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2023 Toyota bZ4X Road Test and Review

Nicole Wakelin
by Nicole Wakelin
April 22, 2022
5 min. Reading Time
2023 Toyota bZ4X Front Quarter ・  Photo by Nicole Wakelin

2023 Toyota bZ4X Front Quarter ・ Photo by Nicole Wakelin

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X adds a fully electric vehicle to the Toyota crossover lineup. This is the first in a series of “bZ” vehicles, which stands for Beyond Zero. The bZ4X is designed to provide the versatility of a crossover with plenty of room for people and cargo, along with the efficiency of an electric powertrain. It offers both front-wheel and all-wheel drive with range figures that top 250 miles per charge depending on the configuration.

Only two trims are available, but both are well-equipped with a wide range of standard features. There’s a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and dual-zone automatic climate control to keep everyone comfortable. There’s also a pre-collision system that includes pedestrian detection and lane departure alert with steering assist to keep everyone safe. Let’s take a closer look at the all-new 2023 Toyota bZ4X to see if it’s the right electric vehicle for you.

Only Two Trims

While some vehicles have huge trim lineups that include low-priced bare bones options at the bottom all the way up to fully equipped models stuffed full of amenities, Toyota skipped the base trims for the bZ4X. Instead, it has just two trim levels, both with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive and both with a solid range of standard features. The XLE at $42,000 includes 18-inch wheels, Qi wireless charging, four USB ports, leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Limited at $46,700 adds a height-adjustable, foot-activated power liftgate, heated steering wheel, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a 360-degree overhead view camera, and 20-inch wheels. This trim also has the option for heated rear seats and a premium 9-speaker JBL audio system. Adding all-wheel drive increases your price by $2,080.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

An Efficient Electric Powertrain

Equipped with front-wheel drive, the bZ4X has a 71.4-kWh battery pack for 201 horsepower. It gets an EPA-estimated 131 mpge in the city, 107 mpge on the highway, and 119 mpge combined in the XLE with a drop to 125 mpge in the city, 103 mpg on the highway, and 114 mpge combined in the Limited.

If you go with all-wheel drive, then there’s a 72.8-kWh battery pack with 214 horsepower. These trims see slightly lower fuel economy. All-wheel-drive versions of the bZ4X get an EPA-estimated 114 mpge in the city, 94 mpge on the highway, and 104 mpge combined for the XLE or 112 mpge in the city, 92 mpge on the highway, and 102 mpge combined for the Limited. No matter which configuration you choose, the 2023 Toyota bZ4x is an efficient option for those looking to make the move to an electric vehicle.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Lots of Charging Options

While not the longest-range electric vehicle you can buy, the 2023 Toyota bZ4x still has more than enough range to get you through a typical day. The Limited gets 222 miles with all-wheel drive or 242 miles with front-wheel drive. The XLE does even better with 228 miles with all-wheel drive and 252 miles with front-wheel drive.

You can charge up your bZ4X at a Level 1 (120-volt) or Level 2 (240-volt) charger. It’s also compatible with DC fast charging. The 6.6 kW onboard charger lets the bZ4X fully charge in about 11 hours at a Level 2 charger. That makes it easy to fully charge the overnight, but you can get plenty of charge to continue with your day in far less time if you’re on the run. At a Level 2 charger, the bZ4X gets about 25 miles of range per hour.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

The Silence of an Electric Vehicle

It’s not until you have the chance to drive an electric vehicle that you fully understand just how noisy a gas engine is from inside a car. There’s none of that noise in an EV, which makes for an exceptional calm and relaxed cabin. The bz4X adds to that calm with a minimum of road and wind noise that make this a fantastic option for road trips.

It also handles well with the strong performance. The instant torque delivery of an electric vehicle makes it easy to pass slower cars and delivers aggressive acceleration. Steering stays centered even when you’re heavy on the accelerator and the low center of gravity makes it easy to control even on tight turns. All-wheel drive models include X-Mode, which can be used in conjunction with drive modes of snow/dirt and snow/mud for better traction on challenging road surfaces.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

A Comfortable Space for People

The bZ4X has seating for five people with plenty of room to spread out. This isn’t a large crossover, but it’s not so compact that taller adults will have their knees squished if they ride in the rear seats. And since there’s not a wide range of trims, even the base model is nicely appointed. There’s a standard leather-trimmed tilt and telescopic steering wheel, fabric and synthetic leather-trimmed seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control, and power windows and locks.

The Limited adds an 8-way power driver’s seat with synthetic-leather seating surfaces, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. It also adds the option for heated rear seats. This is a well-equipped crossover in either trim with comfortable, supportive seats that make it easy to relax even on longer drives.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Room for Cargo

A crossover combines a roomy interior for people with the ability to carry additional cargo. Whether it’s suitcases for a family getaway or supplies for a home improvement project, the bZ4X has good room for cargo. There’s 27.7 cubic feet behind the second row with a wide hatchback opening so it easily accommodates bulky items that might not fit in a traditional trunk.

The rear seats fold, but Toyota hasn’t provided a cargo figure behind the front seats. Even without that number, the folding rear seats make it possible to stow larger items, especially those that are longer. While some electric vehicles have a bit of extra storage under the hood since there’s no engine, there’s no such area in the bZ4X, but it still has good overall room for cargo.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Good Standard Safety

There’s a long list of standard safety features on the bZ4X. It’s the first Toyota to feature Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which is the latest version of the Toyota safety suite. It includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assist. These systems feature new enhancements including low-light cyclist detection, daytime motorcyclist detection, and even guardrail detection.

Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard while the Limited gets several additional features. These include a backup camera with dynamic gridlines and a bird’s eye view camera that makes it easier to avoid clipping objects like low walls and curbs. It’s a comprehensive system that offers key features to help keep you and your family safe when you’re on the road.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Infotainment With all the Right Features

The Toyota bZ4X offers a large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen across the lineup. There’s also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, six-speaker audio, wireless smartphone charging, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity with a 30-day trial, and a 3-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM. It’s an easy system to learn with great voice control that’s activated by saying, “Hey, Toyota” followed by natural language commands.

The Limited adds the option for a premium nine-speaker JBL audio system with a subwoofer and amplifier. It also adds Remote Connect with a 3-year trial subscription. This adds the ability to remotely connect with your bZ4X to lock and unlock the doors, start and stop the vehicle, locate where you last parked, and use remote charging features.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is the first in a new wave of electric vehicles from Toyota. Although they have a wide range of both hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, so far, this is the only all-electric model for sale. Thankfully, it’s a good one. A simple lineup of only two trims makes it easy to decide with the option for all-wheel drive available on both. The interior is attractive and comfortable with plenty of room for everyone and quality materials throughout.

There’s also a good driving range with anywhere from 222 to 252 miles depending on the configuration. This makes it easy to get through a typical day without ever needing to charge. There are lots of charging options, including DC fast charging, and there’s a comprehensive infotainment system as well as good standard safety. The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is a strong choice for those seeking an electric crossover.

 Photo by Nicole Wakelin

Photo by Nicole Wakelin


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