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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 is an all-new entrant in the Lexus lineup for 2023 and the brand’s first all-electric offering.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The entry-level Premium trim comes straight away with desirable features such as a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, all-wheel drive, a power-adjustable steering column, and more. Upgrading to the Luxury trim adds a Mark Levinson stereo system and multi-colored ambient interior lighting, but its larger wheels decrease the RZ’s driving range, so we’d stick with the slightly cheaper Premium model instead.

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 rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the Volvo C40 Recharge. At our test track, the RZ450e made it to 60 mph in 4.6 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.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

The RZ450 will use the same 65.6-kWh battery pack as the bZ4X and Solterra. It’s said to deliver up to 220 miles of driving range with the base 18-inch wheels, while the larger 20-inch wheels drop that estimate to 196 miles. In our testing we recorded a range of only 120 miles with the larger wheels. 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 show that it’s more efficient with the standard 18-inch wheels, which earn EPA ratings of 115 MPGe city and 98 MPGe highway. With the optional 20s, those estimates drop to 102 MPGe city and 87 MPGe highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, we recorded 68 MPGe. 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 and 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 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
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2023 Lexus RZ450e Premium
Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

Base/As Tested: $59,650/$63,415
Options: Technology package (digital key, head-up display, parking assist), $1425; 20-inch wheels, $1240; premium Ether paint, $500; Cold Area package (headlamp washers), $200; digital rearview mirror, $200; illuminated front badge, $200

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, 63.4 kWh
Onboard Charger: 6.6 kW
Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 150 kW
Transmissions, F/R: direct-drive

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.9-in vented disc/12.5-in vented disc
Tires: Dunlop SP SportMaxx 060
F: 235/50R-20 104V Extra Load
R: 255/45R-20 105W Extra Load

Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 189.2 in
Width: 74.6 in
Height: 64.4 in
Passenger Volume, F/R: 55/47 ft3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 48/35 ft3
Curb Weight: 4617 lb

60 mph: 4.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 13.5 sec @ 99 mph
100 mph: 13.8 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 103 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 354 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.83 g

Observed: 73 MPGe
75-mph Highway Driving: 68 MPGe
75-mph Highway Range: 120 mi
Average DC Fast-Charge Rate, 10–90%: 36 kW
DC Fast-Charge Time, 10–90%: 86 min

Combined/City/Highway: 95/102/87 MPGe
Range: 196 mi


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