Rivian has proved it can make a compelling, luxurious, capable electric SUV that consumers love. Its next task is more significant: Build one that most people can afford. That's where the Rivian R2 comes in. The R2 is a compact electric SUV, similar in size to the Tesla Model Y, with a target price of around $45,000 before incentives. If Rivian can hit this target while keeping it as adventurous and stylish as the R1, it'll have plenty of potential customers.

I know because I'm one of them. I've already reserved an R2, and if the company can deliver the features I want at the right price, I'll buy one. But there are plenty of unanswered questions. Here's what we know so far. 

Rivian R2 accessories

Rivian R2 accessories

Why is the Rivian R2 important?

The Rivian R2 is entering the compact crossover segment, the most competitive and important segment in the American passenger-car market. Internal combustion (ICE) compact crossovers like the Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue are their brands' top-selling models and among the best-selling cars in America. The appeal for this segment is not limited to ICE models in the U.S. In addition to being the second-best-selling crossover in America, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling passenger in the world last year.

That global relevance is key to the Rivian R2. The bigger R1S is a helluva truck for American roads, but its large size and blunt nose make it a poor fit for Europe and other size-conscious markets. Rivian has yet to offer the R1T or R1S outside of North America. That looks like it'll be the R2's job. 

Rivian R2

Rivian R2

The R2 is smaller, more pedestrian-friendly, cheaper, and has a charging door in the right rear of the vehicle better suited for curbside charging. All of this makes it a better fit for Europe, where Rivian wants to expand. Rivian Design Chief Jeff Hammoud even told me it was designed to be more repairable in an accident, a key factor for European insurance rates and a weak spot for the current R1. 

So the R2 is cheaper than the R1, plays in a much hotter segment and will be available in many more markets. Finally, in the U.S., it'll be the first Rivian with native support for Tesla's North American Charging System (NACS), giving it adapter-free access to Tesla Superchargers. It's Rivian's entry into the world of true mass-market appeal. No wonder the company is prepared to build up to 155,000 per year. 

Rivian R2

Rivian R2

Rivian R2 Release Date

Rivian says the R2 will enter production in the first half of 2026. They will initially be built at Rivian's existing production facility in Normal, Illinois. The plan was originally to build them all at a new facility in Georgia, but Rivian back-burnered construction of the Georgia plant to conserve cash and get the R2 out sooner. 

Price

Rivian says on its site that R2 will start at $45,000. Yet the superscript next to the number directs consumers to a footnote, where it adds an important disclaimer: "Actual pricing may vary. Additional taxes and fees will apply based on location." Taxes and fees are normal and do vary, but Rivian's also giving itself wiggle room in case that $45,000 price target becomes hard to realize. The company clearly hasn't finalized its pricing strategy, surveying customers about how much they'd theoretically pay for different theoretical configurations.  

Live images of the Rivian R2

Live images of the Rivian R2

Two important factors will also affect pricing. First, the R2 will be offered in single-motor rear-wheel-drive, dual-motor AWD and tri-motor AWD configurations. You can safely bet that the $45,000 price target applies to the rear-wheel-drive model. If you want AWD—and consumers in this segment usually do—you'll likely have to pay more. The good news is that Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has said that the R2 should be eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. With that much of a discount, we'd expect to get a dual-motor R2 for under $48,000, the current average transaction price of a new car.

Rivian R2 Size Comparison

The Rivian R2 rides on an all-new midsize architecture. The platform will be shared with the smaller Rivian R3. It's roughly equivalent in size to compact electric crossovers like the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. 

The R2 is 185.6 inches long, 66.9 inches tall, 75 inches wide and has a 115.5-inch wheelbase. For reference, the Model Y is 187 inches long, 64 inches tall, 75.6 inches wide and has a 113.8-inch wheelbase. The Mach-E is 186 inches long, 64 inches tall, 75 inches wide and has a 117.5-inch wheelbase. 

Live images of the Rivian R2

Live images of the Rivian R2

So the Rivian is slightly shorter in length but taller in height than its two best-selling competitors. Its wheelbase is longer than the Tesla's and shorter than the Mach-E's and has less overall width than the Tesla. All of this contributes to its boxy, upright shape. 

Rivian R2 Competitors


The Rivian R2 will compete with the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID.4, Chevy Equinox EV, Toyota bZ4X and more. Of those, I like the Tesla Model Y, Chevy Equinox EV, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 best, so make sure to take a look at those cars if you need a compact electric SUV before 2026.

Rivian R2 Specs

The Rivian R2 will be available in Single-, Dual- and Tri-motor variations. Single-motor SUVs will be rear-wheel drive, while the latter two configurations will be all-wheel drive. Rivian says there will be two larger battery sizes, which will deliver over 300 miles of EPA-cycle range. Rivian has not announced a breakdown of ranges by trim and has not shared the battery pack option with what motor configuration will be available. I'd expect the company to offer a cheaper Single-Standard model with the smaller pack, and then Single Large, Dual Large and Tri Large options. 

Rivian claims the Tri-motor R2 will do 0-60 in under 3 seconds. I'd expect significantly slower acceleration for Single models. Rivian also claims that the R2 will charge from 10-80% in under 30 minutes on a DC fast charger. However, while we know that the R2 will use new "4695" battery cells, we do not know whether it'll have a 400-volt-class or 800-volt-class electrical architecture. Rivian says the battery pack is structural, which should decrease cost and increase passenger space. 

Rivian R2 Design & Interior

Inside and out, the R2 looks similar to the R1S. That's a good thing, considering that the R1S is one of the best-looking SUVs, with a fabulous interior. But while the similarities are broad, there are key differences. For instance, instead of a split-folding tailgate like on the R1S, the R2 gets a standard rear hatch with a retractable rear window. Think Toyota 4Runner.

Rivian R2 with the drop-down rear window.

The drop-down rear window in the Rivian R2.

It also gets power-operated vent windows behind the rear doors, which combined with the drop-down rear glass should make this one of the airiest cabins out there. The charge door has also been relocated from the front left of the vehicle to the rear right, better for curbside charging but still not ideal for using Tesla Superchargers.

Inside, it has the same rugged-minimalist vibe as the R1, with the same 15.6-inch screen to control almost every function. Rivian got a lot of flack for not including a glove box on the R1, though, so the R2 has two glove boxes. One in the normal location ahead of the passenger's seat, and one below the center of the dash.  

Rivian R2 accessories

Rivian R2 accessories

The biggest upgrade over the R1 is the new fold-flat front seats. Because the R2 is a smaller vehicle, there isn't as much room to sleep inside of it. For adventure types, that's a huge selling point of an SUV. To make sure you can still do that, the R2 (and R3) get folding second and third row seats. That means you can have a flat space for sleeping when you camp. Along with the already available "Camping Mode" that can run the climate control all night, the fold-flat seats should make the R2 one of the best vehicles for car camping. Seeing the fold-flat seats is what convinced me to throw down a deposit immediately. If you don't want to sleep inside, though, Rivian will also offer a custom roof tent with a built-in projector. 

Rivian R2 Tech Features

That 15.6-inch screen looks the same as the first-generation R1, but like the second-generation R1 it will run on the Unreal Engine for better graphics. The R2 should also support Rivian Connect+, the brand's new subscription service that gives you access to Chromecast support for the central screen, Wifi hotspot capability and Apple Music's full catalog of music.

Music and ADAS controls can also be managed by new scroll wheels in the steering wheel. The scroll wheels have force feedback and are contextual, too. So when you get to the top or bottom of a menu or setting, they'll stop rotating and give you feedback that shows you've reached the end of the options. Increments for the virtual "clicks" you feel as you scroll are also different depending on the function. As you increase volume, for instance, you may get two dozen "click" sensations as you scroll from min to max volume, but for following distance there will be four or five vibrations before you bump into the virtual stopper. 

Rivian R2

Rivian R2

Like the refreshed R1, the R2 will come with 11 cameras and 5 radar sensors to support the vehicle's driver-assistance and semi-autonomous features. Rivian has not promised full autonomy, but with the updated R1 it is saying that "Enhanced Highway Assist" will come soon. Details are scarce, but language about providing warning before requiring a driver takeover suggests that either hands-free Level 2 autonomy or possible eyes-off Level 3 assistance in certain conditions could be possible. All we know for sure is that Rivian says the"R2 and R3 will provide dramatically enhanced autonomous capabilities.”

The R2 will also have a separate, powered auxiliary port near the tow hitch for mounting proprietary accessories. Examples include a powered camp kitchen or a folding, easy-mount bike rack with powered lights that fits perfectly in the vehicle's frunk. If the company can offer that at a competitive price, it could be far more convenient than hitch-mounted racks.  

Rivian R2 accessories

Rivian R2 accessories

Finally, there are a few things the R1 has that the R2 won't get. There's no hydraulic anti-roll system or air suspension option for the R2. That means that while it'll still be capable off-road, expect more focus on on-road performance and less rock-crawling capability. 

Will There Be An R2T?

Rivian says there are no plans for an R2-based pickup truck at this time.

How Do I Get One?

You can preorder the Rivian R2 here for $100. When the SUV arrives in 2026, the first examples will go to Rivian R1 owners. Unless you take advantage of an R1 deal in the next two years, expect to be waiting for a while, especially because so many people have already preordered the R2. But once production ramps up, Rivian should be able to produce as many R2s as the market demands. If the company can stay alive, expand its service network and launch the R2 without significant problems, I could see this being one of the hottest SUVs on the market. I hope I can get mine in green.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com