Since 1936, Consumer Reports (CR) has worked alongside consumers to promote truth, openness, and justice in the marketplace as an independent, nonprofit member organization. Independent product testing, investigative journalism, consumer-oriented research, public education, buying recommendations, and consumer advocacy are all part of the company's mission.
In a number of instances, CR has been praised for its transparency and commitment to customer welfare by revealing product flaws and faults, which manufacturers have been quick to address. For example, after recreating a potential rollover fault detected during a CR test, BMW modified the software for the stability control in their X5 SUV in 2007.
In April, Toyota released the bZ4X EV SUV in the United States. CR, on the other hand, has some reservations about Toyota's first-ever all-electric vehicle. It's unclear when Toyota will make modifications to the bZ4X EV in response to the complaints raised by CR.
The inbuilt charger on the bZ4X does not sit well with CR. To ensure that all-electric vehicles can be charged and driven, an onboard charger is necessary. However, the charger in Toyota's new electric crossover is a 6.6-kW type, limiting charging speed. Connecting to a Level 1 or 2 home charger may take significantly longer than with competitors.
Most electric vehicles now have an onboard charger with a 7.7 to 11.5 kW capacity. Toyota's first electric crossover isn't up to par with its rivals. In addition, the bZ4X's DC rapid charging functionality is lost in cold weather. "DC charging may not operate when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit," Toyota says. As a result, charging the bZ4X EV will take 10 hours.
Next, Consumer Reports is dissatisfied with the bZ4X's lack of features. The front seats in the $42,000 edition, for example, do not have power adjustment. There is also no traditional glove box, and the back hatch is only operated manually. These items, according to CR, should be standard across the board for a vehicle with such a high starting price.
Second, there is no wiper on the back windshield. Another reason for individuals living in cold or wet regions to avoid the bZ4X is the limited charging capacity. When snow and ice, or even water droplets, cover the back windshield, owners will have to manually remove every last piece.
CR also disapproves of the Toyota bZ4X's usage of black plastic trim on both the exterior and inside. It reflects light, gathers fingerprints and scratches, and seems cheap on the inside. The electric crossover, however, is available in a variety of hues, according to CR.
Customers may choose white, silver, grey, or red instead of black on the XLE trim, which costs $425 a piece. The Limited trim level now has the option of a two-tone exterior. For $925, you may add a black roof, which helps to hide the contrasting trim.
Despite all of this, Consumer Reports loves the Toyota EV more than it dislikes it. Acceleration, ride quality, handling, internal spaciousness, a quiet cabin, and rear door handles are among the highlights of the evaluation. Each piece is exceptional, prompting CR to endorse the bZ4X.
Finally, the Toyota bZ4X is a fantastic new electric crossover for 2023. It will face a lot of criticism right away as the popular brand's first electric vehicle. Although CR like many aspects of the bZ4X, customers would favor it even more if the onboard charger is fixed, a few missing functions are added, and the odd-looking black plastic trim is removed.