Toyota bZ4X Long Term Review

£54,410

Electrifying.com score

6/10

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​Toyota is a bit late to the (fully) electric car party. Is its first effort – this bZ4X – something I’ll be recommending to friends and family? I’ve been running one for a few weeks to find out.

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Car Review
  • Battery size: 71kWh
  • Max charge rate: 150kW
  • Range: 286 miles
  • Efficiency rating: B
  • Real world miles per kWh: 2.9
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  • Battery size: 71kWh
  • Max charge rate: 150kW
  • Range: 286 miles
  • Efficiency rating: B
  • Real world miles per kWh: 2.9

Ginny Says

“Tom's not had the smoothest time with the bZ4X but he's been a little more patient with it than I would've been. The interior is not attractive enough and I just think there are better electric cars for the money.”

Mike Says

“The Toyota's unique selling point would seem to be its off-road ability. It might look like any other 'soft-roader' but its probably the electric 4x4 I'd trust most in the mud and snow. Until the new Range Rover appears, at least.”

Driven and reviewed by 

Tom Barnard

 - 
10 Jan 2024


Some long journeys - and colder weather - have meant I'm charging more than I expected. And I managed to break a Toyota, which seems like something of an achievement.

Hone on the range

Comparing the range and efficiency of electric cars is tricky as everyone has different driving styles and journeys. The seasons also play a big factor, as the cold takes a chunk out of the battery's stored energy. But having run electric cars for more than a decade I've built up a good idea of what's efficient. The Toyota doesn't score well on the Barnardometer. This bZ4x has a 71.4kWh battery. When it’s cold, the range show 170 miles, which is more than 100 miles less than the official range and 2.4 miles per kWh. My average over the autumn was 2.9. That’s not great – at all. 

I’ve taken to switching off the heater on long journeys and using the - excellent – automatic seat and steering wheel heaters. But then the windows fuff up. I know I'm spoilt but a heated windscreen would really help here.

It would also have prevented screen my only ‘breakdown’. Yes – I managed to break a Toyota. Thank you. No need to applaud. 

On a particularly cold morning I nipped out to the Toyota to start the defrosting process while the kids faffed about getting ready for school - something which is necessary as the bZ4x doesn't have any way on the app to precondition the interior. While I waited for it to defrost, it drained the 12v battery so the car wouldn't 'start' and threw up scary warning messages. 

A quick boost on a 12v battery charger got it going again, but it was a nasty surprise. I have since read the manual (yes, I know) and seen there is a way of preconditioning by using a button on the key. It would be nice to be able to do it if you are not near the car though. 

Talking of charging, I did one particular journey where I knew I would need to charge on both the outward and return legs. I selected the new bank of chargers at Blyth Services knowing they should work and set out. I arrived with 5% capacity on the way up and allowed myself a little more heating on the way home, so got there with 2%. The car took 130kW and charged to 80% in the time it took me to buy some lunch and have a wee. That helps make up for the sub 200 mile real world range, a little.

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