Everyone who’s into EVs will know that Toyota is a skeptic when it comes to battery electric vehicles. But not anymore. The Japanese automaker that has until recently believed in hybrids and fuel cells have just introduced its first-ever battery electric vehicle, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X SUV, in January, and the latest words are, it has arrived at the U.S. dealers.
Not only Toyota is getting out of the skeptic bag; it plans to embrace it fast. The company plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. In case anyone’s wondering, the ‘bZ’ nameplate stands for ‘Beyond Zero’, and the bZ4X is the first of the planned 7 bZ series battery electric vehicle.
The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is a mid-size SUV that is a teeny weeny bit larger than the RAV4 but sits a tad lower. It offers 42.1 inches (107 cm) of legroom for the front seat and 35.3 inches (90 cm) for the rear, and a cargo volume of 27.7 cubic feet (784L).
The bZ4X is built on the new e-TNGA platform that has the electric motors up front under the hood like a traditional IC car. As such, it does not have frunk for you to take advantage of.
The new 2023 Toyota bZ4X SUV will be offered in two grades, XLE and Limited, in both Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) models.
The FWD is rated at 201 HP with 196 lb-ft (266 Nm) of torque from a single motor while the AWD, packs 214 HP and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) of torque from two motors. The numbers are not exactly mind-blowing but decent enough to make 0-60 sprint in 7.1 seconds (or 6.5 seconds for the AWD version).
As for range, which is probably the main concern for most EV owners, the XLE FWD model has a range of up to 252 miles (406 km), and the XLE AWD has up to 228 miles (367 km).
The 2023 Toyota bZ4X SUV Battery Electric Vehicle is available now stateside with a starting price of US$42,000.
All images courtesy of Toyota.