Arriving in U.S. dealers in mid-2022 is Toyota’s first purpose built entry into the new mid-size crossover EV class with the 2023 bZ4X.
Featuring both FWD and AWD versions, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X has a footprint about 3-inches longer than a Toyota RAV4 but isn’t quite as tall, about 2-inches lower to the ground. With a 112-inch wheelbase to make room for a large Lithium-Ion battery pack under the floor, the wheels are pushed more outward to the corners than with the RAV4
Styling is classic contemporary Toyota with a more conservative flavor than previous electrified vehicles like the Prius or the Marai. With the bZ4X competing against a wide swath of mainstream EV class competitors from Nissan to Tesla, it has taken on a more mainstream character.
LED lighting all around gives a high-tech accent to familiar Toyota styling DNA, here absent a huge grille to serve the cooling needs of a gasoline engine. Black plastic cladding at the wheel arches and lower rockers give it a modicum of SUV street cred.
Behind the wheel, the b4ZX will feel a lot like any other new Toyota model of late, featuring high quality materials and artistic lines that flow all around you but with a more Scandinavian architectural flair.
A simplified cockpit theme features a digital instrument cluster placed well ahead of the steering wheel. A large infotainment center screen and high center stack mounted shift selector that could pass for something found in a next-generation Prius. Standard technology and safety features abound, a list way to long to list here.
In spite of its crossover SUV design format, the 30.3 square foot cargo area features a relatively low lift-over height. The rear seat which can accommodate up to three passengers can fold down easily in a 60/40 split for a nearly flat load floor.
The standard bZ4X XLE FWD will have up to 250 miles on a charge and feature 201 horsepower standard. When you option AWD with X-MODE and Grip-Control, horsepower increases to 215 with 248 pound-feet of torque. Battery range for AWD is slightly less with 220 miles to a charge.
Built on an all-new battery electric vehicle architecture known as e-TNGA, the Toyota bZ4X is the first of many new electric vehicles to come from both Toyota and Lexus in the future but will immediately have a twin brother sold by Subaru called the Solterra. The 2022 Subaru Solterra is structurally and mechanically identical but features minor styling and trim variations to differentiate it from the bZ4x visually and will feature standard AWD.
A fully independent suspension is built around a rigid body structure with both high-strength and high-tensile steel for rigidity and responsive handling. Curb weight ranges from 4,232 to 4,420 pounds depending on whether you opt for FWD or AWD.
The liquid cooled battery is placed outside the passenger compartment, below the sheet-metal of the flat floor and itself features structural cross framing for additional structural rigidity and safety. Toyota says it is designed for a 90% charge capacity over 10 years of use.