2023 Lexus RZ450e review

‘Bonging’ RZ450e – big on safety but little in character


The speedometer rules in the upstanding RZ450e

This is a car that leaves the distinct impression that both Lexus and its Toyota parent are the most lukewarm of EV-adopters among the mainstream manufacturers. While others have gone charging up to the turn-in point and hurled their brands at the EV apex with almost reckless abandon, Toyota and Lexus are the ones still creeping off the back of the grid. For the company that pioneered hybrid, it’s perhaps an odd approach, though if EVs turn out to be a busted flush within the next 10 years, it’ll be Toyota and Lexus sighing with relief at all the billions it didn’t spend on a redundant technology.

Essentially the RZ450e is Lexus’s version of the Toyota bZ4X – more luxurious, more premium in appearance, but based on the same platform with the same small battery, modest range and charging capability. The interior design is excellent, but the infotainment system is old hat and the number of safety systems I wanted to turn off, including one that bongs at you if you go so much as 1mph over the limit, was astounding. I wouldn’t mind if it weren’t for the fact that even if you turn off the bong, it defaults to ‘on’ every time you get in the car.

Lacking any dynamic character save a smooth ride and quiet progress, this is a pleasant enough car once configured to your taste, but half-hearted and one that fails entirely to convince at its super-steep price point. A Polestar 2 is cheaper and not just better, but wildly so.


  • Price £64,500
  • Engine Front and rear electric motors, 71kWh battery drive
  • Power 309bhp
  • Torque 321lb ft
  • Weight 2055kg
  • Power to weight 150bhp per tonne
  • Transmission Single speed, four-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph 5.6sec
  • Top speed 99mph (limited)
  • Economy 252mpg (WLTP)
  • CO2 0g/km
  • Verdict Tepid leccy from EV pioneer.