New Toyota bZ4X electric SUV: prices, specs and pictures
Toyota RAV4-sized electric SUV manages around 280 miles of range, with prices from £41,950
- A bold exterior design and minimalist interior
- Prices from £41,950, with first cars due in 2022
- New car forms part of a wider range of ‘bZ’ models
Prices and specs for the new Toyota bZ4X pure-electric SUV have been revealed. The RAV4-sized family SUV costs from £41,950, with the first cars due in 2022. The bZ4X is Toyota’s first dedicated electric car and will spawn a family of seven bZ-branded models due before 2025.
There are four trims to choose from: Pure, Motion, Vision and Premiere Edition, as well as a choice of front or X-Mode all-wheel drive. The Premiere Edition is expected to be on sale for a limited time only.
Pure models get 18-inch wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, plus a seven-inch digital instrument cluster. Keyless entry and remote connectivity is also standard – the latter allowing owners to preheat or pre-cool the car from their smartphones. This tech should also give customers remote access to range and charging information. The Pure specification is only available in front-wheel-drive guise.
Motion starts from £45,750 and brings the option of X-Mode four-wheel drive for an additional £2,600. These cars get an electric tailgate and privacy glass, plus a rear spoiler and parking sensors. Inside, there are heated seats, ambient lighting and wireless phone charging. Going for the Motion model also opens up a larger list of options.
The last of the core trim choices is the bZ4X Vision, from £47,650. Opting for this trim adds 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated synthetic leather seats, and a heated steering wheel. It also comes with a digital key, which Toyota says can provide access to others via a smartphone app. Like the Motion, the Vision is available with either front or all-wheel drive.
Premiere Edition tops the bZ4X range for the time being, bringing luxuries such as a nine-speaker JBL stereo and a panoramic roof. This version is available exclusively through Toyota’s online retail service and comes as standard with X-Mode all-wheel drive; there’s no front-wheel drive Premiere Edition.
Toyota had previously focused on hybrid technology and hydrogen fuel cells but is now ready to produce its own fully electric cars under the ‘bZ’ (for ‘beyond Zero’) sub-brand. The bZ4X is developed with help from Subaru; the Subaru Solterra will also go on sale in the UK soon.
Toyota revealed a bZ4X ‘concept’ earlier this year and the production version is almost identical, other than a proper steering wheel in place of an aircraft-style yoke. Compared to the Toyota RAV4, the bZ4X is 85mm lower and the wheelbase (the distance between front and rear wheels) is 160mm longer - freeing up lots of space inside. Toyota has already teased that the legroom in the bZ4X Concept is similar to that of the Lexus LS saloon.
Sitting on a new e-TNGA platform, the all-electric version of the modular platform that has underpinned all recent Toyota models, the bZ4X will be a direct rival to the Skoda Enyaq, the Nissan Ariya and the Volkswagen ID.4.
2022 Toyota bZX4: exterior and design
Keeping tradition with hybrid-powered Toyotas, the bZ4X concept features a bold exterior look with plenty of sharp, angular lines, and a cab-rearward design, which gives the SUV a notably long bonnet. Since the bZ4X is fully electric, a conventional grille has been replaced with a small ‘mouth’ just beneath the bonnet.
Ultra-slim daytime running lights sit above quadruple-lens headlights, while a light bar runs right across the rear, above louvred-effect tail-lights. A contrast of materials, including gloss-black plastics that line the wheel arches, complete the look.
From a more functional perspective, Toyota says the bZ4X incorporates a roof-mounted solar panel to help charge the battery.
Interior and technology
Inside, the bZ4X is pleasingly simple. The cabin features a small instrument panel and a neatly integrated widescreen infotainment system, with the use of fabric on the main fascia. We’re glad to see a proper steering wheel, rather than the odd device found in the concept, and the instrument cluster has been designed to sit above the steering wheel in the driver’s eyeline. The ‘One Motion Grip-control’ yoke fitted in the concept may come to Europe at a later date.
With the five seats in place, there’s a 452-litre boot. It’s noticeably smaller than the 580 litres you get in the hybrid RAV4 but passenger space should be much more generous in the bZ4X. Luggage capacity is still a reasonable size for a family SUV, if far from class-leading.
Range and performance
The new Toyota bZ4X uses a 71.4kWh battery pack with an estimated range of 280 miles. Toyota is aiming for an achievable figure, rather than a figure that’s better on paper than its rivals but hard to replicate in the real world. Plug in to a 150kW fast-charger and you’ll be able to top up to 80% capacity in half an hour.
Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models will be available, with 201bhp and 215bhp respectively. The car does 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds in front-wheel drive form - the same as a Skoda Enyaq - and 7.7 seconds in more powerful all-wheel-drive guise. As with many electric cars, you can drive with one pedal if you wish, with the car slowing down significantly as soon as you step off the accelerator.
Toyota claims that the battery will suffer far less degradation than other electric cars, charging to 90% capacity even after 10 years or 150,000 miles. Each individual cell is monitored constantly by the car’s computer, while the battery is water-cooled. An optional heat pump will help the car lose less range in cold conditions.
Subaru helped with the four-wheel-drive system, which is said to make the car very capable off-road. There’s a mode for snow and mud, as well as a ‘deep snow’ mode that’s restricted to 13mph and a Grip Control setting for when the going gets really tough and you’re crawling at less than 6mph.
What can buyers expect?
The ‘bZ’ part of the car’s name stands for Beyond Zero, Toyota’s vision of carbon-neutral motoring, while the ‘X’ denotes a crossover body style. Toyota has trademarked a range of ‘bZ’ nameplates, and in many cases it has also registered the ‘X’ variant, so expect a whole series of electric models. The brand has already teased a whole load of new models, confirming that this platform will facilitate a whole range of different-sized cars, and will allow either two or four-wheel drive.