2023 Toyota bZ4X Preview

Chris Teague | Nov 21, 2021
  • All-new, 5-passenger crossover EV from Toyota
  • Co-developed with the Subaru Solterra
  • Front-wheel drive is standard; AWD is available
  • Targets 250 miles of range in its most efficient configurations
  • A liquid-cooled system extends battery life to 10-plus years
  • Toyota Safety Sense 3.0
  • Features standard digital key and over-the-air-update technology
  • Arrives in showrooms in mid-2022
  • Pricing details are TBD

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is an all-electric crossover SUV with seating for up to five people, the first of the automaker’s family of “beyond Zero” battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). The automaker worked in partnership with Subaru on the project, which also included the new Subaru Solterra EV. The bZ4X will be built at the two automakers’ joint production facility and ride on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform.

2023 Toyota BZ4X Limited Windchill Pearl Front Quarter View

Toyota has not shared the bZ4X’s trim levels or pricing yet, but we know that the SUV will be offered in either front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). We also know that at 184.6 inches, it’s slightly longer than a Toyota RAV4 and that its 112.2-inch wheelbase is the same as the Toyota Highlander.

Exterior Features

2023 Toyota BZ4X Limited Heavy Metal Rear Quarter View

If the bZ4X name seems confusing or complicated, it’s an indication of things to come with the SUV’s design. Toyota creased and crimpled the bZ4X’s sheet metal to create a variety of angles and shapes. Though immediately recognizable as a Toyota, the EV’s design is impossible to ignore.

Without a gas engine under the hood, the bZ4X doesn’t need a traditional grille. In its place, Toyota added a large body-color insert. However, it’s surrounded by plenty of black plastic, especially around the front wheel arches and lower front fascia. Plastic body cladding runs the length of the vehicle on the lower doors and again forms a prominent part of the rear wheel arch.

Interior Features

2023 Toyota BZ4X Limited Heavy Metal Interior Front Seats

Though its exterior is loud and attention-grabbing, the bZ4X’s interior is far more pedestrian. A 12.3-inch touchscreen dominates the center stack and hovers over a small number of physical controls. While the bZ4X concept featured a yoke-style steering wheel, a la Tesla Model S Plaid, Toyota has understandably opted for a traditional wheel on the production model. The SUV’s instrument panel and display are oriented to provide the driver with the best road view while interacting with the vehicle.

Under the Hood

Toyota offers two powertrain options for the 2023 bZ4X. Versions equipped with FWD get a 71.4-kW battery and a 150-kW electric motor making 201 horsepower. Versions equipped with AWD get a 72.8-kW battery and two 80-kW motors that combine for 215 hp. Interestingly, different suppliers make the two batteries, each optimized for use with FWD or AWD.

Toyota says that the driving range for the XLE trim level with FWD tops out at around 250 miles per charge. The automaker has not yet released range numbers for the AWD version of the bZ4X, but the closely related Subaru Solterra shows us that AWD drains the range by a slight amount.

Since battery life and the associated range anxiety concern many EV buyers, Toyota worked to give bZ4X owners peace of mind. The vehicle’s battery features a liquid cooling system that should help it retain up to 90 percent of its capacity after 10 years.

Safety Systems

The new bZ4X comes standard with the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense, the automaker’s suite of safety-related advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). The automaker says its new Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is improved with a more extensive detection range of the millimeter-wave radar and monocular camera. The pre-collision system now offers low-light cyclist detection, daytime motorcyclist detection, and guardrail detection. Other Toyota Safety Sense suite features include adaptive cruise controllane-departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Infotainment and Technology

Toyota hasn’t divulged all the details on the bZ4X yet, but it has shared information on the new interface that powers its 12.3-inch display. The automaker’s infotainment software has long been criticized for its clumsiness and difficulty of operation, but that should change with this new system. Cloud-based navigation can update information on traffic and even parking spots in real-time, while a new digital key system allows owners to use their smartphones to control the vehicle. Touch and voice controls are standard, and Toyota says that it will use over-the-air updates to improve the system over time.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Competitors

The Toyota bZ4X joins an exploding number of EVs hitting the market. It will face off against the Volkswagen ID.4Subaru SolterraNissan Ariya, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Toyota is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of November 19, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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