Lexus RZ Review 2024

Written by Andy Brady

7/10
heycar ratingClassy premium electric SUV but with limited range
  • 2023
  • SUV
  • EV

Quick overview

Pros

  • Superb comfort and refinement
  • High-quality interior packed with tech
  • Fast-charging capabilities included

Cons

  • Mediocre real-world battery range
  • New prices are expensive
  • Infotainment system can be hard to use

Overall verdict on the Lexus RZ

“Supremely refined and luxurious on the inside, the Lexus RZ delivers all the important qualities you would expect from a premium brand. However, it lags behind on the all important issue of battery range, which could limit its appeal.”

Lexus RZ Review 2024: static

The Lexus RZ is the first dedicated electric SUV from the Japanese manufacturer, sidestepping the UX300e – which started life with conventional petrol engines. The car is pitched against rivals such as the BMW iX3, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model Y.


Lexus has used the same e-TNGA platform that underpins the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but added a unique take on this shared hardware. It certainly looks smart on the outside, while the interior is a revelation in terms of quality and standard technology.


A twin electric motor setup, with Direct4 e-Axle adaptive all-wheel drive, makes the Lexus RZ surprisingly quick off the line. It also handles neatly, rides with impressive comfort and is supremely quiet inside.


Sharing a platform with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra means the Lexus RZ comes with the same powertrain as these two vehicles. Both the Toyota and Subaru have come in for criticism about their real-world battery range and, sadly, the Lexus does not seem to be immune from this issue.


Based on official tests, the Lexus RZ can achieve up to 272 miles when fully charged. Yet away from the laboratory environment of WLTP testing, and depending on the road and weather conditions, the RZ may potentially offer a modest 150-200 miles of range.


Should you solely be using the RZ for urban journeys, this driving range will be fine. But given the price and size of the Lexus, it seems reasonable for buyers to use it on motorways and for longer trips.


At least the Lexus RZ can be charged quickly, requiring just 30 minutes to go from 10-80 percent with the right public charging device.


Aside from its limited battery range, the Lexus RZ is a likeable electric SUV that nails the premium expectations created by its badge. Provided you stick close to home, this could be the upmarket crossover EV for you.


Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Lexus Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Lexus RZ models for sale.

If you want an electric SUV with a premium badge and a high-end interior, the Lexus RZ 450e could be a contender. Being able to charge at home will make life with an RZ much easier, as will a short commute due to the limited battery range of the vehicle.


You will also need a relatively healthy budget if you are buying a Lexus RZ brand new. If you are prepared to consider a used model, you could end up getting a lot of premium electric SUV for your money.

Keeping things simple, Lexus offers the RZ with the same 450e powertrain regardless of which trim level you choose. This means a 71.4kWh battery pack, combined with a twin-motor setup that delivers a substantial 313PS. It will see the RZ 450e accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds, although driving like that will obviously eat into battery range.


When it comes to which trim level to go for, all versions are comprehensively equipped. The standard Lexus RZ Premium Pack model should offer all the technology most drivers need, but without the higher price of plusher versions.


The Premium model comes with 18-inch wheels, too, which promotes a better battery range than an RZ fitted with 20-inch rims.

The Lexus RZ exists in a competitive marketplace, with a host of rivals to consider. These include the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Jaguar I-Pace and Genesis GV60.


There is also the Tesla Model Y to consider. Although slightly smaller, the Tesla has plenty of performance if you happen to like the American brand.


Underpinning the Lexus RZ is the same platform used by the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra SUVs. These offer similar performance, but without the quality found inside the upmarket Lexus.

Comfort and design: Lexus RZ interior

“A truly premium interior, loaded with technology, the Lexus RZ features clever touches that could boost battery range.”

Lexus RZ Review 2024: interior

Compared to some SUVs, the driving position of the Lexus RZ is a little closer to the ground. This is apparent from the fact you seem to look up to the large central touchscreen, although the view ahead to the road still feels commanding.


All versions come with front seats that benefit from eight-way power adjustment, meaning there should be no difficulty in getting comfortable behind the wheel. There are heated front seats on all trim levels, with the top two specifications gaining a ventilation feature, too.


The Premium Pack Plus and Takumi versions of the Lexus RZ come with radiant heaters integrated into the front of the cabin. Positioned at knee level, these use less energy to generate heat, helping to preserve battery range.


Also of note is the panoramic sunroof found on the Takumi version. This can be dimmed at the push of a button, rendering the glass ceiling completely opaque. Lexus says this blocks out sunlight to aid cooling, and also does away with the need for a separate retractable cover.

If you need a single reason to justify the price of the Lexus RZ over a mechanically similar Toyota bZ4X, interior quality is it. The RZ feels truly high-end, upholding the traditional expectations for how a Lexus should look and feel.


Almost everything you touch feels built to last, while there are beautiful materials covering the dashboard and door trims.


Opt for the range-topping Takumi model and you get seats finished in a faux suede upholstery that is made from recycled and biodegradable materials.


That Lexus has managed to combine sustainability with a high-end finish is truly commendable. It makes the RZ’s interior a genuinely luxurious place to experience.

The centrepiece of the Lexus RZ’s interior is a 14.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is standard across all trim levels. It looks impressive, and is shared with Lexus NX and RX models.


Crisp graphics mean it appears visually bold, while the touchscreen itself is quick to respond to inputs. However, the actual menu interface is not the most intuitive to use, which means lots of diving through various folders to find the option you want.


Lexus has previously equipped its vehicles with a separate infotainment controller on the centre console, but the RZ relies on the touchscreen itself. This makes it harder to use when driving, but at least the voice commands are very effective.


Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity is included as standard, along with wireless charging for these devices. All trim levels come with built-in satellite navigation, Bluetooth and multiple USB-C charging ports.


Premium Pack and Premium Pack Plus models add a 10-speaker audio system. Moving up to the range-topping Takumi model gives the Lexus RZ an impressive Mark Levinson Premium Surround-Sound setup instead.

Measuring 4805mm in length and 1895mm in width, the Lexus RZ is smaller than the hybrid-powered RX model, but is still a relatively sizable SUV. It is also bigger than the related Toyota bZ4X, although interior space doesn’t seem correspondingly large.


For those up front, the RZ will feel fairly spacious, even if the wide centre console can eat into space for your knees. There is plenty of adjustment on offer from the seats, so there should be no issue for even the tallest of drivers to get comfortable.


Moving into the rear, on paper there is a decent amount of room to transport adult passengers. Legroom and headroom are competitive with the RZ’s closest rivals, but the middle seat is best left for occasional use only. It is worth noting that a high window line can make things feel a little claustrophobic in the back, too, although the optional panoramic sunroof does resolve this to a large extent.


With the rear seats in place, the boot can swallow 522 litres of luggage, which is slightly more than a BMW iX3. The back seats split 60:40 and can adjust for rake. When both are dropped, cargo capacity swells to 1451 litres.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Lexus RZ like to drive?

“The Lexus RZ is a smooth and refined way to travel, handling bumps in the road with ease, and proving surprisingly enjoyable to drive.”

Lexus RZ Review 2024: driving

Sharing a platform with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, the Lexus RZ is not set up to be particularly sporty. Instead, it majors on delivering the level of comfort owners would expect from the Lexus brand.


Models with 18-inch alloy wheels naturally ride better, but even those with 20-inch items are never harsh or uncomfortable. This relatively soft suspension does result in more body-lean than sportier alternatives, although the RZ can still flow neatly along twisty roads.


Drivers can adjust the level of regenerative braking thanks to steering wheel-mounted switches. Somewhat disappointingly, though, there is no true ‘one pedal’ driving mode.


Future Lexus RZ models will be offered with a futuristic steering ‘yoke’ that resembles the controls found inside an aeroplane, rather than a traditional round steering wheel. This setup also uses a steer-by-wire system, and requires just 150 degrees of turning to go from lock to lock.


With no physical connection between the steering yoke and front wheels, bumps and ruts in the road can apparently be filtered out better, and the RZ is said to be quicker to react to driver inputs.

Things are simple with the Lexus RZ 450e. There is just one electric powertrain on offer for all versions, using a 71.4kWh battery.


This is a twin-motor setup, bringing a combined output of 313PS to the party. It is split between 204PS to the front axle and 109PS to the rear, with an overall system torque of 435Nm.


Even with the Lexus RZ 450e’s considerable kerb weight of more than 2050kg, the electric motors can still accelerate it from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds. A top speed of 99mph is more than sufficient, too.


The power delivery is rapid, but smooth, with rapid initial acceleration that still packs just enough Lexus-style refinement. A Tesla Model Y is quicker on paper but, in reality, the RZ is more than fast enough for most drivers.


The Direct4 e-Axle adaptive all-wheel drive can send more power to the rear wheels in Range mode to help promote efficiency. Engage Sport mode and the RZ will split power equally between the front and rear axles to aid traction.

Where the Lexus RZ lags behind its closest rivals is on the question of maximum battery range.


On paper, models fitted with 18-inch wheels can cover up to 272 miles when fully charged. Opting for a Lexus RZ with the larger 20-inch wheels sees this drop to 252 miles in official WLTP tests.


In isolation, these numbers sound pretty acceptable. However, the BMW iX3 can achieve 282 miles on the same WLTP test cycle, while the Genesis GV60 can cover 321 miles. A Tesla Model Y can potentially achieve 331 miles.


In real-world circumstances, the range of the Lexus RZ can drop to between 150 and 200 miles, especially in cold weather. Given the premium price of the RZ, this could be hard to stomach.

Lexus already has a reputation for building refined cars and SUVs, so combining that with an electric powertrain results in a very quiet experience.


There is almost no sound from the electric motors, with road and wind noise also well contained. It offers a refined way to pass the miles and, if you have the top-spec Takumi model, makes the Mark Levinson premium sound system even easier to enjoy.

The Lexus RZ should be a very safe electric SUV. When tested by the Euro NCAP organisation, the RZ received a top five-star rating. This included an 87 percent score for protection of both adult and child occupants.


An array of cameras and sensors, combined with a seemingly endless litany of alerts and warnings, is an obvious reminder of how much safety technology the Lexus RZ comes with.


The Lexus Safety System+ includes pre-collision warning, lane-departure alert, lane-change assist, dynamic cruise control and a driver attention monitor.


Safe Exit Assist uses the blind-spot monitoring system to check for approaching bicycles or cars, preventing the doors from being opened into their path.

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the Lexus RZ?

“The Lexus RZ can use rapid-charging devices, with the potential to go from 10-80 percent battery charge in just 30 minutes.”

Lexus RZ Review 2024: static

All versions of the Lexus RZ come with the same 71.4kWh battery pack, which is compatible with charging devices offering speeds of up to 150kW.


Using one of these rapid public charging devices will be the quickest way to replenish the Lexus RZ’s battery. Connected to the right charger, it will take only half an hour to go from 10-80 percent full. This will be the most expensive way of charging, though.


Should you be able to charge your Lexus RZ at home, it will prove to be more cost-effective. A standard 7kW home wallbox will require 10 hours to recharge the RZ, with a quicker 11kW unit doing the same job in 6.5 hours.

Lexus has genuinely become a byword for automotive reliability. In the latest Honest John Satisfaction Index survey, it came out as the best car brand to own, and also the most reliable.


Impressively, this was the fourth time in a row Lexus had collected the prize for being the most reliable car manufacturer.


The Lexus RZ comes with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty as standard. However, having your Lexus serviced at an official dealership every year can see this cover extended up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

As an electric SUV with a premium badge on the bonnet and plenty of technology inside, the Lexus RZ finds itself placed in a relatively high insurance group.


Premium Pack and Premium Pack Plus models are in group 44 (out of 50 groups in total), while the range-topping Takumi model is in group 45. These insurance groups are the same as the rival BMW iX3, though.

The Lexus RZ is a pure electric vehicle, meaning it is exempt from the owner having to pay VED (road tax). Given its list price is also more than £40,000, which incurs an additional premium for conventional vehicles, this makes for a substantial saving.


Although there is nothing to pay, you do still need to submit the appropriate VED forms every year to avoid getting a fine.

How much should you be paying for a used Lexus RZ?

“Appearing on the used market in small numbers, a Lexus RZ could be yours for less than £52,000.”

Lexus RZ Review 2024: static

Being relatively new to the marketplace, used examples of the Lexus RZ are only just making their way onto dealership forecourts.


However, secondhand models are out there, with prices starting from less than £52,000 for an 2023 RX Premium Pack with 10,000 miles on the odometer. That makes for a substantial saving over the £64,500 list price.


A top-spec 2023 Takumi model, with a similar mileage, should be available to buy used from around £53,500. That's a saving of some £20,000 compared to the new price.

The Lexus RZ is offered with a choice of three different trim levels, all providing a considerable amount of standard equipment.


Premium Pack is the starting point for the Lexus RZ range, and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, black wheel arches, a panoramic sunroof and keyless entry.


On the inside, the seats are covered in Tahara synthetic leather upholstery, with the front pair being heated and benefitting from eight-way power adjustment. Tahara synthetic leather also covers the heated steering wheel, plus dual-zone climate control is included. Front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and a power-operated tailgate are other standard features.


Lexus fits a 14-inch multimedia touchscreen to the Premium Pack model, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Wireless smartphone charging, a 10-speaker sound system and satellite navigation are included.


Moving up to the Lexus RZ Premium Pack Plus adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display, a panoramic view monitor and the potential to order two-tone paintwork. The front seats are ventilated, with radiant heaters and a memory function. The climate control benefits from Nanoe-x air quality filtering, plus there is the innovative option of steer-by-wire.


Topping the range is the Lexus RZ Takumi, which comes with LED headlights with adaptive high-beam, LED fog lights and cornering lights, body-coloured wheelarches and performance suspension dampers.


There is also 64-colour ambient lighting, an advanced parking system, ultrasuede upholstery, a dimmable panoramic sunroof and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. The tailgate can be opened electrically and hands-free as well. 

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The Lexus RZ comes with Direct4 e-Axle adaptive all-wheel drive as standard. Developed by Subaru, it allows torque to be seamlessly shuffled to whichever axle needs it most. It can also change the electric motor’s torque distribution to improve battery range.
All Lexus RZ models come with a 91.4kWh battery pack. When fully charged, cars with 18-inch alloy wheels can officially cover up to 272 miles. Opt for 20-inch wheels and this total drops to 252 miles.
Like all Lexus models, the RZ comes with an initial three-year warranty. With annual servicing by a Lexus dealership, this can potentially be extended to 10 years and 100,000 miles of cover. Reliability should be excellent, too.

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