September 27, 2023


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Lexus RZ overview – Automotive Weblog

6 min read

Lexus RZ review

Luxurious model Lexus is somewhat late to the get together with its first purpose-built electrical automobile. So, the query is – has the RZ been definitely worth the wait?

Lexus isn’t any stranger to electrification. In any case, Toyota’s premium sister model launched its first hybrid, the RX 400h, means again in 2005.

Nevertheless, it’s taken till now for Lexus to introduce its debut pure electrical automotive designed from the bottom up – the RZ 450e – which sits between the mid-size NX and bigger RX SUV fashions.

The RZ’s many EV rivals embody the Audi This fall e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Kia EV6, Genesis GV60, Polestar 2 and Jaguar I-Tempo.

Lexus RZ review

Earlier than I start, let’s take care of the elephant within the room, as a result of the RZ has been co-developed with the very comparable Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra EVs.

In truth, the RZ 400h is being manufactured alongside its cousins in the identical plant at Motomachi, Japan, they usually all share the identical e-TNGA platform.

It could bear greater than a passing resemblance to the Toyota and Subaru, however the RZ differs in some key areas.

The outside has some uniquely Lexus touches. Its sharper entrance finish options the signature spindle grille (now sealed), whereas its derriere includes a gentle bar working throughout the width of the automotive and softer strains than the BZ’s rump.

Lexus RZ review

Naturally, there’s additionally a extra opulent, driver-focused inside with leather-based upholstery, heated entrance seats, dual-zone local weather management and Lexus’s newest (and far improved) 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, plus an non-obligatory double panoramic roof (which is dimmable and has a coating to scale back the warmth it lets into the automotive) and 20-inch wheels.

So-called “radiant” heaters mounted at knee-level in entrance of the driving force and passenger are an alternative choice. Not like convection heating, they use infrared radiation to warmth strong objects immediately in entrance of them and Lexus claims they use round 8% much less power.

The RZ 450e has an all-wheel-drive format as normal. Named Direct4, it options two electrical motors mounted on every axle, and although it has the identical 71.4kWh battery ((of which 64kWh is usable) utilized by its cousins, the entrance motor has been upgraded to ship 201bhp whereas the rear stays unchanged at 107bhp, producing a mixed 308bhp with a most torque of 321 lb-ft.

It’s swift, with a 0-62mph dash time of 5.3 seconds, whereas driving vary varies from round 245 miles (20-inch wheels) to 270 miles (18-inch).

Lexus RZ review

The RZ has a most 150kWh charging functionality, that means a lift from 10-80% can take as little as half-hour when linked to a quick public charger. Naturally, it would additionally cost in a single day utilizing a 7kW wallbox.

Sounds good, however some rivals have ranges of round 300 miles, whereas the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 have a most charging capability of as much as 350kWh – that’s 10-80% in simply 18 minutes.

On a extra constructive be aware, Lexus loves innovation and the RZ is a traditional case. From 2024 there might be an choice to ditch the standard steering wheel and select a butterfly-shaped ‘yoke’ as an alternative.

Trying like one thing out of Prime Gun, it additionally utilises Lexus’s new One Movement Grip steer-by-wire system. Meaning it has no mechanical hyperlink and no steering column between the steering wheel and driving wheels.

Lexus RZ review

The system requires simply 150 levels of steering wheel rotation between straight forward and full lock, eliminating the necessity for any hand-over-hand actions, and permits a greater view of the instrument binnacle forward. Nevertheless, you additionally must maintain your fingers on the quarter to 3 place.

I attempted the ‘yoke’ model, in addition to an everyday wheel with a traditional electrical energy steering rack.

Given a number of weeks to adapt, I believe the quirks of the brand new steering wheel would develop into second nature. As an example, at low speeds, little motion is required for lots of steering to the entrance wheels, making it simpler to manoeuvre.

Increased speeds require extra motion to use much less steering to the wheels for higher stability. In apply, that change in ratio meant that my cornering wasn’t as easy at increased speeds as a result of the steering is so sharp and quick.

Lexus RZ review

Frankly, I felt way more assured driving the RZ with a conventional steering wheel, although the yoke and steer-by-wire are usually not only a gimmick and lots of drivers will choose the system.

My solely different statement can be that the yoke’s diminutive stature means the stalks for indicators and lights are on the stubby aspect, whereas the regenerative braking paddles have been lowered to buttons.

When it’s accessible from 2024, a take a look at drive in each variations can be extremely really helpful.

The steering is a speaking level, however finally the RZ drives like a Lexus, which suggests it’s luxurious, easy, refined and supremely snug.

Lexus RZ review

Compliant over poorer street surfaces, it felt nothing however composed over our different take a look at routes. Hustle it in Sport mode and it stays properly flat in quicker corners and there’s no scarcity of grip. Given its agility, you’d by no means realize it weighs greater than two tonnes. That stated, the RZ is finest loved wafting alongside within the default Regular setting.

Not like many EVs, the RZ’s brakes appeared pretty responsive and I preferred the usage of paddles behind the steering wheel to regulate the extent of regen on the transfer.

Finally, the Lexus RZ ticks Lexus’s three Cs of confidence, management and luxury in all driving conditions. Job carried out.

The cabin is a blended bag. The design up entrance means it’s not fairly a spacious as another EVs as a result of the centre console is strong and glued. Puzzlingly, there’s not even a glovebox on the passenger aspect.

Lexus RZ review

The excellent news is there’s loads of head and legroom for 3 adults within the again and boot capability is a wholesome 522 litres, or 1,451 litres with the rear seats flipped. Notice, there isn’t a ‘frunk’ beneath the bonnet – the charging cables must be saved within the boot.

There are three trim ranges to select from (Premium, Premium Plus and range-topping Takumi).

Priced from £62,600-£72,100, the entry-level Premium mannequin comes with a beneficiant quantity of normal tools together with LED headlights, eight-way electrically adjustable entrance seats, a powered bootlid, leather-based upholstery, heated entrance seats, dual-zone local weather management and Lexus’s in depth security and driver help programs.

Transfer up the grades and different goodies resembling a head-up show, 360-degree digital camera system, radiant heated entrance seats, a two-tone paint job and a Mark Levinson sound system are supplied.

Lexus RZ review

And a particular point out for Protected Exit Help (a Lexus unique) which prevents your door opening into the trail of autos and cyclists approaching from the rear. Nice concept.

Lastly, in the event you select an RZ you’re additionally shopping for into Lexus’s status for reliability and award-winning customer support.

Like all Lexus automobiles, it additionally advantages from an prolonged producer guarantee for as much as 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (so long as you service your automotive with Lexus).

What’s extra, Lexus ensures the battery will retain not less than 70% of its capability after 10 years. And given its lengthy expertise in battery applied sciences, the corporate believes the precise capability on the level needs to be not less than 90%.

Finally, the Lexus model means quite a bit, which can trump the truth that some RZ rivals supply longer ranges, extra energy and engagement, plus faster charging at a lower cost.

Verdict: Putting, luxurious, protected and smart, the pure electrical Lexus RZ 450e is an aesthetic family-sized SUV delivering very good construct high quality and intelligent improvements. A formidable debut EV from a top-notch model.

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Lexus RZ review

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