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The design is all over the place. The interior is totally confused.

I'm TD's stereotypical Toyota buyer. I've currently got a 2008 Yaris. The design is extreme minimalism. There's no display in front of the driver, just a simple digital display in the centre with 4 pieces of info - speed, fuel gauge, time and outside temp. Looks like this:



Of course modern cars need far more infotainment, satnav, buttons etc. But you can achieve the same minimalism by moving the small screen in front of the driver and basically putting an iPad screen in the centre. There's no need to mess up the simplicity of everything else. Hence you get interiors like the VW ID or Tesla, that present a clear design to the driver.

Everyone likes different stuff and some people don't want minimalism, they want to be surrounded by a cockpit of buttons. There's a lot of subjectivity to it all. But what is almost certain to be ugly is to take a minimalist approach and then tinker with every element to add a mess of complexity. And to take slender items like the steering column or centre box and bulk them out unnecessarily.

The steering rack on the BZ4X is horrific. All the paraphernalia of buttons are scattered in incoherent places. There's bulk where there should be slenderness. All simplicity has vanished beneath the muddle.

The exterior is the same. It's a basic car shape, simple enough, but every detail they've tinkered with seems to mess up the form rather than add interest to it.

Toyota 20 years ago were pretty advanced on design, as well as on hybrid tech (plus reliability etc). The VW ID series pretty much plagiarise some of design minimalism of my old Yaris, with a splash of plagiarising Tesla as well. But the Rav4 and now the BZ4X took the design of 20 years ago and basically ran with it in the wrong direction.

I'm not an expert on design. But most people's instant reaction to this design is "ugly", and I think it's possible to work backwards from this reaction to figure out why. I'm pretty sure the why is due to a minimalist design overlayed with muddle, whereas you can get good looking complexity by starting from a traditional non-minimalist design and adding in features at appropriate locations.
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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The design is all over the place. The interior is totally confused.

I'm TD's stereotypical Toyota buyer. I've currently got a 2008 Yaris. The design is extreme minimalism. There's no display in front of the driver, just a simple digital display in the centre with 4 pieces of info - speed, fuel gauge, time and outside temp. Looks like this:



Of course modern cars need far more infotainment, satnav, buttons etc. But you can achieve the same minimalism by moving the small screen in front of the driver and basically putting an iPad screen in the centre. There's no need to mess up the simplicity of everything else. Hence you get interiors like the VW ID or Tesla, that present a clear design to the driver.

Everyone likes different stuff and some people don't want minimalism, they want to be surrounded by a cockpit of buttons. There's a lot of subjectivity to it all. But what is almost certain to be ugly is to take a minimalist approach and then tinker with every element to add a mess of complexity. And to take slender items like the steering column or centre box and bulk them out unnecessarily.

The steering rack on the BZ4X is horrific. All the paraphernalia of buttons are scattered in incoherent places. There's bulk where there should be slenderness. All simplicity has vanished beneath the muddle.

The exterior is the same. It's a basic car shape, simple enough, but every detail they've tinkered with seems to mess up the form rather than add interest to it.

Toyota 20 years ago were pretty advanced on design, as well as on hybrid tech (plus reliability etc). The VW ID series pretty much plagiarise some of design minimalism of my old Yaris, with a splash of plagiarising Tesla as well. But the Rav4 and now the BZ4X took the design of 20 years ago and basically ran with it in the wrong direction.

I'm not an expert on design. But most people's instant reaction to this design is "ugly", and I think it's possible to work backwards from this reaction to figure out why. I'm pretty sure the why is due to a minimalist design overlayed with muddle, whereas you can get good looking complexity by starting from a traditional non-minimalist design and adding in features at appropriate locations.
Agree with every word. In so many ways, it's the ugliest car I have seen for years.

It reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons when Homer was allowed to design a car and the result was horrific.
 

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I test drove the BZ4X today at Marshall Toyota Bromsgrove with a nice lady called Sharon. I receiving a Toyota email yesterday saying come and test drive with a button to request, to my surprise they actual had a car when they called. I was the first person to do drive it, the car only having 5 miles on the clock.

Good points:
  • Driving position seems good and basic controls are all in the right place.
  • High up dash display worked for me, I like the location but others may not.
  • Room in rear seats and boot excellent
  • Quality seemed good and well screwed together.

Things to improve on
  • There are way too many buttons, at least two that have the word "mode" on (might be 3 or 4) that do different things. Two also have eco written on them too.
  • The heat system controls are just bazaar.
  • Has a button for regen which is an icon of a foot pressing on a peddle but it wouldn't do anything on the test drive, popped up a message to read the manual. Regen was only very slight perhaps the battery was full.
  • Driving experience is more automatic ice or hybrid than it is EV
  • Hold feature works okay but as with everyone bar Tesla, it jolts a bit when starting off
  • No percentage of battery remaining
  • Toyota marketing have taken away the features spot chart list from the web site and brochure, so it's very difficult to compare versions.

I'm considering for my next car as it was nice, it'll depending on knowing features and offers. Apparently free servicing is available but no mention of this on the website bar a leasing scheme.
 

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EV6 GTLineS RWD
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Hold feature works okay but as with everyone bar Tesla, it jolts a bit when starting off.
I take issue with this; my old ID.3 and current EV6 both move(d) off auto-hold without any perceptible jolt or mechanical sensation at all.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but if you really have to go Japanese, surely the Ariya is streets ahead of the be586hfuf47ghgn?
 

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I take issue with this; my old ID.3 and current EV6 both move(d) off auto-hold without any perceptible jolt or mechanical sensation at all.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but if you really have to go Japanese, surely the Ariya is streets ahead of the be586hfuf47ghgn?
I've driven an ID 3 it's similar to MG and Toyota and Kia with the auto hold. Tesla is buttery smooth and shows how it should be done. I haven't driven a Ariya but I wasn't keen in the dealership preview, seats and space not as good as the Toyota.
 

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Only two EVs I've owned that have had autohold have been a Tesla Model 3 LR and a Jaguar iPace. Both seem to be exactly the same in terms of smoothness, niether have ever jerked. Only difference is the noise. The iPace doesn't makes a sound when the parking brake disengages when pulling off from autohold, whereas there was always a distinct whirring noise from the parking brake actuators on the Model 3. That difference might well just be down to the sound proofing, though, as the iPace is very much quieter inside than the Model 3.
 

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I've driven an ID 3 it's similar to MG and Toyota and Kia with the auto hold. Tesla is buttery smooth and shows how it should be done. I haven't driven a Ariya but I wasn't keen in the dealership preview, seats and space not as good as the Toyota.
The ID.3 you drove must have had something up, neither my old ID.3, my current ID.4 or the wife’s M3 have any jerkiness around auto hold.
 

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As my doctor wife says, better out than in. At least it wasn't covered up.
Mitsubishi had a wheel nut problem with Colts a few years back. If the steel spare was put on with the nuts for the alloys they'd not tighten properly, had a letter to recall. Suspect this wouldn't have been widely reported if it was ICE.
bZ4x is a great car, I have a refundable build slot for one. If I don't like the Niro 2023 after test driving next month, Toyota will be my next ride.
 
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