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2025 Rivian R1T and R1S First Drive: Updated Where It Matters Most

Rivian's truck and SUV might not look all that different, but there's a lot that's changed under the skin

2024 Rivian R1S driving
  • Updated Quad-Motor and new Tri-Motor models
  • Redesigned Standard, Large and Max battery packs
  • Retuned suspension for improved ride and handling
  • Revised infotainment and enhanced driver aids

The Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV launched in 2022, and they quickly impressed with their performance, electric range and excellent utility. The work at Rivian has only ramped up since; the automaker recently announced the introduction of two smaller SUVs, the R2 and R3. Those new models are still in development, but in the meantime, Rivian brought some major updates to the R1 twins for the 2025 model year.

There are a few design tweaks here and there, but the R1 generally looks the same as before. Most of the changes are found underneath the skin, or at least not immediately obvious at first glance. The available batteries and entire electronics systems have been updated, promising better efficiency and more electric range. A new three-motor model joins the dual-motor and four-motor R1s, and there are some changes to the suspension for better ride and handling. Updates to the tech and driver aids round out the tweaks.

The R1 has been one of Edmunds' favorite EVs since it debuted. We added an R1T Quad-Motor to our long-term fleet not long after it launched. We've put nearly 30,000 miles on the truck since it landed in our garage, so we have plenty of seat time in the current model. That gave us tons of context for when we drove the updated R1 both on- and off-road outside of Seattle earlier this month.

2024 Rivian R1T and R1S on the street

An updated powertrain lineup for 2025

When the R1 first launched, it was available solely as a Quad-Motor model, with one electric motor powering each wheel. Later on, a Dual-Motor model was added, with one Rivian-designed and -built electric motor powering each axle. There are two versions of the latter — Dual-Motor and Performance Dual-Motor — that carry over to 2025 generally unchanged, at least in terms of the motors. Output remains the same at 533 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque for the Dual-Motor and 665 hp and 829 lb-ft for the Performance.

For 2025, the R1 Quad-Motor gets a new setup that was also designed and manufactured by Rivian. It has better cooling than before, and the new motors are intended to be quieter than the old ones. Output is up to 1,025 hp and 1,198 lb-ft of torque, increases of 190 hp and 290 lb-ft over the previous Quad-Motor model. Rivian says that will drop the 0-to-60-mph time to about 2.5 seconds for the R1T and 2.6 seconds for the R1S. That's significantly quicker than the times we've seen in the current R1, but we'll have to wait to test one ourselves to confirm Rivian's number.

2024 Rivian R1T

Starting with the 2025 model, Rivian will now offer a new Tri-Motor version of the R1. As you might expect, it combines the motors from the Dual- and Quad-Motor models, with a single motor at the front axle and two at the rear. Output is a stout 850 hp and 1,103 lb-ft, making it more powerful than the outgoing Quad-Motor. Rivian says the Tri-Motor should hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds.

There are new batteries this year, too. The R1 is available with several battery options, depending on which motor setup you go for. Rivian hasn't released full EPA numbers for every configuration, but it says electric range estimates are between 270 miles and 420 miles in the R1T and 258 miles and 410 miles in the R1S. The high figures are with the Dual-Motor Max pack. We haven't range-tested the updated R1 ourselves, but look for those figures sometime soon. Historically, Rivians have met or exceeded their EPA estimates in the Edmunds EV Range Test.

Rivian announced it will be adopting Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS), though currently the trucks use the CCS standard. For now, new R1s will come with an adapter that will allow them to be used at Tesla Supercharger stations.

2024 Rivian R1S off-road

Driving the new R1

The first thing you notice with the updated R1 is the generally improved ride quality. Despite an over-the-air update that retuned the truck's adaptive air suspension, the pre-refresh R1 could feel stiff on the road. Rivian has changed things with the new model, with different hardware underneath supplemented by a different tuning. There are new spring rates (lower in the front, higher in the rear) and new dampers.

The R1T doesn't ride as well as a Ford F-150 Lightning, but it's much more compliant and comfortable on the road. It rolls over bumps with far less harshness than before, though the Lightning still feels a bit smoother on the road. But the Lightning doesn't handle nearly as well as the R1T. The steering still feels tight and direct, making the R1T feel far more nimble than basically any other pickup on the road. The R1S has it a bit tougher, considering the competition includes SUVs like the BMW iX, Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV. The Rivian doesn't ride as well as that bunch, but it soaks up bumps far better than the pre-update R1.

2024 Rivian R1T profile view

We weren't able to really push the R1T on the street, but off-road the new Rally and Drift drive modes allow for some high-speed fun on loose surfaces. Rivian set up a small course for us to drive the new Tri-Motor model. Rally and Drift back off the stability control and send most of the power to the rear axle. The front motor never completely shuts off, but the rear is doing most of the work. In practice, that means big slides and lots of dust. The tight steering makes it easy to control slides, and the regenerative braking helps adjust the weight transfer without ever having to touch the brake. It's great fun and easy to manage big four-wheel drifts.

The Rivian is plenty capable off-road, especially in Tri- and Quad-Motor variants. The individual electric motors can control each wheel individually, so traction is rarely an issue. That's especially true with the All-Terrain package. It adds 20-inch wheels with all-terrain Pirelli tires, a matching full-size spare and extra underbody protection. The tires do reduce electric range, but in our testing we've still seen the R1T and R1S hit their EPA estimates with the All-Terrain pack.

The adjustable air suspension provides plenty of ground clearance, peaking at 14.6 inches in the R1T and 14.7 inches in the R1S. The shorter wheelbase on the R1S makes it a bit better off-road than the R1T when it comes to approach (35.8 degrees vs. 35.7 degrees), departure (29.6 degrees vs 26.4 degrees) and breakover angles (34.4 degrees vs 29.9 degrees). The R1S is more capable off-road than basically any other electric SUV, though on-paper specs for the R1T fall a bit short of the Tesla Cybertruck.

2024 Rivian R1S interior

Updated but still familiar

Inside, the R1 is mostly unchanged. The overall design carries over, though the company has added a few new color schemes to the options list. There are some particularly handsome colors for the upholstery and nice wood trim, especially on models with the Premium package that's available on the Tri- and Quad-Motor models. It includes a few nicer touches, including upgraded trim and seating surfaces. A glass roof is standard, but R1s with the Premium package get an electrochromic roof that can lighten or darken with the push of a button.

The seats are still comfortable and soft and should provide plenty of support, even on longer drives. There's a decent amount of adjustment, and the square body and upright position give you a good view of the road ahead. The Premium package includes upgraded upholstery and some very handsome-looking plaid floor mats. The cabin layout itself is good, with a deep center console and large bin on the floor between the passenger and driver. There's plenty of space, but the pop-out cupholders still aren't our favorite touch.

2024 Rivian R1S floor mat

Remastered infotainment

The R1's tech is not all that much different in functionality than before, though the entire interface itself has a new look. There are new fonts for everything, and all the graphics have been updated. Rivian built some of the graphics off the Unreal Engine created by video game developer Epic Games. Photorealistic graphics have been replaced by slick cel-shaded ones, giving screens for the various drive modes a graphic novel sort of feel.

The menu layout is essentially the same, which isn't a complaint since the R1's infotainment is already pretty well laid out. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still notably absent from the list of features, but the Rivian has streaming integration with native apps for Spotify and Apple Music. The native navigation system works well, too. The map is clear and easy to read, and you can search for charging networks and available charging stations. While we would still prefer to just sync our phones and go, as with Tesla, Rivian offers an interface nice enough that we don't miss CarPlay and Android Auto that badly.

2024 Rivian R1S rear seat

Catching up with driver aids

Rivian has enhanced the R1's driver aids for 2025, adding new features for the Highway Assist system. In addition to adaptive cruise control and lane centering, Highway Assist will now change lanes with the tap of the turn signal. It will sense when traffic is clear and move over when it's safe. Rivian has added a camera that shows a video of the truck's blind spot in the instrument cluster when you activate the signal. It's not unique to Rivian, but it's a feature we appreciate. The R1 has new cameras all around the car, which helps improve the driver aids and provide crisper images in the center screen when the cameras are pulled up.

Rivian says it's working on hands-free highway driving, though that feature will come with an update sometime down the line. The company has been quiet on when it will actually appear. Competitors from BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla all offer hands-free highway driving and, in our experience, work a bit better in practice than Rivian's system.

2024 Rivian R1 door panel and interior

A lot's changed in a few years

For a few years, there was really only one direct competitor to the Rivian R1T: the Ford F-150 Lightning. While not as premium inside or as capable off-road as the R1T, the Lightning has a lot of appeal if you just want a pickup with an electric powertrain. It's quick and comfortable and has more space both in the cabin and in the bed than the Rivian. It's less expensive too.

Tesla has finally launched the Cybertruck, and while it fell short of what Tesla initially promised, the Cybertruck is certainly a striking and capable truck. It's got much of the same energy as the Rivian, though Tesla's truck is far more divisive as a package. Chevrolet is finally launching the Silverado EV to the masses, but until the less expensive variants go on sale, we recommend holding off on that one.

While competition for the R1T pickup is limited to just a few players, the R1S has a much more packed field to contend with. The BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV and Tesla Model X are all strong competitors, with premium interiors, comfortable rides, excellent range and lots of in-car tech, but none really has the Rivian's on- and off-road performance. And that's just the electric SUVs in the R1S' general size and price range. There are plenty of less expensive all-electric SUVs to check out like the Kia EV9, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model Y.

Edmunds says

The R1 was already one of our favorite EVs on the road. The pair are handsome, fun to drive, and appeal to those outside of the typical EV or pickup truck crowd. All of the updates for 2025 are welcome, from the increased range and performance to the fresh look for the infotainment system. If you currently own a Quad-Motor, we don't think it's worth trading in for the new one quite yet. But if you were already considering an electric truck, the new R1 is better than ever.