Lexus RZ long-term test: report 2

How does Lexus's four-wheel drive electric SUV cut it as a commuter car and a countryside companion alike? We're finding out...

Long Term Lexus RZ caressing passenger seat

The car Lexus RZ 450e+ Takumi Run by Chris Haining, sub-editor

Why it’s here To find out whether Lexus's premium electric car combatant offers the right blend of efficiency, luxury and performance to succeed in a crowded market

Needs to Cope with a long motorway commute as well seeming at home in the countryside, and be easy to live with day to day

Mileage 1454 List price £69,095 Target Price £66,025 Price as tested £69,095 Official range 251 miles Test range 170-190 miles

17 February 2024 – The inside story

With its chiselled haunches and eye-catching Sonic Copper and Black bi-tone livery, my Lexus RZ is rather a handsome thing, but while I occasionally catch a glimpse of it reflected in shop windows, I generally only get to look at it when it’s standing still. So, as far as I’m concerned, and as my fellow ugly folk will no doubt agree, it’s what’s inside that counts.

Long Term 2023 Lexus RZ interior trim

Happily, the RZ’s innards are far from a let down, although touch trumps sight in terms of how it appeals to the senses. To look at, it’s modern and tidy, if not exactly elegant; if you’re expecting the restrained simplicity of the luxury limos with which Lexus made its name, you won’t find it here. With a big, 14.0in infotainment screen dominating the centre stack, there isn't much scope left for the stylists to do their thing, but a decent effort has been made, with contrasting trims and textures adding visual interest.

In feel, though, the RZ’s interior is much richer. The steering wheel and dash-top are trimmed in a synthetic leather that feels far softer and more plush than even the most coddled or endangered of animals could possibly surrender, and the doors are covered in Microsuede – a material that’s just as inviting to run your fingers through as the hair of a loved one.

Everything’s impeccably put together, too. Yes, Italian furniture craftsmen might baulk at the plastics used for the door pockets, but even the hard materials in out-of-the-way locations are pleasingly solid and dead to the touch. Creaks and rattles are simply not in the RZ’s vocabulary.

Long Term 2023 Lexus RZ panoramic roof

I’m also endlessly fascinated by the dimmable panoramic sunroof. The way the glass goes opaque at the touch of a button still feels like science fiction, plus it removes the need for a sliding sunshade, in turn freeing up head room front and rear.  

Further praise goes to the front seats. Electrically adjustable every which way, including for lumbar support, they feel like they were specifically designed for my ungainly frame. In fact, there have been occasions when I’ve started my 117-mile trip into the office with lower back twinges after sleeping awkwardly, and I’ve found myself magically cured on arrival at work. I must have ticked a ‘built-in chiropractor’ box on the order form without realising.

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