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

Toyota has long viewed the electric car with caution. There were certainly a few prototypes, based on iQ or RAV4. But the leaders of the brand have long said that they wanted to launch when technology allowed them to offer a model offering a autonomy of 500 km. Thing promised, thing due: the bZ4X, the first of a real offensive in this area, announces 513 km on the normalized WLTP cycle. Provided you choose the front-wheel drive version and settle for 18-inch rims: the Toyota bZ4X with four-wheel drive and 20-inch rims only has a range of 411 km…

The name of this Toyota bZ4X may seem abstruse at first sight, but responds to a logic. The first letters bZ mean “beyond Zero”, or beyond zero, and want to testify 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 which announces the level of range, possibly and as here decked out with an X in the case of SUVs. The next step is expected to be a family sedan dubbed the bZ5, soon to be followed by other models, both smaller and larger. Many fans of the electric car blame Toyota for arriving late. It is to forget the industrial power of the Japanese giant, able to decline the models quickly. It is also to forget that this bZ4X only arrives a few months after most of its competitors, and that many manufacturers are confining their electric models to only one market segment, for the moment.

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

If Toyota ventures into the bizarre with this registration number, wisdom is in order concerning the segment chosen. 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 template is tailor-made to win the widest possible support in world markets. The lines are futuristic, but not too much. The habitability is generous but the trunk of 452 liters any for the size. Especially since there is no second storage space in the front, while the designers have strangely ignored the glove box.

On board, the quality impression is real, despite the presence of many hard plastics. If the plastic arch that supports the instrument cluster (to read, as at Peugeot, over the steering wheel) is frankly fake, the fabric covering of the dashboard brings a little warmth. The assemblies are rigorous, the door closes with a dull sound, the seats are comfortable… Added to this is up-to-date technological equipment, even if we cannot help but regret that the GPS is not capable of program a route with charging stops.

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