2023 Toyota bZ4X Makes North American Debut, New Details Emerge

Following a global reveal in late October, Toyota today hosted the North American debut of its first fully electric SUV in production form. The oddly named bZ4X will land in showrooms in mid-2022 as a 2023 model.

In case you forgot, the Japanese automaker plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future lineup will feature 15 dedicated battery-electric vehicles, including seven carrying the “bZ” (Beyond Zero) brand moniker.

How Much Range?

Let’s immediately answer the question that’s probably burning your lips at this point: what’s the range? As previously reported, the bZ4X will be available in single-motor and dual-motor configurations, but the WLTP-estimated range of 500 km or 460 km, respectively, was definitely too optimistic.

According to Toyota Canada, once the rubber hits the road, the bZ4X will be able to cover up to 400 kilometres in XLE trim with front-wheel drive—same distance as the Volkswagen ID.4, which will be one of its direct competitors, but shorter than the Hyundai IONIQ 5. There’s no number yet for models equipped with all-wheel drive.

Photo: Toyota

Subaru Expertise Built-in

When it comes to performance, the Toyota bZ4X benefits from a new AWD system with X-Mode traction management similar to that of many Subaru vehicles. The two companies are long-time partners and the latter will launch its own electric SUV, called Solterra, at around the same time as the bZ4X. Both models ride on the same new platform.

Output is rated at 201 or 215 horsepower depending on the number of motors. Interestingly, Toyota engineers redesigned the accelerator pedal to create a smoother feel when accelerating and decelerating, coupled with an intelligent throttle with slip suppression to provide improved control on slippery roads. We’re curious to see how that works.

Photo: Toyota

New Styling Direction

Roughly the size of a RAV4, but lower and more athletic, the bZ4X has totally unique looks. The front end, which Toyota says is inspired by a hammerhead shark, combines thin LED headlights with contrasting body cladding around the wheel arches. In the rear, the liftgate has an extremely sloping window that will inevitably affect cargo capacity.

Photo: Toyota

The interior is a radical departure from current Toyota products, too. A large centre touchscreen highlights a cascading interface that flows into a floating console. Convenient storage can be found underneath as well as under the long centre armrest. The unique, all-digital instrument panel, meanwhile, is mounted closer to the base of the windshield and the driver’s sight lines. Toyota also insists on the generous amount of legroom front and rear, plus the feeling of openness provided by the panoramic roof.

By the way, the bZ4X is ready to face cold Canadian winters with heated seats and steering wheel, front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heating (a Toyota first) and a heat pump for both heating and air conditioning.

Photo: Toyota

Another important thing you should know is that the bZ4X will be the first vehicle to feature the latest Toyota Safety Sense safety package (TSS 3.0). This system has been improved by expanding the detection range of the millimeter wave radar and monocular camera. Toyota has enhanced the performance of each function and added new features to assist in normal driving conditions. For example, the Precollision system has been improved to offer Low-Light Cyclist Detection, Daytime Motorcyclist Detection and Guardrail Detection. Also, lane recognition is enhanced to add improved functionality while in Lane Tracing Assist mode.

Full details including pricing and available EV incentives will be announced closer to the launch of the 2023 Toyota bZ4X sometime around next summer.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

ElectricToyota bZ4X Makes Production Debut With Impressive Range
Toyota on Friday unveiled the production version of its upcoming compact electric SUV, the bZ4X , which is based on the similarly named concept we saw back in April and sized pretty much like the popular RAV4 . Inaugurating the new “bZ” (beyond Zero) sub-brand, which will encompass a number …
ShanghaiToyota bZ4X Concept Hints at Toyota’s First Electric SUV
On Sunday in Shanghai Toyota celebrated the world premiere of a new electric SUV concept that will become a production model next year. And yes, it will come to North America. Called bZ4X, this concept refers to Toyota’s new bZ sub-brand (which stands for “Beyond Zero” as in zero emissions) …
NewsToyota, Stellantis Announce EV Battery Plants in North America
People ordering one of the latest electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market need to show a lot of patience due to centralized production and/or limited battery supplies. Those who have signed up for a Toyota RAV4 Prime can tell you all about it. We have great news to …
ElectricToyota Chief Scientist’s Latest Remarks on EVs Fuel Controversy
Hybrid-loving Toyota continues to advocate against a full shift to all-electric vehicles as more and more governments around the world say they want to ban gasoline engines at some point in the next decade. After Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and Toyota Canada VP Stephen Beatty, it’s now the Japanese automaker’s …
ElectricToyota Puts EV Focus on Affordability, Not Range
Toyota’s first battery electric vehicle, called bZ4X , is slated to launch in mid-2022 and looks very promising. In fact, similar to the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid SUV, demand is sure to be quite strong, especially in markets like Quebec and B.C. Following its North American premiere at the Los …
NewsToyota Hikes Electric Vehicle Sales Goal to 3.5 Million Per Year
Toyota aims to sell 3.5 million electric vehicles per year from the next decade, its CEO said Tuesday, nearly doubling the Japanese auto giant's existing target as part of efforts to drive down carbon emissions. The world's top-selling carmaker also plans to roll out 30 battery-powered electric models by 2030, …
New ModelsToyota Shows bZ4X GR Sport and GR GT3 Concepts in Tokyo
Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 is off to a start and Toyota has quite a lineup to showcase including several sporty and race-oriented models. The one we’re the most interested in is probably the bZ4X GR Sport Concept, based on the brand’s upcoming electric SUV. It is said to deliver “an …
First Drives2023 Toyota bZ4X: Moderation in All Things
Toyota was one of the automotive industry's pioneers in electrifying its vehicles at the turn of the 21st century with the Prius, and later with an expanded line of hybrid models. That said, the automaker was still slow to unveil a first, full-scale 100% electric model. It is with the …
ElectricToyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra Production Resumes After 3-Month Pause
Production of the brand new 2023 Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra electric crossovers, which was suspended in June, has now resumed at Toyota’s Motomachi assembly plant in Japan. It was previously discovered that the wheel hub bolts could loosen under hard braking and steering manoeuvres, potentially causing a wheel to …