The 2023 Toyota bZ4x is an all-new entrant in the all-electric compact SUV segment and is the first model with an all-electric powertrain from this Japanese automaker. Co-developed with Subaru expertise, the 2023 bZ4x is here to steal a piece of the pie from the all-electric rivals with its decent range and performance, plus all the qualities you’d associate with an SUV from Toyota.
Offered for a base MSRP of $46,700 for the top-spec Limited trim, the bZ4x Limited comes with a spacious cabin, all the bells and whistles in terms of interior and infotainment features, and a long list of standard driver assistance features. The spacious cabin and striking design language are other positives, not to mention Toyota’s legendary reliability. Competing with the Subaru Solterra, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Ford Mustang Mach E, here are 10 things you need to know before buying the 2023 Toyota bZ4x Limited.
ten The cabin is very spacious
The Limited trim comes with synthetic leather upholstery and the seats also benefit from heat, ventilation and power adjustment. The seats provide excellent overall support for front passengers, and headroom and legroom are superb. The ground clearance means it’s very easy to get into the car. There are also plenty of compartments and storage options under the armrests.
Rear passengers enjoy best-in-class legroom and more than adequate headroom. Three passengers could be comfortably seated in the back seat and the absence of a central tunnel is a plus. Trunk space is generous as it has about 27.7 cubic feet. Open the automatic tailgate and you encounter an almost square-shaped trunk with underfloor storage. The loading lip is not too high, making it easier to get cargo in and out.
9 Comes with all driver assistance technologies
Unlike some competitors in the all-electric segment, the 2023 Toyota bZ4x Limited does not lack any driver assistance features. Standard features include an automated emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation system.
Regular safety features like airbags, traction control, stability control, side beams, ABS with EBD and hill hold assist are present on board. Even though this SUV has yet to be tested by NHTSA and IIHS, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be one of the best in the segment in terms of safety, due to its solid construction and… a long list of features offered.
8 Range could have been better
The range is not among the best in the segment, like the Subaru Solterra. If you get the FWD variant, which has lower performance than the AWD variant, this crossover SUV manages 228 miles on a full charge. This FWD variant is also slightly lighter.
However, if you opt for the AWD variant, even though it comes with a larger 72.8kWh battery, the range drops to 222 miles. If you want the best range, the base XLE version is the one for you, as it offers a range of 252 miles on a full charge. However, it’s not as powerful and 0-60mph times are also higher. By comparison, the Mustang Mach E with AWD offers a range of 270 miles.
7 The exterior is beautiful
Like the Subaru Solterra, the 2023 Toyota bZ4x Limited comes with futuristic features, which helps it stand out from the crowd. The front is highlighted by the black accents, a reasonably large air dam and unique LED headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. The functional air vents and the painted upper part of the headlight are also different.
There are none of those sturdy elements that are present in the Solterra, especially the plastic covering, which felt a little tacky. Viewed from the sides, you can see that the bZ4x has a similar footprint to the RAV4. However, the design looks radical due to the multiple creases and character lines, and the handsome 20-inch wheels. Ground clearance is higher than rivals and the striking rear comes complete with the single slab LED taillight and black lower bumper.
6 The interior gets a futuristic design
The interior looks more or less identical to the Solterra and the futuristic design makes it very appealing. Slip into the bZ4x’s cabin and you’ll be greeted with a large infotainment system and a smaller digital gauge cluster in front of the driver. There’s also a heavy dose of piano black elements, which can be a pain to keep clean.
The forked steering wheel that comes to the Japanese market is not present in the American version of the bZ4x. Other than that, the low dashboard with a fabric-like texture, the absence of a glove box, and the beautiful door card design with a nice touch of leather and soft-touch material inclusions give it a very futuristic look.
5 Infotainment is excellent
The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system has all the necessary features and is one of the most intuitive systems available. We found the screen bright and vivid, and it’s also one of the easiest-to-use infotainment systems that comes in any SUV that costs less than $50,000. The large icons and menu layout sleek are also a godsend.
Features like wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM radio, voice recognition, navigation, over-the-air updates, a digital gauge cluster display and JBL audio system are on board. The audio experience is on par with the course, however, it’s far from audiophile quality. The only major complaints we have are with the touch-sensitive buttons on the side of the infotainment system and the slightly larger bezel area of the screen.
4 Not the most powerful
The Limited version of the Toyota bZ4x comes with the dual electric motor setup, producing 214 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a single-speed automatic transmission and an AWD transmission. With a curb weight of 4,464 pounds, this crossover SUV could do a 0-60 mph run in 6.5 seconds. If you get the FWD variant, the performance numbers boil down to 201 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque.
Mash the accelerator pedal and you’re not going to be thrilled with the intense acceleration you usually feel in other electric vehicles. Nevertheless, the performance will not be a decisive factor because it does a good job on both the cities and on the highways. There’s no flat point in acceleration and it can hold highway speeds without hesitation.
3 Regenerative braking
As it is an electric SUV, it has regenerative braking, which helps charge the battery. Regenerative braking can be activated via the button present in the center console, and pedal driving is possible. However, we found the system not to be as smooth as those of the Mustang Mach E and Korean EV models.
Taking your foot off the accelerator pedal results in a slight jolt that would be noticed by passengers. However, the braking performance offered by the 2023 Toyota bZ4x Limited proved to be excellent, with excellent initial bite and good progression. The brake pedal also provided excellent feedback.
2 Comfortable ride
Even with the Limited trim’s 20-inch wheels, we found the ride quality to be surprisingly comfortable. The suspension absorbs everything at slow speeds with ease, and the bZ4X’s eTNGA platform feels planted and secure throughout the trip. There are no suspension noises either.
When driving on the highways, the soft spring suspension system does not bog down the driving experience. The flat highway ride quality surprised us, similar to the Solterra, and the minimal body roll was a definite plus as well.
1 Superb level of refinement
The electric powertrain of the bZ4X Limited guarantees passengers a serene travel experience. Drive the car through cities and the absence of noise coupled with magnificent soundproofing means you are relaxed throughout the journey.
The 20-inch wheels wrapped in 235-section Bridgestone tires don’t produce much tire noise. By comparison, the stock Mustang Mach E tires were noisier than the bZ4x. The aerodynamic design also contributes to low wind noise.
Can the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX destroy the Toyota bZ4X?
About the Author