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I really like the NX but before buying one I need to know how it works on snow. Also if you use in 4x4 mode for a while e.g. on a long snowy road going uphill, what happens if the batteries run out? Does that mean you can’t be in 4x4 anymore?

we live in the mountains...

 

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HV Battery CAN'T run out, because they are recharged by thermal engine.

4x4 mode actually is AWD, meaning that you don't have to select a "mode" but ,provided you have a AWD NX and not the only FW version, the system automatically activate the rear electric motor when necessary.

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1 hour ago, Chris elliott said:

I really like the NX but before buying one I need to know how it works on snow. Also if you use in 4x4 mode for a while e.g. on a long snowy road going uphill, what happens if the batteries run out? Does that mean you can’t be in 4x4 anymore?

we live in the mountains...

 

Chris,

In the mountains of where? Your height above sea-level ?

Look at Youtube

Where is your nearest Lexus Dealer  and how far from you?

What are you driving currently?

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Well the NX is fundamentally a FWD car, which isn't really an issue just a thing to consider. First of all, it would be good to clarify what you mean by "mountain roads" e.g. it is like French Alps where you basically have good asphalt and it just get covered with slush snow and may freeze over overnight (although they usually clean them rather well) or is it proper wild mountain road.

If it is first, then I am sure NX is fine. The questions is only the tyres then, preferably you have winter tyres or at least all-season and snow-chains depending on what is required in your country.

If it is second, then - no. Sorry NX is not off-roader and AWD system is not for off-road, it is only good for slippery but "good road". If you loose grip on one of wheel going on the asphalt covered with slush it could more than handle it. But if you planning for extended climb on dirty track then it is not car for you.

And finally, yes as somebody mentioned it is not like your Battery is going to go flat and car turns FWD. However, it is not "full-time" AWD system which you can climb mountain with like on say Subaru, it only engages at the time when slip is detected to correct the course a little bit.

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Thanks. Actually we live in the Pyrenees and yes the roads do get cleaned. We presently have an old nissan xtrail and with snow tyres it will take anything thrown at it weather wise. The NX will obviously have snow tyres from November till April and we will carry chains in the car. But we live at the top of a 150m steep lane and it would be a pain to have to put chains on just to get down to the main road! The NX does not have a snow button but the RX does. Different system?

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Not really, snow mode doesn't do much on Lexus, just makes accelerator less sensitive and may shift earlier, keep higher gear to reduce the slip (e.g. it starts in second on automatic, so may pick lower rate on CVT).

Neither, NX not RX has any sort of hill descent mode, which would be very useful in your case  - CVT as well means you can't really do proper engine braking (or at least to the amount where you can slow-yourself going downhill), so going downhill and braking might get a little bit sketchy to be honest. Going uphill probably not as much of an issue - especially if you can do a little bit of run-up then AWD system can keep you more or less straight.

Overall, it sounds to me like road you planning to drive on aren't too bad, but at the same time NX will be nothing like X-trail. You will need to babysit it more, think about road ahead, probably do "run-ups" sometimes and the inclines which you can doing in first attempt with X-trail may take few tries. But it should not be as bad as you simply could not reach certain part, it is still SUV, still has some AWD and with decent tyres it could do it. It just may not be on first attempt.

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@Zotto - that is actually good video to show overall that it is not completely impotent, but at the same time not exactly capable off-roader.

Actually, it represent the car quite well. You can see the guy get's stuck in few places, but then with little bit of run-up can still do the incline in second attempt. 

Other good representation is on how AWD works. As I said NX is "full-time" FWD car and AWD only engages temporarily, which is quite clear in the video. I assume they have switched the traction control off here and that is exactly would I would expect NX to do - if TRC is ON it would inch little bit and stop, when you switch it OFF - it will continuously spin front wheels only and you would get only occasional input from rear (which is enough to get you moving).

TRC works fine actually for like winter motorway driving and makes it really hard to loose control even if you try. But if you stuck or you really trying to climb in NX you kind of need to keep TRC-OFF as on really really slippery road it just wont move at all.

This is probably main difference between "all time" AWD and system in NX. On full AWD if you turn the traction off car will continuously spin all wheels, on NX it will only spin front wheels.

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9 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

CVT as well means you can't really do proper engine braking

 You can use manual and select the (virtual) gear you need. Meanwhile, light continuous braking recharge HV Battery.

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Yes you can select virtual gear, but not to the level where you can engage engine braking. As well yes - you can try "light braking", I guess what you mean is pushing the pedal ~1/5th of the way before actual brakes engage and only regen works. However, this extremely finicky on hybrids and you need practice to know exactly when the actual brakes will engage.

This to be honest reminds me other important point - brakes on Lexus hybrids are little bit unpredictable for exactly the same reason - regen. I got used to it fairly quickly, but on the first day it was little bit stressful - at first you press the brake and car doesn't really brake almost at all (regen isn't strong on 300h), then you panic press it further and suddenly it just brakes at full power. Embarrassed myself in traffic few time.

You can get used to them, but in short at first only regen will work not the actual brakes, only after pushing maybe 2/5th of the way the actual brakes will engage. And you really need to get used to that to feel approximately when brakes will engage. This is not really an issue on the dry roads, but my be extra level of complication on slippery mountain descent.

In short, what I am trying to say brakes on NX will not be very progressive. You can learn to take advantage of only regen braking by braking very lightly if you know where exactly the point is. I would not want to depend on that when trying to negotiate slippery downhill road to be honest.

 

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10 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

However, this extremely finicky on hybrids and you need practice to know exactly when the actual brakes will engage.

Not at all, you easily see on the instruments , till you are in "charge" zone without you reaching lower point braking is only regenerative.

In last hybrid models you can't  distinguish where brake pads engage; what you write about progressiveness is a problem of (very) old hybrids.

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50 minutes ago, Zotto said:

Not at all, you easily see on the instruments , till you are in "charge" zone without you reaching lower point braking is only regenerative.

In last hybrid models you can't  distinguish where brake pads engage; what you write about progressiveness is a problem of (very) old hybrids.

very old... like 2020 CT? Although admittedly 2020 UX brakes felt very natural and I could not distinguish where it is in regen or proper braking - in short brakes were very progressive.

The last NX I drove was 2017, so not sure maybe newer ones are better, but it was similar to any 300h (like IS) where you have initial very mild slow down and you can feel a little step when actual brake pads engage. Admittedly, by far the worst car I have driven in this regard was CT - I assume small disks, hence when it starts braking it has to do it with quite a lot of initial force. For 300h I probably overstate the problem, brakes are decent enough, however trying to use only the regen would still be finicky. 

Just putting myself in OP shoes - I am not sure I would like to be looking at instruments when negotiating down a steep and slippery mountain road. Certainly, not great in comparison with other SUVs which have downhill "descent control" (DAC). It seems like new RAV4 hybrid has lost DAC as well, but I am sure it was a feature on 2018 model.

I am not trying to talk OP out of getting NX as I am sure it is great, well built, comfortable and luxurious car... for a city SUV. If I would be going to ski once a month I would not worry too much, it is good enough for occasional mountain road... (heck I enjoyed my IS250 RWD a lot in alps, although french police didn't take same view and send me back few times). However, if I would have to live there all the time NX probably would not be my first choice.

Chris - how about trying the car yourself? If Lexus dealership is not too far maybe you can test drive it? Or even get 24h test drive? Here we could only speculate, because it is highly dependant on exact road, your skills etc. You know I tend to think of myself as good driver 😁, but perhaps somebody who drives in the mountain everyday (I certainly cannot claim that) you would feel no discomfort conquering the peaks in NX.

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I agree, better trying the car to make own idea and understand if you feel comfy; hybrids with eCVT are slight different from usual cars, some people love them while some other find it annoying. 

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Thanks for all your comments. I did realize that the NX was probably not the best car for our area (1000m up in the mountain!) but I do like the idea of an hybrid and the reliability and comfort of Lexus. 

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Not sure if it is an option in Spain/France, but there might be NX200t available. That has a proper "full-time" AWD system which can send up-to 50% of power to rear wheels. And auto gearbox can be manually limited to 1st gear and provide additional engine braking on downhills.

Obviously, if you interested in Lexus because of hybrid system this will be moot point - RC200t is 2L 4cylinder turbo-petrol. However, if you generally considering the looks and the build quality it may be an option + it will be more capable off-roared (not by much, but maybe just enough). 

Now I need to be very clear - I do not recommend this car, mostly because of the engine which has terrible fuel consumption and I feel it is under-powered. It is under-powered in my RC200t, so in NX (larger and heavier car) I assume it could be even worse in both power and fuel efficiency. But money is yours so you can decide what fits you.

Besides, mine is mated with 8-speed gearbox which has very very short gears and it continuously grinds them for no real purpose . Just generally poor combination of large, heavy car, with under-powered engine and poorly adjusted and ill fitting gearbox.

Unlike RC, NX200t has 6-speed auto and perhaps with longer gears it is better fit for the engine and does not feel always lost... I personally have not driven specifically NX200t so don't know. But again, just to let you know there is such option.

 

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A decent set of winter tyres is the solution here. Or a set of Michelin cross-climates which are the only all year round tyre to meet the winter tyres performance standard. One of the TV car programmes, can’t remember which one, drove two identical SUVs up an indoor ski slope. The only difference was that one was 2WD but with winter tyres all round and the other was 4WD with standard tyres. Think it was a Ford Kuga. The 2WD version got much further up the slope than the 4WD version. That said, I’ve found both NX cars I’ve had to be good in snow and very slippery conditions. Both with standard tyres. I plan to get some cross-climates at replacement time though.

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cross-climates are good tyres... for mild british weather and slush, but they have their limits. Not the tyres to climb steep and slippery mountain road, completely useless on ice (on ice they are exactly the same as any summer tyre). 

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On the 2019 NX 4x4 there are many situations when the 4 wheel drive is engaged over & above slippery conditions.

When I did my research there was loads of American/Canadian reports that praised the NX in Winter Conditions so it is better than a Chelsea tractor IMHO.

Tel 

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I ran three powerful and high torque RWD saloons on winter tyres every winter from November to March. Pirelli Sottozeros. I couldn’t believe the difference in performance in all types of winter weather. In cold wet weather it was night and day difference between them and the ‘summer’ high performance tyres the cars normally ran on. All 20” tyres and very low profile and wide. The Winter tyres fitted on the same rims and the dealership charged me £25 every time to swap the tyres. £50 a year then and this included storage of the tyres not in use. If I lived in the mountains I’d run winter tyres whatever car I owned. Cross-climates could I think be a good middle ground option if not wanting to go to the trouble of having two sets of tyres and possibly wheels. I aim to find out by having these tyres fitted all round at next replacement. Up a mountain though, definitely winter tyres.

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Given the recent weather there must be some NX owners on the forum with experience of their cars in snow. It would be interesting to hear their experiences and know what tyres they are on etc.

I had an NX back in 2017 to 2018 and drove it every day during the snowy weather we had in the middle of December 2017. My car was on the Yokohama OE tyres. It surprised me how good it was and I could feel the all wheel drive when pulling away. I daresay an NX on decent tyres would be ok in very poor weather. Most likely not as good as a JLR product with similar tyres but it seemed fine for me. Haven’t had chance to drive my current NX in snow yet.

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8 minutes ago, paulrnx said:

Given the recent weather there must be some NX owners on the forum with experience of their cars in snow. It would be interesting to hear their experiences and know what tyres they are on etc.

I had an NX back in 2017 to 2018 and drove it every day during the snowy weather we had in the middle of December 2017. My car was on the Yokohama OE tyres. It surprised me how good it was and I could feel the all wheel drive when pulling away. I daresay an NX on decent tyres would be ok in very poor weather. Most likely not as good as a JLR product with similar tyres but it seemed fine for me. Haven’t had chance to drive my current NX in snow yet.

Be surprised Paul if there are any who live live over 3000ft up a mountain. In the Pyrenees last night a temperature exceeding -30 was recorded according to Aljazeera.😊

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41 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

Be surprised Paul if there are any who live live over 3000ft up a mountain. In the Pyrenees last night a temperature exceeding -30 was recorded according to Aljazeera.😊

😀 To be fair, I don’t think the OP was asking if anyone used their NX in those conditions. He was asking what they’re like in the snow though.

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41 minutes ago, paulrnx said:

what they’re like in the snow though.

.... in the mountains. 

I mean fair enough the title just says snow, but when reading first post I straight away wanted to clarify what OP means by "mountains".

I agree completely that NX can handle snow with ease, provided the road is good otherwise. I would not say the same about potentially harsh mountain conditions. Just google Pyrenees and pictures like that pops-up:

How to plan a road trip to Catalunya if you've already been to Barcelona  and Costa Brava | Metro News

Surely, this is not a place for NX to be, but on contrary, depending on where OP lives it could look like this:

Winter Landscape Of Mountain Winding Road In Pyrenees Stock Photo -  Download Image Now - iStock

At which point I would say ... NX would be more than enough.

So it really just depends where exactly in between those two conditions OP is planning to drive.

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4 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

.... in the mountains. 

I mean fair enough the title just says snow, but when reading first post I straight away wanted to clarify what OP means by "mountains".

I agree completely that NX can handle snow with ease, provided the road is good otherwise. I would not say the same about potentially harsh mountain conditions. Just google Pyrenees and pictures like that pops-up:

How to plan a road trip to Catalunya if you've already been to Barcelona  and Costa Brava | Metro News

Surely, this is not a place for NX to be, but on contrary, depending on where OP lives it could look like this:

Winter Landscape Of Mountain Winding Road In Pyrenees Stock Photo -  Download Image Now - iStock

At which point I would say ... NX would be more than enough.

So it really just depends where exactly in between those two conditions OP is planning to drive.

I have driven thru and round the Pyrenees for the last 15 years en-route to Spain. Hence my questions to Chris--which he ignored.

Spain is currently in the grip of very bad weather. An NX is inappropriate.

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