If you’re a company car driver, the Lexus NX promises modest tax bills thanks to its low carbon dioxide emissions. However, for regular towing duties you can buy better.

The petrol-electric hybrid transmission is whisper-quiet if driven gently around town, but it’s far from at home when towing.

It’s not that the NX isn’t strong enough to pull a suitably matched caravan – there’s nothing wrong with a 30-60mph time of 12.1 seconds. But acceleration is accompanied by too much din from under the bonnet, and the engine isn’t as smooth of refined as it should be in a car costing well over £40,000.

Once up to speed the Lexus isn’t as stable as we’d like. We found the car moving around a little at 60mph in breezy weather, and those movements became more significant at speeds of closer to 70mph.

We weren’t impressed with the NX’s braking, either. There’s a wooden feel to the left pedal and the 12.7-metre stopping distance from 30mph is one of the worst in this year’s tests.

Another irritation was the way the car’s driver aids failed to adapt to towing. When we reversed the brakes kept jamming on to avoid a collision, when all that was behind the car was the caravan.

For a car of this size the boot is small – blame all the electrical gubbins necessary for a hybrid powertrain. And the noseweight limit of just 60kg is hopeless for a car of this size and weight.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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