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2023 Toyota BZ4X vs 2022 Kia EV6: Compare Electric Cars

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What’s the best way to build an electric car for the masses? Design one that’s familiar to shoppers of gas-powered crossovers, as Toyota has done with the 2023 Toyota BZ4X? Or take a clean-slate approach and explore all the packaging and design possibilities afforded by electric vehicle construction, such as Kia has done with the 2022 Kia EV6?  

These two electric crossover SUVs both offer the body style drivers seem to want with the electric propulsion they need, but big differences in range and style lift one to the top of our charts.

Styling: Kia EV6

Toyota developed its first global platform dedicated for electric vehicles in partnership with Subaru. The BZ4X has hints of the bestselling Toyota RAV4 but slaps on Subaru cladding on the fenders and front fascia. Inside, all but the cockpit feels familiar due to a small 7.0-inch instrument cluster recessed near the cowl and so far removed from the steering wheel. The iconography, gauge layout, 12.3-inch touchscreen, and most everything else aside from the center console gear dial, should be familiar for Toyota owners. It makes the shift to an EV less intimidating. 

The Kia EV6 also rides on a global platform shared with  the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60. If they all sat side by side, it would be hard to discern how they’re related. The EV6 sports a long, low profile with a long wheelbase and short overhangs, looking more like a wagon or European grand tourer than the marketing catchall of a crossover. The interior design is less daring, with two 12.3-inch digital screens under one piece of glass that curves toward the driver. For Kia owners, the dash and steering wheel controls might be even more familiar than in the Toyota. The bridge center console comes short of the center stack, like an ergonomic diving board for drive modes, while the lower shelf extends a bit further while still maintaining the airiness of an open floor plan. 

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

Kia EV6 GT-Line, red, and Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited

Kia EV6 GT-Line, red, and Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

Performance and Charging: Kia EV6

The Kia EV6 steps beyond the BZ4X with its battery propulsion system. A 77.4-kwh battery pack can be had in single-motor rear-wheel drive with an output of 225 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, or dual-motor all-wheel drive making 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. Either drivetrain is quick, with the AWD model sporting a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds; a forthcoming GT model shaves more than a second from that time. A smaller 58-kwh battery pack with a single motor making 167 hp is forthcoming. With a front strut, multi-link rear independent suspension, the EV6 rides on the firm side, and its 6.1 inches of ground clearance helps it handle more like a sedan than a crossover.

Another advantage of the EV6 is the charging. The single-motor model has a range of 310 miles, while dual-motor versions drop to 274 miles. It’ll take about seven hours to charge at home on a Level 2 240-volt charger, but its DC fast-charging capability is the real winner. It charges from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes on a connector rated at 350 kw. 

The Toyota BZ4X charges slower, taking nine hours on a Level 2. At a DC fast charger, it accepts a 150-kw supply for FWD models, and 100 kw on AWD models, so it’ll take at least three times as long to fast-charge, by our estimates. Toyota doesn’t quote a 10%-80% estimate, but says it’ll recoup 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. 

The Toyota BZ4X uses a single-motor front-wheel-drive iteration that makes 201 hp and 196 lb-ft and uses a 71.4-kwh battery pack. The dual-motor all-wheel-drive model makes 214 hp and 248 lb-ft, and it can sprint to 60 mph in a Toyota-estimated 6.5 seconds. It’s quick off the line but the thrust fades quickly. Even though it has a similar four-wheel independent suspension as the EV6, it’s tuned softer, and a taller ride height by nearly four inches makes it squishier as it leans away from turns. 

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

2023 Toyota BZ4X

Features and space: Kia EV6

Toyota’s advantage comes inside, with more upright crossover SUV proportions that enable more cargo room and front head room. The thick center console of the BZ4X, however, confines the cockpit, so we prefer the open airy space of the EV6. Both crossovers have five seatbelts, but neither one offers much space for the fifth seat. The longer wheelbase of the EV6 benefits rear passengers with 39.0 inches of leg room versus just 35.3 inches in the BZ4X, but rear head room gets clipped in both. 

Neither model has been subjected to independent crash tests, but they’re equipped with standard driver-assist features that can mitigate or avoid a crash. Both have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and full-speed adaptive cruise control. Kia has a wider range of safety options, such as a limited hands-free highway driving system with automatic lane changes. 

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

Toyota can’t beat Kia’s 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, even though the BZ4X includes 2 years or 25,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance. The feature sets are similar, with 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment systems and keyless locks, and would seem to favor Kia, except the brand still doesn’t have wireless smartphone compatibility with its larger screens. 

One more important thing to consider is accessibility. Toyota’s conservative approach limited the rollout of only 7,000 BZ4X allotted to U.S. sales in the first year. Meanwhile, Kia delivered more than 7,000 EV6 in the second quarter of 2022 (including 2,567 in June). Kia was more aggressive than sister company Hyundai in rolling out the EV6 in all 50 states at launch, and that confidence appears to be paying off. 

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

2022 Kia EV6, red, and 2023 Toyota BZ4X, silver

The Winner: Kia EV6

The daring style, impressive driving mechanics, and extensive options list give the 2022 Kia EV6 the advantage with a TCC Rating of 8.2 out of 10. The 2023 Toyota BZ4X has some odd choices inside and out that lower it to a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10, but few other electric crossovers make the switch from gas or hybrid to electric so easy.

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