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2023 Toyota bZ4X Review: In an unconventional, familiar way

Sabel Courtney

For a company that is almost synonymous with efficiency equivalent to a hybrid Toyota We have a surprisingly light portfolio of vehicles with electrical plugs.Again, that may be exactly the reason. Toyota I haven’t often danced with lithium-ion batteries in the dim moonlight. For decades, they have convinced people that what they really need is the ease and simplicity of a mild hybrid system, and to further improve the mpgeke of the car. m From each g..

And to be honest, they make sense. For the majority of the average American car buyer, hybrids (both plug-ins and traditional plug-less) have been the best choice for many years, with efficiency and efficiency in ways not possible with pure internal combustion engines or battery power alone. Combines convenience. Match.

But in 2022, that trend is finally starting to change.With a brand like Tesla Countries that prove the value of EVs (for both customers and shareholders) and urge us to abolish new petrol cars not only in our lives, but even in the lives of dogs. Toyota There is no choice but to give the world, including the United States, a chance to choose a car that can only be operated electronically.Where bZ4X Come in.

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What makes the Toyota bZ4X so special?

As mentioned earlier, it is Toyota’s first true electric vehicle for mass consumption.favorite Toyota GR86 — And perhaps the only way it’s like a sports car equipped with gas-driven, rear-wheel drive, manual gearbox — it was co-developed with Subaru that sells almost the same car as Soltera..

The design is outward and outward, with a rugged rear hatch that looks more suitable for sedans than SUVs, sides that exaggerate wheel openings with black paint, and a front that keeps little secret about the lack of grille needs. I am. It seemed almost strange, at least to me, to a traditional conservative car maker like Toyota … driving in the same colorway (white body with black fender flare). Until you get a glimpse of the new RAV4. In vacuum, it looks a bit strange, albeit a traditional roofline, much like the bZ4x.

That said, the name is strange enough to make up for everything else. According to Toyota: bZ It stands for “Beyond Zero” and is a cute phrase that describes the future of a zero-emission vehicle company. the Four It represents its size and is the same as the RAV4.And that X Abbreviation for SUV. But you’ll come across it all as an alphanumerical salad, and you might wonder if the product planner fell asleep on the keyboard. Toyota sales reps are confident that they will soon be taking advantage of their lunch break to exchange stories about customer pronunciation failures. (“Bizzy-forks”? “Buzz-Forex”? “Bee-Zeforks”?)

How do you like to drive the bZ4X?

After all, it’s unobtrusive — this was probably a mission brief from the beginning. Anyone who wants to jump to Ludicrous Speed ​​on this EV will be more disappointed than Han Solo’s attempt to jump to Hyper Speed ​​with Darth Vader on his tail. The bZ4x produces only 201 horsepower and 196 lb-ft in its base two-wheel drive format, and 214hp and 248 lb-ft when all-wheel drive is selected.

However, torque favors the driver’s instant appearance and makes Toyota feel more powerful at city speeds. However, when you get on the freeway, it feels like a 4,400-pound vehicle with only the power of an economy car.

Handling and braking, on the other hand, aren’t particularly worth going home.They are certainly accepted in that category, with lower batteries giving the bZ4X a slight edge on gas-powered crossover turns where the higher-mounted nose-heavy engine is off center, but the bZ4X isn’t. go Porsche Macan On a narrow country road. This is an EV made for most Americans’ way of life and driving, not those who seek the glory of performance.

It might make sense if lightening the power brought great benefits in terms of range — but here the bZ4X is also a bit flatter. Many, if not most, new EVs here in 2022 are set to offer a range of 250-300 miles in the most efficient configurations, but Toyota’s maximum claims are the most. The efficient version of the two-wheel drive vehicle is only 252 miles. Drive XLE. The 2WD Limited trim delivers the alleged 242 mile range. AWDXLE offers the claimed 228 miles. AWD Limited is just 222.

My test car showed a range in the low 200s when unloaded at home with about 90% battery charge. Sure, my car was a prototype version, so it’s possible that the battery software isn’t complete. Toyota, Toyota, may play very conservatively in the display range to prevent people from getting stuck. The side of the road. Still, given the novelty of the car, it was a bit disappointing to see such a low range. Especially at the end of spring, it is close to the ideal temperature for EV batteries.

What is the internal Toyota bZ4X?

It’s quirky — but again, in a way that many Toyota drivers seem to be familiar with. The instrument panel is in the pod above the rest of the dashboard.The handle looks like something from the vehicle from Blade Runner.. Neither would seem so strange to anyone who has ever owned one. Prius..

Sure, it’s big enough for a family of four, but as long as you don’t carry too much luggage. The backseats are decent for adults, but the Cargo Bay is only reasonably usable, at least for SUVs. As shown below, my two Yeti coolers, each about 30 liters, occupied a significant portion of the cargo space. A family of four will find it difficult to bring more than the weekend’s worth of luggage.

What does this Toyota compete with?

this is Subaru Sol Terra Twin It is certain to open a courtroom to many potential buyers. After all, it offers a very similar look and almost all the same advantages, at a fraction of the cost for an equivalent all-wheel drive model. (The bZ4X option, which offers a cheaper front-wheel drive variation, is one of the few features that separates the two.) VW ID.4, Hyundai Ionic 5, Kia EV6 When Ford Mustang Mach-E There is no doubt that it will also attract many buyers who simply want a high riding 2 box of electricity.

But unless buyers are enthusiastic about EVs, some of the more compelling options may be at Toyota dealers. The bZ4x is eligible for a $ 7,500 non-refundable federal tax credit, reducing the base price of $ 43,215 to $ 35,715. Still, it’s more than $ 6,000 more expensive than its gas-powered equivalent, the front-wheel-drive RAV4 XLE. It’s also $ 1,700 more than the tax-deducted RAV4 Prime PHEV, with enough power to grin on the face when it’s laid on the floor, with a 40-mile electrical range and long-distance travel. There is also a variety of gasoline power. .. (Also, if you don’t buy it right away, you’ll miss the tax credit. Toyota is set to trip the threshold of 200,000 EVs and PHEVs sold that block taps from uncle thumbs to buyers.. )

The bZ4X is a solid crossover and checks all the boxes for what most people need. But at this price, with this amount of range and power, without killer apps and fun features (gear tunnels, supercruise, humorous modes, wild design), it’s hard to make a truly compelling case. .. For that.

Base price: $ 43,215

Power train: Front / front and rear electric motors; 1-speed transmission; front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive

horsepower: 201/214

torque: 196/248

Claimed range: 252 to 222 miles

seat: Five

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