The Rise of Modern Utility Vehicles
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have taken the place of the family sedan as the favorite purchase by American consumers from coast to coast. Nowadays we have all sorts of SUVs including the mini SUV, crossover SUV, mid-sized, full-sized and even the posh Escalade. But did you know that the full-sized luxurious SUV of today got its humble beginnings with the 1935 Chevy Suburban Carryall? It was based on a Chevy half-ton pickup truck chassis and motor with an all-metal wagon body plopped on top that could carry eight passengers.
The 1984 Jeep Cherokee was the first vehicle to call itself a Sport Utility Vehicle but there was very little “sport” in early SUVs. Then the Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUVs) appeared in 1996 with the Toyota RAV4 (which stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-Wheel Drive). The modern crossover utilizes a unibody passenger car frame on a spacious body. Like SUVs, crossovers also come in compact such as the RAV4 and Ford Escape, mid-size like the BMW X5 or Toyota Highlander, and full-size such as the Kia Telluride and Ford Flex.
What Are Today's Best Electric SUVs and Crossovers?
Since SUVs and crossovers are among the most popular models of cars today, it wasn’t long before manufacturers began turning them into all-electric vehicles. That said, we present GreenCars’ list of the best all-electric SUVs and CUVs available today.
Audi e-tron Quattro
The Audi E-Tron drives pretty much like any other Audi. In fact, that is what Audi was going for. It offers a silky-smooth drivetrain and responsive steering with motors at the front and rear and a total system output of 355 horsepower (402 hp in Boost Mode).
Range: 222 miles
Audi e-tron Sportback
The sexier Sportback version offers the same performance as the E-Tron but with less driving range. You’ll also find slightly less head room in the back seats.
Range: 218 miles
Ford Mustang Mach-E
This crossover comes in several versions, from mild to wild. Power ranges from 266 horses and 317 foot-pounds of torque, to an estimated 459 ponies and 612 foot-pounds of torque on the GT model.
Range: 210-300 miles
Hyundai Kona Electric
The Kona Electric brings you instant acceleration and muscular torque in a Crossover that is one of the most affordable all-electric vehicles on the market. It comes with an impressive list of standard equipment and excellent range.
Range: 258 miles
The sleek I-Pace is great fun to drive with its height-adjustable suspension and excellent traction for off-road adventures. But like all Jaguar’s, this beast is all about luxury and that comes as a cost.
Range: 234 miles
Tesla Model X
The Model X is one of the longest-traveling electric SUVs available. The standard model seats five but can be upgraded to fit seven. Advanced semi-autonomous tech is also available including auto-parking, auto-lane changes and highway driving.
Range: 305-351 miles
One of VW's coming line of all-electric vehicles, the ID.4 is aimed at the RAV4 crowd but the comfortable cabin offers more room than the Toyota. Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, featuring aerodynamic lines and its loaded with value.
Range: 280 miles
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo currently offers several hybrid vehicles but the XC40 Recharge is its first all-electric vehicle. It offers the same amount of cargo and passenger space as the gasoline-powered model but produces 402 horsepower. This crossover includes a new Android-based infotainment system by Google.
Range: 240 miles