Toyota is releasing a full EV SUV for the 2023 model year. Named about as odd as the name of Elon Musks’ son, the Toyota bZ4X is already creating some buzz. Toyota’s ambition is to be “carbon neutral by 2050” and it feels this kind of move is the right direction.
There’s no doubt that Toyota’s design team popped some Red Bull and then went to town designing the very angular looks of the bZ4X’s exterior. There are contrasting body panels over the wheels and top rear that give it a swank two-tone look and overall, it looks the part for the demographic who care about EVs. It has a very high-end looking profile and easily goes toe-to-toe with anything from its competitors when it comes to design.
Toyota claims a range of 250 miles but like for all EVs, those in colder climates will get far less than that with any battery-powered vehicle. We also can’t verify this at this time – not until we spend some time driving one. Given Tesla’s somewhat spotty track record in the area of reliability, having a Toyota option available should help boost consumer confidence into getting an EV.
Even though front-wheel drive is standard, there is an available all-wheel-drive system as well, which is great news for those who drive, frequently, in inclimate weather. No estimate yet from Toyota of how the AWD version will impact its range.
One of the biggest complaints you’ll often hear about EV ownership is the usable life cycle of the batteries. Toyota is listening. To address this concern, the batteries are liquid-cooled which is said to help them last up to 10 years and still retain 90-percent of their original capacity.
Inside, there’s a multi-speaking entertainment system with high-quality audio output, a 12-inch touchscreen and all the latest driver aids you can think of. Everything from adaptive cruise control to sensors all around the vehicle, the bZ4X checks every box on consumers’ want-list when it comes to technology.
Toyota built the Bz4X on its e-TGNA platform which it co-developed with Subaru, giving it high-tensile steel for extra strength and rigidity. It’s the same underpinnings as you’ll find in the Solterra SUV.
There is class-leading legroom for all seating locations and there are plenty of charging ports located throughout the cabin. Additionally, the front two seats are heated and there is a radiant feet heating system for front passengers as well.
One of the more interesting bullet points about the bZ4X is that its A/C system actually uses a heat-pump system which is far more efficient than traditional, resistive-based heating/cooling systems.
Look for this vehicle to hit all 50 states in the spring of 2022 with an anticipated starting price of around $40,000.