All-New 2023 Toyota bZ4X: An Electric RAV4

Toyota finally has an electric vehicle on the market, and it’s the 2023 (wait for it) bZ4X.

Yes, I had to double-check the correct spelling of the name too.  Think of this new entry into the EV market as a RAV4, only electric.

I will say, this an interesting car.  It took Toyota a long time to finally get an electric vehicle to market, and the reviews so far have been mixed.  It is a decent small car/SUV. And a handsome car at that.

You may have seen the commercials using the Jacksons 5 song ABC to promote this car, promising how its as ‘easy as ABC’ to charge, drive and go.  Yeah, well, not quite IMHO. (And it’s not the Jackson 5 singing either.)

The tech is probably the best standout feature here. If you are truly into using voice commands and now use a lot of USB-C ports, welcome to the 21st Century as the bZ4X has 4 USB-C ports and, because the tech is Google-based, it’s easy to use your voice to get this car to do whatever you desire.

Given the size of our audience (pun intended), I encourage our readers to test this car in person before buying, should you be interested. It is a small car in many circles but there is plenty of room inside for average-sized bears and families. Your midsized husky named Fluffy and a week’s worth of groceries should be fine in the backseats. 

I did enjoy driving it. I tested the AWD Limited edition, which is one notch up (kinda) from the base XLE. Getting around the city, going from restaurant to coffee shop to the superstore was a breeze.  No need to watch the gas tank with an electric vehicle. 

A drawback to the bZ4X is that the range is only 225-250 miles (maybe) per charge.  Nowadays, new electric vehicles can average around 300 miles or more, and that has become (more or less) the standard. 

Another big drawback is that the steering wheel is positioned so poorly that it blocks the dash cluster (which is also positioned poorly IMHO), making it hard to see also the vital indicators like speed, charge, etc.  You have to carefully adjust the wheel height and your seat the make sure you can see everything in front of you. Yeah, yeah, I was inconvenienced.

I think the jury is still out of the bZ4X.  Prices start at $42K US, which is kinda steep for the field.  Many dealers as of late are reporting that many electric cars have been sitting on their lots.  I don’t know what all that means, but, well….

One has to wonder how they came up with the name for this car.   I am old fashioned: I still wish cars were named after animals.  Like, the Bear. 

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