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[NEWS] Toyota bZ4X

Toyota bZ4X

01 Toyota bZ4X AWD RT 2023 lead
Toyota's electric crossover finally makes it to UK roads. It's on good form – just don't expect fireworks

Toyota has mostly stayed out of the early electric car melee. After all, with its range of efficient hybrids, it didn’t need EVs to meet fleet CO2 targets. To the contrary: it has enough wiggle room to happily continue churning out GR Yarises and naturally aspirated V8 Lexus LC 500s. For that, we salute them.But combustion-engine bans are coming and Euro 7 emissions regulations are looking tough, so Toyota has finally come up with an EV, the Toyota bZ4X. It arrives in the impossibly crowded medium SUV segment. How’s this for a list of some of its direct rivals: Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y, Nissan Ariya, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Mercedes-Benz EQB.You would think a catchy name would be a priority to stand out, but instead it’s called the bZ4X. There is a logic to it: ‘bZ’ stands for beyond zero, so it’s a battery-electric car; ‘4’ refers roughly to the size (it’s similar to the Toyota RAV4); and X signifies it’s an SUV. We’ve already seen the China-only bZ3 compact saloon, and other derivatives are on the way.The long wait for a full-scale Toyota EV was made even longer by a very un-Toyota-like calamity. Shortly after the bZ4X went on sale, an issue with the wheel hubs was discovered, meaning there was a chance the wheels could detach. It wasn’t a simple fix, either. It took three months – during which the handful of customers who received their cars couldn’t drive them and Toyota couldn’t make any more.Now the car’s fixed, the question is whether Toyota has been able to use that time to watch and learn, or whether it’s simply behind the curve.Range at a glanceToyota offers just one battery size (71.4kWh), but there is a choice of single-motor/front-wheel drive or dual-motor/four-wheel drive. There are three trim levels: Pure, Motion and Vision. For a dual-motor bZ4X, you must upgrade to at least Motion.VersionPower2WD201bhpAWD*214bhp*Version tested

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