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Years ago, battery-electric vehicle (BEV) startup Rivian went from an unofficial vehicle manufacturer to an actual automotive brand that’s playing with the big boys. In September of 2021, Rivian vehicles were fully certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Even with a minor setback, the brand has two solid vehicles in the lineup, and Rivian is at the top of the charts, according to Consumer Reports' 2023 auto survey.
In terms of overall brand, Rivian hit number one, pushing Tesla down to number five on the scoreboard. We think it’s only fair to make it clear that 2023 is the first year that the Rivian was considered, even though it may have gone official in late 2021 – mid-2022. If it took this long to be considered, then the Cybertruck by Tesla definitely hasn’t been out long enough to be properly evaluated. That being said, Tesla is losing the battle to the newer, fresher BEVs out there. It has been since Chevrolet launched the Chevy Bolt BEV, more powerful than Tesla and at a fraction of the price.
Fully operational, Rivian surpassed its original RT1 electric pickup truck. A truck made for those looking for a life of adventure, the RT1 was the perfect car for consumers who like to go on road trips, camp, or hike. The built-in miniature kitchen in the RT1 wowed consumers, and probably still does today. With three different roof options, consumers could create a cozy little mechanical hut on wheels with a two-piece removable composite roof and the RT1 pop-up tent that expanded from the truck bed. Hot on the heels of the Rivian RT1 was its crossover project, the R1S.
Deliveries for the R1S began in late 2022, but it was also considered for individual models that were scored on the Consumer Reports' 2023 auto survey as well. When it comes to individual models, the Rivian R1T was rated in second place, with 88 percent of consumers claiming that they would buy the model again, and the R1S was in the top ten, with 84 percent of consumers saying they would buy the model again. In the number one spot was the Chevrolet Corvette, with 93 percent of consumers saying they would buy the same model again. Coming back to Tesla, none of its models landed in the top ten in terms of individual model scores.
"It's not surprising that newer vehicles are populating the most satisfying list and pushing Teslas down…Not that Tesla is bad, but people like the newest and shiniest and maybe Teslas aren't as new and shiny." - Jon Linkov, deputy auto editor at Consumer Reports (source: Automotive News)
For some credibility, the data for the Consumer Reports is generated from over 330,000 responses from owners in a survey. The survey rated vehicles in several categories, including driving satisfaction and ownership cost. Most of the models that were eligible for the survey were vehicles from the 2021 to 2023 model years, with several from 2024 as special exceptions.
It’s nice to see a big win for the little guy. Learn more about Rivian and BEVs when you follow us on NowCar social media.