The Main Reason the 2023 Lexus RZ EV Can’t Compete With Rivals
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e, the automaker’s first EV, has a problem. It has great looks and that Lexus quality, really it has everything we’ve come to expect from the brand. But the problem is its price, which makes it uncompetitive with rival EVs in the class. Actually, there are a couple of other issues, all of which we’ll get into now.
How much is a Lexus RZ 450e?
The Lexus RZ has two trims, with the entry-level Premium AWD priced right at $60,000. Upgrades include the Technology Package which includes things like a head-up display and advanced parking. That adds $1,450. But standard features include a panoramic sunroof and adaptive cruise control.
The RZ Luxury AWD sits at the top and retails for $65,150. It comes with an upgraded audio system and speakers, 20-inch wheels, fancy ambient cabin lighting, and a few more upgrades. That $65,000+ figure would be competitive with the $7,500 federal tax credit. But because it isn’t made here, it can’t qualify.
What is the Lexus RZ range?
Now, there will be arguments that the RZ is worth the price. Keep in mind, however, that this is an EV that gets a 220-mile range for the Premium trim and only 196 miles for the Luxury trim. That’s because both trims use a 65.6 kWh battery, the same as comes with the bZ4X. For comparison, the Tesla Model Y costs $53,000 and gets 330 miles range.
And the Cadillac Lyriq, which sells for a similar price as the RZ, gets 312 miles range. But as Carbuzz notes, the Lyriq comes with a home charger and complementary charging. The Lexus RZ doesn’t, so you must add that cost if you’re planning on charging at home.
How much power comes with the RZ?
And add to that its slow 150 kWh peak charging, and 6.6-kW onboard charger, which is weaker than the competition. Now you have more checks in the minus column. As EV technology keeps advancing, the RZ numbers make it look like a seven-year-old model.
What it features is its Direct4 dual-motor setup that gives 313 hp with all-wheel drive which gives a zero-to-60 time of 5.5 seconds. It also features drive-by-wire steering as standard equipment. But early reports indicate it’s a bit quirky and takes time to get used to.
How about the cabin?
Inside, the design is minimalist, with few buttons and switches. Most of those controls, as well as those typically found on doors, are now located on the infotainment display. The screen is a decent 14 inches across and takes voice commands besides using touch controls. There is also a digital display, and head-up display, too.
Lexus continues its premium look with faux suede and synthetic leather found throughout the interior. Overall, without all of the switches and barbs, it really looks spacious. And a full selection of driver assist technology is, of course, standard.
Lexus finally has its first of many more EVs with the release of the RZ. But for its asking price, it is expected to have far more to offer from range to power and more, to compete in this EV segment.