Toyota bZ4X: First Look Review

  • Toyota's first mass-market dedicated EV
  • Available in single-motor FWD and dual-motor AWD variants
  • Delivers an EPA-est. range of up to 252 miles
  • Competes with the VW ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Toyota bZ4X isn’t nearly as popular as some of its rivals, but it is gradually establishing itself in what happens to be America’s most competitive EV segment. Recently, I saw a Toyota bZ4X in its top-end Limited grade and checked out its exterior and interior in detail. Here are my first impressions of the electric SUV:

Design & Interior

The size and proportions of the Toyota bZ4X are reminiscent of the Toyota RAV4. However, I find the bZ4X’s look sharper and more aerodynamic. It was designed from the outset as an EV, and it’s not a conversion of the RAV4. I think the lower height and coupe-styled tail section give it a sporting character.

After spending some time closely looking at the exterior of the Toyota bZ4X, manufactured in Toyota City (Aichi Prefecture), Japan, I noticed that its panel gaps were similar to the Toyota RAV4, a unit of which was parked in the vicinity. Toyota has selected this grey and black combo as the communication color, and this is the shade in which the lines and the character of the electric SUV come out the most.

Toyota bZ4X dashboard live image

Thanks to a dedicated EV platform, the bZ4X has short overhangs and a long wheelbase. Toyota claims its interior space is comparable to that of a D-segment sedan (Toyota Camry). I like the low position of the EV’s dashboard, which enhances the sense of space inside the cabin while also improving road visibility.

I’m six feet tall, and given the flat roofline of the bZ4X, I didn’t expect ingress/egress issues. What I found out was that it was midway between what you get in a Camry and a RAV4. When I sat in the driver’s seat, I first checked for all-around visibility. The large windshield, practically designed quarter glass panel, and slightly higher seating help in offering good outward visibility.

In the second row, sitting right behind the driver’s seat that was adjusted for a six-foot-tall person, I had sufficient legroom and ample knee room. I felt the default angle of the backrest was just right for me. A recline function is available in case you wish for a posture to get some shut-eye. However, regardless of the angle, headroom back here is tight for a 6-footer. I would also have liked the floor to have been lower, which would have improved comfort for taller passengers.


The Toyota bZ4X comes with features like 20-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Digital Key, a Toyota-first front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heater, etc. Toyota offers the bZ4X in Softex/Fabric-trimmed interior in Black color in an XLE grade and Softex-trimmed interior in Black or Light Gray color in a Limited grade.

Power liftgate and 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat are standard in the bZ4X. The EV’s 7-inch digital instrument cluster shows clear range and charging estimates. A JBL Premium Audio system with 9 speakers, including an 8-channel, 800-watt amplifier and a 9-inch subwoofer, is available.

Also available is a plethora of additional standard Connected Services. A 3-year trial is included for the Remote Connect service, allowing Toyota App users to control the bZ4X’s headlights, seat heaters/ventilators, defroster, steering wheel heater, climate control system, rear hatch, and more. Remote Charging and enables checking charging status, starting/stopping charging, and editing charging schedules should also be possible with Remote Connect.

Toyota fits a heat pump for both heating and air-conditioning in the bZ4X as standard. A heat pump-type climate control system reuses the battery pack’s waste heat to warm the cabin when required, reducing the impact on the range.

Toyota Safety Sense 3.0

The bZ4X is the brand’s first model in America to feature the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0) safety package. TSS 3.0 includes a millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera with an expanded detection range.

Toyota has improved the performance of each function of Toyota Safety Sense for v3.0. Moreover, it has added new functions to assist in normal driving conditions. For example, the Pre-Collision System offers Daytime Motorcyclist Detection, Low-Light Cyclist Detection, and Guardrail Detection. Another example is Lane Recognition, which provides improved Lane Tracing Assist mode functionality.

The range-topping Limited grade includes an additional standard safety/convenience feature – Advanced Park. This feature assists the driver in both parallel parking and perpendicular parking. It relies on information from the vehicle’s 360-degree cameras and sonar parking sensors and automatically parks the vehicle. The driver doesn’t need to steer, accelerate, or brake during the whole process. I think hands-free parking is quite a useful feature for learning drivers.

No solar roof and steer-by-wire in the U.S.

Japanese-spec Toyota bZ4X yoke steering
The U.S.-spec Toyota bZ4X isn’t available with the yoke or wing-shaped steering. Image Source: Toyota

A steer-by-wire system is available internationally but not in the U.S., with the feature reserved for the Lexus RZ. The steering wheel and tires have no mechanical connection, so unwanted vibrations from the maneuvers don’t make it to the driver’s palms. In this setup, Toyota has set the lock-to-lock at around 150 degrees, making U-turns and parking simpler, as there is no need to change grips.



Measuring 184.6 inches in length, 73.2 inches in width, and 65.0 inches in height, the Toyota bZ4X is roughly the size of the RAV4. However, as Toyota designed the bZ4X as an EV from the ground up, it managed to achieve a significantly longer wheelbase of 112.2 inches.

Length184.6 in.
Width73.2 in. (w/o mirrors)
Height65.0 in. (with antenna)
Wheelbase112.2 in.
Ground Clearance8.1 in.
Headroom38.6 in. (front)/37.1 in. (rear)
Legroom42.1 in. (front)/35.3 in. (rear)
Shoulder Room57.8 in. (front)/56.0 in. (rear)
Hip Room54.4 in. (front)/44.8 in. (rear)
Cargo Volume Behind Rear Seats27.7 cu. ft. (standard)/25.8 cu. ft. (with JBL sound system)
Cargo Volume With Rear Seats Folded94.4 cu. ft. (Toyota est.)
Toyota bZ4X dimensions (Source: Toyota)


While most bespoke compact EVs have a RWD drivetrain layout by default, the Toyota bZ4X is a FWD model. The base variant has only one motor, which generates 150 kW (201 hp) and 196 lb.-ft. of torque. The top-end variant features two motors, one at the front and one at the rear, each producing 80 kW (107 hp) and 124 lb.-ft. of torque. The combined power and torque of these motors are 214 hp and 248 lb.-ft., respectively.

The bZ4X features an eAWD system co-developed with Subaru, along with X-Mode and Grip-Control. X-Mode is a Toyota-first feature and engaging Snow/Dirt mode with it improves vehicle stability and traction on slippery, dirt surfaces. There’s also a Snow/Mud mode, for unpaved and bumpy roads, which applies the brakes on spinning wheels to replicate the effect of a limited-slip differential. Grip-Control is an additional function of X-Mode, and it allows determining road surface characteristics and locking to a speed to prevent slipping on rough roads.

Toyota bZ4X side profile live image


The bZ4X comes with a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the FWD variant and a 72.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the AWD variant, both chargeable at up to 150 kW. Using a Level 2 AC charger, charging them from Low Battery Light to 100% takes about 9.5 hours. Using a DC charger, charging them from Low Battery Light to 80% takes approximately 30 minutes (71.4 kWh unit)/35 minutes (72.8 kWh unit).

A dual-voltage charging cable is included as standard in both XLE and Limited grades. Customers can charge their bZ4X through Level 1 and Level 2 chargers using this same cable, which I believe provides them with more convenience.


The bZ4X is available in XLE FWD, XLE AWD, Limited FWD, and Limited AWD configurations, in which it delivers an EPA-est. range of 252 miles, 228 miles, 236 miles, and 222 miles, respectively.

AspectToyota bZ4X Specification
Drivetrain LayoutFWD/AWD
No. of Motor(s)One/Two
Front Motor Power201 hp (FWD)/107 hp (AWD)
Rear Motor Power107 hp (AWD)
Combined Power214 hp (AWD)
Front Motor Torque196 lb.-ft. (FWD & AWD)
Rear Motor Torque248 lb.-ft. (AWD)
Battery Pack TypeLithium-ion
Total Battery Pack Capacity71.4 kWh (FWD)/72.8 kWh (AWD)
Lowest AC Charging Time (Low Battery Light to 100% SoC)9.5 hours
Lowest DC Charging Time (Low Battery Light to 80% SoC)30 minutes (FWD)/35 minutes (AWD)
Max. EPA-est. Range252 miles (FWD)/236 miles (AWD)
Toyota bZ4X technical specifications (Source: Toyota)

One year of free DC fast charging for bZ4X owners

Toyota bZ4X customers will get one year of complimentary DC fast charging access through EVgo’s network. EVgo’s fast chargers are located at prime locations like grocery stores, shopping centers, and city centers. The facility would enable customers to charge their EVs when busy with their routine errands. The process is simple. Owners have to use the Toyota smartphone application to sign up for the free service. EVgo has 950+ fast-charging stations spread across 35+ states in the U.S.

90 percent range even after 10 years of use

Toyota has put efforts to ensure that the bZ4X is durable. It wants to ensure that the battery pack will deliver up to 90% of its range even after ten years of use. Masahiko Maeda has said that this is one of the highest endurance performance targets in the world. Maeda was Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)’s Chief Technology Officer back then. Now, he is the Executive Vice President of the ‘Emerging-market Compact Car Company’ division, the CEO for Asia, and the Deputy CEO for China at TMC

Preventing the formation of degraded materials on anode surfaces is key to extending battery life. Toyota is taking measures in various aspects such as pack structure, material selection, and control system to prevent the development of these degraded materials. Keiji Kaita, the President of Toyota’s CN Advanced Engineering Development Center, had said that the battery cost will reduce by 40% compared to the C-HR/Izoa/UX EV when it launches the bZ4X. So, cheaper battery replacements could be another advantage of the bZ4X.

The Toyota engineer in charge of the bZ4X’s development, Daisuke Ido, had told Bloomberg that the SUV’s battery would offer exceptional durability. The report states that Toyota experimented with battery materials and temperature management for 20 years, enabling the brand to extract extraordinary long-term battery life. The approach bodes well with Toyota’s historical focus on reliability—Toyota’s ICE powertrains are known to outlast their owners and fetch a good price in the used car market. It makes sense for the Japanese brand to use its expertise in durability for EVs as well.


The Toyota bZ4X’s prices range from USD 43,070 to USD 49,260. Toyota levies a USD 1,350 DPH fee across the range. The Toyota bZ4X’s long list of competitors includes the VW ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Nissan Ariya, and the Kia EV6.

As for sales, 9,329 units of the bZ4X have been sold across the U.S. in 2023, compared to 1,220 units in 2022. Sales were up 664.7% year-over-year, but I think it’s worth noting that 2023 was the first full year of sales for the model.

Toyota bZ4X GR Sport Concept

At the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) unveiled the Toyota bZ4X GR Sport Concept. The modified bZ4X features an exclusive matt gray paint, large gloss black alloy wheels, GR badging, and GR-branded black sports seats. A lower height amplifies its sportier character, but we wish TGR had equipped it with an aggressive body kit to improve its presence. Toyota hasn’t revealed the specifications of the concept.

Toyota bZ4X GR Sport Concept front three quarter
The Toyota bZ4X GR Sport Concept has a lower ground clearance, special wheels, and a sportier look. Image Source: Toyota

Toyota is examining the business case for a bZ4X GR Sport, the car’s chief engineer Daisuke Ido told Move Electric. Ido said that the bZ4X could see the addition of a performance variant tuned by GR Sport. He cleared that “it’s still not a concrete idea yet,” though. The biggest challenge facing the bZ4X variant isn’t increasing its power or torque but rather giving customers the superior handling and performance they demand from GR Sport models, Ido stated. There is no set release date as of yet, but if everything goes according to plan, the bZ4X GR Sport could launch globally later in 2024.

Toyota electrification efforts in the U.S.

Toyota will manufacture a three-row electric SUV with locally-sourced (North Carolina-made) batteries in the country from 2025. The company plans to invest approximately USD 3.4 billion in the U.S. by 2030 to develop and locally produce batteries, including those for fully battery-powered EVs or BEVs.

A new company and a new battery plant built together with Toyota Tsusho in the U.S. will support Toyota Motor North America’s ZEV transformation. Toyota aims to begin manufacturing batteries in the U.S. by 2025. The company will invest approximately USD 1.29 billion in this project until 2031. The company’s initial focus will be making HEV batteries, not BEV batteries. By 2030, Toyota expects to sell 1.5-1.8 million electrified vehicles in the U.S. and increase its share in its sales to nearly 70%.

TopElectricSUV says

The Toyota bZ4X features a futuristic and funky design and offers plenty of space and a welcoming interior. However, the limited range, slow charging, and lackluster performance robs away appeal, which we hope Toyota will address in subsequent model years.

Toyota bZ4X FAQs

What is the Toyota bZ4X release date?

The Toyota bZ4X is available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the Toyota bZ4X price in the U.S.?

The Toyota bZ4X’s prices start at USD 43,070 (excl. USD 1,350 DPH fee).

Which EVs are the Toyota bZ4X rivals?

The bZ4X competes with the VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Nissan Ariya, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E in the United States.