Toyota Makes Both of Edmunds’ Lowest-Ranked EVs
Toyota is somewhat late to the game regarding EV production. The automaker’s first all-electric SUV, the bZ4X, wasn’t released until last year. The Toyota Mirai has been around since 2017, but its fuel cell-based powertrain limits it from having much success on a nationwide scale.
Even if there were more fuel cell charging stations across the United States, it probably wouldn’t be enough to improve the Toyota Mirai’s popularity. Both the Mirai and the bZ4X got the lowest overall scores in their respective classes on Edmunds rankings. Should you avoid these cars?
What’s wrong with the Toyota bZ4X?
Edmunds found that the Toyota bZ4X’s overall driving experience isn’t on par with its rivals. The site tested the single-motor variant with front-wheel-drive, which makes 201 hp. All-wheel drive models generate 214 hp, but they only get an estimated 228 miles of range.
The FWD Toyota bZ4X Limited only got 227 miles of range in real-world testing, 15 miles less than its official EPA estimate. Test drivers complained about the subpar acceleration from this model and its lackluster steering response. The Toyota bZ4X is also one of the few EVs without the convenience of one-pedal driving.
Interior quality is average and test drivers found the seats to be decently comfortable. There are a few minor annoyances inside, like a tall center console and a limited number of storage cubbies. It also only has 56 cubic feet of cargo capacity and no frunk.
While some rivals have larger center touchscreens, Edmunds appreciated how the crisp graphics on the bZ4X’s 12.3-in one. The interface is also easy to navigate and all of the safety features run smoothly. Test drivers didn’t report any problems with smartphone pairing or the voice recognition software.
Where the Toyota Mirai needs improvement
Most of the Toyota Mirai’s flaws are attributed to geographical limitations. Currently, you can only purchase this car in Hawaii and California due to a lack of hydrogen fueling stations across the country. You could only feasibly recharge your Mirai in those states, though there is one within commuting distance of Reno as well.
The Mirai’s powertrain also requires it to have a bulky tunnel stretching through the second row. Edmunds argues that this tunnel makes the middle rear seat basically unusable, and the other four seats aren’t very spacious either. The Mirai also lacks a frunk, and the rear trunk offers less than 10 cubic feet of storage
Still, test drivers appreciated the Mirai’s visibility and ease of access. Test drivers were also very impressed with this EV’s suspension, which muted every road imperfection it encountered. The Mirai even showcases some fun handling due to its evenly-split weight distribution.
The Toyota Mirai’s single-motor powertrain makes 182 hp, and Toyota says that it can reach 60 mph in 9.2 seconds. The Mirai exceeds that expectation in real-world acceleration by 1.1 seconds. However, despite the Limited model’s claimed 357-mile range, the one tested by Edmunds only got 300 miles of range.
Still, test drivers appreciated that each new Mirai purchase includes coverage for $15,000 worth of hydrogen fuel. The XLE trim gets up to 402 miles of range and has a lengthy list of standard features.
Toyota needs to step up its EV game
Despite their low rankings, it’s worth noting that both the Toyota bZ4X and Mirai have average overall scores on their own. They aren’t the worst cars, but they currently fail to match the stiff competition. It also doesn’t help that both of these Toyota models are also more expensive compared to their rivals.
The Toyota bZ4X and Mirai could certainly benefit from better powertrain options and more cargo space. Until such changes are made, most shoppers may find it hard to justify spending their money on either of these EVs.