Slide behind the wheel of the 2024 Lexus RZ, and its plush seats, premium interior materials and cushioned ride all contribute to the quiet luxury the brand is known for. But the RZ is no ordinary Lexus, as it is the company’s first EV. The lineup includes the 201-hp front-wheel-drive RZ300e and the 308-hp all-wheel-drive RZ450e. Both have plenty of tech, including a large 14.0-inch touchscreen that loads fast and is easy to use.
The 2024 Lexus RZ fits in well with Lexus’ other SUVs, but there’s one catch, and it’s a significant one. The RZ450e’s estimated driving range is much lower than other luxury electric crossovers, and its real-world performance was even worse in our range testing, at just 120 miles (ca. 193 km) per charge. This makes the RZ significantly less capable of road trips than the BMW iX and Cadillac Lyric, both of which offer an estimated 300-plus mile of driving per charge. At least the RZ300e helps make up for this with an estimated range of up to 266 miles (ca. 428,086 m).
For 2024, the Lexus RZ lineup presents a new front-wheel-drive model, the RZ300e. Starting at about $5000 less, the front-drive setup has a significantly higher range estimate of up to 266 miles (ca. 428 kilometers) compared to the AWD version’s 220-mile cap.
The 2024 Lexus RZ is now offered with mono- and two-tone exterior paint designs, and Copper Crest has been added to the color palette. Inside, there are minor changes to the interior styling. More driver-assistance technology is available, and every model has a dual-voltage charging cord for 120- and 240-volt outlets.
Prices for the 2024 Lexus RZ start at $55,150 and go up to $65,580 depending on trim and options.
The entry-level Premium trim comes with desirable features like panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, all-wheel drive, power-adjustable steering column and more. Upgrading to the Luxury trim adds a Mark Levinson stereo system and multi-color ambient interior lighting, but its larger wheels reduce the RZ’s driving range, so we’ll stick with the slightly cheaper Premium model instead.
The Lexus RZ300e has a single electric motor on the front axle producing 201 horsepower. The RZ450e is powered by a dual-motor system that delivers 308 horses to all four wheels. Acceleration is quite brisk, but we noted on our initial test drive that it’s not as hair-raising as rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace and Volvo C40 Recharge.
On our test track, the RZ450e reached 60 mph (ca. 97 km/h) in 4.6 seconds. Lexus has confirmed that a yoke-style steering wheel will eventually be offered as an option and that it will come with a steer-by-wire system; A regular round wheel will be standard, so you’ll be able to opt out if you’re not up for the yoke. We got a chance to try out the yoke and its steer-by-wire system on a prototype RZ. It took time to get used to but once we got used to iit,t it proved beneficial to management.
The Lexus RZ450e customs the same 63.4-kWh battery pack as the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterre. With the base 18-inch wheel, it offers a driving range of up to 220 miles (ca. 354 km), while with the larger 20-inch wheel this estimate drops to 196 miles (ca. 315,431 m).
In our testing, we recorded just 120 miles (ca. 193,121 m) of range with larger wheels. The 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger is weak compared to many rivals, and the RZ’s DC fast-charging capability is limited to a 150-kilowatt connection. The RZ300e’s battery capacity is slightly larger, which the EPA estimates will provide 266 miles (ca. 428,086 m) of range on a full charge. When upgrading from the standard 18-inch wheel to a 20-inch wheel, this rating drops to 226 miles (ca. 363,712 m).
The Lexus RZ’s interior features a simplicity-focused interior design that has removed many buttons and switches from the dashboard and doors and moved them to a larger infotainment display. Similar approaches have been used in EV models from Tesla and Polestar, with varying results. Either way, the RZ’s cabin is roomy and quite upscale for a small crossover, with most surfaces wrapped in imitation suede or synthetic leather.
A large 14.0-inch infotainment touchscreen dominates the RZ’s dashboard and looks similar to the screen found on the gasoline-powered NX SUV. Lexus says the driver can interact with the system by touching the screen and using voice commands. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both come standard with wireless connectivity capabilities.