Consumer Reports Says These are Some Electric SUVs You Need to Know

We all know pickup trucks are the dominant force in car sales in the United States. Trucks like the Ford F-series, the Chevy Silverado, and Rams are ubiquitous on America’s roads. Even though these are the champions of individual sales, SUVs still make up the lion’s share of automotive sales in general. The SUV has completely taken over the automotive industry, nearly killing sedans in the process, until the EV wave, that is. As we near the electric SUV Wave, Consumer Reports has made a list of some of the most highly anticipated heavy hitters from the segment. (Hint: The Rivian R1S is the only really cool one.)

What is the best electric SUV?

This has become an increasingly popular question for many of us. We love SUVs, and we love EVs, so, naturally, we will be hyped about carmakers cracking the code on making electric power efficient enough for larger, heavier vehicles. 

The new all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 sits on a showroom floor in California
The new Volkswagen ID.4 is on display inside a dealership | Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Essentially, every carmaker is scrambling to put out the first super-useable electric SUV that is actually a utility vehicle, not just a tall sedan. A truly great SUV can haul a family and run a craggy dirt road with confidence and strength. So, which automaker is on the right track?

Consumer Reports likes the Audi Q4 E-Tron, Nissan Ariya, and ID.4, in theory

Well, it didn’t take long for the electric SUVs to completely abandon the “U” part. These three models are completely built for the tarmac with what I assume will have zero off-road chops. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though, especially considering how rarely Consumer Reports likes off-roaders. The market for regular, gas-powered SUVs is about the same. At the risk of sounding too grandpa-ish, there are very few actual sports Utility vehicles left thumping around the world. 

The electric SUV, Audi Q4 E-Tron blasting down a mountain road
Audi Q4 E-Tron inkinetic grey | Audi

That being said, CR seems to think these three will be major players, and I can see why. Starting with the Audi Q4 E-Tron is building off the popularity and name recognition of the Q-series SUVs that Audi has been making for years. Although there isn’t much info out yet, the Audi Q4 E-Tron is built on the Volkswagen ID.4 platform. Like many Audis, the Q4 E-Tron will essentially be an upscale verison of the ID.4. It will likely also have a few more power and performance options than the VW, but overall they will likely be the same underneath. 

What is a Nissan Ariya? 

More than many other upcoming electric SUVs, there some actual specs on this slick-looking, next-generation Nissan. The Aryia will start around $40,000 and will have a range of about 300 miles. Unfortunately, this won’t give us the EV excitement we have come to expect in the power department. The Nissan Aryia will only have 214 hp, which is, frankly, a bit boring. Unlike the Audi, I would guess that there will be multiple power options available. 

The Rivian R1S is the definition of an electric SUV

Rivian has clearly set itself apart from the rest of the herd, from its style and size to how the designers are clearly trying their best to consider the buyers. Rivian is forward-thinking from the truck to the business model. Rivian won’t be sold at dealerships like most cars. It has decided to sell directly to the consumer with a handful of in-person showrooms. 

The Rivian electric SUV, the R1S parked in the desert at dusk
Rivian R1S | Rivian

Even though some might find the look of the Rivian R1S to be a bit “toaster-ish” or just plain “ugly”(which I do not), the R1S and R1T are taking a very modern take on the classic, boxy design of most of the most iconic SUV designs of all time. It is time we reward carmakers for taking a bold approach to automotive design instead of encouraging the same old boring stuff over and over. 

Rivian R1S parked in the desert at dusk
Rivian R1S | Rivian

Hear the Audi E-Tron GT’s Spooky Noise

Most importantly, the Rivian R1S is one of the very few EVs to be designed for comfortable city driving as well as serious off-roading and adventure. Rivian has even gone so far as to plan the installation of chargers at popular outdoor locations to encourage Adventurous outdoor EVing. Rivian is set up to rule the EV truck and SUV market. Keep your eyes on this little startup. They likely won’t stay little for long.