Lexus RZ 450e review – NEW electric SUV thinks it's a Tesla! | What Car?
But before we get started just remember, if you want a great deal on your next new car, just head over to whatcar.com its completely free and you could save yourself a lot of money Music. Now you never guess from what Im wearing and that Bleak freezing fog in the background over there, but we are actually on the French Riviera. Alexis was doubtless hoping for blue skies, its actually three degrees and believe it or not. It might actually snow in a minute. So before that happens, lets have a quick look around the outside. Now Lexus has acknowledged that some customers and some potential customers havent been overly keen on the huge grills that featured on the previous generation NX and RX. So things have been toned down quite a bit here and obviously this is an electric car, so it doesnt need a grill at all. Its still very obviously, a Lexus youve got this spindle shaped nose here, but its far more subtle, particularly if you go for a single paint. Color like this, if you go for the bi tone version its a bit more in your face and youre leading like that or you wont, but at least you do have the choice while were on the subject of colors. This is called ether blue metallic, its been inspired by Blue Skies, apparently very appropriate for today, and there are also some Sonic Colors, including Sonic copper. They have highly compressed metal Flakes with pigment to give a deeper, more lustrous finish, and if you come around to the side here, youll see some 18 inch Alloys now Lexus says that up to 80 of buyers in the UK will go for 20 inch wheels.
They come as standard on the higher trim levels and sure they look a bit better, but the 20 inch wheels arent good news for range. So if you go for 18 inch wheels, then the official wrtp range is 273 miles and that drops to 245 miles. If you go for the bigger Wheels, even that range isnt great – to be honest, so the BMW, ix3 thats a rival to this and the Genesis gv70 electrified – can do a few more miles on a charge and the slightly smaller Tesla Model. Why can go much much further and theres? A simple reason for that? This has a 64 kilowatt hour, usable capacity battery and thats, no bigger than the battery that you get in, say a Kia Niro e veer car thats much much smaller than this, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in other ways, because this battery Is what Lexus describes as long life, and that means it should have 9 20 of its original capacity after 10 years, although Lexus only guarantees 70 capacity, thats still better than most other manufacturers, though, which guarantee 70 capacity for around eight years. Better news when it comes to charging, though, because, unlike lexuss first electric car, the ux300e, this has a CCS charging port. That is the European Standard and it means you can plug in as some of the latest charging locations across the country. The RZ can pull up to 150 kilowatts thats, not bad, and it means that you can get a 10 to 80 charge theoretically in ideal conditions in around half an hour.
But some Rivals can do quite a bit better, so the gv70 electrified that can pull almost 240 kilowatts for a 10 to 80 charge in less than 20 minutes. If youre plugging in at home, using a regular seven kilowatt wall box, expect to wait around 10 hours for zero to 100 charge now the LZ is quite a big car, actually, probably bigger than it looks its 4.8 meters long. So it sits between the NX and the RX on size, and that means its quite practical. So if you come around to the boot here, all versions get a powered, tailgate standard and have loads of luggage space inside so theres. No lip at the entrance here. Very easy to load and its very broad towards the back of the car. It doesnt narrow too much as you get towards the rear seats, either and theres, also loads of underfloor storage. So thats really really impressive and theres more good news when it comes to rear seat space, so getting into the back doesnt involve putting a handle. You just press a little button there and the door opens and when you get inside, you will find absolutely loads of space Im. Just over six foot. The seat in front is set up for my driving position and look loads of knee in there foot space isnt too bad either seat is, as far down as it will go in the front and still plenty of room to move around youve got a virtually flat Floor here, so fitting three people side by side should be fairly easy, see and also the seat backs can be reclined, although there are only two stages to be honest, theres, not a huge amount of variation there, but otherwise, very very impressive, and if youre not wearing A bubble hat then theres plenty of Headroom as well, and when you want to get out its another button press you just tap this one down here and the door opens and it wont open if it senses theres a cyclist or a pedestrian or another car coming Alongside of you now, Lexus says that the driving position in the RZ has been inspired by the way that a rider would intuitively control a horse using very small movements of the reins so thats.
Why everything has been positioned where its easy to see using small movements of the eyes and touch using small movements of the hands? So youve got this cockpit style Arrangement where everything V towards you? The start button easy to see and reach, and the digital driver display for my driving position at least is very easy to see. I dont have to move the steering wheel into position that it isnt ideally comfortable. The entertainment display as well that is angled to towards the driver and its basically the same screen that you get in the Lexus NX and the RX its much much better than some of lexuss infotainment systems over the years pretty easy to use. We would prefer a secondary rotary controller like the one you get in a BMW, ix3 or Genesis gv70. But if youre going to have a touch screen, you should at least make it easy to use with nice, big icons and the RZ has that another really cool thing are these aircon controls. So, in a lot of modern cars, we moan about having to use a touch screen just to adjust the interior temperature. You do have to use the touchscreen to control some aspects of the air conditioning, but you can adjust the interior temperature using these really cool dials down here when it comes to storage. There is quite a bit: youve got a couple of cup holders here. Well, positioned again, there is some extra storage under the front armrest here, another tray just below the touchscreen for your phone or keys or whatever, and some quite small door bins down here, but theres also another little space here for some coins or whatever anything you dont Get is a glove box interior quality generally very impressive as well.
So youve got lots of soft touch material up here on the dashboard. A nice finish on the steering wheel as well, not shiny at all, feels very classy and a nice finish on the inside of the doors here as well. If you go for the range topping takumi, then the seats are made of something called ultra suede, and that is a mix of biodegradable and recycled Plastics. But if you go for cheaper versions including this, then you get faux leather as standard another, really cool thing. I want to talk to you about is the heating now heating, an electric cars interior, uses up a lot of power and in the winter, particularly it means it can have a big impact on efficiency and rain. So Lexus has come up with a really clever solution. There are some infrared heaters down here that are supposed to make. You feel, like youve got a warm blanket over your legs and combined with the heated seats. It says it will use 70 watts to keep the driver warm on a long journey. If you want to keep both the driver and the front passenger worn, then that will take up around 170 watts and if you compare that to the 5000 Watts or 5 kilowatts that it takes. If you fire up the climate control and warm the entire interior, then you can see thats a pretty big difference and that will have an impact on range and efficiency for sure.
So far, so good then, but lets find out what its like to drive foreign. So before we get started, what Im going to do is Im going to reset the trip computer so that we can get an idea of how efficient this car is and how many miles it can theoretically achieve in wheel while driving, at least in quite cold conditions, That weve got today now all versions of the RZ have two electric motors, so the four wheel drive the one on the rear. Axle has 107 brake horsepower and the one that driving the front wheels has 201 BHP, so that is 308 brake horsepower. Its a lot of power, so one surprisingly, this is a pretty quick car. It can do not 62 in 5.3 seconds, thats quite a bit quicker than a BMW ix3, for example, although not as crazy, quick as a Tesla Model y or a gv70. But really this is more than quick enough than any buyer is going to expect and to be honest, although it is very fast, its not a sporty car at all. If you start to drive this hard, youll find it pretty composed. But there is quite a lot of body lean and you can feel it running out of grip on faster Corners, so youre, better off at driving at five six, seven tenths and just enjoying the very good ride. Comfort and quiet cruising manners that this car has the control weights are really impressive as well, so the brake pedal in some electric cars can be quite grabby.
Just makes it hard to slow down smoothly, whereas in this its very predictable and its the same story with the steering really its, not particularly quick, but gives you a reasonable sense of connection with the front wheel, its easy to place the car. This is the car, with a normal steering wheel, of course, well be driving the one with a yoke a bit later on, so well see what thats like, but otherwise very very composed easy to drive quite confidence inspiring just not that sporty. So, if youre more interested in Comfort refinement, this will really appeal. If you want to go fast and you want something thats going to go around corners very very quickly, then theyre all better electric cars out there, whereas weve done a few miles now and the trip computer is saying we are averaging 20 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers. So that works out to about 3.1 miles per kilowatt hour, not bad. It works out to a range of around about 200 miles on charge. It is, as I said earlier, quite cold today and its quite hilly as well, so you should get further than that and its important to point out that we have been running the climate control normally if we use the radiant heaters that would cut the consumption. Quite a bit, so it should get further on the charge, and if you really want to maximize distances between charges, then you can switch on the range mode here.
And what that does. Is that turns off the air conditioning completely, and it also reduces the power output and the top speed as well down to 100 kilometers an hour which around 62 miles an hour that should help you get quite a lot further between charges and will improve efficiency as Well, of course, you will have to put up with quite a cold cabin on a day like today, right so weve driven the version of the RZ that you can buy right now. First, deliveries of that are expected in May of this year, but we have been given the chance to drive a model that isnt coming to Europe until at least 2025, and rather than a proper steering wheel. It has one of these, so this butterfly shaped thing here looks similar to a yoke and its not actually connected to the front wheels at all directly. At least what this does is when I turn it activate the servo on the front axle, and that in turn turns the front wheels all very clever in theory, if a little bit scary, but lets find out what its like, okay first impressions. Well, its a little bit weird. To be honest, the steering is incredibly quick, so a couple of degrees either side of Center and you make a quite a big turn, so that takes a little bit getting used to. If you get in the car at first, you could easily steer off the road or into another car or something, but on the plus side.
That does make this car incredibly maneuverable its only 150 degrees from Center to full, right, lock and then from Center to full left log, so theres no Crossing arms required of feeding the wheel through your hands to get around tight Corners. You just feel like a Formula. One driver you just make one simple: move: keep your hands on the wheel and youll get around the corner very easily. Indeed, the ratio is variable, though so, when youre going quicker as we are now, it calms down a bit so youre not making violent Direction changes when you apply the same degree of log, so that means its more stable and although it takes a few minutes to Get used to after a while it feels quite natural, and you can steer the car along the road. Quite happily, the only thing is Im not entirely sure of the benefit sure its a little bit more maneuverable at low speeds, but is that worth whatever premium? Lexus is going to charge for this when it comes to the UK. Another slightly annoying thing about this version is the indicator stalk, so, rather than a conventional indicator that you get on the car we drove earlier. You get this tiny little thing down here and its the one touch: variety that BMW and various other manufacturers used to use in their cars. So what happens? Is you press it down and then it returns to Center? So if it doesnt cancel itself automatically when youre going around a corner, then youve got to do that yourself and then you end up indicating the other way and you kind of have to just press it very slightly to get it to cancel itself.
So Im not again sure of the benefits of that, but I must point out this isnt. The final signed off version of this car theres a lot of work still to be done before Europeans sign off. That wont happen until at least 2025. So we must Reserve final judgment until weve driven the final production car in the UK. Another really cool thing about this car is that because its, what will be a takumi version in the UK, it gets this glass roofer standard, and if I press this button up here, it goes from transparent to opaque almost immediately so on a sunny day, I can Effectively just block out that and keep the interior a bit cooler rather than having to wind across a blind or something like that prices for the Oz head start at 62, 600, so its slightly cheaper than the BMW, ix3 and Genesis electrified gv70. However, if you want those energy efficient, radiant, heaters, 20 inch, Alloys and a surround view, monitor which many buyers will do youll need to go for at least the premium plus pack model and that pushes up the price by four grand on the plus side. Depreciation is predicted to be slower than on key Rivals and you can have up to a 10 year warranty not just on the battery but the whole car. If you get your RZ serviced at a Lexus dealer every year. So, while the range of the new rset is nothing to write home about its very compelling in many other ways, well be putting up against its key Rivals when we get hold of a car in the UK later in the spring.
But in the meantime, for lots. More information about lexuss brand new electric SUV just head over to whatcar.com by clicking the link above thanks for watching and dont, forget to subscribe and switch on notifications for lots. More reviews like this one Music.