Toyota may have been slow to join the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon but that’s about to change. All-new for 2023, the bZ4X starts a process at Toyota to grow its EV inventory. Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025.
Offered in two grades, XLE and Limited, in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive (FWD and AWD), Latino Traffic Report (LTR) recently had the chance to review the bZ4X Limited AWD, the top-of-the-line model. While the electric range did not meet expectations, it did offer the comfort and convenience of an SUV with added premium touches.
Toyota defines electrified vehicles to include hydrogen fuel cell electrics, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and now battery electric vehicles. According to the automaker, electrified vehicles accounted for about a quarter of Toyota’s total sales volume in the United States last year.
Size enhances the bZ4X’s capability and versatility. The compact SUV is 3.7 inches longer than the RAV4, at 184.6 inches with a 6.3-inch longer wheelbase. For added convenience, cargo volume comes to 27.7 cubic feet behind the second row, but the second row does fold flat for added cargo volume.
The bZ4X comes standard with a 12.3-inch widescreen Toyota Audio Multimedia system with a three-year trial to Drive Connect that gives access to the voice activated Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. Also included as a three-year trial service, the Toyota App allows users to stay connected to their bZ4X with Remote Connect to activate headlights, unlock the rear hatch, and remote start the vehicle, among other commands and provides an easy-to-use map (essential on EVs) to find nearby charging station locations.
The test model included the available fixed panoramic roof and a power sunshade and heated and ventilated seats in the front and heated seats in the back.
Favorite standard safety features on all models include a blind spot monitor, tire pressure monitor with a view of each tire, and dynamic radar cruise control.
While the list of standard features is impressive, the bZ4X did have functional challenges, particularly regarding plug-in charging. According to Toyota, the test model should have an EPA estimated max range of 222 miles (the more basic XLE trim can reach a max range of 252), however, it only had 189 miles of range when delivered and during the weeklong test drive, the maximum range achieved from home charging was 149 miles. While it should charge with a conventional 110-volt outlet, Toyota does recommend installing a 220-volt outlet for quicker home charging. The 100-plus-degree Texas heat could also have hampered charging. Hot or cold, EVs don’t like extreme temperatures and EV buyers should take that into consideration.
Removing the charge chord required unlocking the vehicle and while this seemed bothersome at first, considering the rise in stolen charge cables, perhaps it’s worth the bother, especially for those without a garage.
For added convenience, however, Remote Charging capabilities, including checking the charge status, are also included with Remote Connect on the bZ4X and one year of unlimited complimentary charging at all EVgo-owned and operated public charging stations nationwide.
Pricing for the 2023 bZ4X starts at $43,350. The as-tested price came to $52,468.
Sí: The bZ4X comes with a healthy list of premium and convenience features.
No: The electric range is not competitive, especially when charging on a 110v outlet.