Lexus’ love of luxury and fashion meets Toyota’s vast knowledge of efficiency and electrification. The result is a stylish and practical crossover that drives as good as it looks.
You’ll start to notice a lot more electric vehicles on the page. They’re here, and they’re here to stay. EVs are no longer uber-expensive sports sedans with ridiculous six-figure price tags—and while they’re not quite as cheap as they need to be for mass adoption—they are constantly improving on all fronts. The 2023 Lexus RZ450e is the perfect example, offering the luxury of a Lexus and the practicality and convenience of a Toyota.
We recently tested the Toyota bz4x, which is the foundation for the RZ40e, and that’s a good thing given our time with it. As you’d expect, the RZ is a much more handsome vehicle, more comfortable, and just about every aspect of it is turned up to 10. Unfortunately, its range isn’t, as it offers just 196 miles with the 20-inch wheels and up to 220 with the 18-inch wheels, according to the EPA.
How Does It Look?
Everything about the RZ is futuristic. It’s got a very sleek look to it all around, with a faux grille up front that’s painted the same color as the body. In a normal Lexus RX, this would be a mesh-style grille finished in black. However, in the RZ, this is reversed, with the surroundings finished in black instead. The profile is quite similar to the iconic RX, and it’s a similar story in the rear, though things here look slightly more futuristic, too.
Our favorite place to look was inside, as Lexus pulled off a cabin that’s modern, clean, but also warm and luxurious at the same time. It does not feel sterile or cold despite the multiple materials used. It’s very reminiscent of the gorgeous LC500. Suede runs throughout the dash and door panels, with silver-painted trim highlighting the free-flowing nature of the cabin. Wood also makes an appearance on the door panels and around cupholders, giving the cabin an elegant touch.
How Does It Drive?
Lexus takes pride in its smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride quality, bu the RZ takes this to another level. Of course, due to its electric nature, there isn’t a single vibration felt in the cabin, it’s virtually silent, and the feeling you get while driving down the highway is almost as if you’re floating.
Accelration, too, is brisk, with 308 horsepower on tap and a zero-to-60 time of just 5.0 seconds. Yes, there are other EVs with more power and certainly faster acceleration, but the Lexus focuses on ride quality, comfort, and offering a serene experience. The RZ isn’t a sports car, after all, and it doesn’t pretend to be one. Plus, the more energy spent accelerating quicker or going faster, the fewer miles you squeeze out of the battery.
Driving the RZ around town is nice and breezy, which we were somewhat afraid it wouldn’t be. Some luxury electric crossovers can feel big, heavy, and clunky around town. Luckicly the RZ’s footprint isn’t that big and despite its weight it feels relatively agile. It’s easy to maneuver around parking lots and into tight spots when running errands.
The RZ450e is, in many ways, similar to the Toyota bz4x and also its gas counterpart, the Lexus RX. In other words, it’s a crossover through and through, meaning that it’s practical, comfortable, and it more than capable of hauling a family and all of their junk. There’s ample trunk space for groceries, strollers, or luggage, and anyone regardless of age will enjoy seating on the comfortable rear seats. During our weeklong test, we loaded up the trunk with stuff at the grocery store, and even packed it full of broken-down cardboard boxes for a run to the recycling center.
Priced at $67,095 as tested, the 2023 Lexus RZ450e isn’t an inexpensive vehicle. It’s fairly priced for a luxury EV, but buyers shouldn’t go in expecting to get a lot of bang for the buck compared to a normal, gasoline-powered car. There are drawbacks, most of them related to charging infrastructure and electric driving range, but if you’re lifestyle supports it, the RZ would make a mighty fine commuter vehicle. It’s got the right looks to dazzle at the office or during a night out, it’s got the room to take the whole kids and dogs on a weekend getaway, and it can do so at a price that’d be hard to beat by the German EVs.