Best Luxury Cars To Buy 2024

The Rivian R1S three-row SUV follows the Rivian R1T pickup truck in forging a new path to our Best Luxury Car To Buy 2024 award. 

The Rivian electric vehicles are more nouveau luxe than old money luxury. They lack massaging seat options and bedazzling screens front and back, and the oxymoronic vegan leather is as leathery as a vegan steak. Even with open-pore ash wood trim, the R1T and R1S advance technological luxury and functional conveniences more than cosseting ones.

One small standard feature illuminates this difference. Instead of an umbrella in the front door sides a la Rolls-Royce, Rivian hides a 1,000-lumen rechargeable flashlight. That suits the Rivian target buyer like rain suits Britain. Other thoughtful functionaries include a portable camp speaker that stows and recharges under the center console, a 150-psi air compressor in the bed or cargo area, hidden storage areas, and other adventure lifestyle luxuries that simplify making home in the great outdoors. 

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

This luxurious take on practicality is why the Rivians won out over two other contenders: the slick Lucid Air Sapphire, a $249,000 electric 3-motor performance sedan with a 0-60 mph time of 1.89 seconds and a range of 427 miles; the more grounded Genesis Electrified GV70, whose gas counterpart won our 2022 award, comes up short with just 236 miles of range and limited space due to its shared platform with the gas GV70.

The Rivian R1T charmed us enough last year to earn Best Luxury Car To Buy 2023, largely for how it evolves what can be done with a pickup truck at no compromise to capability. Instead, it bridges pickup and performance car duties, and transcends them both as a rare all-in-one car. With a four-corner air suspension, adjustable dampers, and a hydraulic roll control system sourced from supercar maker McLaren, it handles like anything but a pickup truck, and its Quad-Motor setup sheds its 7,148-pound curb weight (R1S tops out at 7,068 pounds) with a 0-60 mph sprint of 3.0 seconds. Off-road, the ground clearance can be raised from 11.4 to 14.9 inches, or when loading and unloading it can be lowered to 7.9 inches. It can off-road like a Wrangler Gladiator, high-speed like a Ford Raptor, ford water, clamber over rocks, and tow up to 11,000 pounds.

Rivian R1T, green, vs. Rivian R1S, silver

Rivian R1T, green, vs. Rivian R1S, silver

This year, over-the-air software updates as well as the continued rollout of less expensive and more efficient drive units and a new Max pack with a 410-mile range (400 miles in R1S) have only made it better. The R1S shares in the title this year due to its more practical everyday uses of having a third row without sacrificing much in terms of capability, even if it lacks the R1T’s truck coolness. That’s one reason the R1T earned a TCC Rating of 8.8 out of 10, the highest rating for 2024, and the R1S followed with an identical 8.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.) Also new for 2024, the Rivians can plug into Tesla’s Supercharger network of DC fast-chargers with an adapter, and next year, Rivian will convert its ports into the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for quicker and more accessible charging. 

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

At $74,800 including destination, the R1T pickup costs $5,000 less than the R1S, and has greater range with the new Max pack. But that three-row body style appeals to a much wider customer base than the enclosed gear tunnel between the crew cab and the short bed of the R1T. Power-fold the two rows of seats, drop in an air mattress, activate Camp mode, and the R1S becomes a tent comfy enough for two sleepers and a dog or two. 

Every Rivian comes only with an Adventure trim with standard features such as 8-way power front seats that are heated and cooled, a heated steering wheel, front tow hooks, a sweet sound system, a power tailgate, and an infotainment system that pairs a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 15.6-inch touchscreen that absorbs most of the drive and climate controls. It takes some time to unlock all its functions and uses, but it’s a shining example of a large touchscreen done right, and frequent over-the-air updates keep it fresh. It also has a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control, among other standard driver-assist tech. 

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

2023 Rivian R1S

The Dual-Motor models can be had with three battery pack sizes that dramatically affect the range. The base model only has All-Terrain, All-Purpose, and Snow modes, but it’s the only R1 that can be had with a 105-kwh Standard pack with a 270-mile range (260 in R1S). It’s the budget Rivian, for now, making 533 hp and 610 lb-ft, good for a 0-60 mph time in 4.5 seconds, and it handles hillsides and boulder ravines with ease. The available 135-kwh Large pack boosts range to 352 miles, while the new 149-kwh Max pack bumps it to 410 miles (400 miles in R1S).

The Performance Dual-Motor hits the sweet spot. It can be had with the Large or Max pack, and a Sport mode tapping into 665 hp and 829 lb-ft helps launch it to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It’s our recommended powertrain. 

Rivian R1T, green, vs. Rivian R1S, silver

Rivian R1T, green, vs. Rivian R1S, silver

The Quad-Motor models make 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque, to get the truck from 0-60 mph in a breathtaking 3.0 seconds. But it can only be had with the 135-kwh battery pack and an estimated range of 328 miles. 

In our testing, the R1T and its longer wheelbase of 14.6 inches keep it more balanced and it feels more planted during highway cruising than the R1S. The SUV rides a little taller, but it has a shorter turning radius that everyday drivers may appreciate.

The Rivian siblings aren’t luxury in the traditional buttoned-up sense, but they are a marvel that imbue occupants with that special luxury feeling, especially on the campground.  

Read about the segment winners of The Car Connection’s Best Car To Buy 2024 awards, and find out which vehicles took home top honors from our sister sites, Motor Authority and Green Car Reports.

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