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These Are the Rivian R3's Raddest Features

We don't know much about it and yet I'm already obsessed

2026 Rivian R3 exterior
  • The R3 is Rivian's new pint-sized EV.
  • There are few concrete details right now, but there are some awesome new features to talk about.
  • We definitely need more EVs this size.

The Rivian R3 was the surprise announcement that accompanied Thursday's launch of the all-new Rivian R2. While we're perfectly jazzed about the company's new Tesla Model Y competitor, the R3 has already stolen our hearts. Its smaller, cuter proportions are exactly what the electric segment has been crying out for. There aren't enough EVs this size.

Offering something small, affordable (Rivian says it will be less expensive than the $45,000 R2) and with enough range for most people (more than 300 miles in some trims) is exactly how automakers are going to get people out of their CR-Vs and into EVs. As it stands, electric cars, trucks and SUVs are all too pricey and too big; it's no wonder Tesla's two smallest and cheapest offerings are the best-selling EVs in America. The R3 is the type of car that solves that problem.

But there's a catch. We're going to have to wait, and that wait will be long. The R3 won't show up until late 2026 at the earliest. So while we're sitting here biding our time, let's talk about the R3's coolest features (at least, the ones we saw on launch day).

Pop-up glass hatch

2026 Rivian R3 rear 3/4

The R3 looks and feels like a hatchback, and while it does in fact have a lift-up hatch at the rear, it also features a pop-up glass hatch dubbed the "flipper glass." It takes functionality found on larger SUVs from the days of yore (and a few modern ones like the current Lexus GX) and works it into a much smaller package. We love that, and we also love how handy it's going to be for loading things into the rear hatch area without having to open the entire liftgate. Or stick our two-by-fours out of it ... either way.

Not one, but two gloveboxes

2026 Rivian R3 interior

While we admit this isn't the most innovative or crazy feature ever put into a new car, we really like the idea (especially since the Rivian R1T doesn't even have one glovebox). How cool is it to have more room for all the useless stuff you never want to look at? And yes, while it's nice to think that we'd use the dual-glovebox setup as a perfectly organized place for knickknacks and helpful tools like flashlights, the reality is it'll probably just serve as a double-dungeon for all the paperwork, packs of gum, and other associated rubbish we don't want floating around the cabin. Oh well. Still rad.

First and second rows that fold completely flat

2026 Rivian R3 interior

It isn't uncommon to have second-row seats that fold flat in compact SUVs to help maximize cargo space when seating isn't required, but the R3 takes it a step further. Both the driver and passenger seats also fold totally flat. That helps turn the R3 from a car into a hugely versatile space. It's too easy to picture ourselves loading in a blow-up mattress with all the seats down and stargazing through the glass roof while on a national park grand tour. We don't mean to get too romantic, but it's a cool idea nonetheless.

Functional, sustainable, usable interior

Rivian R3 interior

Aside from looking cleaner than your high school football coach's whistle, the R3's interior has been designed intentionally from the start. We hear about this aplenty in modern cars, but Rivian emphasizes something we don't always see associated with modern car design: It's easy to clean. The sustainable materials (like cork) will be functional and easy to live with, so there won't be any compromises you'll have to make when it comes to living with your fresh, sustainable SUV interior. Plus, just look at that color palette. It's not just functional, it's handsome as well. That gets a big fat rad in our books.

The debut of Rivian's performance sub-brand?

Rivian R3 front 3/4

Rivian doesn't have a performance division. It's been content with simply packing in a ton of horsepower on its dual- and quad-motor models and calling it a day. But that seemingly changes with the R3. Pictured above is the R3X (aka the REX). It's the first of Rivian's cars that has an X in the name, and it's positioned specifically as a car with "dynamic abilities both on and off road." We think this is the start of something new for Rivian, and we hope to see what it can do if (or when) it expands X to the other cars in its lineup.

Edmunds says

Can't you tell we're just a little bit jazzed about the R3?