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Rivian R3 First Look: Smaller, Cuter, and There's a High-Performance R3X

This might be Rivian's most important car to date

Rivian R3 front 3/4
  • The Rivian R3 is the brand's smallest car to date, riding on a 5-inch-shorter wheelbase than R1S.
  • Instead of looking like an SUV, the R3 looks a lot more like a lifted hatchback.
  • There's also a tri-motor R3X performance variant.

Meet the brand-new Rivian R3, the brand's newest and smallest offering to date. It takes the platform that underpins the R2 and shrinkwraps it into a compact SUV that's about the size of the Volvo EX30 — if you're thinking Tesla Model Y, you're thinking too big. Rivian surprised us with the R3 during the big launch for its bigger sibling, the R2 — you can find our full first look of the new Rivian R2 here.

The R3 looks more like a lifted hatchback than a proper SUV thanks to short overhangs and tighter packaging. We don't have full dimensions just yet, but Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the R3 rides on a wheelbase that's 5 inches shorter than the R2. It also looks to be shorter in overall length than the R2 (which itself is 15 inches shorter overall than the R1S). That hatchback look is emphasized by a large rear tailgate that integrates a flip-up piece of rear glass cutely named "flipper glass."

The interior is made from sustainable materials including cork, and Rivian said it's possible to fit a mattress in the rear hatch area (for camping trips or sleeping on a long roadie). You also get not one but two gloveboxes inside, and the interior design is classic Rivian, although it seems slightly more minimalist than we've seen in the R1 cars.

Rivian R3 exterior

Rivian R3 range and charging

The R3 will come in three different main configurations when it launches in a few years. The base car will have a single-motor setup, while dual- and tri-motor offerings will be offered as well. The triple-motor variant will be Rivian's first foray with a performance moniker, and it's called the R3X. Rivian hasn't offered details on how much power any of the three variants will make, but it has released early range estimates.

The R3 will have two battery options, the larger of which will get over 300 miles of range and will hit 60 mph from a standstill in less than 3 seconds in its most powerful configuration. The battery itself uses an all-new 4695 cell that Rivian says offers significant improvements in energy density and output. The R3 will be able to fast charge from 10% to 80% in less than 30 minutes. Rivian will also be using Tesla's NACS charging port for all of its new vehicles starting in 2025.

Rivian R3 price and availability

While pricing for the smaller R3 is still under wraps, Rivian has said the R2 will start at $45,000 and that the R3 will be even less expensive than that. While we don't know how much cheaper the R3 will be, it's fair to assume the base R3 with the smaller of the two batteries will be priced around $35,000 and that the price will creep up steadily as you add motors, features and the larger battery.

The R2 is slated to arrive in the early part of 2026, which means we may not see the R3 until sometime in 2027.

Rivian R3 interior

Edmunds says

There are still a lot of unknowns here, but the new Rivian R3 already looks like our cup of tea.