It is said that Toyota joined the group of manufacturers offering electric cars quite late, although this is a damaging statement, because already in the 1990s the company had battery-powered models in its range, including the RAV4 EV on the American market. The fact is, however, that over the years the Japanese company has developed the electrification of cars and is one of the world leaders in this regard. And it is the experience accumulated during this period with hybrids that, according to representatives of the brand, made it possible to present a car that is not late, but well prepared: to customer expectations, to the possibilities of infrastructure and competition with competitors. During the first road tests organized in Copenhagen, we were finally able to verify these assurances.
Toyota bZ4X – electric styling
Let’s start with the design – the bZ4X is certainly an eye-catcher and although it follows the popular SUV and crossover market trend, there’s no denying its expressiveness and individual character. It is positioned between the RAV4 and the much larger Highlander. It is slightly longer and shorter than the first and shares a similar wheelbase with the second. Massive wheel arches and sill covers give the bZ4X a raw, off-road character, while the sleek, narrow headlights and sloping roofline topped by a large split spoiler – a modern, dynamic style. The aerodynamics are said to be so good that the rear window wiper was dropped.
After taking your seat inside, attention is drawn to a modern cabin finished with sheets of ribbed material, an instrument display positioned above the steering wheel – much like the Peugeot iCockpit, but without the flattened rim in high – and a large 12-inch touchscreen multimedia system – the largest ever used in Toyota models. There are tactile and physical buttons below (for operating, among other things, air conditioning and some systems), which positively affect the ergonomics of operation, as well as those located on the arms of the steering wheel. There’s also a drive operation selection button and a lockable glove box with an inductive phone charging panel and USB socket. Additional storage is also found in the armrest and, quite large, under the center console panel, where there are two additional USB-C sockets. What is surprising, however, is the absence of a larger lockable compartment on the passenger side, supposedly the result of a compromise between legroom and keeping the dashboard narrow. The premium character of the interior is reinforced by the high quality of the finish and the materials used, although it should be noted here that we had cars in higher versions at our disposal.
As for the space for the driver and passengers, there is plenty of space on all seats, but you may have reservations about the position in the back seat – due to the high floor, to sit is unnatural with the knees raised overhead. This is again a compromise effect – on the one hand, a thick battery panel installed in the ground, and on the other hand, a lower roofline. An additional problem also arises with regard to the space for the feet of the passengers, if the persons seated in the front adjust their seat in the lowest position. We can not complain about the lack of space in the trunk, which contains 412 liters as standard, and with an underfloor storage compartment for charging cables, up to 452 liters. This value can of course be increased by folding the backrests of the sofa, but Toyota does not yet disclose official data.
Toyota bZ4X – dynamic handling
The way the new “electrician” behaves while driving is definitely a plus. As a reminder, it was designed on a dedicated eTNGA electric car floor plate with batteries placed low in the floor and one or two electric motors. In the first variant, with front-wheel drive, the engine has a power of 204 HP, in the second, each of the units of the front and rear axles has 109 HP, which gives a total of 218 HP. The rigid platform and low center of gravity, together with the elastically calibrated suspension characteristics (McPherson struts at the front and trailing arms at the rear) result in excellent stability and reliable behavior in corners, and in combination with the well-balanced steering system and lightning-quick response to movements of the accelerator pedal, they are even encouraging for active and dynamic driving.
In the more powerful variant that we had on the first rides, 337 Nm of torque transmitted to both axles available at all times, allow “jumps” when overtaking and a pleasant compression in the seat. In rational numbers, acceleration to “hundreds” lasting less than 7 s may not be particularly impressive, but it must be admitted that subjective impressions when picking up speed can make you smile with satisfaction. In addition, the bZ4X, despite more than 2 tons of weight, behaves very reliably and obediently obeys the commands of the driver.
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On the road, it also offers a high level of comfort, enhanced by the silence inside the cabin, characteristic of electricians, sometimes interrupted by the warning sounds of the driver attention monitoring system (which is part of the complete assistance and safety systems called T-Mate). Well, the camera in the steering column continuously monitors the driver, and he literally only needs to take his eyes off the road for a moment to receive the appropriate prompt. The signal is also emitted when we cover the camera with our hand, changing the grip of the steering wheel. Fortunately, the sounds are not intrusive. Despite the 20-inch wheels (18-inch wheels are offered in the base versions), the bZ4X handles unevenness very decently, and during off-road testing it additionally confirmed that it had no not afraid of even more difficult obstacles.
On a specially prepared track, we tested the operation of X-Mode, including traction on both axles, races with a large axle cross and the traction control system during descents and ascents, this which allows you to crawl safely on steep slopes. In addition, the bZ4X has a ground clearance of 17.7 cm and can wade through water up to a depth of 50 cm – a parameter that many traditional combustion SUVs, let alone electricians, cannot boast of. .
Toyota bZ4X – everyday eco
Of course, we are going to bet that few future owners of this car will use the off-road capabilities, and much more often they will appreciate the comfort it offers and the fact that it offers economical power consumption and decent range. with a normal daily life. conduct. During the 200 kilometer test run, which also included motorway sections, we recorded an average result of 16.7 kWh/100 km – Toyota claims 18.1 kWh/100 km in the WLTP cycle. This in turn means that with a battery capacity of 71.4 kWh, a range of over 420 km seems to be the most real. Front-wheel-drive versions could travel over 500 km on a single charge. Above all, energy supplementation up to 80 percent. thanks to a charging power of up to 150 kW, it only takes 30 minutes. With a standard 230 V socket, it takes up to 9.5 hours for a full charge. Another thing deserves attention – the on-board charger currently supports 6.6 kW, and from the fourth quarter of this year it will be replaced by an 11 kilowatt tri-voltage charger. Toyota assures that its batteries will last for the long haul and offers up to 10 years warranty or up to one million kilometres.
Toyota bZ4X – not for sale, but for rent
In March of this year, Toyota announced the bZ4X price list, which was opened in the amount of 220,000 zloty. Customers responded with 108 orders for the car. Today, however, the brand has changed its strategy and decided to offer its electrician only under the Kinto One rental program. Monthly installments for this lease start from PLN 2,931 net (PLN 3,605 gross) for the front-wheel-drive version with the Comfort equipment package. The 4×4 variant with the Prestige package is available from 3280 PLN net (4034 PLN gross) per month. It should be added that the basic equipment package already includes, among other things, heat pump, LED headlights, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry system, rear view camera, Toyota Smart Connect multimedia system with 8-inch color screen and navigation. In the top version of the Premiere Edition, the standard includes, among other things, leather upholstery, ventilated and heated front seats, 360-degree panoramic camera system, premium JBL audio system, driver monitoring camera and roof with solar panels for battery demand. The monthly payment for this version, however, is already 3911 PLN net (4811 PLN gross).
Toyota bZ4X – in our opinion
Cool and refined car, but not cheap. However, Toyota has to admit it’s done a good job and the bZ4X can be quite comfortable in this already crowded electric segment. The advantage of the model is the comfort it offers, the spacious and well-equipped interior and, above all, the dynamic character – this SUV drives very well. Also important is the warranty program: 3 years with a mileage limit of up to 100,000 km and even the aforementioned 10 years and one million km per battery, provided you use the special EV Health Check program.
Toyota bZ4X AWD – specifications
|Total engine power||218 hp|
|Total torque||337 Nm|
|Lithium ion battery||71.4kWh|
|Power Consumption (WLTP)||18.1kWh/100km|
|Range (WLTP) 18 inch rims||470 kilometers|
|20 inch wheel reach (WLTP)||411 kilometers|
|Length Width Height||4690/1860/1650mm|
|Luggage compartment capacity||452 liters|
|Proper weight||1985-2065 kilograms|
|Trailer||750 kg max|
|The amount of the monthly payment in the Kinto One leasing program||from 3280 PLN net (4034 PLN gross)|