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- Highs Handling is spry, nicely-trimmed interior, compliant ride.
- Lows Less range than rival EVs, doesn't offer the fastest charging tech, steer-by-wire system takes getting used to.
- Verdict The RZ is a nice first EV effort from Lexus but rivals offer more power, more range, and quicker charging.
Lexus is getting into the EV game with the RZ450e, which shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra. This being a Lexus, it's sporting a much posher cabin to go along with its more upscale exterior styling. Although it shares its 65.6-kWh battery pack with the bZ4X, the Lexus's powertrain is a more powerful dual-motor setup that's good for 308 horsepower. The luxury brand calls this powertrain Direct4, which offers standard all-wheel drive. The RZ's exterior is sharply styled with a floating roof, a ducktail spoiler, and aggressive headlamps. The cabin takes a more minimalist approach in its design, with most controls being operated through a large 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
The RZ will be an all-new entrant in the Lexus lineup for 2023 and the brand's first all-electric offering.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We're guessing on price here, but we think Lexus will offer the RZ450e in standard and F Sport trims. Lexus hasn't released pricing yet, but we know that a host of desirable features will be standard, including a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and more.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
The RZ450e is powered by an all-electric powertrain that Lexus calls Direct4. This dual-motor arrangement is good for 308 horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Acceleration is fairly brisk, but we noted in our initial test drive that it's not as hair-raising as rival such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the Volvo C40 Recharge. We estimate that the RZ450e will make it to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. A steer-by-wire system is standard, and Lexus has confirmed that a yoke-style steering wheel will be offered as an option; a regular circular wheel will be standard, so if you're not ready for a yoke you'll be able to opt out. The steer-by-wire system takes getting used to but once we got the hang of it, it proved to be beneficial for handling. When we get a chance to test the RZ at our test track, we'll update this story with results.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The RZ450 will use the same 65.6-kWh battery pack as the bZ4X and Solterra, which should deliver around 225 miles of driving range per charge, according to Lexus. A 6.6-kW onboard charger is weaker than many rivals and the RZ's DC fast-charging capabilities are limited to 150-kW connections.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
Official fuel-economy estimates for the RZ450e aren't available yet, but we hope to have a chance to test the new EV SUV for ourselves soon on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route. When we do, we'll update this story with results. For more information about the RZ's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
A simplicity-focused interior design in the RZ's interior has removed many buttons and switches from the dashboard and doors and relocated those things to the large infotainment display. Similar approaches have been employed in EV models from Tesla and Polestar, with varying results. Either way, the RZ's cabin looks spacious for a small crossover and quite upscale, with most surfaces wrapped with faux suede or synthetic leather.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 14.0-inch infotainment touchscreen dominates the RZ's dashboard that looks similar to the screen found in the gasoline-powered NX SUV. Lexus says the driver can interact with the system by touching the screen and also by using voice commands. A digital gauge display and a head-up display are also included. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both with wireless connectivity capabilities, are expected to be standard.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Like many other new Lexus models, the RZ will be offered with a full suite of standard driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking. Additional features will be optional, including an automated parking feature. For more information about the RZ's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lexus provides a competitive limited warranty and an even better powertrain warranty. The automaker also includes a short period of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Hybrid components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
2023 Lexus RZ450e
Vehicle Type: front- and mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE (C/D EST)
Front Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 201 hp, 196 lb-ft
Rear Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 107 hp, 124 lb-ft
Combined Power: 308 hp
Combined Torque: 320 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 65.6 kWh
Onboard Charger: 6.6 kW
Transmissions, F/R: direct-drive
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 189.2 in
Width: 74.6 in
Height: 64.4 in
Passenger Volume (C/D est): 94 ft3
Cargo Volume (C/D est): 26 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4650 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.0 sec
Top Speed: 120 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 95–105/100–113/90–96 MPGe
Range: 200–225 mi