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Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?

2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new “Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology.” Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but it’s basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It’s not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones — like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.


The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different — and you might like one better than the other.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 rear three quarter view.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

As mentioned, the G580 carries the torch of the G-Wagon. It has that big square design, round headlights at the front, and a generally rugged look to it. It has a flat roof and barely a curve on its exterior body anywhere. At the front, you’ll find a new grille with the Mercedes-Benz logo in the center. The vehicle measures in at 182 inches long, 76 inches wide, and 78 inches high.

The Rivian R2 offers a different take on design. It’s still quite boxy, and it’s still relatively large. But it’s also a little more approachable. It has Rivian’s now-classic oval headlights at the front, with a long light bar across the back. The R2 measures 185.6 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 66.9 inches high. So, while it’s a little longer than the G580, it’s not quite as wide, and it’s quite a bit shorter.

Both vehicles are good-looking cars — and you’ll have to decide for yourself which design you like better.

Winner: Tie

Interior and tech

The vehicles are pretty different on the inside too. The G580 looks like a crossover between the previous G-Wagon and other Mercedes electric cars. It’s still rugged on the inside, with large handles and sporty seats, but it also offers things like a dual-display setup at the front for the infotainment system and instrument monitoring. The G580 also has bright accent lighting throughout, and it supports CarPlay and Android Auto.

Interior of the Rivian R2

Rivian has a slightly different approach to interior design. The Rivian R2 also looks quite rugged, with strong seat coverings and big displays at the front. There’s a 15.6-inch infotainment display, and while it doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto, it does have Rivian’s own software built into it, which owners generally love. Rivian has another trick up its sleeve, though — both the front and rear seats on the R2 can fold down flat, providing enough room for an air mattress. It’s a cool feature for those who plan on camping, for example.

The Rivian R2 is probably a little more tech-focused, especially when it comes to software. However, some buyers don’t want a third-party infotainment system, even if it is well-designed — they just want CarPlay. Again, you’ll have to decide for yourself what you prefer.

Winner: Tie


Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 are decently powerful, but they have slightly different features when it comes to performance. The G580, for starters, is only available in a quad-motor configuration, no matter what option you go for. The vehicle offers 579 horsepower and 859 pound-feet of torque. This translates to a an acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in only 4.6 seconds. But the vehicle will offer other performance-related features. Notably, it’ll have the new G-steering function that lets it rotate on its axis. It also has virtual differential locking, which will let it route power individually to the wheels that need it during off-roading.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 grille.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The Rivian R2 steps things up a little, though keep in mind that it’s not yet available for purchase, and there are still things we don’t yet know about its performance. We do know that Rivian says the vehicle will be available in single-, dual-, and tri-motor configurations, and that the most powerful version of it will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 3.0 seconds.

The G580 has interesting off-roading features, but the Rivian is still more powerful — at least in its most powerful trims. It gets the win here.

Winner: Rivian R2

Range and charging

Range and charging is a big part of owning any electric car, and it’s quite different between these two vehicles. The Mercedes G580 leverages Mercedes’ experience in building EVs, but with a quad-motor setup, it eats up battery pretty quick. According to Mercedes, the vehicle will offer up to 240 miles of range, which is a bit lower than we would have liked. It’ll charge at up to 200 kilowatts at a DC fast charger, and will get from 10% to 80% battery in a little more than 30 minutes.

Side of the Rivian R2

The Rivian R2 will likely offer a little more in the way of range. We don’t yet have all the specifications of the R2, especially when it comes to the cheaper models. But we do know that the R2 will offer “over” 300 miles of range — which we expect to come from the longest-range versions of the vehicle. We’re hoping that even the lower-range models have at last 270 miles or so. The R2 will likely charge at 220kW, like the Rivian R1S.

Because the R2 can get more range than the G580 (whether the base model will or not), it gets the win here.

Winner: Rivian R2

Price and availability

Both the Mercedes-Benz G580 and the Rivian R2 have been announced — but neither of them are available just yet. So, if you decide on buying one of them, you’re going to have to wait a little. Mercedes hasn’t yet announced how much the G580 will cost — but it’s said to have a starting price of between $150,000 and $200,000. The G580 is expected to go on sale later this year, but a date has yet to be revealed.

The Rivian R2, on the other hand, is Rivian’s attempt at a lower-cost vehicle, and Rivian says it’ll come in at $45,000. It won’t be available until the first half of 2026, however.

The R2 is much cheaper, but the G580 will be available sooner. This one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie


Rivian has been making headlines in the world of EVs for some time, but the G-Wagon is just … cool. As an electric car, the Rivian R2 is better. It has better performance, a longer range (at least depending on the trim), and costs a whole lot less. But the Mercedes-Benz G580 has some super-cool off-roading features, not to mention style to spare.

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