Toyota bZ4X Vision

AWD

Toyota bZ4X, 2024, off road, front
Toyota bZ4X, 2024, off road, action
Toyota bZ4X, 2024, off road, water
Toyota bZ4X, 2024, rear
Toyota bZ4X, 2024, side
Toyota bZ4X, 2024, interior

SO far as sexy new car names go, the bZ4X isn't one of the more memorable ones.

It's only when you break things down that Toyota's thinking starts to make any sort of sense.

The bZ bit actually stands for Beyond Zero, the company's new sub brand created for battery electric vehicles, of which this is the first.

Then there's the number 4 - for mid-size vehicles - followed by the letter X, which in this case refers to a crossover SUV.

And there you have it, the Toyota bZ4X built in collaboration with fellow Japanese carmaker Subaru, though cheaper at entry level thanks to Toyota offering a front-wheel drive model while the Subaru Solterra is exclusively all-wheel drive.

While the title may not sound anything special the bZ4X's looks certainly do stand out with its chunky plastic wheel arches, narrow swept back headlamps, sharp angles and a plankton feeder lower lip. It's unquestionably a car potential buyers can identify as something out of the ordinary.

With a start point of £41,950 for a front-wheel drive model, the bZ4X comes in a trio of main trim grades comprising Pure, Motion and the Vision variant, the latter two also available with X-MODE all-wheel drive for a £2,600 premium.

Regarding range, you can extract 317 miles out of a front-wheel drive model though that figure drops to 257 miles for an all-wheel drive version running on larger 20-inch wheels. Use the air con, radio, heated seats and phone charger with a full complement aboard and that number drops again.

Our Vision model was quick though, its motor at each axle and 214bhp of punch capable of propelling the car from standstill to 62mph in 6.9 seconds.

And for those without a home wallbox the bZ4X can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in 30 minutes using a public rapid charger.

Move inside and the smart design continues with comfortable, if synthetic, leather seats and plenty of cabin space - ample room for three adults across the back where a flat floor means no intrusion for people's legs.

Stowage sees bottle and cup holders in all four doors plus two more cup holders ahead of a deep lidded central box with inner removable tray.

A flip-up lid conceals a mobile phone charger, its surround finished in piano black to match other shiny inserts around the cabin and the large horizontal touchscreen.

You also get a large electronically operated boot with a kick sensor plus rubberised cover to protect the floor.

Out on the road the Toyota is well balanced and nicely damped, making for a smooth, relaxing ride quality. The steering is positive too, which is just as well because its upright driving position forms a line over the small steering wheel to an angled driver display.

In fact a button either side of the wheel would create a shooting gallery effect - and it works extremely well.

The central touchscreen is plenty big enough at 12.3 inches and is simple to use with dedicated switches for various functions and sat nav, reversing camera and smartphone mirroring are all part of the package.

Standard kit is comprehensive across the board and four-wheel drive on higher spec versions ensures off-road adventures, whether they be gentle green lanes, steep hill climbs or squelching mud are all within the car's capability.

FAST FACTS

Toyota bZ4X Vision AWD

Price:£50,250

Mechanical:215ps, 71.4kWh battery + 80kW front and rear motors driving all wheels via auto transmission

Max Speed:100mph

0-62mph: 6.9 seconds

Combined MPG:259 miles driving range

Insurance Group:37

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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