Categories: Tests

Toyota bZ4X (2022) test: first successful test?

In the 25 years since the release of the very first Prius, Toyota has established itself as pioneer and leader of the hybrid, in France and around the world. So, logical that the group is reluctant to go electric! Especially since the Japanese giant does not need it to achieve its CO2 targets in Europe. But faced with an increasingly important demand, and with competitors who are positioning themselves very quickly, Toyota had to react. Here is the very first electric vehicle developed by Toyota: the bZ4X. A barbaric name, which evokes the brand’s strategy (Beyond Zero: beyond 0 emissions), and its size, similar to that of a RAV4.

But the segment of electric SUVs of this format, competition is already tough, whether we are talking about Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, MG Marvel R, Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6. Not easy to tell the difference, even when your name is Toyota. So what is the bZ4X worth on trial? Will he be able to convince the regulars of the brand to switch from hybrid to electric ? Can it begin to change Toyota’s all-hybrid image? Response items in this first test of the Toyota bZ4Xto discover here in video :

Inside the Toyota bZ4X: livable and well thought out, but a big miss

At the front of the Toyota bZ4X, the objective was clearly to provide maximum visibility on the road. To achieve this, the dashboard is lowered to the maximum. An interesting effort, especially behind the wheel as we will see below, but which has two unfortunate consequences. First, to a lesser extent, the disappearance of the glove box. Fortunately, the numerous storage spaces elsewhere and in particular under the central arch, compensate quite a bit.

But above all, the Toyota bZ4X is contaminated by the “Peugeot i-Cockpit” effect. Depending on your driving position, the instrument cluster, a 7″ screen positioned very far and high, can be completely hidden by the top of the steering wheel. To remedy this slight problem, Toyota will offer a “yoke” type steering wheel in a few months, ie without the upper part of the steering wheel. But in the absence of the latter, take care to study your driving position before going to checkout.

For the rest, the ergonomics are pretty well thought out. The 12.3-inch central screen is very successful. Easy to use, readable and responsive, it provides quick access to many functions. Unfortunately, not at one trip planner, which would allow you to anticipate refills on a long journey… You will still have to go through third-party apps. Under this screen, there is a touch panel with several controls, which do not move. Practice.

Correct finish and good roominess at the rear

And overall, the quality of manufacture and materials is rather flattering, and has nothing to envy to the Volkswagen ID.4, for example. It is true that our test model is placed at the very top of the range, with a premium finish which is not yet available for order, but which should flirting with the €59,000 excluding bonus. Elsewhere, driving aids and other equipment expected at this price level are present.

Behind, as often on electric vehicles, free to increase the wheelbase, the habitability is excellent. The knee room is very generous, and the large glazed surface contributes to this impression of space. We just regret the absence of foot cellars, and a floor a little too high relative to the seat.

At the wheel of the Toyota bZ4X: ease of use above all

At the wheel of this Toyota bZ4X, the focus is clearly on smoothness of use. Comfort is good despite the large 20 inch rims of this high finish. And the 218 hp of our AWD version does not give not into excessive performance, even if the recoveries are largely sufficient. We are dealing here with a family-oriented vehicle, and Toyota has not sought to exceed this function. Dynamism is therefore not required, even if the very low center of gravity makes this bZ4X rather pleasant to drive. Finally, the noise is quite well filtered, but not at the level of a Volkswagen ID.4

because of rolling noises that are sometimes too intrusive.

We also benefit from good visibility all around the car, a great asset in town. We will therefore wait for the famous “yoke” steering wheel in the fall of 2022 to finally be able to adjust its driving position at will without blocking the counters.

Toyota bZ4X: range and charging

In terms of autonomy, our test model in AWD and 20-inch rims is the least well off of the range, with only 411 km announced according to the WLTP cycle. But by choosing the 2WD traction version, sufficient for everyday use, and avoiding the 20-inch rims which fly 50 km range, you can push this figure to 500 km. Rather well, even if our model of the day would struggle to exceed 370 km of autonomy in real life. To be checked as soon as the bZ4X can pass into the hands of Labo Auto Plus.

The Toyota bZ4X can count on a fast charge at 150 kW. A figure in the average of the category, which will allow him to charge from 0 to 80% in about 30 minutes according to the manufacturer. The on-board charger can charge at 6.6 kW for now, but will be replaced by an 11 kW charger in the fall. We just regret theabsence of a conditioner battery, which would allow you to take advantage of faster charges, especially in winter. But the heat pump is installed as standard, which is not always the case with the competition.

Toyota bZ4X test report: waiting for the fall

In short, you will have understood it, the Toyota bZ4X does not transcend, but remains in the middle of a busy pack. Its advantages in terms of comfort and standard equipment compensate some shortcomings in terms of ergonomics and specific electrical equipment. We do not yet know the prices of the SUV, but they should remain within the range occupied by the competition, ie between approximately €45,000 and €60,000 depending on the version, the one being tested being at the top of the basket. For the bZ4X to find its place on the market, they will have to be competitive against Volkswagen in particular. We will also wait for the modified version in the fall, which should correct some youthful flaws.

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