Lexus rz450e review

lexus rz450e

The small luxury EV market is becoming increasingly crowded with options like the Genesis GV60, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and Tesla Model Y. To stand out in this competitive landscape, a luxury EV needs to offer a compelling combination of innovative features, attractive design, and impressive range. The 2023 Lexus RZ450e aims to meet these criteria but falls short in some areas.

Exterior Design:

The Lexus RZ450e shares a design language with its crossover siblings, the NX and RX. The front end features a variation of Lexus’ spindle body design, with headlights that squint towards the center, creating a unique look. The rear of the vehicle showcases a ducktail spoiler and miniature tail fin-like elements, reminiscent of the Lexus UX. These design choices give the RZ a futuristic yet familiar appearance.

lexus rz450e

Interior Design:

Inside the RZ, the cabin follows the typical Lexus layout, with a 14-inch infotainment screen, a digital instrument cluster, and controls located on the center stack. However, Lexus has made efforts to make the RZ feel unique and forward-thinking. The gear selector has been changed to a rotary shifter, adding a touch of modernity. The materials chosen for the interior also emphasize sustainability, with the use of vegan faux leather and micro suede made from recycled materials.

Driving Experience:

The Lexus RZ offers a comfortable and refined driving experience. The suspension is well-composed, effectively absorbing road imperfections and minimizing body motions and noise. The RZ’s power output surpasses that of comparable EVs like the Toyota BZ4X, providing a confident driving experience. However, the RZ lacks sportiness and steering feedback, making it more suitable for relaxed driving than aggressive maneuvers.

Features and Technology:

While the RZ includes advanced driver assistance and safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and blind-spot monitoring, it falls short in some areas. The absence of one-pedal driving, a feature offered by competitors like the Genesis GV60, is a notable omission. However, the RZ compensates with unique features like a Dynamic Sky panoramic roof that can switch between opaque and transparent, as well as a radiant knee heater for improved comfort.

Lexus Interface:

The RZ is equipped with the Lexus interface displayed on a 14-inch touchscreen. While it provides physical volume knobs and temperature controls, the absence of a home button can make navigating between functions confusing. Additionally, fine adjustments to the climate control require excessive touchscreen interaction.

Charging and Range:

One of the RZ’s drawbacks is its charging capability. With a maximum charge rate of about 150 kW, it falls behind competitors like the Genesis GV60 (235 kW). The RZ’s range is also disappointing, offering only 220 miles with the base 18-inch wheels, and dropping to 196 miles with the 20-inch wheels. This range falls short of competitors like the Volvo XC40 Recharge (224 miles) and Genesis GV60 (248 miles), not to mention Tesla’s impressive range of over 300 miles.

Flexibility and Ownership:

To appeal to prospective customers, Lexus offers a unique advantage: 30 days of free loaner vehicles within the first three years of ownership. This allows RZ owners to switch to a different Lexus model for long trips or when more cargo space is needed. However, during the loaner period, owners would revert to using gasoline, which may disappoint dedicated EV enthusiasts.

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