The Edmunds Top Rated Editors' Choice award is new for 2022, recognizing a vehicle that's exceeded our expectations and delivered something genuinely new and exciting. Unlike our other Edmunds Top Rated Awards — which consist of the top-ranked vehicles in each segment — the Editors' Choice recipient can win regardless of its ranking. That said, we're not in the business of picking duds.
Accordingly, the inaugural Edmunds Top Rated Editors' Choice award goes to the stellar 2022 Rivian R1T. The R1T is the first mass-production all-electric truck to market, meaning it's currently competing in a class of one. It packs a ton of trick hardware and clever design elements that are unprecedented in any other truck or electric vehicle to date. Highlights begin with a quad-motor powertrain that features a motor at each wheel — the most electric drive motors any EV has employed to date. Together, they not only provide a ridiculous 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque, but they can also deliver that output more quickly and precisely than any gas-powered truck.
The R1T's standard-issue adjustable air suspension offers excellent body control and surprisingly good handling for a truck with a nearly 7,150-pound curb weight. The suspension can add 6.5 inches of additional ground clearance in a matter of seconds, amounting to nearly 15 inches in the truck's highest off-road setting.
Inside, the upscale cabin sports a modern and minimalist design. The large center touchscreen serves as your main control hub, which bodes well for aesthetics, but the interface still has a few kinks that need working out. As with most large crew-cab pickups, passenger space is pretty generous whether you're sitting in the front or back.
In terms of its truck credentials, the R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds, while its bed has a payload capacity of 1,760 pounds. These figures make the Rivian comparable to some of the most capable full-size trucks on the market, including the Ford F-150. If you don't tow or haul heavy things very frequently, the R1T's 11.1-cubic-foot front trunk is a perfect spot for loading your groceries. Longer cargo items may fit better in the unique gear tunnel area located between the cabin and the truck bed. At 11.7 cubic feet, the gear tunnel is spacious enough to fit things like golf clubs and snowboards. Also, those gear tunnel doors make for handy tailgating seats or side steps when flipped down.
Despite its massive capabilities, we don't imagine the R1T being used as the typical workhorse. For one, it's quite expensive, and there are alternatives out there that can get the job done for far less coin. Instead, we see the typical R1T owner as someone who leads an active lifestyle — think surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, extreme glamping, etc. Rivian already has a treasure trove of impress-your-friends-options available, from a built-in portable Bluetooth speaker that stays charged off the vehicle's battery to a fully electric slide-out camp kitchen ($5,000) and a custom bed-mounted tent that sleeps three. We can only imagine what will be offered in the future.
The long-awaited Rivian R1T has finally arrived, and it was worth the wait. The R1T is the quickest and best-handling truck we've ever tested, yet it also boasts truly truck-worthy towing and payload figures and is legitimately capable of exploring off the beaten path. This is about as close as you'll get to a truck that does everything — and remember, it does all that without burning a single drop of fuel. To see all of this year's winners, head over to the Edmunds Top Rated 2022 awards.