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

Toyota is well-known for making a lot of the best cars on the market right now, but the Japanese auto giant notably has few offerings in the EV segment. Toyota is starting to add more EVs to its lineup, but unfortunately, one of Toyota’s first EVs is already getting a bad reputation. Here’s a look at how Toyota may make the worst electric SUV on the market right now according to U.S. News.

A 2023 Toyota bz4X compact electric SUV model in Wind Chill Pearl parked on a beach near a lifeguard station
2023 Toyota bZ4X | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

A look at U.S. News’ electric SUV rankings

According to U.S. News, the electric SUV segment is growing, and currently, two of the best options are somewhat similar to each other. The Kia EV6 is in first place with an overall score of 8.7 out of 10, while the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is in second place with an overall score of 8.5 out of 10.

While the Kia may be the better option, the two EVs are fairly similar thanks to the fact that Kia and Hyundai built those two cars on the same platform.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is in third place with an overall score of 8.4 out of 10, and it was trailed by two EVs which were tied for fourth place. The Chevy Bolt EUV and the Hyundai Kona Electric both have an overall score of 8 out of 10.

Those two EVs are followed by the Volkswagen ID.4, which has an overall score of 7.7 out of 10, and then the Kia Niro EV, which has an overall score of 7.5 out of 10.

The Subaru Solterra is in second to last place with an overall score of 6.9 out of 10. Finally, the Toyota bZ4X, which is built on the same platform as the Solterra, ultimately has the lowest score as it has an overall score of 6.7 out of 10. 

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X has the worst rating in the entire segment

The bZ4X has a starting price tag of $42,000, which makes it one of the more expensive electric SUVs on the market right now. That said, despite the price tag, Toyota didn’t give the bZ4X much in the way of specs. It comes with front-wheel drive as standard, and its standard electric motor only generates about 201 hp. 

That electric motor is paired to a 71.8-kWh battery, and this only allows the Toyota EV to go 252 miles on a single charge. That’s not a lot of range for the segment, and it’s one of the EV’s biggest flaws.

Toyota offers a dual-motor option that gets 214 hp and it also gets all-wheel drive. However, that option lowers the bZ4X’s range to 228 miles, which is far below average for the segment.

On top of the middling range, the bZ4X also lacks cargo capacity. With the seats folded down, it has a max cargo capacity of 56.1 cu. ft. Once again, that’s below average for the segment. Additionally, unlike many other EVs, Toyota didn’t give the car a front trunk, also known as a frunk. 

What Toyota will have to improve about the bZ4X in the near future

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The 2023 Toyota bZ4X Will Disappoint You if You Expect a Frunk

Those two issues were the main reasons why the Toyota EV has such a low score. Toyota did well in other areas though, such as the bZ4X’s interior comfort or its safety features. As such, the Japanese automaker will have to improve the EV’s range and cargo capacity if it wants the bZ4X to be a serious competitor.

A frunk may not be a necessary change, but one way or another, Toyota will have to find a way to increase the bZ4X’s range. Many of its peers can get over 300 miles in their best configuration, so that’s the benchmark that Toyota will have to aim for.