Testing the bZ4X in the real world
Edmunds tests each new electric vehicle on the same real-world driving loop to see how far it can go from a full charge to zero miles remaining. If you scroll through our EV range leaderboard, you’ll see that most electric vehicles met or exceeded their EPA range estimates in our tests. Much of this has to do with our ability to test in near-ideal conditions year-round.
The bZ4X is offered with either a single motor driving the front wheels (201 hp, 196 lb-ft of torque) or dual motors driving all four wheels (214 hp, 248 lb-ft). If you’re wondering, yes, that’s a surprisingly small increase in power with the second motor. Each powertrain is available in base XLE or top Limited trim, meaning the bZ4x is available in a total of four configurations, each with their own range and efficiency estimates.
Our test car was the single-engine bZ4X Limited, with its enlarged 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires (Bridgestone Turanza EL450 235/50R20 100V) inflated all around to the factory-recommended 38psi. Opting for the standard XLE gives you 18-inch wheels that shave about 130 pounds on the scales and, of course, puts less rubber on the road, accounting for the XLE’s 10-mile range advantage. There are a few packages and accessories available, but the trim largely determines how your car is outfitted. Our Limited trim car had no additional options and weighed 4,276 pounds on our scale. That’s significantly lighter than Toyota’s official number for a FWD Limited (4,398 pounds) and just 10 pounds more than the automaker says the FWD XLE should weigh.
After a full day of driving in an average temperature of 65 degrees, which is fairly mild weather, the single-engine bZ4X Limited FWD only managed 227 miles. That falls short of the EPA range estimate by 15 miles, or 6.2%, which is rare for this class of EV. The only other non-luxury EV that fell short in our testing was the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.
How much did those 227 miles cost?
While a vehicle’s overall range continues to dominate the EV conversation, energy consumption is also an important factor. Energy consumption determines how much your kilometers will cost you. The unit of measure for consumption, the kilowatt hour, can be thought of as the EV equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Just like gas, the price of electricity varies depending on where you live. For example, as of this writing, in North Dakota you’re paying about 10 cents per kWh, while in Hawaii it’s about 40 cents.
So what can Toyota owners expect to pay at “the pump”? After fully charging the battery, we calculated the Edmunds to use 28.5 kWh/100 miles. Compared to its EPA estimate of 26 kWh/100 miles, our bZ4X was 9.6% less efficient. It’s worth noting that the bZ4X’s maximum Level 2 charging rate is 6.6kW, which is slower than competitors like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, both of which allow charging at rates up to 11 support kW. If we had lived in Hawaii, our 227-mile ride in the bZ4X would have cost us $25.88, while in North Dakota it would have cost us only $6.47 for the same ride.
Even if the base Model 3 hasn’t reached its range, it’s still considered one of the most efficient electric vehicles on the road. The one we tested in 2020 used just 23kWh to cover 100 miles. In the most expensive state for electricity (Hawaii), assuming the 5,000 miles a year mileage possible on an island, you would probably save a little over a hundred dollars a year driving the Tesla instead of the Toyota.
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