2023 Toyota BZ4X First Driver Review: Electric Relaxation

It may seem a bit late for the Toyota electric vehicle party, but Automaker has been testing EVs since its first generation RAV4 EV in 1997 in its home state of Japan and California. Second generation in 2012. So, its first 50-level electric car – the new 2023 Toyota BZ4X – is a small electric SUV.

Toyota is mechanically and aesthetically similar Subaru Soltera, Badges and minor trim level and equipment differences between the two only. Very similar Toyota 86 And Subaru BRZ, a joint venture between two automakers that will roll two SUVs on the same assembly lines in Japan and China.

That scary name breaks down into three main parts. Indicates beyond zero (BZ) Toyota’s current electrification attempt. “4” indicates the size of the vehicle – about RAV4-size – X identifies this as an SUV. Automaker refuses to comment on future products, but if Toyota plans to use the same name conference ahead, it could be called an imaginary large electric SUV BZ6X, while a sedan could be the BZ4S or similar.

Separation design

Again, the BZ4X is similar to the RAV4. Pushing the wheels to the corners of the chassis with a roof less than 2 inches (65.0 inches), the BZ4X appears to be significantly longer than the RAV4. Surprisingly, the BZ4X’s riding height is within a quarter of an inch of its sibling, and it has 8.1 inches of ground clearance.

A vehicle that lives within those dimensions, a design that blends sharp angles with organic curves, a flat “hammer” front end with a large panel that should have a grille, and – the most controversial bit – large, contrasting black fenders. This is a strange bird. RAV4 Or NX of LexusEspecially when combined with a darker color like the heavy metal silver of my example, it emphasizes the contrast of the fenders.

Two electric power trains

The biggest difference between the 2023 BZ4X and its Pleiades-badged siblings is that Toyota is available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive flavors, while the Subaru can only keep up with the latter.

The front-drive configuration combines a 71.4 kWh battery pack with a 150-kilowatt electric motor on the front axle to produce 201 horsepower and 196 lb-ft of torque. Expect an estimated range of up to 252 miles on the BZ4X’s lighter XLE configuration or up to 242 miles with the added features of the Limited Spec. Drivers with heavier feet will find a decent 7.1 seconds with 0 to 60 miles.

With an 80-kW motor on each axle, the all-wheel-driven BZ4X has a total output of 214 hp and 248 lb.-ft. Twist. Zero-to-60 mph sprints are reduced to 6.5 seconds, but the limit is 228 miles for the XLE and 222 miles for the limited grades. Interestingly, this specification uses a different 72.8-kWh battery pack. Toyota chose a different supplier with a slightly different chemistry to this configuration, resulting in a difference of 1.4-kWh.

Of course, cross-shopping will be done with the BZ4X Kia EV6When fitted with its same-size “long-distance” battery pack, it travels up to 310 miles or 274 miles in its rear and all-wheel-drive configurations, respectively. ID4 of VW Will cost 280 miles and more Tesla Model Y. It has 318 miles in its long-distance configuration. In a world where the Range is king, Toyota is getting shorter.

Toyota’s EV performs well enough, but its range and charging speed lags behind rivals.

Antuwan Goodwin / Roadshow

Public and home charging

Both battery packs charge at different peak DC fast-charging speeds. The 71.4-kWh pack can reach up to 150 kW, while the speed of the 72.8-kWh pack is limited to 100 kWh. Anyway, owners look for approximately one hour to charge 20% to 80% faster at the right powerful station with CCS connection. Is parallel to it Mustang Mac-e And VW ID 4 but lags behind in 350-kW capacity Ionic5 And EV6, which will get the job done in 20 minutes.

Considering that most of the Level 2 charging stations will be charging, Toyota is doing well. The BZ4X includes a one-year rating EVgo General Charging – integrated with Toyota Apps – and the option to purchase a ChargePoint Home Flex Level 2 charger directly at the dealership to help owners begin charging at home. With one of these 240-volt AC plugs, the BZ4X can accept up to 6.6 kW, adding to its top speed of 25 miles per hour and – battery charging rates are non-linear – fully charged in about 11 hours. .

Convenient traveler

Twist the dial-type shift knob to D, punch the accelerator and push the BZ4X slightly above its specified specifications. Like most EVs, this is due to the instantaneous and linear application of torque instead of generating power to the crescent. Around the city, when moving away from traffic lights, passing or merging, the SUV feels more responsive and zippy than its paper numbers.

The ride of the crossover was smooth – significantly smoother than the competition from Kia and Ford – but not slippery or obscure. I feel well restrained from squatting and diving during launch and braking, however I noticed the body leaning in the corners. On both highways and parking speeds, the steering is predictable and easy to touch, but also touch-sensitive. In this class it is not the most fun ride, but it is the easiest and most comfortable ride.

The 8.1-inch ground clearance gives the BZ4X an advantage over most low-level power crossovers in this class on dirt roads or bad weather. Dirt, snow / mud and mountaineering control. I could not test the BZ4X off-road, but my co-worker was satisfied after a while. Smooth-road on the same Subaru Soltera.

The BZ4X also features a regenerative braking system with user-selectable boost mode, which is almost one-pedal driving mode, but not completely. Boost mode gives full recovery in the lift, slows down the SUV speed but does not stop completely. However, high-regene systems are not compatible with X-mode systems, and one must be disabled before using the other.

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Although the driver’s seat is uncomfortable at first, it is surprisingly ergonomic and comfortable.

Antuwan Goodwin / Roadshow

Cabin and Ergonomics

The BZ4X has almost an inch more headroom (38.6 inches) and legroom (42.1 inches) than the first-line RAV4. However, rear-seat passengers lose 37.1 and 35.3-inch head and two-inch, respectively, for the BZ4X’s steeper sloping roof – respectively. Behind the seats is a cargo capacity of 27.7 cubic feet (or 25.8 cubic feet with an upgraded JBL audio system speaker), which is 10 cubic feet less than the RAV4. (Toyota does not currently specify the fold-flat inventory size of the BZ4X.)

The driving situation feels uncomfortable at first, but it grows on you. The SUV’s 7-inch digital instrument cluster is mounted very forward on the dashboard, which allows the steering wheel to fit lower than normal for my driving position and to see measurements over the edge without having to go through it. However, after a few miles, I began to appreciate and like this more ergonomic angle, which significantly reduced the pressure on my wrists during long day driving and increased visibility forward. Meanwhile, the other rooms of the BZ4X look great with high quality materials and a clean, minimalist design.

Infotainment and security technology

The main infotainment display is introduced with the same 12.3-inch Toyota audio multimedia system “Hey Toyota” hot-word detection. New tundra, But if there is a chunky volume knob on the pickup, the BZ4X does with disappointingly small volume buttons. Often, this is a well-organized and responsive menu system. However, some parts of the interface may be too simplistic, making it easier to ignore certain features that are generally accessible.

Android Auto And Apple Carplay Fixed via a wireless connection or a single USB Type-A media port on the center console. (Additionally four USB Type-C charging ports can be found between the front and rear seat occupants.) Alexa and Google Assistant Smart Home and Digital Assistant integration are included as part of the Toyota Remote Connect Telematics service – 3 year trial added after subscription – Digital It also rolls in features like key, remote charging monitor and many more.

The BZ4X uses the same 12.3-inch infotainment as the new Toyota Tundra.

Antuwan Goodwin / Roadshow

Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 Driver Assistance Technology Package is standard equipment for all BZ4X models, providing early warning and braking assistance for detecting pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and guards. It also features standard LAN-centering steering assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams that work in stop-and-go traffic. Standard blind-spot surveillance technology now rolls into Safe Exit Assistance, which alerts passengers when they open the door to oncoming traffic.

Price and competition

The 2023 Toyota BZ4X starts at $ 43,215 for the base single-motor XLE, including $ 1,215, but before any federal or state EV tax breaks. Add $ 2,080 to dual motor all-wheel drive. The upgrade to Limited Grade replaces the standard rear camera for a 360-degree camera setup and includes several LED headlamps, a power lift gate, SofTex synthetic leather seats, eight-way power adjustment and heated and ventilated surfaces, as well as a heated steering wheel. Wheel starting at $ 47,915 with one motor or $ 49,995 with two.

The 2023 Toyota BZ4X is very good. I enjoyed its comfort-oriented ride and ergonomics and were satisfied with its moderate performance, excellent build quality and value. Unfortunately, this compact electric SUV glass is already packed in half a dozen models, including the Tesla Model Y, Kia’s EV6, Hyundai Ionic 5, Ford Mustang Mac-E and Volkswagen ID4. , The best technology or all three.

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