Japanese automotive giant Toyota is no stranger to bringing innovative vehicular solutions to the global market, but the company that brought the world the Prius, the first-ever mass-market hybrid electric car, still has a number of tricks up its sleeves – and they’re bringing it out next spring.
Come Q2-2022, Toyota will be launching its first-ever battery electric vehicle (BEV) – the bz4X midsize crossover – into the mass market.
Fourth time’s the charm
The cumbersomely named bZ4X is actually Toyota’s fourth BEV, but is actually the first to be purpose-built as opposed to its predecessors which were electric conversions of existing internal combustion vehicles like the RAV4 and the iQ.
These previous iterations are considered “compliance vehicles” made to comply with zero-emission mandates in various parts of the world. Unfortunately, none of these have made Toyota that much money; in the US, the iQ actually sold less than a hundred units.
The bZ4X is actually a collaborative effort between Toyota and fellow Japanese carmaker Subaru which will sell an almost identical line of BEVs labeled the Solterra.
Measuring 184.6 inches end to end, the bZ4X is like the midpoint in size between the RAV4 and the Venza. As with most electric cars, its wheels are pushed further into the corners, giving it a 112.2-inch wheelbase. Likewise, its flat battery pack is located beneath the vehicle’s floor; paired with the longer wheelbase, it offers a spacious area for passengers.
The driver’s seat also allows someone who’s five-foot-eleven to sit in comfort, and allows for around five to six inches of legroom in the back along with ample head clearance.
While Toyota has yet to give details as to how much space the bZ4X has for cargo, early indications show that it may be comparable to the current RAV4 with 37.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the second row of seats. It may not have a front trunk, but this BEV makes up for it with two cubic feet of front storage.
Likewise, there’s no denying that the bZ4X’s dashboard is cutting-edge when it comes to both its technology and aesthetic: just off the steering wheel, one finds a cluster of digital instruments as well as a massive touchscreen console occupying the middle of the dash.
The BEV is also expected to have a 250-mile range.
The Toyota bZ4X goes on sale in the US early next year and it’s expected that the price will be around $40,000.