Rich materials, the latest connectivity features, and a sense of spaciousness combine to make the Lexus RZ's interior a place you can happily spend time in on the daily commute. Getting into the cabin is done so conveniently by way of a SmartAccess card key, and you are greeted by smart NuLuxe or Ultrasuede upholstery. The dashboard is dominated by a large 14-inch touchscreen and few physical controls, although there is still a volume knob and dials to quickly adjust the cabin temperature. Both models have eight-way power-adjustable front seats with both heating and ventilation, and at night, occupants can enjoy the Shadow Illumination on the doors - this function has a multicolor effect for the Luxury trim. Overall, the interior is a success and more than lives up to the automaker's reputation for luxury.
Interior space inside the Lexus RZ is good, with four occupants able to be accommodated comfortably and five for shorter distances. Despite having a shorter body than the RX, the unique electric architecture of the RZ has allowed Lexus to free up marginally more interior space in terms of headroom and legroom. Occupants that are six foot will be happy with the space available to them in each row.
The seats in the Lexus RZ are comfortable, but more substantial side bolsters would have been welcome. Large side mirrors contribute to generally good visibility from the driver's seat, too.
|Lexus RZ Trims||RZ 450e Premium||RZ 450e Luxury|
Build quality is even more important in an EV where there is no engine noise to drown out any rattles or squeaks, and we are happy to report that the RZ feels very carefully put together. Soft-touch materials are in all the spots you interact with often; harder plastics are only to be found in obscure areas if you go looking for them.
The RZ Premium comes with NuLuxe imitation leather upholstery in Dapple Gray, Palomino, or Thunderstorm/Macadamia. It also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel. For the RZ Luxury, soft Ultrasuede replaces the NuLuxe, and Tsuyasumi interior trim is introduced. The RZ's interior colors are the same for both trims.
While the Luxury model does feel nicer inside, the Premium hardly feels like a base trim; both models are tastefully finished, and the materials used are excellent.
At 23.74 cubic feet, the cargo space behind the second row of the Lexus RZ is useful rather than spectacular. It will suffice for daily needs and some bigger items, but you'll need to fold down the second row to increase the space to 47.97 cubes. Push the front passenger seat forward as far as it will go, and the total cargo space is 55.57 cubes. The Tesla Model Y not only has a frunk, but also up to 76 cubic feet of overall cargo space, so the RZ isn't the most practical EV of its kind.
In the cabin, there are two adaptable cupholders in the center console, and they're completely unobstructed by the flat dial-type shifter. Below these cupholders is a partially concealed storage space for items like a small bag. The center console armrest doubles as a storage compartment and can conveniently be opened from either side, so the front passenger can also access it if necessary. All four doors have door pockets, but there is no glovebox at all.
Rear-seat passengers can fold down the center armrest to access dual cupholders. They can also access map pockets on the front seatbacks, although in 2023, it's probably time to rename these to tablet or e-reader pockets.
To justify the high price, Lexus has loaded both RZ trims with features. The cheaper Premium doesn't feel like an entry-level trim by any means, as it comes with eight-way power-adjustable seats that are both heated and ventilated, including two-way power lumbar support for the driver. You won't need to pay extra for the following items either: a heated steering wheel, a powered steering column that forms part of a memory system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a SmartAccess card key, single-color ambient lighting, a power rear door with a kick sensor, a panorama glass roof, a surround-view monitor, and wireless phone charging.
The Luxury trim has all of these things along with a Digital Key, heated rear outboard seats, multicolor ambient lighting, acoustic front and rear side glass, a 10-inch head-up display, and a radiant front knee heating system. This radiant heating system is more efficient than the regular climate control as it uses infrared technology to only heat nearby objects instead of the air inside the vehicle.
This is a safe car, too, as it comes with the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite. We'll cover this in more detail in the safety section, but some of the highlights include all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and intelligent high beams.
Up until quite recently, using the infotainment system in a Lexus was a miserable experience as the brand's touchpad was infuriating to use quickly and accurately. The latest Lexus Interface as equipped to the RZ is far better, as the 14-inch multimedia touchscreen is large and colorful. It could use split-screen functionality to group more functions on the screen simultaneously, though, so that there is less swiping when, for example, finding and selecting the desired driving mode.
Very little is missing from the list of standard infotainment features, including wireless operation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, five USB-C ports dotted around the cabin, a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM with a three-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, and navigation. The standard 10-speaker sound system is replaced by a 13-speaker Mark Levinson system on the Luxury, and the latter does sound good.
When all the seats are up, the RZ's cargo space measures 23.74 cubic feet. A maximum of 55.57 cubes is available when the rear seats are folded and the front passenger seat is moved forward.
The Lexus RZ is a five-seater crossover with two seating rows.
Two cupholders in front are complemented by another two in the rear center armrest.