The Rivian R1T Review 2022: The uniquely styled electric truck lives up to its pre-production hype

Price: The 2022 Rivian R1T starts at $67,500.

Rivian RIVN,
is an American electric vehicle startup that seems to be the real deal. It worked in stealth mode for many years, but the company finally launched production vehicles. The first example is the all-electric Rivian R1T pickup. Not only is it electric with four engines, but it also comes with unique quirks like a “gear tunnel” and an available tent. The R1T is ready for adventure.

The Rivian R1T


As a mid-size electric pickup, the Rivian R1T lacks any real direct competitors, but potential rivals include the GMC Hummer EV pickup, the Ford F,
F-150 Lightning and the upcoming Tesla TSLA,
Cybertruck. With a starting MSRP of $67,500, the Rivian R1T positions itself above the base model F-150 Lightning and below the Hummer EV pickup. It’s a decidedly premium vehicle with a premium price, and we’re hoping to see a more affordable entry-level model in the near future.

See also: Why you won’t see the Cybertruck, the Roadster, or any budget EV from Tesla this year

2022 Rivian R1T prices

Pricing for the 2022 Rivian R1T starts at $67,500 for the base Explore package, plus a $1,075 destination fee and a $70 documentation fee. If you want to upgrade to the more upscale adventure package, prices start at $73,000. Some interesting options are available at extra cost, like a $5,000 camping kitchen set and a $2,650 3-person tent plus crossbars to attach to the bed.

In the small but growing world of electric pickups, the R1T is priced between the less expensive Ford F-150 Lightning and the more expensive GMC Hummer EV pickup. As this is a completely new model in a new segment, we cannot say for sure what the resale value of the Rivian R1T will be. If it’s anything like mainstream gas powered pickups, it should hold its value pretty well.

The Rivian R1T


Driving the 2022 Rivian R1T

Against all odds, the R1T lives up to its pre-production hype. On paved roads, it can launch from a standstill to 60 mph in about 3 seconds. This is supercar fast. It also handles twisty roads with aplomb and a lack of slim body unheard of in pickup trucks. With a sticky set of summer tires and the adaptive air suspension set to its lowest and stiffest setting, we suspect the R1T might put some sports cars to shame.

However, venture off-road, as the marketing materials suggest, and the R1T really shines. In off-road mode, the suspension can be raised, providing increased ground clearance and water fording capabilities of up to 3 feet. As we climbed rugged trails during our test drive through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the truck’s individual wheel motors propelled the vehicle with ease. We also found the R1T’s medium-sized proportions to be a useful advantage when navigating tight trails.

Ride with a less adventurous spirit and the Rivian R1T still charms. In its soft setting, the suspension skilfully conceals bumps in the road without completely isolating the driver from his surroundings. On a related note, the steering exhibits a lively quality…pulls left and right as the front tires hit rocks and ruts. It’s a welcome bit of analogue character, preventing the R1T from feeling too digital.

Do not miss: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Review: The full-size, all-electric luxury pickup truck has real truck capabilities, but a steep learning curve

interior comfort

The interior of the Rivian R1T walks a tricky line, managing to be both rugged and luxurious. Quality materials abound, and at least on the trucks we tested, build quality seemed excellent. We spent our time in the upscale R1T Adventure model, whose natural-grain ash wood paneling, tasteful pops of color, and chic “Chilewich” floor mats would feel right at home in an industrial loft.

The dashboard of all models is dominated by a 16-inch touchscreen, which is used to manage most of the vehicle’s functions. On the left, a second, smaller screen provides instruments for the driver. Elsewhere, the interior offers ample small storage alcoves, an available flashlight tucked in the driver’s door, vegan leather seats, and a nifty detachable speaker that doubles as a storage lantern.

The storage space in this truck is extremely generous. Between the front trunk, transmission tunnel, truck bed, and under-truck storage (optionally filled with a full replacement part), the R1T has 66 cubic feet of storage space.

When riding in the back seats, we wished for a sturdier lumbar support. We also wonder how desert dwellers will feel about the sunroof’s lack of sun protection. But those issues aside, the interior of Rivian’s pickup turned out to be a stylish and highly functional space.

exterior styling

In profile, the Rivian R1T might look like a traditional pickup truck, but its unique front and rear light signatures give it a futuristic flair. Offered in a range of bright colors, the R1T is a visual eye-catcher.

From a functional standpoint, Rivan owners can electronically lower the tailgate or deploy the available electrically operated tonneau cover using buttons embedded at the top of the driver’s side bed rail. The two doors for the transmission tunnel can also support 400 pounds when lowered and act as chairs or steps for loading items onto the roof.

See also: Rivian was the biggest IPO of the year

For transporting bulky items, Rivian offers a rail system with crossbars for attaching bicycles or even a tent. Another clever feature is the Gear Guard, which includes a pair of 8ft cut-resistant tethers that strap around your gear and lock into bed. Gear Guard also uses 360-degree video capabilities to discourage would-be thieves.

For wheels and tires, there are three options: a 20-inch all-terrain package for superior off-road driving, a 21-inch set that claims to offer the best electric range, and a 22-inch wheel and tire package , which promises an improvement – road holding.

favorite functions

The Driver+ system uses 11 cameras, five radar units and 12 ultrasonic sensors to provide advanced driver assistance features in the R1T. Driver+ comes standard with every Rivian pickup and can keep the vehicle in its lane at a reasonable distance from the vehicle in front on selected stretches of road.

transmission tunnel
The clever transmission tunnel between the rear doors and rear wheels gives you 11 cubic feet of additional storage space without taking up bed or cabin space. The Gear Tunnel can also house an optional $5,000 pull-out camp kitchen that comes complete with a 30-piece cookware set, an induction range that runs off the truck’s battery, and even a sink.

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standard functions

The base package Rivian R1T Explore comes generously equipped with standard four-wheel drive and a 135-kWh battery that offers a range of 314 miles, according to the EPA. Another standard kit includes a transmission tunnel behind the rear doors, a manual bed tonneau cover, heated vegan leather front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and an in-bed air compressor with a 20-foot hose to inflate tires.

More standard features will be added when you upgrade to the Adventure model. The R1T Adventure features a power tonneau cover, gear guard, clear and powerful Meridian premium audio system, natural grain ash interior trim, heated and ventilated front seats, passenger lumbar adjustment, recycled microfiber headliner and Chilewich fitted floor mats.

factory options

Both the Explore and Adventure models of the R1T are available with a larger battery pack, which Rivian says will be good for a range of over 400 miles. This is a $10,000 option. A $2,000 option for both trims is the off-road upgrade, which adds reinforced underbody protection and two front tow hooks. If you want a full-size spare wheel, you can add one for $600 to $800 depending on the wheel and tire package you choose.

The R1T also has some unique options that you won’t find on other automakers. One is a Rivian Camp Kitchen that slides right out of the Gear Tunnel and comes with a full kitchen set. Another is a 3 person tent perched on top of the bed via included cross poles.

Battery performance, charging times and range

The Rivian R1T comes with a fully electric powertrain. It has four electric motors, each powering a single wheel, giving the Rivian the standard four-wheel drive. The engines are powered by a battery pack housed in the floor of the truck, maximizing interior space and cargo space. The standard battery pack is enough for a range of 314 miles, according to the EPA, which also rates the R1T at 74 MPGe city and 66 MPGe highway. According to Rivian, the optional “Max Pack” battery offers a range of over 400 miles.

See: That would be necessary to alleviate Americans’ fear of range when it comes to electric vehicles

In terms of performance, Rivian says the power from the R1T’s electric motors produces more than 800 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. These massive numbers explain how the truck is able to achieve a 0-60 mph time of just 3 seconds, according to Rivian. Perhaps most impressive is the claimed maximum towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds. If that number proves correct, the R1T’s performance and capability will be slightly better than the Ford F-150 Lightning and about on par with the GMC Hummer EV pickup.

Four electric motors
EPA fuel economy: 74mpg city / 66mpg highway
EPA range: 314 miles

Cox Automotive, the parent company of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, is a minority investor in Rivian.

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