Lexus RZ long-term test: report 3

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

Lexus RZ long-term Chris at the wheel

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 4315 List price £69,095 Target Price £66,025 Price as tested £69,095 Official range 251 miles Test range 170-190 miles

4 March 2024 – More like my cup of tea

My Lexus RZ has been putting me in mind of the iconic TV comedy series, Father Ted. No, really.

You see, there’s a plotline in which the titular priest buys his housekeeper, Mrs Doyle, a tea-making machine – a kind gesture, he thinks. But it turned out that the seemingly dull task of supplying the parochial household with cups of tea was among her few remaining pleasures, and the machine was taking it away.

Lexus RZ long-term driver assistance settings

How on Earth does that concern the RZ? Well, metaphorically, at least, it’s a tea-making machine that Mrs Doyle might actually like.

Driving – no matter how mundane the journey – is my favourite pastime, narrowly beating the joy of getting to write about it. And while I’ve driven a great many cars with driver assistance technology, this all too  often frustrates and detracts from the driving experience. In the RZ, though, it heightens the pleasure.

Best of all, it’s good at sensing that I’m holding onto the wheel like I should be. So many cars (including the BYD Atto 3 that I ran previously) assume that any absence of steering input (such as when you’re on a straight road) means you’re not holding the wheel, and the only way to silence the nagging is to briefly deviate from the straight line you’ve been faithfully following. When systems are this intrusive, I tend to switch them off, but the RZ’s is a breath of fresh air, working with me to take the effort out of the M25 schlep.

Lexus RZ long-term driver cruise control HUD

Also, in addition to adaptive cruise control, the RZ is unusual in having a non-adaptive setting that simply holds a set speed, and I find this a boon when the motorway traffic is light. What’s more, the car’s excellent head-up display shows me what steering wheel button my finger is hovering over, so I can switch between these cruise control modes without taking my eyes off the road.

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