They are all kind of the same, really

With the short, but obvious invasion of electric SUVs on the market, I am quite interested in what all of those machines bring. Many of the major manufacturers invested heavily in introducing a new generation of electric SUVs with Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, and BMW coming long after Tesla actually sparked the creation of the entire segment with the Model X.

Now, with a number of electric SUVs on the market one would expect some radically different thinking behind a seemingly similar car, but that may not be the case. Aside from five expensive electric SUVs (the I-Pace, the Model X, the EQ C, the E-Tron and theiX3 Concept), the only ones that were brave enough to give the market an electric shock are Hyundai and Kia with the Kona Electric and the Niro EV. So, learn here what all of them bring to the table and how do they differ.

Jaguar I-Pace

Exterior

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Exterior
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The high-tech look

Making a futuristic looking vehicle wasn’t the only path Jaguar designers had to take when imagining the new electric I-Pace. In fact, they’ve made it to perfectly suit the lineup without being too futuristically obsessive, like, for example, Mercedes-Benz was with its EQ C.

However, the I-Pace, as is the case with any other vehicle on this list, fits in a rather strange market group of vehicles.

Considering its dimensions, the overall look, feel, and strange astuteness on the road, it cannot be directly compared with any vehicle here. Seemingly, it is trying to find its own place under the sun.

Interior

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Interior Drivetrain
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The inteior is as premium as they come
While the exterior follows the subtle design cues of other Jaguar novel vehicles, the interior, on the other hand, seems to be as futuristic as possible. T

he ambiance inside is largely dominated (and decorated, might I add), with three large screens - one behind the steering wheel, the other on the center of the dash, and the third on a special cantilever underneath the main infotainment screen in the middle.
This arrangement reminds me of what Audi is doing with its cars (including the E-Tron SUV) and, more precisely, what Range Rover had done with the Velar interior.

Drivetrain and performance

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Drivetrain
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It’s powered by a 90-kWh battery

The Jaguar I-Pace is powered by two electric motors, each of which develops 200 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. This makes for a propulsion system with a maximum power output of 400 horsepower and 513 pounds-feet of torque. Interestingly enough, the drag coefficient isn’t as low as on some other cars on this list - the drag coefficient of the Jaguar I-Pace is 0.29 Cd.

Regardless, 400 horsepower is enough to accelerate 4,702 lbs worth of I-Pace to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 124 mph.
Battery Capacity: 90 kWh
Range: 220 miles
Charging technology: Jaguar wall box. The I‑PACE is equipped with a 7kW, single phase AC onboard charger, which can fully recharge the vehicle overnight and deliver up to 35km (22 miles) of range per hour. A home socket can charge the battery for up to 38 miles per night. A typical 50kW charger can deliver up to 270km (168 miles) of range per hour*. As the public charging infrastructure improves, the I‑PACE will be equipped to accept up to a 100kW DC charge rate. This means you can easily add 100km (62 miles) of range in just 15 minutes.
Price: $69,500
Delivery time: 6 months (with possible 2-4 months delays due to prioritizations)
Tow rating: Tow hitch available only in Norway with a tow rating of 1,650 pounds
Boot Capacity (with all seats up/with all seats down): 23.1 cubic feet (656 liters)/expandable to 51.3 cubic feet (1,453 liters)
Rear seat legroom: 35 inches
Rear seat headroom: 38.1 inches
Safety Equipment: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS And Driveline Traction Control, Side Impact Beams, Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, InControl Protect Emergency Sos, Park Assist Automated Parking Sensors, Emergency Braking, Forward Collision and Rear Traffic Monitor, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Tire Pressure Warning, Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
Wow Factor: It’s kinda beautiful.

Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.

Tesla Model X 75D

Exterior

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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All is said about Tesla cars in general.

I mean the Model X still feels somehow fresh and surprising, despite boasting a design that could be only called an “inflated Model S”.

Sure, it is more of a minivan than an SUV, but its size, the fact that it offers so much room inside, and those insane doors do make up for a lot of styling dullness some may notice on it.

Interior

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Interior
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The seats are cool, the room is great, the options are nice, but the overall ambiance lacks the composure of high-end SUVs some on this list most certainly extail.

I find the Tesla Model X interior too simplistic.

Too “out there”. It is somehow lacking that wow factor and premium feel its price would suggest.

Drivetrain and performance

2016 Tesla Model X Drivetrain
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Bear in mind, the Model X 75D is the least powerful Tesla Model X. Yet, the electric motors, in this case, develop 387 pound-feet of torque and 329 horsepower. Definitely not the most powerful car here but most certainly powerful enough for any imaginable electric adventure.

The performance says a lot. It will reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and top out at 130 mph.
Battery Capacity: 75 kWh
Range: 237 miles
Charging technology: Wall Plug 2.3 kW 37h15m
1-phase 3.7 kW 23h15m
1-phase 7.4 kW 11h45m
3-phase 11 kW 7h45m
3-phase 22 kW 5h15m
Urban Supercharger 72 kW DC 65 kW 50 min
Supercharger 145 kW DC 80 kW 40 min
Price: $79,500
Delivery time: 3 months average (according to customers)
Tow rating: 4,980 pounds
Boot Capacity: 88 cubic feet
Rear seat legroom: 38.4 inches
Rear seat headroom: 40.9 inches
Safety Equipment: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS And Driveline Traction Control, Side Impact Beams, Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Front And Rear Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Sensor, Forward Collision and Rear Collision sensors, Lane Departure Warning, Tire Pressure Warning, Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags, Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags, Airbag Occupancy Sensor, Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag and Rear Side-Impact Airbag, Restricted Driving Mode, Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3, Back-Up Camera, Front Camera
Wow Factor: the rear doors, a massively powerful hallo version - the Model X P100D

Read our full review on the 2016 Tesla Model X.

Mercedes-Benz EQ C

Exterior

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
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As far as futurism goes, the Mercedes-Benz EQ C seems like the most futuristic car on this list.

Not only does it take Mercedes’ current design language and translate it into something new, but it does all that with the basic GLC. See, the EQ C is about the same size as the GLC and even shares a lot of tech with it.

Interior

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Interior
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The EQ C basically doesn’t bring anything revolutionary in terms of interior design.

However, it does feature the latest evolution of the MBUX infotainment system, as well as the design you may, basically, find on any modern expensive Mercedes - with a large single piece display that extends from behind the steering wheel towards the center.

Drivetrain and performance

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
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Dual electric motor setup seems to be mandatory for the new generation of the electric SUVs. The Mercedes-Benz EQ C, also, has two electric motors that develop 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The thing is that the EQ C is heavy - 5,346 lbs.

Despite its weight, it will jump to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and to a top speed of 112 mph.
Battery Capacity: 80 kWh
Range: 200+ miles (yet undefined by EPA standards)
Charging technology: CCS Combo DC fast-charge port will handle up to 110 kW, which Mercedes says should charge the battery to 80 percent in about 40 minutes, the EQC includes a 7.4-kW onboard charger that enables an overnight recharge.
Price: $70,000 (estimated price for an entry-level version)
Delivery time: First deliveries will start in 2020 (in Norway in 2019)
Tow rating: 3,070 lbs
Boot Capacity: 17.65 cubic feet (500 liters)
Rear seat legroom: No information
Rear seat headroom: No information
Safety Equipment: Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Driving Assistance package, Active Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and PRE-SAFE® PLUS, Blind Spot Assist.
Wow Factor: It’s an electric Mercedes-Benz that looks like it is from the future.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ C

Audi E-Tron SUV

Exterior

7 Electric SUVs And What They Bring to the Table Exterior Interior
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When introducing the new Audi E-Tron SUV, Audi officials said that the company wanted to create a normal, regular car, only powered by electricity.

The result is the E-Tron SUV which does look like any other Audi SUV.

Had Audi revealed it with an ICE no one would have batted an eye. But it is not ICE powered. That is the whole idea behind it - to be a normal Audi.

Interior

2019 Audi E-tron Quattro
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Taking the main cues from the high-end ICE powered models, Audi modeled the E-Tron SUV interior to be as impressive as the one in its latest SUV. This includes the latest MMI integration. Probably with even more gear than you may have on the regular models.

Drivetrain and performance

2019 Audi E-tron Quattro Exterior Interior
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Audi actually reported that it did not want to chase any sporty performance figures with the E-Tron. Not in those words, mind you.

Nevertheless, the motors produce 402 horsepower which is enough for a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.5 seconds. Top speed? 124 mph.

I am certain this is good enough.

Battery Capacity: 95 kWh
Range: 248 (European WLTP test procedure, which means it will probably offer 200+ miles of range according to EPA standards)
Charging technology: 2.3 kW charger - 42h45m
1-phase 3.7 kW - 26h45m
1-phase 7.4 kW - 13h30m
3-phase 11 kW - 9 hours
3-phase 22 kW - 4h30m
350 kW DC - 30 min
Price: $74,800
Delivery time: Still undisclosed, but buyers may wait for the E-Tron up to a year
Tow rating: 4,000 lbs
Boot Capacity: 23.3 cubic feet/660 liters
Rear seat legroom: Not disclosed
Rear seat headroom: Not disclosed
Safety Equipment: forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise with lane-keeping assist, exit-warning system, Park Steering Assist.
Wow Factor: Best regenerative braking in the EV world, looks dignified and almost like any other Audi, has cameras instead of rearview mirrors (not for the U.S. though)

Read our full review on the 2019 Audi E-Tron Quattro.

BMW iX3

Exterior

2018 BMW iX3 Concept Exterior
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Much like the Audi E-Tron, the BMW iX3 feels like a normal SUV, only slightly adapted for its electric foray onto the market. Just look at it.

Bear in mind that it is still in the concept form and still looks like a nicely touched up regular X3.

I can see the production electric iX3 SUV (it will be produced at the BMW Brilliance JV plant in China) gaining an even less intrusive exterior electric guise.

Interior

BMW is keeping the interior of its iX3 concept under wraps, but we can expect it to take some cues from the BMW i cars as well as the BMW X3 SUV.

Drivetrain and performance

2018 BMW iX3 Concept Exterior
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We do not have a lot to go on with the iX3.

The thing is that BMW said the iX3 has a 270+ horsepower electric motor under its grey body and enough battery juice for 250 miles of uninterrupted range.

Performance is still unknown, but we will upload an article as soon as BMW publishes more about the iX3.

Battery Capacity: 70 kWh
Range: 250 miles (according to WLTP?
Charging technology: 150 kW DC rapid charging available and it will possibly recharge 80 percent of the battery in 25 min
Price: $83,000 (estimated)
Delivery time: Not disclosed
Tow rating: Not disclosed
Boot Capacity: Not disclosed
Rear seat legroom: Not disclosed
Rear seat headroom: Not disclosed
Safety Equipment: Not disclosed
Wow Factor: It’s a Beemer electric compact SUV

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW iX3.

Kia Niro EV

Exterior

7 Electric SUVs And What They Bring to the Table Exterior
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Exterior differences between the Kia Niro and the Kia Niro EV are basically minimal.

It is the same car, only with a new closed off grille, different wheels, and some other aerodynamic enhancements.

Obviously, not as special as some cars on this list clearly are. This is not shocking given that the Kia Niro EV is one of the cheapest here.

Interior

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept Interior
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While the Kia Niro EV does have some special touches like the rotary gear selector and the parking brake button, it is in fact just the same as in any other Niro. Not bad in any shape or form, but not special either.

Drivetrain and performance

Power comes from the 201 horsepower and 291 pound-foot electric motor good for acceleration to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Something like a warm-hatch.

Battery Capacity: 64 kWh
Range: 236 miles (estimated)
Charging technology:
Price range: $37,000 (estimated)
Delivery time: Not disclosed
Tow rating: Not disclosed
Boot Capacity: 15.9 cu. ft. (451 l)
Rear seat legroom: 37.4 inches
Rear seat headroom: 39.1 inches
Safety Equipment: Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Intelligent Stop & Go, Lane Following Assist with a Level 2 autonomous system.
Wow Factor: Nothing special, except, it is a sub-40-grand small EV crossover.

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Kia Niro EV

Hyundai Kona EV

Exterior

7 Electric SUVs And What They Bring to the Table Exterior
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Let’s get real. Even the ICE-powered Kona looks nice. The Kona Electric looks even better. Not necessarily more beautiful, but more interesting for sure.

Somehow, I feel that compared with the regular Kona, the Kona Electric wears a scarf or something.

It has an aura like that.

Interior

The Hyundai Kona EV Offers Almost as Much Torque as a 997-Gen Porsche 911 GT3! Interior
- image 770834

As is the case with the Niro, the Kona hides only slight changes inside. The central part under the dash feels a bit different, but the overall look is still very Hyundaish.

Drivetrain and performance

Considering it shares its drivetrain with the Niro EV, the Kona Electric also has similar performance.

Its 201 horsepower motor will accelerate the quite substantial crossover (almost 1.7 tons of it) to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds.
Battery Capacity: 64 kWh
Range: 258 miles (according to the EPA)
Charging technology: Standard (AC) Approx. 6 hrs 10 min, Quick Charge (DC) (connected to a 100 kW DC fast charger) with approx. 54 min up to 80% state of charge
Price: sub-$40,000 car (estimated)
Delivery time: Not disclosed
Tow rating: Hyundai does not recommend using it as a tow car, but I guess a few bicycles at the back won’t do any damage.
Boot Capacity: 12 to 39.4 cu. ft. (334 l and 1,116 l)
Rear seat legroom: 33.4 inches
Rear seat headroom: 37.7 inches
Safety Equipment: autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts
Wow Factor: One of a few cool little cars and it is electric (not cheap though)

Read our full review on the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV

Conclusion

7 Electric SUVs And What They Bring to the Table
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It really looks like managers of all of these manufacturers sat down around a table and made an agreement.

It went down something like this:

Let’s install a lot of displays inside, work on the aerodynamics as much as possible, keep the motor power at a similar level and while at that, let’s all install two motors in our SUVs.

I would not be surprised to learn that this really happened. While it is nice to see the dawn of an all-new class of vehicles, I find it quite uninspiring and rather disappointing to see all the cars with basically similar performance, the same technology underneath, and the same freaking SUV/crossover architecture. That is why the Kona Electric and the Niro EV seem like the most honest of all of them. Hyundai and Kia, if nothing, tried to scale down the tech. Others on this list, while definitely sporting unique looks and somewhat different dimensions compared with one another, are rather similar. Two motors, a 400ish horsepower output, all-wheel drive, basically the same safety gear, and advanced infotainment systems with a lot of displays. All of the premium cars here have all the same ingredients.

What do you think?
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