- Although Tesla is one of the best-known manufacturers of electric vehicles other brands, such as Toyota are also now producing highly competitive EVs.
- The Toyota bZ4X offers a range of up to 252 miles per charge, while Tesla Model 3 boasts a range of up to 315 miles per charge.
- Despite being a newer EV, Toyota bZ4X has a weaker powertrain, with 201-214hp, compared to Tesla Model 3’s 283-513hp.
EVs are the new standard in the automotive world, and most automakers turn their efforts into developing new electric cars. The only issue for new players, such as Toyota, is that they must meet or exceed the standards set by EV pioneers, such as Tesla.
Can the new EVs compete with Elon Musk’s company? Find out in this head-to-head between Toyota bZ4X vs. Tesla Model 3.
Toyota bZ4X vs. Tesla Model 3: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Toyota bZ4X||Tesla Model 3|
|Year of release||2022||2017|
|Powertrain||201hp to 214hp||283hp to 513hp|
|Range||Up to 252 miles per charge||Up to 315 miles per charge|
|Acceleration (0 to 60mph)||6.4 seconds||3.1 seconds|
|Drivetrain||FWD, AWD||RWD, AWD|
|Charging speed (10% to 80%)||30 to 60 minutes||20 minutes|
|Number of seats||5||5|
|Cargo capacity||27.7 cu. ft.||19.8 cu. ft.|
|Wheel size||18”, 20”||18”, 20”|
Toyota bZ4X vs. Tesla Model 3: What’s the Difference?
As one of the most innovative automakers in the world, Toyota has focused on manufacturing (more) eco-friendly cars for almost two decades. This company is widely known as the first to mass-produce a hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius, which was originally launched in 1997.
What most people don’t know is that Toyota built around 1,500 fully electric RAV4 wagons back in 1997. This car wasn’t a success, which is why it’s been seeped under the rug and forgotten. After that huge failure, however, the Japanese automaker decided to make its entry into the EV market with the bZ4X electric SUV.
This vehicle is developed on the company’s e-TNGA platform, which is the same platform used by bZ4X’s sister from another mister, the Subaru Solterra. Unlike its twin, though, the bZ4X isn’t offered in only AWD versions. You can get it in RWD and AWD trims, even if none of these models is a match for Tesla Model 3.
Yet, we can’t say this is unexpected. Since 2008, Tesla’s main goal was that of making electrically powered driving available to all. The brand’s cars can easily compete with gas vehicles in terms of operational range, fuel economy, and performance on the road.
In recent years, Tesla also focused on reducing manufacturing costs, making its vehicles affordable to the masses. Considering the superior performance and lower starting price of the Model 3 compared to the bZ4X, Elon Musk’s company definitely wins.
EV or non-EV, the main thing people want in a car is performance. Both Toyota and Tesla are reputable brands, but the former’s bZ4X is rather disappointing.
Despite being a newly developed EV, this crossover SUV features a weak powertrain compared to Tesla Model 3 and other popular EVs. The dual-wheel drive trim delivers 201 horsepower, while the all-wheel drive variant can output the equivalent of 214 horses.
This isn’t exactly bad, but it isn’t good either. Not when Tesla Model 3 can output between 283 and 513 horses, depending on the trim. With higher power comes higher top speed and acceleration. Specifically, the Model 3 can reach top speeds of up to 162 miles per hour, and it goes from zero to 60mph in 3.1 seconds.
Meanwhile, the bZ4X has a top speed of only 99.4 miles per hour and needs 6.4 seconds to get to 60mph from a standstill. This doesn’t mean that everything about the bZ4X is bad.
One thing this car has got for itself is the front-wheel drive on the single-motor model. While not as powerful as RWD, FWD provides better stability and increased safety on the road.
Range and Charge Time
The Toyota bZ4X might not be the most powerful electric vehicle, but its range is pretty decent. The front-wheel drive trims have an electric range between 242 miles (Limited) and 252 miles (XLE).
In the AWD versions, the estimated range goes from 222 miles in the Limited to 228 miles in the XLE. As far as the fuel consumption is concerned, you can expect a combined MPGe between 102 and 119 miles, according to EPA estimates.
Those numbers look pretty promising, but only until you compare the bZ4X to the Model 3. Tesla’s entry-level sedan boasts an electric range between 272 and 333 miles.
The fuel economy is also superior to Toyota, between 113 and 138 MPGe, as estimated by EPA. In real life, neither Toyota nor Tesla delivered the promised fuel economy, delivering a disappointing 86 and 84 MPGe, respectively.
As far as the charge time is concerned, the bZ4X needs about 30 to 60 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent at a fast-charging station. At a Tesla Supercharger, the Model 3 only requires 20 minutes of charge.
Historically, Toyota has become famous for its dependable but unsightly cars. Luckily, the brand upgraded the design of its vehicles in recent years. Even though the bZ4X won’t win a beauty contest anytime soon, the rugged, utilitarian lines match the vehicle’s spirit perfectly.
The vehicle’s athletic stance is enhanced by a generous (8.1-inch) ground clearance that makes it possible to tackle all sorts of terrains. Other sought-after details include a two-tone styling with a black roof, distinctive head and taillights, and an aerodynamic shape developed to boost performance.
Tesla Model 3 has a much lower ground clearance, but that’s to be expected from a sedan. Visually, it features smooth, elegant lines that can complement families and career-driven individuals alike.
Despite its sedan frame, the car delivers plenty of headroom for all passengers, and legroom is also plentiful. To enhance the design is the glass roof that covers both rows of seats.
Infotainment and connectivity are two features expected from any EV. Toyota and Tesla both have it, but each vehicle goes differently about it.
The bZ4X offers more basic features. Its 12-inch touchscreen display runs on proprietary software that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. SiriusXM satellite radio comes as standard, and the system also features cloud-based navigation. An onboard hotspot and wireless charging for your mobile devices are other highlights.
In addition to the main infotainment screen, the bZ4X also features a 7-inch digital gauge cluster. This screen features a high placement so that drivers won’t be distracted during the ride. In its base version, the car comes with a six-speaker stereo, but you can upgrade to a nine-speaker JBL system on the Limited trim.
The Model 3 emerged as one of Tesla’s cars of the future. Its 15.3-inch infotainment display is the core of the car. From here, you can control most vehicle functions, download apps, access online streaming services, play games, and more. The system also features all standard perks, such as built-in navigation, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity.
Passenger comfort is another important aspect of a vehicle. With its airy cabin and flat floor, Toyota provides plenty of space for front and rear passengers alike.
The wide central console looks a bit old-fashioned but includes all indispensable quick buttons to control the HVAC, stereo, and other car functions. There is also storage space under the console, although the bZ4X doesn’t have a glovebox.
Somewhat disappointing is the cargo space. At 27.2 cubic feet, it is rather small for an SUV. Tesla Model 3 provides even less, but that’s to be expected from a sedan. What you may not expect is a rather cramped interior, as well.
While the glass roof gives the impression of space, the rear seats are positioned low and uncomfortable for adults to spend long periods of time in them. Front passengers can enjoy very comfortable seats, though, and kids might like the rear.
A smart feature that you can only find in Tesla is Dog Mode, a climate control setting that allows you to keep the interior temperature in a comfortable range while the vehicle is parked. Thanks to this feature, you can leave your four-legged friend inside for short periods of time.
All modern cars incorporate advanced safety features, and things are no different with Toyota and Tesla. The bZ4X isn’t a self-driving car, but you can expect loads of sensors and cameras designed to protect you and others.
Standard features include automated emergency braking, lane departure and lane keep assistance, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and parking assistance. Adaptive cruise control is also available as standard.
Tesla features loads of sensors and cameras, too, but it has much more automation than the bZ4X. In standard vehicles, capabilities include automatic lane changes and other hands-free operations, including automatic driving in some circumstances. Full self-driving capability is available as an option on all trims.
The Tesla Model 3 is superior to Toyota bZ4X in almost every way. Shockingly, though, it’s cheaper — at least if you’re considering the entry-level trims.
The Model 3 Standard has a starting price of $40,240, which can go up to $53,240 for the Model 3 Performance. Toyota bZ4X’s starting price is $42,000, which can go up to $48,780 in the AWD Limited trim.
Sure, Tesla will cost you more if you want add-ons or full self-driving, but if you’re happy with the basic model, you could get it for cheaper.
Toyota bZ4X vs. Tesla Model 3: 5 Must-Known Facts
- The bZ4X is Toyota’s first electric vehicle developed for large-scale manufacturing. It was introduced in 2021 and launched in 2022.
- Tesla Model 3 was released in 2017. The 2023 edition comes with improved performance and smooth operation.
- Toyota bZ4X is the perfect off-road EV. It has a high ground clearance and provides comfortable rides over bumpy terrains.
- The Model 3 is an excellent town car, but it is also spacious enough for families.
- Performance-wise, the Model 3 is superior to the bZ4X in almost every way. However, the latter has a slightly better fuel economy.
Toyota bZ4X vs. Tesla Model 3: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Buy?
With the bZ4X, Toyota has established itself as a valid EV automaker. However, reliability might not be enough. Tesla has a long history and a better reputation in the EV world.
With the Model 3, Musk’s company has managed to change the EV game, making electric vehicles accessible to the masses. This car delivers performance and reliability in an affordable package, and, for now, it is the better choice.
While Toyota still has to prove itself, the bZ4X is a promising car that delivers mid-range performance. It is rather costly for what it offers, but it could be a good choice if you want an EV built to last.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sergey Kohl/Shutterstock.com.