New BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 hybrids vs Lexus NX: verdict
Running on a diet of petrol and electricity, these large SUVs all put efficiency first. Time to see which offers the best all-round recipe…
Why, you might ask, does the X3, with its sharp driving dynamics, impressive refinement and class-leading infotainment system, finish in a distant last place? Well, it’s a very good car, but it’s not a particularly good plug-in hybrid. Not only has boot space been badly compromised by the placement of the battery, but it also can’t go far enough on electricity to qualify for attractive BIK rates, and it isn’t particularly frugal once the battery is flat.
The latter problem also afflicts the XC60, but it has the longest real-world electric range of the trio. It’s also effortlessly fast, it has a beautifully plush interior and it’s packed with kit.
The NX remains the best all-round package, though. Not only does it massively undercut its rivals on costs, but it’s also the most efficient, it has the plushest ride and it’s the least compromised by the need to fit in those two hearts. Throw in the promise of exceptional reliability and it has very few real weaknesses.
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