Hybrid power is put to the test in the Lexus NX300h
Rebecca Chaplin has been trying her best to increase the NX’s economy. Did she manage to? Let her explain
Hybrid power does suggest to most people that they’ll be saving the earth and their pocket at the same time.
The words ‘Toyota Prius’ are synonymous with eco-friendly, hybrid-powered living.
If you live with a hybrid though, particularly one like this with four-wheel drive and a hefty weight of more than 1700kg, you’ll soon realise this is not necessarily the case.
I’d been driving around for a month or so when I started to think something must be seriously wrong with my driving style. That’s because in the manual for the Lexus NX300h, it boasts an average of no less than 50mpg in all driving conditions but I was barely getting over 30.
As I didn’t need to do any long drives for the next week, I decided I would stick the NX in ‘eco’ mode and drive as carefully as I could. I live less than a mile from the office, so walking would be my usual form of transport in the morning. However, with this car able to stay in pure electric mode up to speeds of around 40mph, I shouldn’t need to use much more petrol than I usually do.
The great thing about plug-in hybrids is, as long as you keep them charged up at home, you could do most of your around town driving on the electric motors. However, in the NX you need your petrol motor to recharge the batteries and it’ll only drive for around two miles on pure electric power before they cut in.
The NX struggles to remain in electric mode when pulling away – although you would think this would be ideal – but it’s still responsive. There’s plenty of torque even at low speeds.
Even with my very best efforts, I couldn’t better 35mpg from the Lexus. However, with a large tank the Lexus NX will do around 400 miles before you need to fill up again.
With changes to Vehicle Emission Duty, taxing a new Lexus NX300h will increase from £115 to £160 for the first year, dropping to £150 from year two. However, at £38,890 for this top spec car, you’ll just dodge the extra surcharge for cars over £40,000!
Model: Lexus NX300h
Engine: 2.5-litre petrol hybrid
Power: 141bhp, 210Nm
Max speed: 112mph
0-60mph: 9.0 seconds
Mpg: 54.3 (combined)
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