Search Cars for Sale

2023 Lexus RZ 450e: Choosing the Right Trim

A bit late to the party, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e nevertheless marks a significant step forward for Lexus, offering its first EV SUV for sale in the North American market. Based on the same architecture underpinning the Toyota bZ4X, the RZ goes one step better with standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and numerous luxury features.

Powering the RZ are two electric motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear, with a combined output of 308 horsepower. Lexus says the RZ can charge to 80% capacity in about a half-hour, but that’s using a DC fast-charging station and the somewhat limited 150 kW maximum onboard charger.

2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium: $59,650

2023 Lexus RZ 450e
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium starts at $59,650.

The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e looks to challenge established names like the Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-Pace, and Audi e-tron. Although it does share quite a few parts with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, there’s enough Lexus DNA in the RZ to give it a look and style all its own.

The RZ comes standard with Lexus’ DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive system. It combines a 201-horsepower electric motor at the front with a 107-horsepower electric motor at the rear, hence the combined 308-horsepower figure mentioned in the intro. The DIRECT4 system continuously analyzes feedback from wheel sensors and regulates power at each wheel to maximize grip.

For now, early versions of the RZ will have a conventional steering system similar to other Lexus vehicles. But, later in the model year, Lexus will offer an optional drive-by-wire system. Similar to a small aircraft yoke, the RZ’s drive-by-wire setup has a unique steering wheel with grips on both sides but no upper portion. The system adjusts the steering feel and varies the steering ratio, so that hand-over-hand turns are unnecessary.

Being a Lexus, the RZ naturally features a power driver’s seat, power windows, and power locks. Also included is a proximity key fob that allows unlocking the doors by touching the door handle and starting the car by simply pushing a button. An available Smart Access key card performs the same functions. It’s less bulky than the fob and fits nicely in a wallet or purse.

Other notable standard features include LED headlights, heated side mirrors, 18-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, a panorama glass roof, and a gesture-activated power liftgate.

The RZ’s minimalist cabin design includes NuLuxe synthetic leather trim in three colors: Orage, Palomino, and Dapple Gray/Black. Further RZ features include a configurable digital instrument cluster and single-color ambient door panel lighting.

Standard amenities include 8-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, 2-way power lumbar support for the driver, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The RZ features a power tilt/telescopic heated steering with controls laid out to align with the available head-up display.

A massive 14-inch color touchscreen covers infotainment duties. It comes with a built-in assistant that responds to voice commands. The Lexus Intelligent Assistant controls numerous features and gets smarter over time, actually learning your habits. Thanks to real-time traffic updates, cloud-based navigation ensures you’ll always get to your destination on time.

Standard wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio promise a wide array of music options, with a wireless charging pad so your smartphone will always be ready to go.

Music flows through a 10-speaker Lexus Premium sound system.

Advanced driver technology includes Lexus Safety System + 3.0, a suite of driver assists designed to aid the driver in avoiding accidents and fatigue on long trips. The bundle comprises a forward-collision alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning.

Emergency Driving Stop, a system that works with the available driver monitor, can detect when the driver is incapacitated and bring the vehicle to a stop.

Automatic high-beam headlights, a 360-degree Panoramic View monitor, a blind-spot monitor, left turn oncoming vehicle detection braking, traffic sign recognition, and rear cross-traffic alert are also onboard.

Safe Exit Assist monitors traffic approaching from behind and prevents the doors from opening until the coast is clear.

Options for the Premium include the Technology Package, which adds Advanced Park automatic parallel and perpendicular parking assistant, a 10-inch head-up display, and Digital Key.

The Cold Weather Package adds headlight washers and windshield wiper de-icers.

Standalone options include a digital rearview mirror, radiant front knee heaters, 20-inch wheels, and a Dynamic Sky glass roof that can go from transparent to opaque with the push of a button.

With the $1,150 destination charge already figured in, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium costs $59,650. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $1,072. See 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RZ 450e Premium includes:

  • 14-inch color touchscreen – This massive infotainment screen permits quick access to several systems, including smartphone integration, cloud-based navigation, and a voice-activated Intelligent Assistant.
  • Left turn oncoming vehicle braking – Part of the Lexus Safety System, this feature can detect when it’s unsafe to make a left turn across traffic, alerting the driver and activating the brakes to help avoid a collision.
  • Available Digital Key – With this system, you can use your phone as a key, gaining access to the car and driving away. You can even lend your key to a friend or family member by sharing the app with their phone.

2023 Lexus RZ 450e Luxury: $65,150

The Luxury trim builds off the Premium, adding the kind of standard luxury features we think most Lexus buyers want.

Standard upgrades include Ultrasuede interior trim, multicolor ambient interior lighting, heated rear seats, and a radiant front knee heater.

The Luxury trim gains the contents from the Premium’s Technology Package, along with acoustic side glass and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.

Additional driver aids such as lane-change assist with front cross-traffic detection and Traffic Jam Assist come standard.

The only options are the Cold Weather Package, a digital rearview mirror, the Dynamic Sky roof, and 20-inch wheels.

With the $1,150 destination charge already figured in, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Luxury costs $65,150. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to approximately $1,171. See 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Luxury models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RZ 450e Luxury includes:

  • Mark Levinson audio – It’s not a Lexus if it doesn’t have a Mark Levinson sound system, and once you hear it, you’ll never look twice at the Premium trim.
  • Head-up display – Projects audio, navigation, and driver information onto the windshield, allowing easy access to critical data without driverd needing to take their eyes off the road.
  • Available Dynamic Sky roof – The Dynamic Sky roof uses electrochromic glass panels that go from clear to opaque in just seconds. It’s a nice way to block out intense light without completely giving up natural light in the cabin.


What is the best 2023 Lexus RZ 450e trim?

Even in its most basic form, the Lexus RZ 450e Premium comes well-equipped. But we’d opt for the Luxury trim for its Mark Levinson sound system, Ultrasuede interior, and additional features.

How long does it take to charge a 2023 Lexus RZ 450e?

Using a conventional 240-volt Level 2 charger (probably what you’ll have installed in your garage), charging the RZ 450e takes about 9 hours. A DC fast charger sees an 80% charge in under half an hour.

We estimate the RZ 450e to have a range of about 220 miles when riding on 18-inch wheels, and 196 miles with the larger 20-inch wheels.

Which 2023 Lexus RZ 450e level offers the most safety?

The Lexus RZ 450e has yet to be crash-tested, but given the company’s extensive commitment to safety and occupant protection, we suspect the RZ will pass these tests with flying colors.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

Best Car Deals: March 2023

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This