Photo of a silver Lexus 450e

Following my review of the very impressive Lexus NX, I found myself back in the driver’s seat of Lexus’ fully electric SUV, the new Lexus RZ 450e.

The excitement and anticipation I felt upon its delivery were surreal, marking my first-ever review of a full-electric vehicle. Test-driving a high-end vehicle like the Lexus RZ 450e set the stage for an electrifying narrative (pun intended), with the Lexus RZ 450e Takumi model standing at the pinnacle of Lexus’ electric SUV lineup, signifying their shift towards sustainable driving.

Exterior Elegance and Design

The Lexus RZ 450e is a head-turner. Its clean, sleek lines imbue it with a futuristic feel, and the removal of the front grille distinguishes its design, enhancing its unique aesthetic appeal— a notable differentiation from its petrol counterparts. The solid build quality resonates with Lexus’ reputation for durability and refinement. This is a car that instils a sense of safety and security; you can feel the quality the moment you open the door.

Under the Hood

The Lexus RZ 450e features a “Long-life 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery expected to retain at least 90 per cent of its capacity after 10 years of use” and boasts an “Efficient system achieving energy consumption between 3.3 and 3.7 miles per kWh (16.8 kWh and 18.7 kWh per 100 km) in the combined WLTP cycle”. It also marks the “first application of Lexus’s new e-Axles, compact motor units used front and rear, working in conjunction with the new Direct4 all-wheel electronic drive torque control”.

When you put the pedal to the metal, this car leaves others in the dust. The acceleration is instant, with no lag, achieving 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds, though it feels even faster, and the g-force holds you in your seat. The 20-inch rims fitted on this model ensure the car remains fast yet agile. It’s impressive how the car maintains stability and comfort at high speeds, seamlessly blending the thrill of speed with the tranquillity of the cabin— a feature I particularly enjoy while driving.

Interior Sophistication and Technology

Upon entering, you are greeted with a massive 14-inch touchscreen multimedia display, flanked by two circular dials allowing dual climate control for both driver and passenger. The multimedia touchscreen houses everything from the car’s settings to maps and more, making it easy to navigate.

However, accessing the car’s drive modes, like Sport Mode, can be a bit counterintuitive as it’s buried in the settings menu, which can be distracting while driving. If you attempt to switch drive modes while driving, the car emits warning sounds and displays “Driver Inattention Detected”, which can become annoying.

The cockpit is minimalist, with a rotary shift selector offering only D for ‘Drive’, R for ‘Reverse’, and P for ‘Park’. The absence of a glove compartment was puzzling during my week-long review; I found myself instinctively reaching for where it should be. The central panel, on the other hand, is spacious, offering ample room for storing USB cables, wallets, keys, or whatever else you might carry.

The Ultrasuede upholstery, partly made from bio- and recycled materials, is lush and comfortable, providing lumbar support that elevates the driving experience. The “integrated heaters have been redesigned to operate across the entire seat, with temperatures adjustable for the shoulders, back, and upper thigh areas”. Cold morning? No problem. The heated steering wheel instantly warms up, removing any chill, and allowing for spirited driving from start to finish.

Heads-Up Display

The head-up display (available on the RZ Premium Plus Pack and Takumi) projects information onto the base of the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight. Its position, layout, and content can all be adjusted to personal preference, with three content versions available: full, standard, and minimum.

Heat-Shielding, Dimmable Panoramic Roof

One of my favourite features is the heat-shielding, dimmable panoramic roof, which extends from front to back, offering backseat passengers a light and bright cabin—perfect for children to look up and see the sky. “The glass features a low-e (low-emissive) coating that reflects infrared radiation, reducing radiant heat on sunny days and retaining warmth in the cabin during colder weather. An electric dimming function turns it opaque at the touch of a button”—brilliant.

Music lovers will appreciate the bespoke 13-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system for its sound quality and fidelity but on the flip side, unfortunately, the wireless phone charging platform lacks a lip or groove to prevent the phone from sliding around; once you accelerate, you might find yourself trying to retrieve your phone from the floor.


All in all, the Lexus RZ 450e blends futuristic design, cutting-edge technology, and a thrilling drive. From its visually striking exterior to its innovative under-the-hood technology featuring a long-life battery and e-Axles for enhanced performance, the vehicle redefines electric driving experiences. Inside, the fusion of sophisticated technology with user-friendly interfaces, like the massive touchscreen and intuitive climate controls, accentuates luxury, while thoughtful details like the heat-shielding panoramic roof and Mark Levinson sound system cater to comfort and entertainment. Despite minor inconveniences like the placement of drive mode settings and a wireless charging design flaw, the Lexus RZ 450e emerges as a compelling proposition for those looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle.

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