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In-depth reviews

Toyota bZ4X review: performance, motor & drive

Sharp and progressive steering plus plenty of grip makes the Toyota bZ4X one of the more fun electric SUVs to drive

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

FWD

7.5s

100mph

Front

201bhp

AWD

6.9s

100mph

Four

215bhp

It might be named like one of Elon Musk’s children, but the Toyota bZ4X is far from offering Tesla-like performance. Still, it’s pretty enjoyable to drive for a heavy electric SUV and boasts a smooth and easy-to-use one-pedal driving function.

Toyota bZ4X 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Plant your foot on the accelerator and the Toyota bZ4X manages to shift its two-and-a-half tonne bulk with the same instant zing as most electric cars. Rivals like the Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE are faster, but the Toyota feels deceptively quick in spite of its circa-seven-second 0-62mph time. 

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In fact, there’s very little to separate the front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive bZ4X models; the latter is only 0.6 seconds faster to reach the 62mph benchmark and while the extra electric motor does provide a little more traction on the limit, the difference is marginal and we doubt buyers using the Toyota for the school run will ever be able to differentiate the two, bar perhaps in the snow.

Handling

Most family SUV buyers aren’t after precision handling, but the Toyota bZ4X nevertheless provides a more enjoyable driving experience than most alternatives, including the Volkswagen ID.4. The awkwardly-positioned steering wheel – more on that in the ‘Interior, dashboard & infotainment’ segment of our review – offers light, yet sharp responses, and there’s plenty of grip, even in front-wheel-drive models.

Curiously, there’s no way to sharpen up the throttle response; unlike the Volkswagen ID.4, the bZ4X doesn’t feature a ‘Sport’ mode, although an ‘Eco’ setting does limit available power to preserve range. 

When driving slowly, the Toyota bZ4X does tend to jiggle around like one of those tube men you find outside car washes, but get it up to speed and things settle down into a gentle and refined cruise. There’s very little wind noise and the electric motor is near-on silent, making the bZ4X a pretty relaxing car to travel in.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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