Rivian advertises its EVs as "Adventure Vehicles," and for good reason. They're off-road-ready and highly durable while also providing a family-friendly luxury-grade cabin and plenty of niceties. The Rivian R1T may have what it takes to join the ranks of some of the best off-roaders available today, competing with the likes of both Jeeps and Land Rovers. But is it really worthy?
One of the best ways to find the answer to that question would be to pit the Rivian R1T against well-established and capable off-road rivals, almost all of which are gas guzzlers, though Jeep now offers the Wrangler 4xe and Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and Land Rover produces some PHEVs are well.
Being that the Rivian entrant is a "midsize-ish" electric pickup truck, it makes a whole lot of sense to compare it to the gas-powered Jeep Gladiator. As it turns out, that's precisely what Edmunds did to put together the entertaining video above. The publication takes the fully electric and the gas-powered off-roaders out to some tough trails and hills to see how they stack.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T: First Drive Review
To give you an idea of what to expect, and in case you want to focus on something specific, Edmunds provides the following topics and timestamps that correspond with the video above.
- 00:00 Intro
- 02:06 The Contestants
- 05:24 Vehicle Prep
- 07:17 Whoops
- 09:28 Hill Climbs
- 17:03 Edmunds' Take
While most of the topics above pretty much speak for themselves, there's one that deserves our attention, "The Contestants." And we're not talking about the vehicle contestants, since that's already been made clear. We're talking about the drivers.
Edmunds' Senior Review Editor Ryan ZumMallen is the video host, and he's driving the Jeep Gladiator. Freelance automotive writer and Rebelle Rally legend Emme Hall – who's very well-acquainted with the Rivian R1T – joins Ryan with the electric truck, though she's late since she had to charge. Hall makes up for it, though, by arguably one-upping the Gladiator's performance in the low-speed stress test. Hall takes the R1T up the ziggurat stair step test just a bit higher.
We'll leave you with that so you can get out the popcorn, kick back, and see exactly how these two off-road machines match up in a whole series of tests. Place your bets now, will the champ be powered by clean electrons or dirty fossil fuels?
Once you've had a chance to watch the video, head down to our popular comment section and share your takeaways. Did the Rivian R1T impress you? Was its off-road performance in line with what you expected, or were you hoping for better prowess? If money were no object, which vehicle would you choose for off-road adventures?
Source: Edmunds Cars (YouTube)