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New Toyota bZ3 electric saloon makes Shanghai Auto Show debut

The bZ3 will share plenty of parts with Toyota’s bZ4X SUV

One of the cars teased during Toyota’s 11-car concept unveiling last year was an executive saloon with pure-electric power, and now we can see the finalised product at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show - the bZ3. The name follows on from the bZ4X that arrived in the UK in 2022 and the new saloon car also shares the same platform as the electric SUV.

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Like the bZ4X, the production car looks almost identical to the concept. The new bZ3 adopts plenty of the sharp, angular styling from the bZ SDN concept saloon as well as elements from the bZ4X SUV. The lower front bumper has received a slight redesign but the full-width headlight bar remains the same. 

At the side, we can see the two-tone colour combination working to give the bZ3 a lower-looking profile which is helped by a gently rising windscreen. The roof extends quite far to the rear, giving the saloon car a hatchback-like rear end. The uplift of the side skirt just in front of the rear wheel gives the look of a sportier pinched waistline, too.

The rather upright rear features another full-width lightbar and we can see the use of a ‘bZ3’ badge on the bootlid. Unlike on the bZ4X, the charging port is located on the rear three-quarter panel, rather than on the front wing. 

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Inside the bZ3, we see an interior relatively far removed from the bZ4X with a similar-sized central touch screen now vertical plus a completely new centre console, a flat-topped and flat bottom steering wheel and in general a more minimalist look. 

Toyota hasn’t revealed too many technical details on the new bZ3’s electric powertrain, but we know it sits on the same eTNGA platform as its bZ4X sibling, meaning we could see the same battery capacity of 71.4kWh. In the bZ4X there are two output choices - four-wheel drive with 215bhp and 337Nm or a front-wheel drive with 201bhp and 266NM of torque. Toyota mentions BYD as a key partner for the bZ3 so there’s a possibility the power unit could be sourced from the Chinese car maker. 

As for range, Toyota claims over 372 miles on a single charge. The bZ3’s better aerodynamic efficiency than its bZ4X SUV counterpart should mean the saloon will easily top the 317 miles for the front-wheel drive version of the bZ4X.

At 4725mm long, 1835mm wide and 1475mm tall, the bZ3 is a similar size to the now-axed Camry. Unfortunately, Toyota has announced the bZ3 will be a China-only model, with no plans for it to come to Europe.

Now read our list of the best electric cars to buy...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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