10 thoughts on the 2024 Toyota bZ4X

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The Toyota bZ4X, the brand’s first mass-market EV, is now in its second model year. This small electric crossover was co-developed alongside the very similar Subaru Solterra, and competes in and increasingly competitive EV segment. We’ve driven it before, and Senior Editor James Riswick even put it through his standard luggage test, fancy bag and all.

I recently spent a week with the Toyota bZ4x, and have a few musings about things that stuck out to me over the course of daily driving duty. Here are 10 thoughts about the Toyota bZ4X.

1. It looks pretty good in gray

The lack of a grille can be a little unsettling when there’s just a smooth, plain surface where you’re expecting to see some sort of variation in color or texture. You get used to it quickly, though, and the rest of the bZ4X’s exterior design is cohesive and attractive. With the black-on-gray motif, I thought it was pretty attractive. It’s not so hot in other colors, like white.

2. The front seats are excellent

The seats left a great first impression while sitting inside the bZ4X. The driver’s seat feels like it was perfectly contoured and padded to support my body comfortably, providing solid contact between my whole back/backside and the upholstery. That good impression was a lasting one, too, as it felt just as wonderful after longer drives.

3. Acceleration is totally fine

The dual-motor bZ4x provides 214 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. That doesn’t really seem like a lot, but don’t worry. Toyota claims a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds for the bZ4X with AWD, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a conservative estimate. Acceleration feels especially quick at around-town speeds, and certainly remains adequate when merging onto the highway.

4. It could use a true one-pedal driving experience

It has an increased regen button that does add a little more regen, but it’s not very aggressive, and it definitely won’t bring the car to a complete stop. Plus, if the car is fully charged, it won’t let you use it anyway (that’s not unusual for an EV). I’ve grown to love the option of one-pedal driving in EVs. When available, I find I use it about 50% of the time, switching between one-pedal and low-regen driving modes depending on the situation and my mood. Moot point here, as there’s no one-pedal setup in the bZ4x.

5. The range-to-price calculation could be better

The base version of the bZ4X is pretty practical, with the $44,420 XLE providing 252 miles of EPA-rated driving range while still offering decent winter driving thanks to front-wheel drive. Add all-wheel drive to the XLE (for a total of $46,500), and range drops to 228. The higher Limited trim with FWD ($48,530) gets 236 miles, or 222 miles with AWD (at $50,610).

And I was driving that Limited AWD … in the winter. It wasn’t super cold — it rained that week, after all — but I still wasn’t getting anywhere close to even 200 miles of range. I saw closer to 180 miles of range indicated when I did get in the car fully charged. I suppose I could have convinced the computer to indicate more miles if I drove more economically and used the climate control sparingly.

Granted, I don’t drive 180 miles most days, and public chargers exist, but I could get any number of other EVs and get considerably more range — and performance — for the price.

6. There’s no glove box

How often do you open your glove compartment? The answer is probably very rarely. Might make you deem it useless, except that I like having a storage area that’s out of the way and I don’t open very often. Without it, you’ve got to find a place to stash your owner’s manual, which might not even be in the car. You could put your paperwork up in the visor, I suppose, or in the center console bin, but that just adds more clutter when you’re trying to find your parking pass or phone cord or chapstick.

Basically, your options are to put things in an open storage area where you have to look at it, in the trunk where you can’t get to it, or in the console bin where it gets in the way of items you use more regularly.

7. It’s got Subaru’s X-Mode

Perhaps one of the most unmistakable examples of the bZ4X’s cross-development with the Subaru Solterra is the presence of an X-Mode button. X-Mode gives you drive modes for different surfaces and terrain, which is great to have, but the branding of it is very much a Subaru thing, and feels out of place in this Toyota.

8. The infotainment system had issues … or at least it did in this car

Sometimes the volume controls would just stop working, whether I was using the buttons below the unit itself or the toggle on the steering wheel. Even powering the infotainment system off and on wouldn’t help. It would just cease responding until the next time I started the car.

Also, one time, the infotainment system just crashed mid-drive and restarted. These problems could have been confined to my individual test vehicle.

Once during the week, my phone failed to connect to the car, and I spent part of the drive hitting “retry” on the touchscreen until I finally just canceled.

9. There is no easy way to escape Apple CarPlay

This is an issue that isn’t confined to this particular car, nor even the bZ4X in general. Toyota’s new infotainment system doesn’t provide an easy way to its native home screen from Apple CarPlay. I found myself often wanting to change the radio station or adjust a certain setting while using Google Maps, for instance. While other vehicles (including previous-generation Toyotas) offer a permanent home button or icon, you have to tap-tap-tap within CarPlay to exit whatever app you’re using and select the Toyota app to get to its menu screens.

10. I don’t miss the rear wiper, but you might

I might be in the minority on this one, and I know for sure that Senior Editor James Riswick disagrees with me. I, however, don’t mind the lack of a rear windshield wiper. Driving in the rain, the air sort of channeled the beads of water toward the center of the window, which isn’t ideal, but it’s not really worse than a sedan in my opinion.

Riswick commented, though, that, “Sure, channeled air will clean the rear window … at speed. Should you find yourself stuck in stop-and-go traffic, however, you’ll be enjoying a totally covered rearview.”

Related video:

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