2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD Review
Price & Equipment: 7.5
Performance & Economy: 7.5
Ride & Handling: 8
Interior & Practicality: 8
Service & Warranty: 7
What we like:
  • Toyota's first EV is simple, honest and decent
  • Drives just like an electric Rav4
  • Room and spacious inside
What we don't like:
  • Driving range should be longer, and DC charging times should be faster
  • It's more expensive than rivals
  • Interior doesn't feel special enough for the money
7.6DiscoverAuto Rating:

Can you believe it: Toyota finally has an electric vehicle! The 2024 Toyota bZ4X marks Toyota’s debut in the electric vehicle market and is poised to go head-to-head with the Australia’s most popular EV: the Tesla Model Y, plus other rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The world’s largest automotive brand might have been late to the EV party, but the bZ4X AWD we tested here proves that Toyota has built a very credible electric mid-size SUV. In many ways the bZ4X feels just like a RAV4 EV – but in the company of the flashy EVs above, is this enough to put Toyota’s first EV attempt onto your shopping list?

The bZ4X is significant given Toyota’s history; while not the pioneer of hybrids, the Japanese brand’s Prius revolutionised the perception of hybrid cars, paving the way for the brand’s dominance in the sales charts. The bZ4X is about 18 months late to Australia, following a number of delays. Has the wait been worth it and what’s Toyota’s first EV sold in Australia really like? Let’s find out.

How much does the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD cost to buy?

Toyota Australia has decided to keep things simple by offering two variants of the bZ4X with a 2WD model and the AWD model we’ve tested here:

  • 2024 Toyota bZ4X FWD: $66,000 (plus on-road costs)
  • 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD: $74,900 (plus on-road costs)

2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD standard equipment

  • Dusk-sensing automatic LED headlights with auto high beam
  • Rain-sensing automatic wipers
  • 20-inch alloy wheels with a tyre repair kit
  • Roof rails
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Power tailgate with kick-to-open functionality
  • Heated and auto-folding mirrors
  • Privacy rear and side glass
  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • 8-way powered front seats
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Reclining, 60/40 split folding rear seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 7.0-inch digital driver’s display
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen with Toyota Connected Services
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring
  • Nine-speaker JBL sound system
  • 10W Qi wireless phone charger
  • Intelligent parking assist
  • ‘X-Mode’ off-road driving modes
  • Hill descent control

2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD standard safety equipment:

  • Seven airbags (including a front centre unit)
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, intersection and daytime cyclist assistance
  • Low speed rear auto braking
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality
  • Lane-keeping assist with lane centring
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Safe exit assist
  • Matrix adaptive high beam
  • 360-degree camera

The Toyota BZ4X range received a five-star ANCAP rating in 2022 with scores of 88 per cent for adult protection, 87 per cent for child protection, 91 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 89 per cent for safety assist.

Toyota bZ4X options:

Toyota lets buyers option a two-tone roof for an additional $1,350.

2024 Toyota bZ4X colour range:

The Toyota bZ4X is available in six colours, with all colours apart from black attracting a $535 premium.

  • Astral Black
  • Dark Blue
  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Precious Metal Pearl
  • Scarlet Flare
  • Sterling Silver

2024 Toyota bZ4X competitors:

The top-spec bZ4X AWD we tested lists at $77,990, which makes it a lot more expensive than the Tesla Model Y Long Range, which lists at $72,900. The Model Y will travel further, claiming 533km between charges, compared to the Toyota’s 411km, be much faster in the 0-100km/h sprint and offers a much more modern EV experience, compared to the Toyota’s rather conventional feel. Those after a more conventional drive though, should still consider the Toyota as it very simply does what it says on the tin – and makes EV ownership rather simple and stress-free.

How powerful is the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD?

The 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD uses a pair of 80kW motors to simulate Subaru’s signature symmetrical setup on each axle, pumping out a combined 160kW of power and 337Nm of torque. With power being evenly sent to all four wheels, Toyota has not gone down the path of sending more power to the rear wheels, which is what the rear-biased system adopted in the Tesla Model Y. Those numbers don’t look too impressive on paper, but the bZ4X AWD will still hit 100km/h in 6.9 seconds.

Those motors are fed by a lithium-ion pack with a 71.4kWh gross capacity, but a usable capacity of just 64kWh. Toyota’s conservative approach of prioritising battery longevity over maximum outputs is very much evident here.

How efficient is the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD?

Toyota quotes European WLTP ‘high’ test consumption results of 18.1kWh/100km for the bZ4X AWD resulting in a theoretical 411km driving range. Our testing in a mix of suburban and freeway driving revealed that Toyota has been spot on with its estimates – we averaged bang on 18kWh/100km. If you decide to head out of town, you’ll be able to travel around 250km (going from 90 per cent to 10 per cent charge) between stops at a DC rapid charger.

The Toyota bZ4X will charge on a fast-charge DC electricity at up to 150kW, filling its battery from 10-80 per cent in around 30 minutes. The bZ4X can also be charged at 11kW using three-phase AC charging, allowing it to be charged from 0 to 100 per cent in around seven hours.

What is the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD like to drive?

In a sentence? Just like a fully electric Toyota RAV4. The bZ4X feels utterly conventional in the way it goes about its business and will be the perfect choice for first time EV buyers who are keen to make the jump away from fossil fuels.

Setting off in the bZ4X is nice and simple. There is a traditional start/stop button, unlike in some EVs and no fully single pedal driving mode. Drivers simply pop the car in drive, put their foot down and Toyota’s first EV picks up smoothly without any drama or fuss. Sure, the silent thrust of an EV is there, but the power builds smoothly, and while the AWD is ultimately quite fast and super responsive, it doesn’t pack too much of a brutal punch. The bZ4X felt so familiar to other Toyota SUVs that in the first few days of driving the bZ4X, I was half expecting the petrol engine to roar into life, just like in a Toyota hybrid vehicle.

There are just two non-off-roading drive modes: normal and eco. Eco makes the throttle response duller and makes the air conditioning draw less power, all in the name of extending the bZ4X’s range.

Hitting the brakes enables regenerative braking which allows the bZ4X’s motors to capture the car’s energy back into the battery, rather than wasting that energy in heating up the mechanical brakes. While Toyota does include a mode which increases the amount of regenerative braking when lifting off the accelerator, drivers will still need to apply the brakes to come to a complete stop, unlike Hyundai’s i-Pedal mode which brings vehicles to halt without the need to touch the brake pedal.

Toyota has also touted the bZ4X’s X-Mode off-road modes, which should make easy work of light dirt roads and even some more challenging terrain. Toyota says that the bZ4X AWD boasts 212mm of ground clearance which should allow for venturing even onto some light 4WD tracks.

Around town, the bZ4X rides well, soaking up potholes, speed humps, and rubbish roads. It isn’t quite as soft as the Toyota RAV4, nor as solid feeling. Blame the 2.0-tonne kerb weight and the massive 20-inch wheels which introduce a little more harshness than we would like. At higher speeds, the bZ4X rides well, and would be an excellent cruiser, with just a little too much tyre roar spoiling the fun. Sure, it isn’t as quiet to travel in as an Ioniq 5, but it feels roughly on par with a Tesla Model Y.

The tiny steering wheel takes a little getting used to, but otherwise endows the bz4X with a nimble feel, and a rather pointy front end. This is an EV you can actually have some fun in, with solid damping keeping the heavy body in check and sure-footed feel through twisty corners. The 235/50 R20 Bridgestone Alenza tyres grip well and make the bZ4X feel much like a RAV4.

Toyota’s driver assist tech is also excellent. The adaptive cruise control works smoothly, the lane assist intervenes decisively and accurately, while lane centring assist works nicely on freeways. The matrix LED headlights are rather helpful at night too, although they overzealously shift the beam pattern when driving around the burbs at night.

How practical is the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD?

The 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD has a rather flamboyantly styled interior with decent quality throughout. Up front, the view is dominated by a wide and flat central tunnel covered in piano black plastic, a stunning touchscreen and a tiny steering wheel sitting below a rather lofty digital instrument cluster. The dashboard is slim dashboard liberating tons of room for both the driver and passenger to sit comfortably in the supportive seats which also pack in plenty of adjustment. Material quality is average, with a mix of textures to keep things interesting. Sadly, this interior would feel more at home in a Corolla, rather than in a debut electric vehicle for the world’s largest automotive manufacturer.

The electrically adjustable driver’s seat can be set low for a decent driving position, though the steering wheel had to be set all the way down for me to see the digital instrument cluster. Some buyers might not feel immediately at home with the steering wheel sitting in their laps and having to look over the steering wheel to see their instruments, but we assure you, things become second nature in no time. We do however wish the passenger’s seat had height adjustment at this price point and wasn’t mechanically operated. The seats are trimmed in a high-quality leatherette material and on the whole, are some of the most comfortable we’ve seen in a Toyota.

There are two cup holders at the base of the central console, and a large cavity under the floating centre console. Storage is taken care of with a deep central armrest, but rather bizarrely, this is the first car I have been in without any glovebox. I probably spent one minute feeling around for a glovebox opening latch.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is excellent and is the best we have seen in any Toyota. It looks great, is super bright and sharp, responds quickly to inputs, and has a simple, yet intuitive interface that will appeal to most – though the lack of a home button is annoying. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature, and there’s a handy wireless charger smack bang in the centre console. Sadly, it doesn’t fit the very largest smartphones on the market, as I found out with my Samsung S24 Ultra.

The driver’s display on the other hand feels like it was lifted out of an ancient Corolla. Sure, show the speed clearly, the range, and energy consumption, but nothing more. It does the job, sure, but it is nowhere close to what Hyundai or Tesla offer in their equivalent EVs.

Jumping into the rear seat shows an epic amount of legroom, with room for tall passengers to sit behind even tall drivers. Where some EVs sometimes force passengers in the rear to sit in an awkward knees-up position, without any toe room due to the massive battery under the floor, the bZ4X feels pretty much like any other conventional SUV on sale today. Headroom is a little restricted however with the sloping roofline and the raised rear bench forcing taller passengers to slouch a little when sitting in the rear. Luckily the panoramic glass roof helps to keep things light and airy for those in the rear. Rather oddly, there’s a slight hump in the middle of the floor where a driveshaft would have traditionally been located. Given the bZ4X rides on the dedicated EV-focused e-TNGA platform, this is rather bizarre and robs the centre passenger of foot-room.

Luckily, those in the rear will still be able to enjoy a fold-down central armrest, air vents, and dual USB-C ports. ISOFIX points are present on the outboard rear seats, and there are three tether points for child seats.

Toyota claims the bZ4X AWD has a boot space of 441-litres. Not a massive boot and certainly a little smaller than the 560L on offer in a Hyundai Ioniq 5. The boot itself has a low and flat load floor, and is nicely shaped, even if it feels a little shallow with the load cover pulled right over. A Toyota RAV4 comes with a much heftier 580 litres and also has a spare wheel, where the bZ4X makes do with a tyre repair kit, tucked away behind the right wheel arch. There’s just a small cubby underneath the boot floor for charging cables, and unlike the Tesla Model Y, there’s is no under bonnet storage. The rear seats also split fold 60:40 to make transporting longer objects easy and liberates around 1800L of space.

What warranty covers the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD?

The 2024 Toyota bZ4X is backed by the Japanese brand’s industry standard five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Toyota extends this warranty to seven years on for the drivetrain, provided the car is serviced annually in the Toyota network. The battery only comes with a five-year warranty too out of the box, although Toyota provides an additional five years if buyers head to their dealer for an annual battery health check. Toyota says it guarantees the battery for eight years to 70 per cent of its initial capacity. In comparison, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 comes with an eight-year battery warranty as standard, with no questions asked.

Toyota also says the Z4X will require regular servicing, unlike a Tesla Model Y which does not need to see mechanics as part of any scheduled servicing. A bZ4X requires a service every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, and the first five services will each cost you $180.

Should I buy a 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD?

We’re so glad Toyota has finally joined the fully electrified era and brought its first fully electric vehicle to market. In many ways, the 2024 Toyota bZ4X AWD is a success as it truly is the perfect car for those looking to make the jump to EV ownership without too much fuss or uncertainty. The bZ4X goes about its business humbly, offering an uncomplicated and positive experience for newly minted EV owners.

We love that it’s a turning point for the largest automotive brand on earth, that it’s polished to drive, roomy inside and that it does what it says on the tin. Sadly, for those a little more daring, the bZ4X’s weaknesses will hamper its adoption in Australia. It is simply too expensive going against the huge-selling Model Y, with its smaller boot and shorter driving range. With the Tesla Model Y set for an imminent facelift, it seems Toyota will need to keep improving the bZ4X over the years to keep it competitive.

Many of the bZ4X’s buyers will find solace in that such a big brand has made an honest EV, one which feels very much like a decent take on a fully electric RAV4. This is no faint praise, and Toyota deserves to sell each of 1,500 units it intends to sell over the coming year. Here’s to seeing what steps Toyota takes as it we sit and watch the brand evolve its electrified offering over the coming years.

About The Author

Eagle eyed in the courtroom and when evaluating cars, Michal shares the DiscoverAuto team's passion for helping empower you to pick which car is right for you. Whether you want to know the most intricate details about a car's engine, or simply which car has the largest boot in its class, Michal has you covered.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.