The Likeable, Lexus RZ 450e

In Car Reviews, Electric, Electric cars, Lexus, SUV by Jonathan Humphrey

It’s a pretty sharp-looking SUV, the first all-electric car from Lexus


Car Reviewed: Lexus RZ 450e Takumi


The Lexus RZ 450e is quite the looker. Techy and stylish, satisfying angles and curves abound, and the bi-tone, black bonnet-on-blue paintwork looks fresh.

What attracted me to the Lexus RZ 450e is that it is superbly refined throughout and a peaceful, smooth, comfy cruiser to spend time in. The overall spec of the Takumi model tested is very comprehensive.

On the road, the Direct-4 all-wheel drive means two motors, one per axle, giving added assurance in wet or more challenging conditions, such as an English summer. With total power of 308hp, 201hp from the front motor and 107hp from the rear, torque comes in at 435Nm. Acceleration is brisk, with 0-62mph popping up in a snappy 5.3secs. Top speed is pretty redundant these days in this speed camera world, but it will do 99mph.

All versions of the RZ 450e utilise the same capacity 71.4kWh battery pack and dual-motor setup; power delivery is silky smooth, with more than enough in the normal drive mode setting for most driving and preserving precious range. There is a sport setting, but the range will be significantly impaired unless you feel particularly deranged.

The interior is a pleasing space, with a central, intuitive 14-inch touchscreen combined with a decent Mark Levinson surround sound system with wireless Apple carplay/Android Auto. For some, myself included, the digits on the instruments could be a touch larger, but the overall typography and styling are pleasing to the eye. The front seats are fully adjustable, with a roomy rear with more sockets for mobile users. The dimmable panoramic roof is another nice touch.

It’s a car you can enjoy; technology geeks will love the many options; I needed to spend more time with the car to get to know it. Although there are rather too many safety systems beeping and bleeping, in many ways, I could do without them. You can delve into settings to change them; I don’t really need to be told to keep my eyes on the road. Just reversing out of the driveway proved challenging, not getting the ‘BRAKE!’ warning light to stop the car more than five times.

It has some pretty cool roof spoilers. The rear view is difficult, with a postbox-style rear window and to enhance the stylish look, no rear wipers. However, parking is easily aided by the high res 360-degree cameras and large door mirrors. The test car also came with remote parking, which enables the vehicle to be parked using the Lexus app while standing nearby, clever stuff., which I didn’t test. Safe exit assist is another neat feature; exiting the car is not possible if a cyclist is spotted approaching the side of the vehicle.

Dependent on wheel choice, 18″ or 20″, the range can be 245 or 270 miles; The cars tested had 20″ wheels, I charged a few times to 85% and it quoted 225miles, overall it is pretty accurate on journeys, meaning if the trip on Google maps is 75 miles driven sensibly, it will only lose around 75 miles of range.

Definitely, as on most EVs, try to exist without the air-con; on hotter days, the range can suffer by up to 30%; the cooling seats do a great job; use them with the occasional window opening. There are steering wheel mounted panels to eke out further savings in electric.

The overall range may be a problem for some, but not all buyers will have that top of their list and will most likely be charging from home.

With the choice of 150kW charging, it will only take about 30 minutes for an 80% charge, although the two times I charged this week, I almost spent more time talking to BP customer service than charging. The infrastructure for charging is improving rather slowly on the South Coast.

The hands-free back door opens to a more than adequate 522 litres of boot space, lowering the seats; this can be easily increased to a useful 1451 litres.

The likeable Lexus RZ 450e will fill a gap in the range and with more events to come. Even with its bold character, clearly, it has stiff competition from Genesis, Audi, Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes et al. The price of £75,100 seems pretty steep, but Lexus does have loyal followers, and the Lexus warranty extending up to 10 years/100k miles is attractive, especially for cars with new technology.

Author Rating 4.2/5

Car reviewed: Lexus RZ 450e Takumi

on the road price as tested £75,100

  • 0-62mph 5.3secs
  • Top speed 99mph
  • Power Front and rear motors / 71.4kWh Li-ion polymer battery
  • Electric Range Combined 252miles
  • Max Power Engine 308hp
  • Torque 435Nm
  • Dimensions MM 4805 L / 1895 W / 1635 H
  • CO2 emissions 0g/km
  • Transmission Single speed Automatic All-wheel drive
  • Bootspace 522 / 1451 1itres (seats folded)

Jonathan Humphrey

The man from Drive.co.uk

After many, many years of being passionate about cars, spending too much money on cars and too much time driving. I now spend my time running and developing Drive.co.uk a fun expressive motoring lifestyle website along with some very good writers.

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