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.