- The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e impresses with its stylish design and luxurious interior that includes signature Lexus elements and premium features such as electronic door buttons and a panoramic sunroof.
- However, the RZ 450e falls behind its electric crossover rivals from Tesla, Ford and Genesis in terms of range, performance and price.
- With a limited range of around 220 miles, unimpressive acceleration times and a hefty starting price, the RZ 450e may struggle to attract buyers looking for more range and better performance at a more affordable price.
In a recent video, popular automotive YouTuber Doug DeMuro previewed Lexus’ first all-electric vehicle, the 2023. Lexus RZ 450e.
It is a more luxurious version of the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, complemented by the elite Lexus style and luxurious interior. However, it has several drawbacks.
De Muro found Lexus’ first all-electric car leaves much to be desired. In addition to the RZ 450e’s well-thought-out interior, it’s impressive range figures, unbeatable performance and relatively high starting prices.
These two can drive buyers towards cheaper, longer range and better performance electric crossover competitors from Tesla, Ford and Genesis.
De Muro praised the styling of the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e
Comparing the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e to the Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X, De Muro praised Lexus for improving the looks of its lower-priced siblings by adopting their signature design language.
“It’s not the prettiest car in this segment, but that’s subjective — some people might like it. But it certainly looks better than bZ4X and Solterra. And he is definitely not ugly, although he is impressive. , which someone might like,” DeMuro said.
For example, the RZ 450e gets Lexus’ iconic spindle grille and ditches the controversially striking dark-colored body panels on the 2023 Toyota bZ4X and 2023 Subaru Solterra in favor of more subtle dark accents around the exterior.
DeMuro also praised the car’s stunning interior, which has the same look and feel as any other Lexus luxury vehicle.
Some of the luxury and cool features that DeMuro explored are electronic buttons that open and close the doors, a unique panoramic sunroof that can become opaque at the push of a button, Alcantara seats typically found on performance cars, roomy rear seats, a large 14- inch touchscreen infotainment system and a unique rotary gear selector.
Notably, Lexus will debut its Tesla-style steering wheel as an alternative to the conventional steering wheel in the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e. According to DeMuro, RZ 450e models that have optional yoke steering will also get variable ratio steering. Essentially, this means that the more the driver turns the yoke, the faster the car will turn, so drivers don’t have to make many turns of the yoke to make a sharp turn. It also means that Lexus has addressed a common complaint of drivers using the Tesla yoke, which requires multiple turns of the yoke to turn sharply.
However, according to DeMuro, the benefits end there.
The YouTuber had some reservations about the fact that the digital driver’s display is too simple and that the large screen of the infotainment system does not have the ability to reproduce a multi-screen mode like a map overlay. He also noted that it is impossible to operate the sunroof from the rear seats as the only button that operates it is in the front. It also lacks a front rack like many EVs, but DeMuro says surveys show few owners ever use racks if their cars have them.
A YouTuber criticized the RZ 450e’s limited range of 220 miles
Most of DeMuro’s other criticisms of the new Japanese the luxury electric crossover revolved around its disappointing range figures.
The base 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium comes standard with 18-inch wheels that the EPA estimates give it 107 mpg combined and an EPA-estimated range of about 220 miles.
However, things get a lot worse when the RZ 450e gets bigger and more attractive 20-inch wheels, which are optional on the Premium trim level and standard on the Luxury trim level. RZ 450es with 20-inch wheels have an EPA-estimated 95 mpg combined and an unimpressive 296 miles of range, not even breaking the 200-mile mark that most electric cars today surpass.
“In fact, all of the Lexus RZ’s competitors have more range than this car,” commented DeMuro.
One of the cars DeMuro compared it to was the Tesla Model Y, which is one of the most popular all-electric crossovers on the market today.
The 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range definitely beats the mileage and range of the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e. The Tesla crossover has 15 mpg combined and 110 miles more range than the Lexus RZ 450e with more efficient 18-inch wheels.
He also compared it to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has an EPA-estimated range of 312 miles, 100 miles more than the Lexus. Other crossovers DeMuro compared Lexus to are the 2023 Genesis GV60, which has an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles, the Volvo XC40, which has an EPA-estimated range of 226 miles, and the Audi Q4 E-tron, which has course 265 miles.
But the RZ 450e’s range isn’t the only drawback DeMuro highlighted.
DeMuro experienced the unbeatable performance of the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e
DeMuro also compared the Lexus RZ 450e’s decent specs, which are unfortunately overshadowed by its competition.
Back to the 2023 Tesla Model Y, DeMuro says the base Model Y will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the Lexus. The most expensive Tesla Model Y Performance has an even better 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, 1.5 seconds faster than the RZ 450e.
The 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E also outperforms the Lexus RZ 450e, hitting 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The GT Mustang Mach-E trim level does even better, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds.
When DeMuro went to test drive the Lexus crossover, he compared the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e to its bZ4X and Solterra siblings. “For me, this is the best version of the situation with bZ4X, Solterra, RZ. You’ve got all-wheel drive as standard, you’ve got decent power as standard, and it doesn’t look weird. So, from Toyota’s perspective, it’s a great electric crossover,” DeMuro said.
He added: “But from an overall market perspective, I don’t think it’s that good. In particular, I am surprised by this combination of range, price and performance. It’s just not fast enough, and it just doesn’t have good enough range to justify the price they’re charging.”
De Muro questioned the high price of the RZ 450e
The YouTuber found the price of the RZ 450e to be steep, especially considering that its competition has better performance figures and a much longer range. For context, the base Premium RZ 450e starts at $59,650, while the top Luxury trim starts at $65,150.
But its competitors are much cheaper, but have much more range and better performance. For example, the 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range is $10,000 cheaper than the base 2023 RZ 450e. The YouTuber also compared it to the similarly priced 2023 Genesis GV60, which is only about $360 cheaper but has slightly better range and similar mileage figures.
He also suggested why this is so.
“Toyota would respond to that, I suspect Lexus would respond to that by saying ‘yes, but it’s a Lexus.’ And indeed, there is some truth in this. The Y model has more range and better acceleration, but it’s not as good. To be honest, Tesla’s interiors just aren’t that nice. they’re minimalistic, you might think that’s kind of cool, but like they’re not pretty. They’re not fancy,” DeMuro said.
De Muro says Lexus luxury The crossover seems to have better build quality and likely upholds Toyota and Lexus’ reputation for building reliable cars — which may justify the price premium the RZ 450e commands over its competition. Despite this, the YouTuber also suggested that reliability might not be what the EV market is looking for right now, especially given the disappointing range. SUV has
“So this is the 2023 Lexus RZ. He is wonderful. Just wonderful. The tech is decent, the performance is decent, the range is disappointing, and it’s quite expensive considering its shortcomings. There are better electric competitors on the market, but at least Lexus is finally here with an electric car,” concluded De Muro.