For my comfort and economy the BZ4X is the best Toyota I have driven that fits my needs 90% of my driving life.
I am not an engineer, professional driver or YouTube Automotive review guy. Just a standard Dad who is trying to convince his teenage kids that he is cool.
Here are my observations of the 2023 BZ4X XLE AWD with Technology Package.
The quality of the ride has the right amount of comfort and responsiveness. Wind noise on the highway is loud but bearable. Lack of engine noise makes the cabin noise quiet. The JBL sound system is good enough to drown out any white noise from the wind /highway noise.
Just as you would expect trom an EV the acceleration is quicker which adds to the fun off the line or rounding corners. The regenerative braking while turned on does have an aggressive "bite" to it both in acceleration and deceleration. In acceleration, you can feel the gas pedal is heavier then normal to get the vehicle moving. In deceleration, the sensation simulates down shifting all the way down to second gear in manual transmission. I am able to drive the vehicle with one pedal but takes some time to learn the timing. Warning, driving with regenerative braking does not engage your brake lights. Could cause a rear end collision if the driver behind depends on your brake lights to slow down. Last note, unlike other brands BZ4X regeneratove braking does not come to a full stop... it comes to a crawl.
REGENERATIVE BRAKE Update: see March 1, 2023 and March 8, 2023 posts
The ride height is 8". This is identical to my 2022 Toyota Highlander. Provides enough confidence for me to drive through an unplowed snow covered street. The XDrive was easy to use and provided enough grip for me to drive through snow conditions.
The dashboard. Yes, Toyota does likes to do these "experimental" positioning of the dash board. From my first Yaris (center of dash) to this vehicle. Just like every other model I have adapted. There is a sweet spot in which you can position the top curve of the steering wheel to fit the curve of the graphics on the display. This gives you a driving position that is upright and comfortable. Yes, it's not sporty. Yes, no style points will be awarded when you role down the window and greet your friends. Yes, you will look like a parent.
The KM Range.
Current outisde temp of 0 to 10 celsius. I average 25 Kwh/100 km. This is driving comfortably with all the heat elements on (steering wheel, seat, foot well) on and driving about 120 to 180 km a day. My typical day starts with the car at 90% and I end my day at 40% (120km = 30kw) to 20% (180km = 55kw)
The displayed range on the dash is very decieving. Ive learned to drive blind and trust my calculations. Whatever is displayed range. on the dash will never be the actual range you get out of the vehicle. At the current temperature I am confident that this vehicle at 90% charge will get you 190 - 200 km driven with all the heating elements on and have 10 - 15 % of charge remaining at the end of the day. Any driving beyond 200km I would be stressed out looking for the next DC Fast charge to get through my day. To extend my range, i have driven the vehicle like an ice box and cracking the window to defog my windsheild and have managed to get 240 km with the same use (from 90% to 15%). Driving an ice box is not recommended.
If there is anything I can hope for in future Toyota EV's would be to provide a more accurate state of your battery and a better gauge on how much battery is consumed in real-time. The current set up gives you false hope that you will make it as far as the vehicle as indicated which in turn adds more grey hair to your life.
According to my Toyota App. My driving Pulse score in the last 50 days has been "Excellent" with 282 harsh cornering (i drive through three roundabouts daily) , 31 fast acceleration, 65 harsh braking.
More notes: turning on the fan reduces the diplayed range by 60-80 km. All other functions do not show a decrease in displayed range (ex. Heated seat, heated steering wheel, rear and mirror defog, etc...) but I do feel the rate of range available as I drive is reduced at a faster rate.
My Road Trip:
- Start of trip at 99%.
- Outside temp 7C
- Turned AC on while plugged in for 15 minutes before leaving.
- Highway driving 90% of the time. (100 to 120kmh)
- 5 passengers. Estimated combined weight : 730 lbs.
- Entire drive without AC or fan.
- Total distance covered 177 km.
- Drive Pulse score: Excellent , 1 harsh cornering, 1 fast acceleration, 2 harsh breaking.
- Dash Board start of trip indicated 385km of range available. End of trip indicated 144 km. According to dashboard i drove 240km. Actual drive was 177km. This was inaccurate by 63 km.
- Final percentage at end of trip 33%. Total use of battery 66%
My conclusions: Driving this vehicle like an icebox with 5 passengers and outside temp of 7C; I can drive this vehicle from 99% to 0% a distance of approximately 260km or 160 miles. If driven with AC on at auto/econo mode with outside temp of 7C I estimate this vehicle a range of 200 km or 124 miles or less.
I have zero confidence that this vehicle can get anywhere close to what is advertised. Toyota website claims 367 km driving range. At my current weather condition of 0 to 10C, 367km is hard to believe. Curious to note if I will get this range in the summer. I doubt it. At the moment when someone asks I can confidently say 210 km 100 to 0% driven comfortably... pushing it 250km. Fastest charge 15% to 80% .. DC fast charge 1 hour 40 minutes. Judge yourself, your trip, your drive accordingly.
My current charging set up. Using my dryer outlet. 220v / 24 amp / 4.8 kwh. ( 7 hours = 33 kw = 45% of battery recovered) Cost of equipment : dryer switch $400, level 2 charger $600, install $0)
Level 1 charger provided by Toyota. My previous charging set up. 110v (7 hours = 14% of battery recovered) Painful. Not recommended. Daily stress calculating trips. Anything more then 80km a day is stressful. Constatly finding a charging station and crossing fingers it is available and working.
Final Final note: Power Outage overnight sucks. Spending early morning sitting at fast charging station to make sure you get a spot and enough charge for the day is painful and requires determination, discipline, and self control from explicit profanity every 30 seconds.
Piano finish collects finger prints and scratches. I have to wipe down with micro cloth on a reguar basis. The buttons and controls are easy to use and understand, very characteristic of any other Toyota.
The missing glove box is replaced by the center storage as it is deep enough to fit all the typical paper work you would have in a traditional glove box.
The new radiant heating element in the front passenger footwell is ok. The driver side heating element is as wide as the base of the steering column and is not enough to heat the entire foot well. The heating element in the front passenger is wider and does a better job heating your legs. Heated rear seats works as expected.
In person views look much better then online. I have the white/black version XLE AWD with the 20" wheels and rear split spoiler.
This is the first Toyota I have owned that strangers have approached me with complimenting conversations. Part curiosity as the vehicle is not seen often.
Fits my needs. An EV vehicle at $50K (with $10k rebate). Fits my daily driving need of 180km per day with the ability to recover enough to repeat the following morning. Comfortable ride to and from with no frills. Confident that I can accelerate when I need to react. Keeping it Simple.
Bingo Fuel; military slang for minimum fuel required for a comfortable and safe return to base. (Enter Hunt for Red October movie reference here)
The reality is that for my daily driving lifestyle, I find my "Bingo Fuel" is at 35%. I approximate this to be 40 km before 0%. Driving below this point is calculated and any detour would incur some stress into my day. With my day constantly starting at 90% and my "Bingo Fuel" at 35% and current temp of 0 to 10 celsius those percentages equate to about 165 km of driving range at the highest level of comfort.
If driven like an icebox with outside temp of 0 to 10C. I would estimate 250 - 260 km of range. ( see my road trip experience above). Not recommended. WARNING: Driving and ice box sucks and will create a miserable, cold, unhappy wife.
I would not recommend this vehicle if on a regular basis you have to drive more then 180km a day during winter and you only intend to charge using a combo of level 1 at home and public charging stations. (Level 1 = 55% = 13 hours to charge). It can be done just might not be good for your sanity. I tried this for a month. It sucks.
On the other hand. If you drive less than 180 km a day and you have a level 2 charger set up. This vehicle is awesome.
2023 Toyota BZ4X, it is simple but good (only up to 180km). It's like a grill that only cooks and fits a single 8 oz. NY strip .. works really well... season with salt and pepper... nice quick sear both sides.. slow cook to medium rare... no sides... bada bing bada boom... thank you and good night. No gold foil.. no salt bouncing of fore arm... grill to fork to mouth... that's it.
My previous Toyota's:
2000 Toyota Corrola
2002 Toyota Yaris
2006 Toyota Matrix XLE
2010 Toyota Prius Limited
2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited
2017 Toyota Prius with Tech Package
2022 Toyota Highlander AWD XLE
1993 Mitsubishi Lancer
1995 Mitsubishi Lancer
1998 Toyota Corolla
1990 BMW 3 series
2015 Mercedes C Class
Thank you for reading this far. I hope this helps you find the right EV vehicle.