the 3rd row of the Lexus RX450h L, it is again, significantly more space. The QX60 has 711 mm (28″) of legroom while the RX450h L has 573 mm (22.5″). As well, the sloping roof of the Lexus really hampers headroom.
In the trunk, the two-row Lexus RX has 453 L (16 cu-ft) of space behind the 2nd row and 924 L (32.6 cu-ft) of space with the 2nd row folded. The Infiniti QX60 has 411 L (14.5 cu-ft) of space behind the 3rd row, 1,177 L (41.5 cu-ft) of space with the 2nd row folded, and 2,135 L (75.4 cu-ft) of space with the 2nd and 3rd rows folded. Again, the QX60 has significantly more space than the L version of the RX450h but interestingly, the RX450h L has quite a bit more cargo capacity than the regular version of the RX450h. 1,656 L (58.4 cu-ft) of total space vs 924 L (32.6 cu-ft) of total space for the standard RX450h.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – With the Lexus being a hybrid vehicle, it is a little bit quieter than the QX60 when it is running on electricity alone. As well, the engine is relatively quiet when it does run and the transition from electric to the gasoline engine is smooth.
At higher speeds, road noise from the tires are evident in both SUVs but neither is really quieter than the other. They’re similar however you don’t need to raise your voice to have a conversation with rear occupants.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Lexus RX450h starts at $60,250 CAD ($49,345 USD) with this demo vehicle being equipped to $74,300 CAD. The RX350 starts at $57,500 CAD ($46,645 USD) with the RX 450h L starting at $77,500 CAD ($52,735 USD).
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 starts at $54,995 CAD ($46,850 USD, FWD) with this Sensory trim level costing $65,745 CAD ($61,445 USD) as equipped.
Gadgets – Both luxury SUVs are very similarly equipped. They both have soft leather upholstery, panoramic sunroofs, power liftgates, head-up displays, navigation systems, heated & ventilated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, wireless phone charging pads, and so on.
But within the similarities, there are a few differences. The Infiniti comes equipped with massaging front seats on the top two trim levels. The Lexus does not have them. But the RX450h does have power reclining rear seats. The QX60’s are manually adjustable.
As for the infotainment systems, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 receives the latest iteration of the Nissan/Infiniti infotainment that is fairly straightforward to navigate around. If you’re familiar with Nissan or Infiniti infotainment systems of the past, then this one will feel similar. As for the Lexus infotainment, it is a little bit easier to use than previous Lexus infotainment systems but it isn’t as intuitive to use as the Infiniti infotainment system. The screen is a touchscreen but it can also be controlled by the touchpad on the center console. It can be frustrating at times to use the touchpad though. Thankfully, a new infotainment system is rolling out in the new Lexus NX. Hopefully it’ll find its way to the RX soon.
Interior Design – Starting with the Lexus RX450h, the interior hasn’t seen any significant changes since this generation’s introduction in 2016. By modern times, the RX450h’s interior has a lot of physical buttons, which I absolutely love, but to some, this may make the interior seem dated. However, the use of materials is very good with most of the surfaces covered in soft leather. Shorter individuals may find the infotainment touchscreen to be a bit of a reach but that touchpad is right at the base of the gear selector.
The interior of the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a huge improvement over the previous generation vehicle. Gone is the double touchscreen layout and in its place is a more modern looking single touchscreen and, unfortunately for me, capacitive touch climate controls. Personally, I’m not a fan of capacitive touch controls but at least these ones have haptic feedback so you know when you’ve selected an item or function. But those controls will also attract fingerprints and dust. The rest of the cabin is covered in leather just like the cabin of the RX450h and the design is uber-modern. Smooth flowing lines from the center console to the dashboard and door panels are pleasing to the eyes. Between the two SUVs, I personally like the interior of the Infiniti more than that of the Lexus.
Exterior Design – These two luxury SUVs couldn’t look any more different from the outside. The Lexus has the traditional hourglass grille and “L-shaped” daytime running lights and taillights. Some of the sharp lines in the bumpers and along the sides invoke a bit of a sporty look but this SUV is not very sporty to drive. However, the styling does still command presence among other SUVs on city streets.
However, for turning heads, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a masterclass of automotive design. The front fascia follow the design language of many other current Infiniti vehicles but it’s the back design that really catches the eyes. The only design feature that has me scratching my head are the chrome exhaust finishers. Which in fact, are not actually exhaust pipes. They’re just there to make it look like the QX60 has a quad exhaust pipe system.
Warranty – The 2022 Lexus RX450h has a 4 year / 60,000 km new vehicle, 6 year / 110,000 km powertrain, and an 8 year / 160,000 km hybrid component warranty. The 2022 Infiniti QX60 has the same powertrain warranty (no hybrid component warranty, obviously) but a slightly longer new vehicle warranty. It is also 4 years but the mileage is 100,000 km.
Conclusion – Though the 2022 Lexus RX450h is showing its age, it is still a solid choice for a luxury SUV that will be primarily used for daily commutes. The option for a hybrid powertrain and a 3rd row makes it very versatile for your family’s needs and it’s a Toyota product. So that means that it’ll be dependable and it should hold its value quite well.
The 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a huge improvement over the previous generation. It drives better, it feels more comfortable, and it is exceptionally stylish. However, with gas prices only going up, Nissan/Infiniti needs to develop a hybrid powertrain quickly. Or beat Lexus to a full EV option.
Thank you to Infiniti Canada for providing the QX60. www.Infiniti.ca
Thank you to Lexus Canada for providing the RX450h. www.Lexus.ca