Skip to main content

Toyota is one of the best and brightest automakers in the industry regarding electrification. The company introduced one of the first-ever mass-produced hybrid vehicles over two decades ago. Now, the Japanese automaker is producing plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Though the company has been slow to produce an EV, it’s still a name to watch in the space because of its success in producing popular nameplates. Toyota’s electric SUV is actually more affordable than its plug-in hybrid SUV. Should you get one?

Is the Toyota bZ4X worth getting?

The Toyota bZ4X is a battery electric small SUV model built to rival models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Tesla Model Y. The small electric SUV was initially met with plenty of anticipation thanks to the success of other Toyota small SUVs like the RAV4. Toyota knows how to produce a great small SUV, and it clearly understands electrification because of its work with the Prius, right?

Unfortunately for Toyota, battery electric vehicles are a whole new ball game. Electric vehicle batteries are complex and arguably volatile compared to internal combustion engine and hybrid powertrain systems. The Toyota bZ4X has plenty of strengths, but it also has its fair share of weaknesses.

Toyota bZ4X cons

  • Real-world driving range isn’t practical enough for most drivers
  • Dull driving dynamics
  • Road noise inside the cabin

Ultimately, the bZ4X is a decent option for its segment, but there are more exciting and practical rivals. It can’t go toe-to-toe with best-selling models like Tesla’s small electric SUV.

2023 Toyota bZ4X vs. Toyota RAV4 Prime: Electrified Toyota SUV battle

A gray Toyota bZ4X small electric SUV (L), a red Toyota RAV4 Prime small PHEV SUV (R).
A gray Toyota bZ4X small electric SUV (L), a red Toyota RAV4 Prime small PHEV SUV (R) | Toyota

So, the Toyota bZ4X isn’t the best choice in its segment, but how does it fare against another electrified Toyota SUV? The specs show which small electrified Toyota SUV is the clear better choice.

Small electrified Toyota SUV2023 Toyota bZ4X2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Starting MSRP:$42,000$43,440
Power Output:201 Horsepower/ 196 LB-FT of Torque 302 Horsepower/ 165 LB-FT of Torque
MPG or Driving Range:252 Miles (Estimated Driving Range)94 MPGe (Miles per Gallon Equivalent)
0-60 MPH Time:6.4 Seconds (Most Powerful Configuration)5.5 Seconds
2023 Toyota bZ4X, 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime specs.

The bZ4X electric SUV is the more affordable option, but the RAV4 Prime is more exciting to drive. Toyota’s small plug-in hybrid SUV has a quick acceleration time and packs plenty of power thanks to a dual-motor hybrid powertrain system. It also has stellar fuel economy and an electric-only driving range of 42 miles.

Why the Toyota RAV4 Prime is a better choice

A red 2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime small plug-in hybrid SUV is driving on the road.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

The RAV4 Prime is relatively new to the scene, but it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, Toyota improves on a classic by adding electric motors and a battery to the popular RAV4 small SUV. The more expensive Prime is unlikely to get as popular as its predecessor, but it sure is tempting to many gearheads. After all, if the OG RAV4 lacked anything prior to this new iteration, it was excitement.

The RAV4 Prime is the ultimate version of the Toyota RAV4. Furthermore, it’s arguably the best version of the RAV4 ever created.

Toyota’s bZ4X small electric SUV is attempting to break into a new space at a time when segment leaders have already been established. It’ll take some fierce competition to rival models like the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The bZ4X just doesn’t have the chutzpah. It could grow in popularity in the future, but will it ever really be as exciting as the RAV4 Prime?


U.S. News Thinks Toyota Makes the Worst Electric SUV