Monday, August 8, 2022

Lexus NX Luggage Test: How much cargo space?

According to the specs, the new Lexus NX has 22.7 cubic-feet of cargo space behind its raised back seat. That is considerably less than the mechanically related Toyota RAV4 (37.5 cubic-feet) and Toyota Venza (28.8 cubic-feet). It’s also less than several of its compact luxury SUV competitors. However, the shape of its cargo area, a clever cargo cover and the added versatility of under-floor storage make it one of the best cargo areas in the segment in terms of usability. 

It’s also important to note that there are four versions available, all with their own powertrain: the NX 250 (shown here) has a naturally aspirated four-cylinder shared with the RAV4; the NX 350h with the same hybrid powertrain as the Venza and RAV4 Hybrid; the unique turbocharged NX 350; and the NX 450h plug-in hybrid that’s very similar to the RAV4 Prime. Despite these different powertrains, and the need to store the hybrids’ batteries somewhere, I am told by Lexus that their cargo areas are equal. That includes the sizable under-floor storage area you’ll see shortly. 

Here’s the cargo area. As you can see, it has a large cargo cover that’s fairly distinctive. Rather than a long, large cartridge with a cover that rolls out, or a solid rigid panel, this one features a mesh fabric supported by a metal frame that folds in half. This design would make it easier to store than either of the other designs (be it inside or outside the vehicle), but Lexus goes a step further on this front.

The under-floor storage area was thoughtfully designed specifically to accommodate this cargo cover. This is a rare feature in a compact SUV. It means you shouldn’t have to worry about getting stuck with the cargo cover when you need every square-centimeter of space available. 

There’s also plenty of storage space without that cover. In fact, the main bin is big enough to swallow the Luggage Test fancy bag. Also storing the cargo cover would’ve been iffy, but this is nevertheless impressive. The Acura RDX is the only other compact luxury SUV to offer such a space and it makes a difference. 

Now, onto the other bags. As in every luggage test I do, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

There, all the bags neatly fit with the cargo cover removed and the fancy bag riding in the basement. There’s obviously space left over. 

Enough space, in fact, that I could store an extra duffle bag and perhaps some grocery bags in the remaining spot. 

Below you’ll find the maximum arrangements of the Venza and RAV4.

As you can see with the Pack ‘N Play in the Venza (left), and the Coleman Cooler and blue duffle in the RAV4 (right), the NX’s Toyota cousins can hold more stuff. But for a compact luxury SUV, the NX is above average in terms of usable space regardless of what the numbers might say. It’s much easier to load and is more versatile than the Genesis GV70, Audi Q5 and compromised BMW X3 despite having less volume on paper. The Acura RDX, one of the NX’s major competitors, outdoes it on paper and in practice … but then it outdoes everything in the segment.

Latest news
Related news