Improved 2024 Lexus RZ gains single-motor variant


In December 2023, the Lexus RZ received its first update and transitioned into the 2024 model year. It may not be immediately apparent, but the 2024 Lexus RZ features a big change, which makes it significantly more affordable than the launch model. Recently, I got to experience the features and comfort of the first Lexus electric car. Here are my first impressions, and everything that’s new for 2024.

Design

The 2024 Lexus RZ features a sporty and aerodynamic exterior and looks a little futuristic, too. I like its clean and focused front-end with the low hood, spindle body instead of spindle grille, and slim headlights, especially in the Eminent White Pearl body color. On the sides, the sloping roofline and blacked-out C-pillar make the EV look shorter than it actually is.

The Lexus RZ 450e’s design concept is termed ‘Seamless E-Motion.’ The electric SUV gets a new iteration of the brand’s signature spindle grille with active shutters. Unlike other Lexus models, there’s no splashing of excessive chrome and that’s what makes this grille appear so classy.

However, if you were to ask me, the rear three quarter is the best angle of the 2024 RZ, thanks to the extremely raked back glass, the split roof spoiler, and the super-sleek full-width tail lamp. It’s available in a new Copper Crest color, in both mono- and bi-tone versions.

Lexus makes the RZ at its Motomachi factory in Japan, and I think it has good build quality. Closely looking at its exterior, I saw that its panel gaps were consistent, and its paint quality was commendable.

Interior

The 2024 Lexus RZ doesn’t have a flashy or over-digitalized interior. I think it has a subtle way of communicating luxury, with rich colors, Ultrasuede upholstery made from plant-derived raw materials, and one of my favorite interior features – Shadow Illumination, which projects light onto the door trim ornament in an intricate pattern.

I like the sleek and simple dashboard, the center section of which is tilted towards the driver’s seat. However, it’s a shame that Lexus has used one of its older compact displays as the instrument cluster in a model that’s supposed to be its guiding star and pack futuristic technologies. This is an area of improvement for the company in future model years. Another change I’d like to see in the future RZ is the addition of a glove box, a glaring omission in the current model. MY2024 has radiant heaters in place of that traditional storage area.

The 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system isn’t the most high-tech unit in its class, but I expected it to be intuitive. When I got around to using it, I found that it was easy to use and offered controls for the infotainment and the air conditioning.

2024 Lexus RZ 450e center console
The shift knob dial uses shift-by-wire technology, and offered tactile feedback during operation.

I liked the fact that Lexus has equipped the RZ with rotary dials to adjust the speaker volume and cabin temperature. In my experience, the buttons, switches, and knobs in the EV give a tactile feedback. I checked if Lexus has skimped on quality in lesser-seen or -interfaced areas like the lower part of the dashboard, door panels, and center console and found that was indeed the case, but they were not low quality, only lower in quality compared to the rest of the cabin.

Moving to comfort and practicality, I’m six feet tall, and I found ingress and egress in the front of the 2024 Lexus RZ’s cabin was easy, thanks to the higher position of the seat and raised floor. I am not a fan of electric door handles, but the unit on the RZ works as intended.

The RZ 450e gets 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar adjustment and heating, ventilation, and memory functions. The heated steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescopic column and memory function felt solid.

The smaller windows did not help all-around visibility, but I am sure drivers will quickly get used to it. I had adequate lumbar support, but under-thigh support could have been better. I found myself looking for the door release before spotting it integrated in the door handle!

Entering and exiting the rear of the 2024 Lexus RZ was easy for me, thanks to the flatter roofline and higher seats. Despite the extremely raked back glass, which I was particularly concerned about before entering the car, I had no problems with headroom. The seat had heaters in the outboard positions, and I was sitting right behind the driver’s seat, which was still adjusted for my six-foot-tall body.

The default angle of the backrest felt comfortable, but you could manually adjust it for a slight incline. I had sufficient legroom and knee room, but due to the battery pack under the floor, I was sitting slightly knees-up. 

2024 Lexus RZ 450e cargo area

The 2024 Lexus RZ has a power-operated, kick-activated tailgate. It offers 34.9 cu. ft. of cargo space, expandable to 55.6 cu. ft. by folding the rear seats. Lexus equips the 2024 RZ with a tire repair kit instead of a spare tire.

Specifications & Driving Impressions

The 2024 Lexus RZ will be available in the existing 450e AWD variant and a new 300e FWD variant. The former carries over two motors that together deliver 308 horsepower, while the latter has only a 201-horsepower motor. The AWD variant accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds, while the FWD variant takes 7.4 seconds for the same. However, both have the same top speed – 99 mph.

While the 2024 RZ 450e has the familiar 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the 2024 RZ 300e uses a slightly bigger, 72.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. The EPA-est. range of the 2024 RZ is 220 miles (18” wheels)/196 miles (20” wheels) in the new 450e variant and 266 miles (18” wheels)/224 miles (20” wheels) in the new 300e variant.

2024 Lexus RZ 450e side profile
The 2024 Lexus RZ is more affordable than the previous model thanks to the new 300e variant.

Since RZ 450e has remained unchanged with the 2024 model year update, it’s safe to assume it feels the same to drive. From what we know of the 2023 model year, the RZ 450e is not neck-snapping quick, but it’s sprightly enough for the targeted comfort-seeking Lexus customers. Similarly, handling isn’t its forte, not even with summer tires. The intensity of the regenerative braking system could’ve been better, and one-pedal driving is a glaring omission.

Aspect RZ 300e (FWD) RZ 450e (AWD)
Length 189.1 inches 189.1 inches
Width 74.6 inches 74.6 inches
Height 64.3 inches 64.3 inches
Wheelbase 112.2 inches 112.2 inches
Drivetrain Layout Single motor FWD Dual motor AWD
Front motor 150 kW (201 hp) 150 kW (201 hp)
Rear motor 80 kW (107 hp)
Total Power 201 hp 308 hp
0-60 mph Acceleration Time (company estimate) 7.4 seconds 5.0 seconds
Battery 72.8 kWh 71.4 kWh
AC Charging Time
0-100% – Level 2: Single Phase
240V / 32A (7 kW)
Approx. 9.5 hours Approx. 9.5 hours
DC Fast Charging Time
0-80% – DCFC: 400A (150 kW)
Approx. 35 minutes Approx. 30 minutes
Range (EPA-Estimated) 266 miles (18-inch wheels)/224 miles (20-inch wheels) 220 miles (18-inch wheels)/196 miles (20-inch wheels)
These are U.S. specs of the Lexus RZ 450e, courtesy of Lexus Pressroom.

Lexus engineered the RZ 450e as nothing but a plush luxury vehicle. Those who’ve driven it would also tell you that the ride quality is smooth, and the suspension does a good job of suppressing jolts from road imperfections. Barely any noise makes it into the cabin, giving the driver and passengers a near-whisper-quite ride that is typical of a Lexus. There is occasional head-jostling, but not on a level that’d make the ride annoying.

Price

Variant Price
RZ 450e Premium AWD (18″ wheels) $59,850
RZ 450e Premium AWD (20″ wheels) $61,090
RZ 450e Luxury AWD $65,580
RZ 300e Premium FWD (18″ wheels) $55,150
RZ 300e Premium FWD (20″ wheels) $56,390
RZ 300e Luxury FWD $60,880
Includes Delivery, Processing & Handling fee of $1,150

TopElectricSUV says

The design of the RZ makes it feel right at home at a Lexus dealership. However, with a 0-60 mph sprint time of 5.0 seconds and a maximum range of 266 miles, it isn’t the most exciting launch in the crowding electric SUV segment. However, for Lexus loyalists and BEV enthusiasts, it marks the beginning of exciting times as Japan has finally thrown its hat into the ring!

2024 Lexus RZ FAQs

What is the 2024 Lexus RZ release date?

The 2024 Lexus RZ has started arriving at U.S. dealers.

What is the 2024 Lexus RZ price?

The 2024 Lexus RZ ranges from USD 55,150 to USD 65,580 (incl. USD 1,150 DPH fee).

Which models are 2024 Lexus RZ rivals?

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