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2024 Toyota bZ4X - Better Than You’ve Been Told

We tested the Toyota bZ4X battery-electric vehicle and found a lot to like about Toyota’s third-generation EV crossover.

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Toyota has been the global leader in green vehicles for three decades. Yet, the company takes a bashing from EVangelists on a daily basis because it is offering shoppers every type of green vehicle powertrain, not just one. It’s a weird reality. Read over the content available on the bZ4X and you may find that the reviewer hits the car hard for its specs, but then adds opinion comments like "light, spry tossable dynamics." Specs are hard to argue. However, most Toyota buyers are not buying a Toyota because of an impressive spec sheet.

Most folks buy Toyotas because the foundation of the company is quality, durability, and reliability. Toyota is the brand for folks who want their car to get them to work or school every morning. Emphasis on EVERY

2024 J.D. Power VDS chart courtesy of the company

Many buyers also like that Toyota is a company that makes cars and crossovers that handle and drive comfortably in the real world. Not the imaginary world of “skid pads, quarter-miles, and at-the-limits” handling the boy racers pretend matter to buyers of daily drivers. 

During our test of Toyota’s third-generation battery-electric crossover, we found the bZ4X fit very well into the Toyota mold. Comfortable seats. Controls that don’t require a degree in computer science to operate. A big cargo space with a perfect load floor. 

In our testing, the bZ4X was more than just satisfying to drive, it was perhaps the best-driving Toyota family car in the brand’s lineup. Yes, the Supra and the GR86 are very fun, but both have real sacrifices when it comes to being used as a family vehicle. The bZ4X is dramatically more rewarding to drive than any Camry has ever been. 

The areas in which the bZ4X falls short of some competitors include winter highway range and public DC charging speeds. We won't pretend it isn’t true. However, all EVs fall short of hybrids when it comes to winter highway range and ease of adding in energy. And nobody has a better selection of easy-to-live-with hybrids than Toyota. 

Image of Toyota bZ4X by John Goreham

The bZ4X charged just fine on our Emporia Level 2 charger. It made good use of the amps the charger could offer, and since the bZ4X was one of three vehicles we had available to us, we used it on all but one journey we took during our ten-day test period. This was when we realized what the bZ4X is really perfect for.

In our opinion, the bZ4X would be an ideal second vehicle in a brand loyal Toyota household that already owns a long-range Sienna (hybrid), Highlander Hybrid, Grand Highlander Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid, Corolla Cross Hybrid, Venza (hybrid)... We can keep going, but our hands are tired. You see, Toyota dominates the easy-to-live-with green car market. If you instead must have a battery-electric vehicle for virtue signaling or want one for the satisfying instant-torque driving experience, the bZ4X fits the bill perfectly. 

2024 J.D. Power VDS chart courtesy of the company. bZ4X images by John Goreham. 

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.

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Comments

Johnson (not verified)    February 13, 2024 - 9:12AM

We want one this cause pipeline ransom-ware shutdown was a real pain! Gas stations with lines longer than theme park rides, prices skyrocketing...it's enough to make anyone consider alternative transportation. Well, consider me sold on a battery electric vehicle (BEV)!

Sure, there are still challenges. Charging infrastructure isn't everywhere yet, and range anxiety can be a concern for long trips. But the technology is rapidly improving, and with a little planning, you can easily manage most commutes and errands.

For me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The independence from volatile gas prices, the environmental impact, and the lower long-term costs make owning a BEV a no-brainer, especially considering the recent pipeline shutdown. It's an investment in my wallet, my health, and the planet.