The Toyota bZ4X electric SUV has finally arrived. The bZ4X is an important part of the Japanese automaker’s future. Unfortunately, Toyota’s new electric SUV isn’t as competitive as consumers hoped it would be before its arrival. Toyota may produce the most popular small SUV, but its electric small SUV is lagging behind the competition. It just got even more undesirable because of federal electric vehicle tax credit ineligibility.
The Toyota bZ4X just got more expensive
The 2023 Toyota bZ4X was eligible for the full $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax incentive, but Toyota has reached a sales threshold. Now, Toyota electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are only eligible for a $3,750 tax credit until the automaker hits another sales milestone.
Eventually, the incentive will be phased out quickly as it was with Tesla. Potential buyers who may have taken this discount for granted are getting a very rude awakening.
The bZ4X was supposed to leverage its affordability to get ahead of the competition, but the electric SUV is more expensive than some of its rivals shortly after rolling off of the assembly line.
The bZ4X starts at $42,000. Its price would have been $34,500 for the few consumers that had the chance to take advantage of the tax incentive. Now, it will cost drivers around $38,250 for the same EV. Consumers have every right to feel gypped because plenty of automakers are realizing that the sales threshold is far too low to have the desired impact.
Why isn’t the Toyota bZ4X competitive?
The Toyota bZ4X isn’t competitive because there are other electric SUVs that provide more value for the money. The current best entry-level affordable electric SUV on the market is the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The Ioniq 5 won the World Car of the Year award because it is practical, refined, and best of all it’s affordable. The final Ioniq 5 Limited trim is downright luxurious. Hyundai hasn’t met its PHEV and EV sales threshold yet. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 should be eligible for the full tax incentive for at least the duration of the year.
The Ioniq 5 has a higher max driving range and max power output than the bZ4X. Car and Driver claims that the 2023 Toyota bZ4X’s real-world range “isn’t up to snuff.” The last thing that new EV buyers want to deal with is range anxiety, so the bZ4X could benefit from a range boost.
Is Toyota’s new electric SUV a failure?
So, the 2023 bZ4X hasn’t exactly stolen the show in 2022. That doesn’t mean that it can’t make major waves in the automotive industry in the years to come. The bZ4X has plenty of strengths like engaging driving dynamics and great standard tech.
The bZ4X could improve over time and easily become a contender for the best small electric SUV with the right adjustments. Its tax credit ineligibility isn’t doing it any favors though.
Read more about the Toyota bZ4X in the next article below.