Few cars divided opinion at this year’s tests like the Lexus NX300h. Some loved it for its performance and stability. Others hated the engine noise when accelerating flat out and couldn’t get on with the fidgety ride.

The hybrid drivetrain worked brilliantly at times but also frustrated. Driven steadily the combination of electric and petrol power is smooth and can be eerily quiet, but when towing, the petrol engine often has to work hard, turning up the volume as well as the pace. And it does shift along at a respectable rate, pulling a caravan weighted to the 1500kg legal towing limit from 30-60mph in 13 seconds.

At motorway speeds the Lexus NX is stable. Only when the wind picked up did we notice any movement from the caravan. The Lexus also handled the lane-change test well, staying on course however dramatically the caravan slid around behind it.

Some hybrids we’ve tested in previous years struggled with the hill-start test, but the Lexus pulled confidently to the top of the 1-in-6 slope.

As a practical family tow car, the NX’s biggest problem is the tiny boot. There isn’t enough space for holiday luggage. The Lexus lost further marks for the absence of a trailer stability system and its very low maximum noseweight of just 60kg.

The NX makes most sense for company car drivers, who will pay modest tax bills because of the car’s impressive emissions. Whether you’re a business driver or a private owner, the NX is comprehensively equipped, reasonably priced and should prove very reliable.

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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