2023 Toyota BZ4X Review: Radically Different But Underachieving
Someone must have told Toyota that electric vehicles are supposed to be different. For its first dedicated EV, the company applied that lesson with blacked-out fenders, a fabric-upholstered dashboard, an inscrutable gear selector, and an alphabet-soup name.
The result is the 2023 Toyota bZ4X — the “bZ” standing for a new all-electric “beyond zero” subbrand. At the same time, the bZ4X is more “normal” than many other leading EVs. It focuses on a smooth, quiet ride over explosive power and sporty handling. And despite its quirks, the Toyota’s interior is more plush than ultramodern.
Priced from $42,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, the bZ4X is a front-wheel-drive-based crossover that slots between the compact and mid-size segments. Toyota co-developed it with Subaru, which will sell a near-clone of the bZ4X as the Solterra. We just spent a week in a preproduction bZ4X to see how it fits into the fast-growing electric crossover segment.
2021 Toyota BZ4X BEV Concept
Toyota has revealed the bZ4X electric crossover concept. Kicking off the new ‘Beyond Zero’ series for the Japanese automaker, this concept looks to be a spiritual successor to the RAV4. More than the product itself, this reveal was all about the bZ series of vehicles, a prefix that will be used on the company’s upcoming electric vehicles. The bZ4X is based on a BEV platform that Toyota has co-developed with Subaru, and it will feature an all-wheel-drive system.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime - Driven
Any new version of the Toyota RAV4 is automatically a big deal. Aside from a few big pickup trucks, the RAV4 is America’s favorite vehicle. And it has also been a winner among eco-conscious buyers; not long after the gas/electric RAV4 Hybrid debuted in 2016, it became America’s favorite hybrid — even outselling Toyota’s iconic Prius.
So when Toyota announced the 2021 RAV4 Prime, it was a big deal. Forget about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a low-range plug-in hybrid version of a forgettable SUV. Forget about a planned Ford Escape plug-in hybrid, which doesn’t offer all-wheel-drive and whose on-sale date got bumped back a year over fire risks. Forget about various plug-in sedans and hatchbacks, and various expensive luxury plug-in hybrids that can barely crack 20 miles of low-speed all-electric use. And forget about the range anxiety that keeps many people away from fully electric vehicles. No, it’s the RAV4 Prime that promises to make Americans plug in their cars en masse.
We spent a week in the new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime to see how it bridges the gap between the gasoline and electric worlds. Here’s what we found.
2021 Toyota Mirai
On sale from December 2021, the new Toyota Mirai comes to pick up from where the first-generation left off. We already saw it take a bow at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2019 and Toyota just announced the FCEV is ready to go on sale.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new 2021 Toyota Mirai, whether you’re looking to buy one or not.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Toyota introduced the RAV4 Prime in Los Angeles as the most powerful and quickest RAV4 ever built. At the same time, the Prime’s powertrain makes it the most frugal RAV4 out there, so it’s safe to say that Toyota check a lot of boxes with this one. He’s your guide on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime.
2019 Toyota Prius - Driven
Every morning when I get to work, I wind my way up to the roof of a six-story parking garage. And every evening, I wind my way back down. It’s a good half-mile round trip at plodding speeds. In a normal car, I watch the trip computer’s fuel economy readout tick down as I circle round and round through the garage. But in the 2019 Toyota Prius, I can go all of the way down and even most of the way up using purely electric power — burning no gas at all.
That’s the beauty of a well-executed hybrid: It often uses the least gas in circumstances where normal cars would use the most: Bumper-to-bumper traffic, neighborhoods with a four-way stop at every corner, or crowded parking lots. As long as you keep a gentle touch on the throttle — and in these conditions, there’s no reason not to — you can watch your mileage rise rather than fall. And this isn’t a plug-in hybrid that costs more and requires charging infrastructure; the Prius’s battery recharges as you drive normally, capturing energy from the gasoline engine and braking friction.
To be sure, the Prius hatchback is hardly the only hybrid on the market on which such technology achieves similar results. The Hyundai Ioniq hatchback, Kia Niro wagon/crossover, and the Honda Insight sedan are all newer designs than the current Prius, which dates back to 2016. There’s even an all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which puts the Prius mechanicals in the body of a brand-new sedan. All these models rival or even beat the Prius’s EPA fuel economy ratings, and they all cost a little less; the 2019 Prius starts at $24,725. But the Prius still has the best blend of real-world utility and efficiency. It’s impressively spacious, and it’s more willing to putter around with its gasoline engine shut off than the Honda, Hyundai or Kia are.
Toyota has added another unique strength for 2019: a class-exclusive all-wheel-drive system, which is optional equipment on certain Prius trim levels. The car’s controversial exterior design also got a makeover this year, though its equally contentious interior design (and aging infotainment system) did not. Nor did it get a horsepower boost to address complaints about leisurely acceleration. Let’s go through the full rundown on how the iconic hybrid fares in today’s marketplace.
2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport
The introduction of the Toyota Corolla GR Sport days before its live debut at the Geneva International Motor Show gives us a first glimpse of what the hypothetical (and probable) Corolla GRMN might be.
The Toyota Corolla GR Sport is the closest in execution to semi-sports hatches like the Ford Focus ST-Line, the Hyundai i30 N-Line, and the Renault Megane GT-Line. As such, the Toyota Corolla GR Sport features a comprehensive set of sporty style additions without any performance upgrades. The Gazoo Racing Sport pack is available for both the base engine and top-trim.
The first semi-hot Toyota hatchback in decades came only weeks after Gazoo Racing trickled out the stunning new Supra. It delivers on the promise Aikido Toyoda, Toyota CEO, gave two years ago - “no more boring cars.” Moreover, with the new Toyota RAV4 TRD, the new Toyota GR Supra, the incredible Toyota Yaris GR, and the announcement of the new Toyota GT86, we live in a time when the world’s favorite manufacturer is again in the business of awesome cars.
2019 Toyota Corolla Trek
With almost 50 million units sold since it was first introduced in 1966, the Toyota Corolla is, without question, the best-selling car in the history of the auto industry. Even if the world is populated by Corollas, Toyota has found a way to continuously reinvent the model in ways that make it popular. It comes as no surprise then that we’re going to see another reinvented version of the Corolla called the Corolla Trek at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Based on the Touring Sports wagon body of Toyota’s best-selling model, the Corolla Trek is essentially a raised version of the wagon that’s not a lot different from the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. The recent trend of automakers raising their wagons and hatchbacks in the name of giving them crossover-like appeal has now taken over Toyota. We’ll see what that’s about when the Toyota Corolla debuts in Geneva next month.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.
Toyota has pulled the wraps off its refreshed Prius at the 2018 LA auto show which brings a more toned down appearance and optional all-wheel drive to the table. It isn’t any significantly more efficient or any faster, but its less aggressive styling will be a pleasing comeback for some, while the new all-wheel drive is apparently going to be really popular.
Projected sales for the Prius AWD-e say up to 25 percent of all cars sold will have the option, despite the fact that it does have a small negative impact on overall efficiency - the main reason you went for a Prius in the first place. The most frugal Prius, the L Eco trim, can still hit a claimed 56 mpg combined.
Aside from the subtle restyling and addition of all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Prius also gets interior updates, extra tech, and a simplified trim structure to help buyers and dealers alike understand the range better.
2018 Toyota Prius TRD
We here at TopSpeed don’t shy away from exploring the weirder and wilder side of performance vehicles. In fact, we relish in it. Any chance we come across to break away from convention and blow your mind is worth it, especially if it gets the unruly mobs up in arms. And that’s exactly the sort of reaction we’re expecting with this – a performance-oriented Toyota Prius TRD. Here’s the formula – ditch the eco tires, slap on some real rubber, boost the engine, stiffen the suspension, add the proper cabin gear, and voila – the perfect solution to a dearth of jimmy rustlin’.
But here’s the thing – we’re actually totally serious. This isn’t some April Fool’s joke. We legitimately think there’s a real case to made for a performance Prius. Don’t believe us? Then read on. We dare you.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Prius TRD.
2016 Toyota Prius
Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid back in 1997, and since then the model has been through three generational changes. When Toyota released the Prius, it quickly became known as the face of hybrid vehicles and prompted many automakers to look for ways to integrate electrification into their lineups. With competition having become fiercer in recent years, Toyota needs to keep improving the Prius to keep it in the No. 1 slot in the hybrid market. And it’s exactly what it did with the fourth-generation model.
Unveiled in Las Vegas in 2015, the redesigned Prius not only adopted a new look, but also the company’s New Global Architecture platform, which makes it lighter and cheaper to build. The Prius was actually the first Toyota model to implement the carmaker’s effort to cut development costs by 20 percent through sharing platforms, parts and powertrains. The revised bodywork gives the Prius a sportier look than the current model, much like the difference between the last-generation Corolla and the current model. But let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the fourth-generation Toyota Prius.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime
With more than 30 gas-electric models on the market, including the Prius (aka the first-ever mass-produced hybrid vehicle), Toyota is justified when it claims to be the “world’s hybrid leader.” But in order to maintain its battery-assisted superiority, the Japanese automaker must continually produce the bleeding edge of green technology and set the trend when it comes eco-oriented transportation. These days, that means the inclusion of a plug-in model. The previous Prius plug-in ended production in June of 2015, but now, it’s back, offering more MPGe, more standard features, and a new look, making for what Toyota calls “one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.”
It’s called the Prime, and first things first – it offers upwards of 120 MPGe, which, according to the manufacturer, is expected to be the highest MPGe of any plug-in hybrid on the market. That in itself is a significant statement in the world of max-miler passenger vehicles, but this frugal fuel consumption is also backed by more all-electric range, with up to 22 miles of emission-free driving off battery power alone, effectively double the EV range of the previous model.
So then – the Prime sounds like it’s got the goods, but with gas prices remaining so low, is it enough to spark the interest of consumers?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.
If you gotta blow your nose, you’ll probably ask for a Kleenex. If you need a cotton swab, you’ll look for a Q-Tip. If it’s hybrid transportation you’re after, the Prius is the standard. Rightfully so – the Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, selling 3.5 million models worldwide since its introduction in 1997. But unlike hygiene products, hybrid technology has come a long way in the last two decades, and Toyota’s green icon is under pressure to evolve. Enter the fourth generation, which brings a new design, a new platform, tons of tech, and a compelling effort to broaden the appeal of this eco-conscious torchbearer. I was invited to southern California to try it out.
Los Angeles is a great place for a test like this. The Prius is hugely popular amongst the local population, especially celebrities, offering easy driving in crowded freeway traffic jams, and low emissions to curb air pollution. And in a town where you need a car to get anywhere, the high mpg doesn’t hurt either.
But Toyota says hybrids aren’t just about fuel efficiency anymore, and customers will no longer compromise to skip a trip to the pump. Conversely, the fourth-generation Prius aims to transform from something you should drive to something you want to drive. How does it stack up? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Prius.
There’s just something oddly special about subcompact run-abouts that intrigue me. Perhaps it’s the small size and nimbleness that comes along with it, or maybe it’s the whole value proposition idea. Or maybe it’s just how wildly juxtaposed they are from some of the high-dollar machinery that often graces my driveway. Maybe it’s all three.
Well, I recently spent a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of a 2015 Yaris – Toyota’s version of the entry-level sub-compact hatchback. Between the normal running around town and hauling the family to hurtling down the interstate for a weekend-long concert I was somehow running late for, I guess you could say I gave the Yaris a pretty fair shake.
The Yaris may come in a three-door version, but the five-door is the more practical choice for young families or a college car. That’s how my tester came; decked out, in fact, in the Yaris’ top SE trim. Two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels, projector-beam headlights, and fog lights with chrome accents dress up the hatchback into something your high school friends wouldn’t have laughed at.
So how’s the Yaris to live with? Glad you asked. Let’s jump into the details down below.
Continue reading for the full driven review.
The Highlander might have started life back in 2001 as a midsize crossover, but over time it has transformed into a larger, three-row people mover that offers an alternative to the minivan segment. Sure Toyota offers the Sienna, but those who won’t rock the Swagger Wagon can take refuge in the Highlander.
What’s more, this crossover offers a hybrid powertrain and an AWD system that’s available together – giving this seven-passenger vehicle the ability to traverse slippery terrain while getting an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined. That’s impressive.
I recently spent a week with a 2015 example of Toyota’s third-generation Highlander. My tester came loaded to the gills in its Limited trim with the hybrid powertrain and yes, AWD. A healthy list of options pushed the price toward the $54,000 mark, making it competitive with several luxury-brand crossovers, though it doesn’t carry the ostentatious luxury vibe.
So how well does the Highlander carry out its duties? Continue reading to find out.
The Prius name may be more than 15 years old, but Toyota’s a more recent iteration of the hybrid is this – the Prius Plug-in. And as the name implies, this Prius has a trick up its sleeve for how it goes about charging.
As with any conventional Prius, the Plug-in can be charged on the go. Tap the brakes or coast down a hill, and the electric motor harnesses the wheels’ rotational energy, feeding it back into the battery. However, this model goes one step further, offering customers the ability to charge the car while it sits in their garage.
Plug the included power cord and transformer box into any 110-volt wall outlet, and the Prius Plug-in will trickle charge it’s batteries for three hours, giving the car an advertised 11-mile, all-electric range. Pop the charging cord into a 240-volt, and the deed is done in one and a half hours.
So how well does the added plug-in feature work? To find out, I spent a week with the Prius, testing out its electrified abilities first hand.
Continue reading for the full review of the 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Since 2001, Toyota has offered the Prius in one form or another, giving buyers the roominess of a sedan or a liftback (2004 and on) with fuel economy that was almost impossible for traditional cars to match. In 2012, after other automakers started hopping on the hybrid bandwagon and gobbling up sales, Toyota saw a gap in the market for a hybrid wagon and launched the Prius v. With the 2015 model year upon us, and Toyota looking to inject a little youth into its customer base, the automaker has given the hybrid wagon a facelift that gives it a slightly sportier look than before without abandoning its reserved personality altogether.
With this refresh comes a handful of changes to the front fascia and a little tuck on the backside. Unfortunately, Toyota left the drivetrain unchanged. Allowing its main competitor to easily trump it in terms of performance.
Does the Prius v still have what it takes to dominate the hybrid wagon market?
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Prius v and find out.
The Prius has certainly made a name for itself in the nearly 15 years it’s been around. Toyota has sold tons of them all across the globe. As the market started wanting more, Toyota came out with this: the Prius V, which according to Toyota, stands for “versatility.” That truly is the case, seeing as the Prius V has a large SUV-like rear cargo area with seats that fold flat. Starting in 2012, the big-boy Prius made a solid case against the need for large, gas-guzzling SUVs – at least with respect to interior volume. The cavernous interior actually boasts 67.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the second-row seats folded down. That’s four cubic feet more than a Chevrolet Equinox.
Besides the ability to haul five adults and their junk around, the Prius V does it while getting some respectable mpg numbers. The EPA rates the wagon at 44/40/42 mpg on its city, highway, and combined test loop. Add to that its 1.8-liter four-cylinder runs on regular gasoline, and you’ve got a money-saving, junk-hauling, passenger-pleasing green machine.
But how well does it execute its mission? I spent a week with a 2014 model to find out. My driving was mixed between city and highway roads, along with both gentle and aggressive driving styles. I did everything from hauling my two-year-old in a car seat to hauling a large bookcase for friends. Keep reading for the outcome.
Click past the jump for the full review
Remember Toyota’s hydrogen-powered FCV concept from the 2013 Tokyo Motor show? It took a couple of years, but for the 2015 model year, Toyota released the production version of the FCV Concept called the Toyota Mirai. In short, the Mirai is a sporty looking car that has an electric drivetrain and is powered completely by hydrogen. Currently only available in certain locals that have hydrogen fueling stations, the Mirai can achieve up to 310 miles per tank of hydrogen and emits nothing but a little H20 from its “exhaust” pipe. For being the best of its kind at this time, the Mirai has a respectable amount of cargo room in the rear boot and features an upscale interior with a digital, center-mounted instrument cluster and a large touchscreen infotainment system. Priced at more than $50,000 here in the U.S. the materials and their fit and finish inside are comparable to that of a Lexus or BMW.
When the Mirai made its official debut, Toyota also announced that it was unleashing a large campaign to start making hydrogen readily available for the masses. The brand has teamed up with hydrogen supplier Air Liquide to bring hydrogen to New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, to name a few. These add to the 19 refueling stations Toyota has helped bring to Southern California in the past.
Toyota believes that hydrogen will eventually be a fuel of choice, so it has been pushing the implementation of it pretty hard. So hard, in fact, that the Mirai is actually part of Toyota’s core lineup. Of course, it isn’t available in places where hydrogen isn’t available, but something tells us that Toyota will continue to push for new hydrogen stations in the future and will bring the Mirai and even more hydrogen vehicles to new areas as quickly as it can. Until then, take a look at our full review below.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Mirai.
Concept cars are being unveiled in all sorts of places these days. Take the case of Toyota for example. The Japanese automaker recently attended a private-panel discussion hosted by Make: magazine in San Francisco to unveil the Urban Utility Concept, or U2 in short. Toyota’s purpose of attending the event was to showcase the innovative concept that aims to attract young, entrepreneurial urban drivers. The U2 Concept was developed by the company’s Calty Design Research based in Newport Beach, California.
After its appearance at the private panel discussion, the Toyota Urban Utility Concept is scheduled to make its first public appearance at the World Maker Faire in New York City on Sept. 20 and 21, 2014.
It’s an appropriate venue to make its public debut, especially with Maker Faire events being geared towards modern inventions and growing entrepreneurship possibilities.
The Toyota U2 Concept fits in that kind of environment.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota U-squared Urban Utility Concept Vehicle.