In-depth reviews

Toyota bZ4X review

Although it doesn’t move the game on in a major way, the Toyota bZ4X is an instantly competitive contender in the electric family SUV arena

Toyota bZ4X
Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Very good to drive
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Excellent on-board tech

Cons

  • Average range and charging speeds
  • Somewhat generic looks
  • Quite expensive
ModelRangeWallbox charging timeRapid charging time
FWD277-317 miles12hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 150kW)
AWD257-286 miles12hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 150kW)

To say the bZ4X is an important car for Toyota would be a massive understatement. Having focused mainly on hybrid engines for many years while other big car manufacturers forged ahead with electric models, the Japanese giant is finally gearing up to go electric in a big way.

It recently showcased 11 new electric models that'll launch between now and 2030 – nearly all of them using the same technology that underpins the bZ4X. So in short, this car has to be good. And even if it wasn't forming the basis of the company's future EV strategy, it still has to battle the likes of the Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Nissan Ariya in what has become a highly competitive electric family SUV class.

The bZ4X is available from launch in either front or four-wheel-drive form. Both draw power from a 71.4kWh battery, but the front-drive model makes 201bhp from a single electric motor on the front axle, while the dual-motor four-wheel-drive version sees a modest increase to 215bhp. Range is between 257 and 317 miles depending on the exact version and trim level you go for.

Like other mainstream brands making premium-priced electric SUVs, Toyota has tried to give the bZ4X a more upmarket feel than its existing products in order to justify its healthy price tag. It looks smart, if not radically different to half-dozen other mid-size electric family SUVs, with perhaps more of a 4x4 feel to it than some rivals. Sharp creases, slim LED lights and a split rear spoiler are among the standout design details.

The driving experience is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the bZ4X – and that’s something not usually said about Toyota SUVs and family cars. Allied to a comfortable ride, reasonably spacious interior and intuitive on-board technology, it makes for a very appealing package.

It’s priced in line with rivals rather than being screamingly good value, but with Toyota’s strong reputation for reliability and customer service behind it, the bZ4X looks set to become a major player in the electric SUV class before very long. For a more detailed look at the car, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…

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