2023 Lexus RZ Looks Dead On Arrival With $60,000 Price Tag

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Lexus is late to the EV game and the wait doesn't seem worth it.

The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e finally has a price tag, and as we feared, the first electric vehicle from Lexus (in the US market) does not look competitive. Pricing for the entry-level RZ 450e Premium AWD starts at $59,650, including a glass roof and 14-inch infotainment system. Available options include a Technology Package for $1,450 with a head-up display, advanced parking, and digital key, a $200 Cold Weather Package with heated headlight washers, and a few other miscellaneous features.

Stepping up to the RZ 450e Luxury AWD costs $65,150, adding 20-inch wheels, multi-color ambient lighting, a Mark Levinson audio system with 13 speakers, and more. The RZ does not qualify for the tax credit of up to $7,500 because it is built in Japan, not North America.

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The RZ's trim structure is simple with both models using the same battery and motor setup. Two electric motors combined to deliver 313 horsepower, good for a 5.5-second 0-60 mph time. Sadly, the range from the 71.4 kWh battery is less than impressive with 220 miles on the Premium and only 196 miles with the Luxury on its 20-inch wheels. To put that in perspective, a cheaper Tesla Model Y goes 330 miles on a charge for $54,990. Even taking Tesla out of the equation, the similarly-priced Cadillac Lyriq goes 312 miles on one battery.

And let's not forget, Lexus isn't giving away a home charger or providing complimentary charging for the RZ, unlike Cadillac. Lexus dealers will sell chargers, but that's it.

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We haven't driven the RZ yet, but based on our experience with the Toyota bZ4X, we aren't expecting it to be a game-changing EV. Keeping all of these details in mind, combined with the RZ's sluggish 150 kW peak charge speed, it looks like the first Lexus EV may already be dead on arrival.

Unless it's somehow the second coming of the LFA in an SUV package, there appear to be many better options.

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