New Toyota bZ4X vs Ford Mustang Mach-E vs Kia EV6: practicality

Toyota has long been at the vanguard of hybrid technology, but the bZ4X is its first modern electric car. How does it compare with two of the most exciting alternatives?...

New Toyota bZ4X rear space

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

You won’t feel cramped when sitting in the front of any of our contenders; these are big cars, after all, and they feel it. You also get plenty of storage space, including cubbies under the central armrest and a couple of cupholders, with all three benefiting from a second storage ledge beneath their centre consoles. Curiously, though, the Toyota bZ4X is one of very few cars on sale that doesn’t have a glovebox.

As for the back seats, a couple of six-footers won’t feel cramped in any of them. However, they will definitely appreciate the limo-like leg room in the Kia EV6; few cars this side of a long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S-Class offer more. The bZ4X isn’t too far behind, with more space in front of your knees than any human could ever need.

Kia EV6 rear space

Things aren’t perfect in the EV6 and bZ4X, though. If you’re any taller than six feet, you might find your head brushing on the ceiling – particularly if you lean properly back in your seat and try to make use of the headrest. This is true no matter which angle you set the reclining seatbacks to.

You can’t alter the angle of the rear seatbacks in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and it has the least leg room. It’s also the tightest for three adults sitting side by side (the bZ4X is marginally the best). However, the Mach-E does have a welcome couple of centimetres of extra rear head room compared with its rivals, along with the most foot space under its front seats.

It’s never wise to judge a car’s boot based solely on the official capacity given by the manufacturer. If you did that, you’d assume the EV6 could swallow roughly 8% more luggage than the bZ4X, which in turn could carry 12% more than the Mach-E. In practice, the bZ4X can actually accommodate the most (eight) carry-on suitcases below its load cover. The EV6 and Mach-E can each hold seven.

Ford Mustang Mach-E rear space

The Mach-E and EV6 have height-adjustable boot floors, but even with these set in their highest positions, each has a small lip at the boot entrance, whereas the bZ4X has none. All three provide a small amount of underfloor storage for charging cables. Alternatively, in the Mach-E and EV6, you can choose to stow the cables (or a small overnight bag) under the bonnet, whereas the bZ4X has no such provision.

Need to carry even more clobber? Just fold down the 60/40 split rear seatbacks. This leaves a virtually flat extended load area in the Mach-E and EV6, and only a small gentle slope in the bZ4X. The latter is the only one to come with a powered tailgate, though.

Boot space

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E boot space

Boot 402-1420 litres Suitcases 7

Kia EV6

Kia EV6 boot space

Boot 490-1300 litres Suitcases 7

Toyota bZ4X

New Toyota bZ4X boot space

Boot 452-na litres Suitcases 8

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