Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

    I drove 2 of the coolest big electric SUVs you can buy. See how the $96,000 BMW iX and $92,000 Rivian R1S stack up.

    I tested the BMW iX and Rivian R1S electric SUVs to see how they compare.

    I drove 2 of the coolest new electric SUVs you can buy: the BMW iX and Rivian R1S. 
    They’re both expensive, aesthetically striking, and quick beyond belief.
    But these big EVs offer distinct strengths. 

    In 2023, almost every type of vehicle you can imagine is available without tailpipe emissions — if you’re willing to pay a hefty premium over a conventional car.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    I drove two of the coolest large electric SUVs — the BMW iX and the Rivian R1S — to see how they stack up.The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: Hyundai’s sleek new electric car brings Tesla-beating range in a futuristic package

    I found that they each have distinct strengths, but they’re both fabulous options for buyers with deep pockets, large families, and a soft spot for the environment.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.

    Read more: The $96,000 electric BMW iX’s luxurious interior will make you forget all about its weird looks

    Let’s start with some basics about these two EVs.The Rivian R1S.
    The iX is BMW’s first electric SUV for American buyers. A 2024 model costs $87,100 and up.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    The 2022 iX xDrive50 I tested last year came out to around $96,000, with features that included a sporty appearance and an upgraded interior.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.

    Read more: Tesla owners reveal the best and worst features of their cars, and what they really think of Elon Musk

    Likewise, the Rivian R1S is the California startup’s second consumer vehicle and first SUV. (It also sells an electric delivery van.)The Rivian R1S.
    The limited-run Launch Edition model I drove last year is sold out. A similar R1S costs $92,000 today before any special features or other options.The Rivian R1S.

    (Cheaper R1S models are on the way, too.)

    The cars have a number of similarities.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Both are much speedier than you might expect based on their bulky size. That’s due to their high-powered electric motors and the instantaneous, gut-punching acceleration that EVs typically deliver.The Rivian R1S.
    Rivian says the quad-motor, all-wheel-drive R1S boasts 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to rip to 60 mph in an astonishing three seconds.The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: I tested the coolest electric SUV you can buy. Take a full photo tour of the Rivian R1S, which has 3 rows and 316 miles of range.

    In the iX, pushing the throttle with slightly too much enthusiasm sends the car rocketing forward and thrusts you deep into your seat.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    BMW says the iX reaches 60 mph in just over four seconds. That’s absurdly quick for such a hefty vehicle.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Like the R1S, the iX comes standard with all-wheel drive.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Both deliver well over 300 miles of driving range, according to estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency.The Rivian R1S.
    And they both turn heads, but they’re aesthetically striking in very different ways.The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: I drove luxury Tesla rivals from BMW and Mercedes — here’s why I’d buy the BMW iX over the competition

    The R1S looks boxy and friendly, while the iX looks angular and a little angry. If the latter were a Transformer, it would definitely be one of the bad guys.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    The BMW and R1S also have vastly different strengths that largely reflect contrasts between their core customers.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    As a brand, Rivian is all about getting into nature and supporting crunchy hobbies like camping, biking, and skiing. Consequently, the R1S is an off-road beast.The Rivian R1S.
    Thanks to an adjustable-height suspension and a smart four-wheel-drive system, the SUV tackles treacherous climbs and scary obstacles without breaking a sweat — even with a total off-roading noob like me behind the wheel.The Rivian R1S.
    It offers several off-roading modes that dial in the suspension and other settings for different activities and terrains — from rock crawling to drifting.The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: Volkswagen beats Elon Musk in the race to cheap EVs, revealing a car it plans to sell for $26,600

    Cameras point every direction outside the vehicle, which helps you place your tires precisely on any terrain and see what’s ahead.The 2022 Rivian R1S.
    Switch on a feature called Gear Guard, and all those cameras will keep an eye on your SUV while it’s parked.The 2022 Rivian R1S.
    That brings me to the other main highlight of the R1S: Its innovative design and outside-the-box features make it feel like a cutting-edge vehicle from a startup.The 2022 Rivian R1S.
    The back of the R1S fits a twin-sized air bed, and there’s even a built-in air compressor to pump it up. (Or do other things like inflate your tires.)The Rivian R1S.
    Every Rivian comes with a flashlight that pops out of the driver’s door, where it’s always charging.The Rivian R1S.
    Likewise, Rivian includes a bluetooth speaker under the center console that owners can whip out during beach bonfires or camping trips.The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: The best used cars under $15,000, according to Consumer Reports

    Owners can unlock and drive their Rivians using a smartphone app, a key card, a carabiner-style fob, or a waterproof rubber bracelet (for taking along on outdoor adventures.)The Rivian R1S.
    The R1S’s airy, minimalist interior feels refreshingly uncluttered.The Rivian R1S.
    Instead of the usual smattering of buttons and knobs, the R1S invites drivers to control practically everything from its massive touchscreen.The Rivian R1S.
    Personally, I would’ve liked some physical controls for things like the air vents and A/C, however.The Rivian R1S.
    In addition to its vast amount of rear cargo space …The Rivian R1S.

    Read more: I drove Mercedes-Benz’s $135,000 Tesla rival and experienced the electric, screen-filled future of luxury SUVs

    … the R1S offers a front trunk. That’s something you don’t get in every EV.The Rivian R1S.
    The iX’s standout feature is its luxurious interior.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    The R1S also feels high-end, but not in the same opulent way that the BMW does.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Slip inside and you’re cradled by plush, leather seats — which came with massage functionality in my test car.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive60.
    And there’s rich leather all over the place, like on the doors …The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    … and center storage cubby.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    All the frequently used controls feel remarkably sturdy and well-made, from the seat adjusters …The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    … to the hefty glass dial between the front seats …The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    … to the knurled, satisfying volume knob.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    The iX I tested had swanky, gold-colored accents sprinkled throughout the interior.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    It came with two crisp screens stylishly suspended above the dashboard on a single, curved panel.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Compared with the R1S, technology and software take a back seat in the iX, which some buyers will surely prefer.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Speaking of, the BMW’s palatial back row features its own climate controls and plenty of USB ports.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Pretty much the only issue with the iX’s interior is its weird, hexagonal steering wheel. A circle would’ve worked just fine.The 2022 BMW iX xDrive50.
    Both of these SUVs are awesome picks for those who can afford them. It all comes down to personal preference: Do you the prize old-school luxury of the iX, or the ruggedness and bleeding-edge tech of the R1S?The Rivian R1S.
    Read the original article on Business Insider


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