Toyota Debuts All-Electric SUV: bZ4X
Toyota has officially unveiled its brand new all-electric SUV to the US market. The 2023 bZ4X will be the first global all-electric Toyota, introduced under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella. Shorthand for “Beyond Zero,” the bZ4X represents the brand’s commitment to cultivating a sustainable future that goes beyond zero emissions and into a net positive impact.
By 2025, the company plans to offer 70 electrified models, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles (BEV) and even hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. The future lineup will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, out of which 7 will be under the bZ moniker.
2023 bZ4X Overview: Price, Charging, and More
There will be two main versions of the bZ4X available, a front-wheel-drive and an all-wheel-drive option. Both will have specs similar to the Japanese versions that debuted last month. On the front-wheel-drive trims, the SUV will be equipped with a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, while AWD variations will come equipped with a slightly larger 72.8 kWh battery. Official driving ranges have yet to be determined, but the bZ4X has a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles for XLE front-wheel-drive models.
Dimensionally, the bZ4X will be comparable in size to the hot-selling Toyota RAV4. Pricing details have yet to be revealed, but it is estimated to start in the low $40,000 range.
Exterior + Powertrain
The freshly minted SUV will be the first Toyota to utilize the brand’s new e-TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. Exclusive to EVs, this structure allows the battery to be placed low in the chassis — meaning noticeably more space in the cabin, but also a lower center of gravity that can be felt on every turn. Additionally, the lightweight body structure enhances the bZ4X’s responsiveness creating easy handling.
Both powerful and connected, the front-wheel-drive models offer 201 horsepower, while AWD boasts two motors creating a total power of 215 horsepower. According to Toyota, the AWD grades are capable of a zero-to-62-mph time of 7.7 seconds. This puts the bZ4X comparable to models like the 2022 Nissan LEAF and 2022 Kia Niro EV.
Bold and futuristic on the outside, the SUV is more than an attractive design. The EV features a unique solar roof that can generate enough electricity to power about 1118 miles of driving each year. To put that into perspective, that’s enough power for at least four full-battery charges in terms of driving range.
Toyota’s engineering team specifically designed the bZ4X for maximum energy-saving and hassle-free year-round driving, even in the cold. In addition to their thoughtful aerodynamic design, the bZ4X features systems like a heat pump system for both heating and air-conditioning to reduce energy consumption.
Because of the bZ4X’s unique build, the vehicle offers an abundance of interior cabin space. Spacious and high-tech, the interior’s futuristic-feel is further enhanced by the panoramic roof. Paired with the vehicle’s intuitive technologies, the bZ4X exudes warmth and comfort.
Drivers will enjoy an easy-to-use interface that grants peace of mind on every drive. With Drive Connect, the bZ4X offers real-time traffic information and parking space availability. Owners can also lock, unlock, and start their vehicle with the touch of a button from their smartphone. Similarly, digital keys can be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow vehicles remotely.
Other features on the bZ4X include:
- Five USB ports
- Wireless smartphone charging
- Compatible with high-output chargers worldwide (capable of 80% charge within one hour)
- Battery capacity retention of 90% after 10 years of ownership
Another first for Toyota is the introduction of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. This intelligent safety system builds upon Toyota’s already impressive suite of features with even more enhanced capabilities. One of its new improvements is the expanding detection range and monocular camera. By doing this, Toyota has improved the performance of each function. For example, the pre-collision system now offers Low-Light Cyclist Detection, Daytime Motorcyclist Detection, and Guardrail Detection. Furthermore, lane recognition has been improved to add more functionality while in Lane Tracing Assist mode.
The goal of the improved TSS is to further reduce traffic accidents and fatalities, while easing the burden on drivers. Even better, the TSS can be updated wirelessly, meaning Toyota can build upon and send updates remotely for better driving year after year.
At the time of writing, the bZ4X is not available for sale. It is expected to go on sale in mid-2022.