Toyota bZ4X review - Range, charging and running costs
Rapid charging ability is a welcome feature, but insurance costs are likely to be expensive
Toyota previously claimed that the bZ4X was capable of covering up to 318 miles on a single charge in the right configuration. However, it has since adjusted the car’s claimed figures, potentially to make them more realistic with what owners might experience in the real-world.
Toyota now says front-wheel drive versions of the bZ4X can cover just 271 miles at best before the 75kWh battery (71kWh of which is usable) is fully depleted, while more powerful, dual-motor all-wheel drive models (which use the same battery) will do 255 miles on a charge. For context, the similarly priced Tesla Model Y can cover 283 in its base form, or 331 miles if you get the Long Range model, which also offers all-wheel drive. Rivals from Kia, Hyundai, Skoda, Volkswagen and Nissan all offer more than 300 miles of range, some of them quite a lot more.
We couldn’t quite match Toyota’s claimed efficiency numbers for the bZ4X, either. The Japanese manufacturer lists 4.4 miles/kWh for FWD versions and 4.0 miles/kWh for the AWD bZ4X. However, during our group test between an AWD bZ4X Motion, dual-motor Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4 GTX, we managed to average 3.4 miles/kWh, which works out at 243 miles of real-world driving range. It’s worth remembering, though, that there are a host of factors that can affect overall efficiency, such as your driving style, the weather conditions, average speed and what type of road you’re driving on.
Car group tests
The bZ4X’s 150kW maximum charging speed is solid by today’s standards, and is on par with the Nissan Ariya and Skoda Enyaq iV’s capabilities. However, it’s unable to touch the 200kW+ speeds the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6 can reach. Nevertheless, a 10 to 80 per cent top-up should take 32 minutes. The bZ4X is fitted with an 11kW on-board AC charger for when you’re charging up at home; a typical 7kW home wallbox should take around 12 hours to fully recharge the car.
Insurance costs for the bZ4X are likely to be expensive, because even the FWD Pure model sits in insurance group 35 (out of 50). You’ll find premiums higher still if you upgrade to Motion or Vision trim, as both of them land in group 36.
AWD models all sit in group 38 and, while these ratings are not too dissimilar to close rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ford Mustang Mach-E, the bZ4X doesn’t offer anywhere near as much power as those cars.
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Buyers will be reassured by early signs that the bZ4X should be a strong performer on the used market. Our expert data suggests that, after a typical ownership period of three years and 36,000 miles, Toyota’s first all-electric car should retain an average of 58 per cent of its original value. The entry 201bhp Pure model is the pick of the range, expected to hold onto nearly 60 per cent of its list price.
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In this review
- 1Toyota bZ4X reviewThe Toyota bZ4X is a capable, all-electric family car that impresses across the board, although some will find it expensive to buy
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe bZ4X offers decent driving dynamics and just enough power to keep things interesting
- 3Range, charging and running costs - currently readingRapid charging ability is a welcome feature, but insurance costs are likely to be expensive
- 4Interior, design and technologyA stylish exterior design and a high-quality feel to the cabin should help the bZ4x win over buyers
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePracticality is a mixed bag for the bZ4X; boot space is adequate, but rear passenger space could be better
- 6Reliability and safetyThe bZ4X offers impressive levels of safety and a reassuring warranty package