Sure, they may not be made of stainless steel, but Rivian's electric trucks have delivered plenty of hype and excitement on their own. And this year, the EV startup has significantly ramped up production of its two models: the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. I find myself testing the latter this week. What do you want to know about the Rivian R1S?
For some background, we're in the process of revamping the process we use to review cars here at InsideEVs. In particular, we're working to come up with a format that specifically speaks to the needs, features and nuances of electric vehicles, designed especially for newcomers the world of zero-emission driving. We'll have more on that later, and we'll be seeking reader input as we do it.
In the meantime, the Rivian R1S seems like it will be a great fit for what we're coming up with.
The SUV I'm currently testing is a Quad-Motor AWD variant: the one packing an electric motor on each wheel, a staggering 835 horsepower, and the Large 135 kWh battery pack. That's good for an EPA-estimated 321 miles. It's cold here in New York, though not as cold as going to get, and thus range losses seem minimal so far.
Rivian hasn't given me an official spec sheet for this car, but with the lovely Limesone paint, 22-inch sport wheels, white Ocean Coast interior and all-weather floor mats, I'd put this R1S at about $99,475.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1S First Drive
Concerns with large, heavy electric SUVs and their big battery packs, I can't deny I really enjoy driving the R1S so far. (Once I got it out of New York City, anyway.) Here's my early read on things.
What's Good So Far
- The ride quality is superb and the handling is outstanding for a truck this size. I left New York City and drove upstate in a rather nasty nighttime rainstorm with limited visibility, and the R1S was totally unflappable. It's a lot of what I liked about my old Toyota 4Runner in a more high-tech, no-gas package.
- It's a head-turner for sure, something I don't get tired of seeing in my driveway. The accessories including are as fun as they are useful, too, including the detachable Bluetooth speaker and the air compressor in the trunk. It really does seem convincingly built for outdoor adventures.
- It's plenty quick! I mean, 835 horses should be plenty, right? Same with the range, too.
What's Less Than Good So Far
- Everyone's needs are different, but damn, the R1S is a big SUV. There's no getting around that. I'm amazed at how many of these things I've seen in New York City lately; this is probably not what you want if tight parallel parking is a regular part of your life.
- At the risk of sounding like a luddite, the no-button, entirely screen-focused interface isn't my favorite way to do things. Some vent controls to adjust the A/C airflow sure would've been nice. There's a bit more of a UX learning curve here than other EVs I've tested.
I'll have more to say as I drive this thing in the coming days, so expect a review soon. In the meantime: what do you want to know about the Rivian R1S? Driving experience? Efficiency? Charging? It probably won't go off-road much, but otherwise, I'm here to answer your questions. Let me know what's on your mind.
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