2023 Toyota bZ4X Revealed for U.S., Targeting 250 Miles of Range
Toyota is again offering an electric vehicle in the United States, with an electric crossover that’s similar in size and shape to its bestselling model here, the RAV4. We previously learned about some of the bZ4X’s specs from the global version revealed earlier this month. The funky-looking EV crossover will arrive in the States next year looking pretty similar, and it’s the first of the bZ, as in Beyond Zero, lineup that will eventually include six other models. View Photos Connor HoffmanCar and Driver
The electric crossover is built on Toyota and Subaru’s jointly developed e-TNGA electric-vehicle platform, in a similar way to how the two companies co-developed the GR 86 and BRZ sports cars. Toyota benefits from this partnership because its electric crossover also gets Subaru’s X-mode for its all-wheel-drive system that controls each wheel individually to provide the best traction as well as its Grip Control, which works as an off-road cruise control.
A front-wheel-drive bZ4X is available, too, and it boasts the most range, according to Toyota’s initial estimates. A roughly 64.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to a claimed 250 miles in the front-drive XLE model, which puts it close to the Volkswagen ID.4’s 260 miles of EPA-estimated range but short of the EPA’s ratings for popular EV crossovers such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E (up to 305 miles) and Tesla Model Y (up to 326 miles). All-wheel-drive models get a roughly 66.0-kWh pack. Their range estimates have not yet been announced, although we expect around 200 miles. Front-drive models have 201 horsepower while all-wheel-drive models add an electric motor on the rear axle that combines for a total of 215 horses.
The bZ4X weighs up to 4420 pounds in its all-wheel-drive configuration, 780 pounds heavier than a RAV4 Limited AWD, but it’s sized similarly to Toyota’s bestseller. Its wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer, and it sits 2.3 inches lower than the RAV4, although it’s hard to tell at first glance. It looks even more modern than the gas-powered crossover, and the best way to tell it apart from its Subaru twin is from its barren front grille, badging, and wheels.
Toyota says it pushed the digital gauge cluster up above the dash to improve the feeling of interior space and keep the driver’s eyes on the road. Speaking of interior space, it is ample, and this six-foot-seven writer was surprised at how comfortable it was to sit in the second row. The steering wheel feels small, and the view out, despite looking awkward in photos, is straightforward. A yoke-style wheel is available in other markets, and Toyota says it’s considering it for the U.S. further in its life cycle. And there’s no front trunk, like other EVs, just a large rear hatch.
Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia system, first debuted on the new Tundra full-size pickup, has a simple and intuitive design and displays on a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’ll be the first Toyota to improve itself through over-the-air updates, and the car can be started through a smartphone app.
The 2023 Toyota bZ4X will enter production in the middle of next year and should arrive at dealerships by the end of the summer, initially in XLE and Limited models with an expected starting price around $37,000.