Testing the bZ4X in the real world
Edmunds tests every new electric vehicle on the same real-world driving loop to see just how far it can travel from a full charge down to zero miles remaining. If you scroll through our EV range leaderboard, you'll see that most EVs have matched or exceeded their EPA range estimates in our testing. Much of that 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 horsepower, 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 output bump with the second motor. Either powertrain can be had in the base XLE or top Limited trim, which means the bZ4x comes in a total of four configurations, each with its own range and efficiency estimates.
Our test car was the single-motor bZ4X Limited with its upsized 20-inch wheels, which came wrapped in all-season tires (Bridgestone Turanza EL450 235/50R20 100V) inflated to the factory-recommended 38 psi all around. Opt for the standard XLE and you'll get 18-inch wheels, which save about 130 pounds at the scales and of course put less rubber on the road, accounting for the XLE's 10-mile range advantage. There are a few packages and accessories available, but the trims for the most part dictate how your car is equipped. Our Limited trim car didn't have any extra options and weighed in at 4,276 pounds on our scales. This is significantly lighter than Toyota's official number for a FWD Limited (4,398 pounds) and only 10 pounds more than the automaker says the FWD XLE should weigh.
After a full day of driving at an average temperature of 65 degrees, which is pretty mild weather, the single-motor bZ4X Limited FWD only managed to go 227 miles. This falls short of its EPA range estimate by 15 miles or 6.2%, which is rare for this class of EVs. The only other non-luxury EV to fall short in our testing was the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.
So how much did those 227 miles cost?
While the total range of a vehicle continues to dominate the EV conversation, energy consumption is an important factor as well. Energy consumption is what determines how much your miles will cost you. The unit of measurement 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, you'll pay about 10 cents per kWh in North Dakota as of this writing, whereas in Hawaii it'll run you about 40 cents.
So, what can Toyota owners expect to pay at "the pump"? After charging its battery pack back to full, we calculated an Edmunds consumption rate of 28.5 kWh/100 miles. Compared to its EPA consumption estimate of 26 kWh/100 miles, our bZ4X was less efficient by 9.6%. It's worth noting that the bZ4X's maximum Level 2 charging rate is 6.6 kW, which is slower than competitors like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, both of which support charging at rates up to 11 kW. If we lived in Hawaii, our 227-mile trip in the bZ4X would have cost us $25.88, while if we lived in North Dakota, that same trip would cost just $6.47.
Even though the base Model 3 didn't hit its range either, it still stands as one of the most efficient EVs on the road. The one we tested back in 2020 used only 23 kWh to go 100 miles. In the most expensive state for electricity (Hawaii), if we assume 5,000 miles of driving a year, which could be possible on an island, you'd probably save a little over a hundred dollars a year driving the Tesla instead of the Toyota.