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Lexus NX Plug-In Crossover Tops Tesla Model Y’s Safety Score In 3 Ways

The 2022 Lexus NX 450H+ AWD earns the highest score awarded in the U.S. for safety.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) has completed its full battery of safety testing on the newest electrified crossover from Lexus, the NX 450H+ AWD plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. The new NX has earned the highest possible rating of Top Safety Pick Plus from IIHS. This score is the same as that earned by the similarly-sized and very popular Tesla Model Y crossover. There were some differences to note between the results of the two vehicles’ test results.

Lexus NX 450H+ image courtesy of Toyota

The NX earned an overall score of Good on every dynamic crash test, including the difficult small frontal overlap test. That was the test that the Model S from Tesla was never able to score Good on, despite multiple tests.

Related Story: Tesla Model S At Bottom of IIHS Test Results – Again

In addition to the passive safety systems tested, the NX earned the highest possible score on the active safety systems tested. The NX earned a score of Superior on the Front Crash Prevention - Vehicle and Front Crash Prevention - Pedestrian tests conducted. Every Lexus NX model comes equipped with advanced active safety systems standard.

One area in which the Lexus NX surpassed the score earned by Tesla’s Model Y will be appreciated by parents. The child seat anchor design in the Lexus earned a score of Good Plus. The Tesla Model Y earned a two-step lower score of Acceptable.

A second area in which the NX has a safety edge over the Tesla Model Y is with regard to headlights. In IIHS testing, all Lexus NX 450H+ trims earned a score of Good. However, the Tesla Model Y’s Long Range trim could only manage an Acceptable rating.

In the roof crush test, a test which is often pointed to by safety experts as a way to gauge a vehicle’s structural strength, the Lexus NX withstood a weight of 19,274 pounds and carried 5 times its weight. The Tesla managed to withstand a bit less. 19,188 pounds and a ratio of 4.4 times its own weight. The Tesla Model Y is heavier than the Lexus NX in part because it is burdened with much heavier batteries.

To see the full results of the Lexus NX 450H+ crash testing done by IIHS click this link. For a comparison to the Tesla Model Y, this link is where you should start.

Lexus NX 450H+ AWD Fast Facts
Approximate Price Range Including Destination Charges = $58K to $63K
Eligible for Federal Ev Tax Incentives
Total Range = 550 Miles
EPA Combined MPGe rating = 84
EV Mode Range = 36 Miles
EPA Smog Rating - Perfect 10/10
Annual Energy Cost EPA Estimate = $1,200
Seating = 5 Passengers
Infotainment - Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Max Cargo Volume 46.9 cubic feet
Total hp = 302

Lexus NX 450H+ images courtesy of IIHS and Toyota.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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