Lexus RZ 2023 Review: Wow, The Yoke Really Works!
I was given free reign of it here at this private test track for a couple of hours, with Corners Straits, braking tests, a slalom and even a couple of Expansion, Joints and bumps. So in this video Im going to tell you whether the Lexus RZ is a good electric SUV and importantly, whether or not it feels like a Lexus, because the RZ shares its platform with the Toyota bz4x, which has already come out in some markets. Although not here in Australia, Im also going to give you my best guess about what this car will cost Ill, let you know how far youll be able to drive it on a single charge and what the interior is like. And yes, this Sonic copper, rz450e does have the Yoke and Ill tell you exactly what thats like to use, but before we get started hit subscribe and the notification Bell lets start with the elephant in the room. The Lexus RZ has a yoke just like a Tesla Model S plaid, except that this one is hopefully finished a little bit better and has more longevity to it. Im going to tell you what its like to drive with the Yoke in a couple of minutes, but first of all lets actually just talk about what this thing is, because its very different to an ordinary steering wheel. Firstly, it only turns that far, which makes it really interesting to use on the move and gives this car great agility at low speed.
Youve also got little indicator and wiper stalks coming off it paddles for altering your regen braking, and then these touch sensitive pads that you can see the function of through the head up display and even headlight and wiper switches, its like an F1 steering wheel kind of, But you know I dont hate it as much as I thought I would in fact I quite like it and Ill explain why in just a minute, but this around the edge is synthetic leather and thats, because the RZ is the first Lexus ever to get a Vegan interior no leather will be available on this car, which I think is a big step for Lexus, because its quite a well its, not a traditionalist brand. It is kind of progressive, but you know I think, a lot of the buying demographic of Lexus likes a leather interior. You wont be able to get one. This car is representative of a high spec RZ, so its got 20 inch wheels outside its got the Yoke and its got this ultra suede seat material with active cooling and heating. It feels quite premium in maybe not quite to the level of lexuss classic semi, anol and leather, but its still pretty nice. What about the tech? Okay, weve got a 14 inch touchscreen over here. Wireless Apple, carplay and Android, auto weve, got Mark Levinson, audio and then a digital instrument cluster, which you can see above the Yoke that all works really well.
As expected for Lexus weve now got a dial shifter, which is the first for this brand weve still got a volume. Knob still got temperature knobs, so still some knobbery, which is good for getting what you need done very quickly, but check this out. Weve got a roof here which is electrochromatic at the Press of a button lets light in or not, but Lexus Australia will also sell the car with clip on sun shades. So if you want that too well, youre going to get it with the car material quality feels good, but this vehicle is a hand built left hand drive car from Europe, which is why Im sitting over here, but even being hand built. It still feels really well made, so the proper assembly line cars will probably be excellent as for odds and end storage cup holders. Here wireless charging weve got a big dual openable area between the seats and okay size, but not massive door bins. The RZ shares the same 2850 millimeter wheelbase as the RX, but you kind of feel a little bit more space here in the back, or at least I think, Im remembering more space compared to my Rx video Ive got the drivers seat set up for me. Im six foot tall Headroom is good, even with this kind of panoramic roof setup, legrooms, amazing, but tow room is constricted, were sitting on a big battery here. Etnja the chassis under this car has a skateboard battery.
As you can see, my legs are pretty high up. So Ive got to splay them in order to be comfortable, Which is less than ideal. Weve got air vents, seat, heaters, USBC and even a household PowerPoint down here for charging, which is awesome, lots of quality materials, matte pockets and a flip down armrest, all in ultra suede, very Lux. Moving around now to the back of the RZ, its clearly similar in design to the incoming Lexus RX that I drove a few months ago. But the RZ has a bunch of unique cues from the closed off 3D spindle wheel at the front to this Coupe SUV profile at the back and even a ducktail spoiler, which is kind of cool. And we again get a look at the Sonic. Copper color, which is in a two tone with black Arrangement on this particular car, but the two tone paints will actually be optional: theyre not going to be forced on anyone. So if this isnt your taste youre not going to be pushed into getting it now, weve also got the spelled out. Lexus word Mark around the back theyre doing that on pretty much all their cars now and weve also got badging down here for your rz450e and direct four and Im going to explain what direct4 does when I take this car for a drive in a moment. But for now lets open the power tailgate one beep, and then it goes up and Lexus is saying this is going to be over 500 liters vda.
It looks pretty big to me. The cargo blind is nice and light, and that gets out of your way underneath boot floor. Youve got cable storage, no spare wheel in this car; 60 40 folding rear seats, but lots of space here and controls to close the boot or close it and lock the vehicle. And that means its time for us to get out of this wind into the car and take the RZ for a drive. So this is it first drive in the RZ, as you can see, pulling away. Youve got to make a couple of low speed Maneuvers here the yolk, oh, my God. It actually makes life really easy, not sponsored by Lexus, not sponsored by Tesla, its just weird and interesting, and quite good to use so Ive been going around this test track here. For the last couple of hours, its a good mix Loop, some high speed, some low speed, some sharp Corners, some Junctions – and you know I havent – been like crossed up or like weirded out by the Yoke, and I know thats a concern to some people. They think that theyre not going to have control of the car in emergency situations, but you know what lets pull lets pull into this Salem right here and well put that theory to rest pretty quickly. Okay, so Im going to go through a really tight, slalium right now because having to change direction, real quick as you can see, no issues with the Yoke so now at least Im going to put that issue to bed, because it seems fine.
What about the rest of the car lots to talk about so the rz450e sits on the Toyota, Lexus e t, NGA, electric vehicle platform and its shared for now with the bz4x, which is the Toyota midsize electric SUV. But I can confidently say that the RZ feels like the new RX to drive, so evidently work has been done to really tune the different variables of the platform to make. This thing feel like Alexis, and I know that kind of sounds like marketing speak, but Ive driven a lot of new lexuses in the last 18 months, and the RZ fits right in with the character of the new NX, the new RX es ux. All that sort of stuff it feels like a front, biased, mid size, Lexus and thats a good thing, because these cars are actually pretty good to drive now. What do I mean by front biased? Well, the rz450e is one powertrain of the RZ. There might be more later, but the car is going to launch around the world and here in Australia as an rz450e, which is dual motor, so its all wheel drive, but the front motor is considerably more powerful in the system. It makes 150 kilowatts of power, whereas the rear motor makes 80 kilowatts of power, and the torque will probably be split in about the same proportion. So while the RZ can be completely rear, wheel drive if the e axles, which operate independently of one another, detect that theres no grip at the front, it can be a hundred percent rear wheel drive, but only with 80 kilowatts of power, thats the maximum youre ever Going to get from the rear of the rz450e, which is not a lot, but the total system output operating with all Drive is 230 kilowatts, which is a good amount, and that leads me to why.
I think the RZ will cost, maybe 130 Grand in Australia. Its got sort of similar the power and performance to the RX 500h, the top spec RX, which will launch in Australia soon and that car is going to cost 126 000, so thats a Turbo, Hybrid RX. This is fully electric. The appointments feel you know as nice. As that car minus the leather, so thats, why I reckon maybe 130, I hope to be surprised, because that would be quite expensive compared to like a BMW, ix3 so well see where the chips fall. Now what about the other fundamentals? So this car has a 71 kilowatt hour usable battery, which is not that big by industry Norms, anymore Lexus says the range is predicted to be 450 kilometers on the Japan wltc cycle. Now we dont really use wltc at chasing cars. Lexus UK is talking about 400 kilometers of range wltp, which is a standard that we do tend to use here. I did a little consumption Loop today, though, so I drove the car at 60 Ks an hour for about 25 minutes, and I got 19 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers, not the best in this segment, although it will be enough for most people, DC charging is capable At up to 150 kilowatts, so again, thats, okay, but a Hyundai ionic 5 will do 240 kilowatts in the real world, so its middling, you know Toyota and Lexus. They tend to be a bit conservative with new technology.
I think thats, what were seeing here, but putting the figures to one side. The driving dynamics of the RZ are actually really pleasing. Ive spoken about how the Yoke makes life easy, but the steering itself is actually really good, not a huge amount of feel because its steer by wire so its actually dialing out Road fuel which not everyone will love. But it should mean you, dont get pothole knocks through the wheel, but the actual handling of the car. The Turning of the car, is really good. Theres, some body roll. I dont mind that its a little bit of driver engagement, I think, but weve got frequency. Selective dampers they seem to contain the car. Well, it weighs about about 2100 kilos, which isnt too bad for an Eva of this size, and the ride feels even theres a few Expansion Joints on this track. So we can kind of test a little bit of bumpiness, but not a huge amount, but I think I think this car is going to be rewarding to drive on the road, because the fundamentals feel good. It also feels quiet and it doesnt pitch around, because the system called direct4 and that two e axles they cleverly use acceleration and regen on each motor to prevent the car from pitching forward or backward under acceleration and braking, and that just feels natural. It doesnt actually feel uncanny. It feels canny normal good, so theres that I have seen the stability control light blinking a little bit from time to time under throttle theres.
Quite a lot of power here, weve got 20 inch wheels. Dunlop SP Sport Max Tires, which are staggered sporty 255 wide at the back 235 at the front. Zero to 100 should be about six seconds, maybe a bit under that, so its not a slow car. There will be EVS that are quicker like the model wide performance. When that comes out here in Australia, but the rz450e feels quick enough for me a nice amount of pace it handles well. The cabins finished nicely so yeah its all stacking up to be classic Lexus of the 2020s, which is good. I think the main question will be how much energy does it use in the real world and how much range, therefore, does it get because its feeling, like its kind of on the low side, but well, have to do some proper, real world testing to find out? But first impressions are really quite positive, so those are my very first impressions of driving the new Lexus RZ, which is going to be released here in Australia in the middle of 2023 and at other points in various other world markets. Now this is a test track. So theres not too many bumps. So of course, Ive got to reserve all my judgment about the suspension. But what I can say is the motors in this car are very smooth, its very refined and quiet, and the Yoke steering wheel is tuned much better than I expected.
I actually quite like using it. If Im honest, you can, let me know your feedback on that down below in the comments as what the car will cost. I reckon its going to be pretty deep into six figure territory given how expensive the new RX is, which is kind of like the hybrid and combustion sibling to the RZ. Now you can read more about the RZ over on the Chasing Cars website, Ill, put a link down below the video Keen to hear your feedback. We try and get back to as many comments as we can subscribe.