2023 Toyota bZ4X Review | Can this RAV4-size electric SUV take on the Tesla Model Y?
Well, heres proof, Australias dominant new car sales player is determined to catch up. Its called the bz4x and weve come here to Toyotas Melbourne test ground to drive it lets give it a whirl. Music bz stands for Beyond zero, its Toyotas new Global sub brand thats devoted to battery electric vehicles, the bz4x5 door, five seat. Suv is the first model to emerge from bz and its coming to Australia in late 2023.. So far out, Toyotas, not talking pricing, but the bz4x wont be cheap. We think it could start around seventy thousand dollars, but thats a guesstimate. Only the better news is the bz4x is the first of three or potentially more Toyota EVS that will be launched in Australia by the end of 2026.. What were driving is a UK spec all wheel, drive bz4x. The Australian specification may be a little bit different by the time it launches here late in the year. However, the fundamentals transferable so youve got two e Motors one on each axle producing about 160 kilowatts and a battery pack with 71.4 kilowatt hours of capacity. All that adds up to about 460 kilometers of claimed range between recharges thats, about average for an EV SUV of this size. Less impressive is the 6.9 seconds naught to 100 kilometer. In our time, Toyota claims for the all wheel, drive the z4x theres, also a cheaper front, wheel, drive vz4x that has a longer range and slower acceleration, but theres no point delving too much into the figures, because Toyota is making it clear.
Our bz4x will be an updated model when it arrives the bz4x measures up at 4.7 meters long, which is roughly the same size as the popular RAV4, medium SUV, but Toyotas made the wheelbase of the bz4x longer. So I can fit the big battery pack between the axles. This is the top specification bz4x in the UK. So no surprise when you jump in it feels pretty plush theres plenty of leather theres, piano black theres, a big 12.3 inch touchscreen sitting up here on the dash, which is also trimmed in this quite unusual cloth. The bz4x is built in Japan, so that means fit and finish. Expectations are high its a bit off putting how far back the instrument panel is in relation to the steering wheel and weirdly theres no sign of a glove box. The big 12.3 inch screen is light years ahead of where Toyota infotainment systems have normally been rear. Seat room is generous, although you do sit a little knees up the sort of comfort features you expect to hear you get adjustable air con vents, USB outlets and theres. Some cup holders and storage in the fold down armrest as well, Music, two letters, the boot doesnt read that big, but have a look at it and it seems quite generous, especially under the floor, where theres plenty of storage, because well theres. No spare tire anyway lets hit the road and see what we find foreign. This is the briefest of brief.
First drives just three laps of the Toyota test track at Altona in Melbourne, which is a couple of straights, a couple of Wiggles and a 100 kilometer hour. Speed limit lets see what we can learn hit the throttle from standstill and the bz4x hooks up nicely in that EV way, but as speeds climb towards 100 kilometers an hour, the impetus does start to level out. Basically, the bz4x feels like its built for Comfort rather than speed. It rides pretty softly and theres plenty of body roll in the corners and being an EV. Of course, it gets along pretty nice and quietly, although there is some wind noise that fills in the Gap left by the lack of a petrol engine, its not easy to gauge ride quality, because this track is so smooth. So if we call this a taste test, then the bz4x certainly lives up to the traditional Toyota Credo of being pretty much vanilla, transport without Frills or that much excitement. But, to be honest, this first drive is less significant than the fact this car actually exists is in Australia and will soon go on sale. Toyota is such a dominant player in the Australian new car scene. The arrival of the bz4x means more people will become interested in zero emissions motoring and may well make the switch from Petrol to Electric.