This week I bring you the 2023 Toyota bZ4X - a Toyota unlike any other before it. It rides on Toyota's first dedicated electric vehicle platform, one shared with the Subaru Solterra. And it's one fast mover.
All-Electric 2023 Toyota bZ4X
We live in complicated times. So it's refreshing to see a uncomplicated lineup. The bZ4X is just offered in two grades, XLE and Limited, either in front-wheel or new all-wheel drive X Mode system. My test model is the range-topping Limited AWD.
The bZ4X is an attention-grabbing vehicle with style that immediately announces its electric vehicle status. Personally I see a lot of the new all-electric Lexus RX in its design. Its strong design statement is bolstered by chiseled, strong angles that give it an aggressive stance.
My test model's two-tone look -- "Heavy Metal with a black roof" -- fits its personality perfectly. Even the charging port lid gets the two-tone treatment.
The front end looks futuristic and aerodynamic. A unique hammerhead hood with a black-painted accent give the front-end a unique look.
The Limited features a unique color-keyed center bumper and a chrome accent on a thin lower grille along with chrome window trim. The Limited's 20-inch multi-spoke machine-finished alloy wheels with gray accents look super sharp.
The Limited is equipped with Multi-LED projector low- and high-beam headlights with automatic high beams. All trims get LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated power outside mirrors with Blind Spot Warning, a panoramic sunroof w/sunshade, and rain sensing wipers.
In back, a large black rear lower diffuser and optional spilt roof rear spoiler give it a sporty look.
The bZ4X Limited grade is equipped with dual motor system and a 72.8 kWh lithium ion battery. Total horsepower for the all-wheel drive model is 214hp - it drops to 201 with the front-wheel drive.
My model's 214 sure felt like more though thanks to all the torque which provided superb off the line acceleration, 248 pound-feet split between the front and rear wheels.
The bZ4X interior is roomy, tech-filled and comfortable to be in. All trims feature a soft-touch fabric dash, and soft-touch door panels along with glossy piano black elements.
The range-topping Limited trim is equipped with SofTex-trimmed seats. The driver's seat is 8-way power-adjustable with lumbar support. Both front seats are heated and ventilated. The Limited sports a heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel.
All trims share a 7-inch color digital display. It's positioned farther back on the dash than is typical, and for me it took a bit to get used to the distance.
All models also feature an absolutely fantastic 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota's team did a fantastic job with this all-new system. It even responds to "Hey Toyota". You will however need a Drive Connect subscription for some features. The navigation looks great!
In terms of audio, my model upgrades from the standard 6 speakers to an optional 9-speaker JBL system, which I highly recommend.
A new dial-style, fairly intuitive, shift knob greets you on the wide center glossy black console which also houses a see-through covered wireless charger and a host of other controls.
Both the XLE and Limited are equipped with a panoramic fixed glass roof with power sunshade.
The second row is very roomy in terms of leg room. But since it's stadium seating style, you do lose some headroom.
The seats have a 60/40 split. I was impressed with the amount of cargo room and the power liftgate operates at a nifty speed.
Standard lineup features include dual-zone climate, four USB-C ports split between the two rows, along with a USB-A media port and a 12-volt.
The bZ4X also has a feature called Room Mode that allows you to use it to power things while it's charging.
Ride and Drive
I have two words for you here: IMPRESSIVE ACCELERATION. No make that three: SUPER IMPRESSIVE ACCELERATION. Off the line this thing MOVES. I took several neighbors for a ride and from their reaction I'd say they agree.
The rie and handling are also terrific. The bZ4X is comfortable and easy to maneuver. Steering feel is just right. When I engaged X Mode AWD in pothole-filled city driving it impressively handled the situation.
The bZ4X rides surprisingly high, (it has 8.1 inches of ground clearance), great for those who like a high vantage point of the road. There was some road noise on the highway but nothing that's not typical.
Interestingly, Toyota chose not to offer true "one pedal driving" per se, but instead the automaker opted for a regenerative braking feature that when enabled does the same thing.
Range and Charging
The lineup offers a range of between 228 and 242 miles depending on the trim and whether it has all-wheel drive. My Limited AWD comes in at 222 miles.
The bZ4X is compatible with Level 1, Level 2 and DC fast charging. I used Level 1 (plugging into a home outlet.) It's not by any means fast but it got the job done and meet my needs. (I'd recommend buying a Level 2 charger for your house if you're an EV owner.)
For example to go from 52 to a full 222 miles, the charging display calculated a time of 41 hours and 10 minutes using my home 110-volt.
The lineup comes with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. It includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Road Sign Assist.
Additionally, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also standard as is Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking and Safe Exit Assist.
The Limited's rear camera comes with grid lines and a 360 degree camera view.
What You'll Pay
My test model is loaded with extra goodies: the JBL sound system, ($580), the Limited Weather Package (heated rear seats and a front radiant foot and leg heater) ($350) , a special color ($425), a split rear spoiler ($200), two-tone paint ($500) , carpet floor mat/cargo mat ($269) and a mudguard ($149.)
Total MSRP as equipped is roughly $52,000 with destination.
The bZ4X is a solid entry to the EV segment that offers fantastic acceleration, ride comfort, multimedia technology and driver assistance features.
- What I liked most: Its impressive acceleration, exterior looks, multimedia system and JBL audio.
- What I would change: I'm not a huge fan of the digital gauge cluster positioning.
- MSRP: Base price: $48,780. As equipped: $52,468.
- Fuel Economy: 102 combined MPGe.
- Odometer reading when tested: 546 miles.
- Weight: 4,464 lbs.
- Spare Tire: Tire repair kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 184.6" long/ 73.2” wide/56” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: N/A.
- Official Color: Heavy Metal/Black.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
2023 bZ4X in a few words: A solid addition to the EV segment with fantastic acceleration and a terrific price point.
Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles comprehensive; 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain; 8-year/100,000 miles battery; 5-year unlimited miles corrosion.
- Final Assembly Location: Aichi, Japan.
- Manufacturer's Website: Toyota