Toyota bZ4X: an electric SUV more reliable than the Tesla Model Y?

Toyota has long viewed the electric car with caution. There were certainly some prototypes, based on iQ or RAV4. But brand leaders have long said they wanted to launch when technology allowed them to offer a model that offered a 500 km range. Promised thing, due thing: the bZ4X, the first of a real offensive in this area, announces 513 km on the standardized WLTP cycle. As long as you choose the front-wheel drive version and are satisfied with the 18-inch rims: the Toyota bZ4X with all-wheel drive and 20-inch rims has only a range of 411 km…

The name of this Toyota bZ4X may seem obscure at first, but it responds to a logic. The first letters bZ mean “beyond Zero”, or beyond zero, and they want to attest to the absence of exhaust emissions from this model. This number will designate the entire range of battery-powered models from the Japanese manufacturer. The differentiation will be made by the number that announces the level of range, possibly and as here decorated with an X in the case of SUVs. The next step is expected to be a family sedan dubbed the bZ5, which will soon be followed by other models, smaller and larger. Many electric car fans blame Toyota for being late. It is forgetting the industrial power of the Japanese giant, capable of rapidly declining models. It’s also worth noting that this bZ4X arrives just a few months later than most of its competitors, and that many manufacturers are confining their electric models to just one market segment for now.

A Toyota bZ4X as a Volkswagen ID.4 or a Tesla Model Y

If Toyota ventures into the bizarre with this registration number, wisdom is in order as to which segment to choose. Unsurprisingly, the bZ4X comes in the form of a 4.69m long family SUV, halfway between a Volkswagen ID.4 and a Tesla Model Y. The model is tailor-made to gain the widest possible support in world markets. The lines are futuristic, but not too much. The habitability is generous, but the 452-liter trunk is anything but for the size. Especially since there’s no second storage space at the front, while the designers strangely ignored the glove compartment.

On board, the quality print is real, despite the presence of many hard plastics. If the plastic arch that holds up the instrument panel (to read, as in Peugeot, over the steering wheel) is frankly fake, the panel’s fabric cladding brings a little warmth. The assemblies are rigorous, the door closes with a thud, the seats are comfortable… Added to this is state-of-the-art technological equipment, although we cannot help but regret that the GPS is not capable of programming a route. with charging stops.

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