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2022 Rivian R1T: What's It Like to Live With?

Electric pickup trucks are now a thing and we just bought one.

Rivian R1T 2022
Miles Driven:Average Electricity Consumption (kWh/100 miles):
22,50855.8

Latest Highlights

  • We take a 2,500-mile road trip to Moab, UT in the snow
  • Another update addresses an issue we experienced with our shifter
  • Since ordering our Rivian, prices have increased by about 25%
  • Will our wallets at some point begin to feel the effects of the Rivian's ravenous appetite for electrons?


What We Bought And Why

by Jonathan Elfalan, Director, Vehicle Testing

Our test vehicle: 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition (quad electric motors | 1-speed direct drive | all-wheel drive)
Base MSRP: $73,000
MSRP as tested: $75,175
What we paid: $76,250

It's been four years since Rivian, an all-new electric vehicle startup, first showed us a truck we never knew we needed and opened its preorder books. And at long last, the wait — for some at least — is finally over. The Rivian R1T is the first to arrive to market, leading a new wave of modern electric pickup trucks from the factories of Ford, Chevrolet, Hummer, and (maybe) eventually Tesla.

As a company formed in this modern tech age, Rivian isn't like traditional vehicle manufacturers and it shows in the design of the R1T. Size-wise, the Rivian R1T sits somewhere between a midsize truck (think Ford Ranger) and full-size truck (think Ford F-150) but weighs a hefty 7,150 pounds, which is roughly the weight of a heavy-duty truck (like this F-350 Super Duty).

Despite all that weight, it accelerates quicker than many sports cars do and can get to places virtually no sports car would dare. To date, it's the best-handling truck we've driven too, and that's made possible with the help of the R1T's standard adjustable air suspension. It can raise and lower the entire body by as much as 6.5 inches, perfect for clearing rocks and fording streams off-road or for hunkering down like a lowrider to turn a corner on-road.

Its incredible versatility doesn't end there. An innovative gear tunnel between the truck bed and passenger cabin provides a ton of storage (11.7 cubic feet). An immense front trunk (11.1 cubic feet) takes the place of where an engine would sit, instead offering heaps of grocery space. And if you want to do actual "truck things," the bed has a hefty payload capacity of 1,760 pounds and you can tow up to 11,000 pounds.

As cool and impressive as any of these numbers are, we want to know if this truck can actually deliver when put to the test. Which tests? All the tests! So we bought one and will do with it what we please. Did we mention we have Ford F-150 Lightning on order for our long-term test fleet too?

What Did We Get?

If you were one of the 90K-plus hand-raisers to plunk down an early deposit for a spot in the Rivian R1T production queue, then you'd be getting a Launch Edition R1T. That's the truck you see here. When a manufacturer offers a Launch Edition model, they typically come with some exclusive features like a special exterior color, specific badging and sometimes a bundle of options at a slight discount. The Rivian R1T Launch Edition checks those boxes.

All Launch Editions come with quad-motor all-wheel drive, delivering a staggering 835 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque to whatever surface you happen to be rolling across. You also get Rivian's Large battery pack (135 kilowatt-hours). This pack is the second largest of three battery options, wedged between the Standard (105-kWh) and the Max (180-kWh) packs. The Large pack battery is said to deliver 314 miles of range on a single charge, according to EPA estimates. We verified that the R1T could meet that estimate in the real world, albeit by a small margin — it traveled 317 miles on a single charge.

Those 317 miles were on a truck wearing the standard 21-inch wheels and all-season tires. With the Launch Edition we were able to select upgraded wheels and tires at no additional cost, but doing so would cost us some range (theoretically). We went with the 20-inch wheels and chunkier, off-road-oriented all-terrain tires, which Rivian estimates would reduce our total range by 40 miles. If we had chosen to upsize to the larger 22-inch wheels with all-season tires instead, our range penalty would only be 21 miles.

The Launch Edition also comes standard with the Adventure package. This spruces up the interior with heated and cooled perforated vegan leather seats, beautiful natural-grained ash wood trim and a premium audio system by Meridian, replete with an uber-cool removable Bluetooth speaker that recharges when stowed in the center console.

Further, the package includes Rivian's Gear Guard, which turns the truck's surround-view parking cameras into security cameras and provides a locking security cable to thread through any loose valuables in the bed or mounted on the roof rack (if you have one). If we're feeling paranoid, we can have the truck send us activity alerts on our phones and review recorded footage, CSI-style. Perhaps we'll finally be able to put a face to those darn car-detailing solicitors.

Other included features worth mentioning are a full suite of advanced driver aids with things such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, blind-spot warning, etc., as well as an onboard automatic air compressor for airing up your tires whenever and wherever you feel like it. The final touches of our Launch Edition truck come in the form of that unique interior badging, which is actually pretty discreet and tasteful, and an exclusive Launch Green paint. This green is on the paler side with a bit of brown mixed in. Although it's not quite as striking as the darker and deeper Forest Green on the R1T color swatch, we still dig it. If we had to call our green something more descriptive, we might go with Oxidized Guacamole.

The only options we checked outside of our prix fixe $73,000 Launch Edition were the reinforced underbody shield ($2,000) and the all-weather floor mats ($175). This brought our grand total, before taxes, licensing fees, and federal incentives, to $76,250 (including $1,075 destination).

If you happened to miss the headline, Rivian raised prices earlier this year. So if you're thinking you'd want to spec out a truck just like ours, it will, unfortunately, cost quite a bit more. Here's a quick breakdown of our truck using today's pricing structure:

R1T Adventure package: $73,000
Quad-motor AWD: $6,000 (dual-motor AWD is now the new base offering)
Large pack (battery): $6,000 (required for any quad-motor truck)
Forest Green: $1,750 (any color other than LA Silver is extra; Oxidize Guacamole unavailable)
20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires: $2,500
Reinforced underbody shield: $2,000
Power tonneau cover: $3,000
All-weather floor mats: $200 (yup, even these went up in price)
Destination: $1,075
Total estimated price: $95,525

Since we ordered our Rivian R1T, prices have gone up roughly 25%. For Launch Edition owners looking to make a quick buck, that's a pretty decent return if they decide to offload to the highest bidder. We, on the other hand, don't have any plans on selling anytime soon.

Why Did We Get It?

The list of reasons why you wouldn't get a Rivian R1T is probably a lot easier to compile. It's kind of expensive (especially after the price hike in early 2022), it's a larger vehicle if you don't have a lot of space to park, and it's the first vehicle from an all-new, untested company. Those things aside, how in the world could we pass up owning something so frickin' cool? Could you?

Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.


2022 Rivian R1T: Real-World Range

With electricity being so cheap compared to gas prices (especially now), it's easy to gloss over the efficiency of an electric vehicle. To date, the Rivian R1T is the least efficient EV we've tested (at least until the Hummer EV arrives), using double the amount of battery juice to travel 100 miles as a Tesla Model 3. That's not so surprising considering how much it weighs, the fact that it has four electric motors to feed, and that it's shaped, well, like a truck. Here, we'll be tracking just how much electricity our R1T consumes on average and then translate that into a language we all can hopefully understand a bit more clearly: $$$$.

Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 55.8
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 48 combined ( 46 city / 51 highway )
Best consumption (kWh/100 miles): 31.9
Best range (miles): 313.4
Current odometer: 22,508

Vampiric drain sounds scary — what is it and how does it apply to the Rivian R1T?

Battery Drain Test PART ONE! We started noticing our Rivian R1T had a lower state of charge when we came out to it in the morning than we left it overnight. This can happen with all electric vehicles in small quantities, especially when left parked for long periods of time. We were noticing it in larger-than-expected quantities after leaving it parked for just one night. So, we decided to put this battery drain, sometimes called vampiric drain, to the test.

After leaving the R1T parked, and presumably very lonely, for six days we checked back in on our $75,000 truck.

So, the truck dropped from a 71% state of charge all the way down to 51% after sitting idle for six days. Electric vehicles like the R1T are, of course, not exactly just sitting. They're running copious software to manage the battery and various systems to keep the truck functional, sort of like leaving your computer on sleep mode rather than shutting it all the way off. Of course, you have the option to power your computer down — you can't do that with your truck.

Rivian released a software update (2022.27.02) that may address some of the battery drain issues, so we plan to perform this experiment again and will note any performance improvements. For now, we'll keep an eye on our state of charge both before and after getting out of the vehicle for the night.

Battery Drain Test PART TWO! (See Part One above.) Shortly after we performed our static battery drain test, where we left our Rivian R1T alone for six days straight to see how much juice we'd lose, Rivian sent out an over-the-air software update that was supposed to help mitigate that issue. So we decided to perform the same test again to see if anything improved with the fresh batch of code.

We left the R1T parked for another lonely stretch, this time seven days, before checking back in.

So, this time around, the truck dropped from a 70% state of charge down to 54% after sitting idle for seven days. If you compare this to the results of the previous test, the drain on the battery has actually decreased, as Rivian said it would. In the first test, we lost 20% of our battery charge over six days, compared to just 16% over seven days in this test. So our drain per day has gone from about 3.3% to about 2.3%. We plan to perform this test with a few of the other EVs we own and will compare those results.

An inefficient electric vehicle can create a unique set of hassles, senior video producer Doug Tyler found:

"This has been an experiment for me to see if an EV is doable for an apartment dweller with no home charger. 'There are lots of chargers nearby,' I naively thought to myself. Well, finding an open charger in Glendale/Burbank on Saturday for Labor Day weekend has been a fool's errand. Yes, I'm that fool. My whole afternoon is now being completely dominated. Finally found a charger (Level 2 only), so excuse me while I go wander around in 105-degree heat for the next couple hours in order to gain 20-30 miles' worth of battery."

Does the range diminish the R1T's outdoor chops?

"Rivian markets the R1T as being an outdoorsy kind of vehicle. But I'm wondering how realistic it is to use an EV for off-road adventure. Here's an example: There's an off-road trail I'm familiar with. It's about 65 miles away from my house and is suitable for a day trip. If I fully charged our R1T at home, I'd have about 300 miles of range. That trail is up in the mountains, so figure maybe 100 miles of range expended to get to the trailhead. That would leave 200 miles or so for driving the trail and then getting home.

"There is a DC fast-charging station along the route home, so I could use that to free up more range on the trail. It seems feasible. But I'm also a little chicken because I don't know how much range I'd use on the trail. Rivian's specific outdoor charging stations — the Adventure Network — seems like a cool idea, but as of October 2022, there are only six stations operating nationwide: five in California and one in Colorado." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

A California road trip gave us a lot of data

Senior Editor Clint Simone recently took the R1T on a road trip. Here are some of the facts and figures:

"In total, I drove 951.8 miles in 19 hours and 45 minutes behind the wheel. The truck did 2.27 kilowatt-hours per mile at an average speed of 48 miles per hour. Roughly 90% of my time driving was in Conserve mode. Only briefly did I put it into All-Purpose mode. In total, I used 419 kWh of energy — roughly four full cycles of the battery pack.

"I spent $156.09 at Electrify America and $49.80 at EVGo ($205.89 total). This equated to roughly 22 cents per mile. Some rough math shows that a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro with an average of 21 mpg and the California average of $4.95 per gallon would put me at 24 cents per mile. When relying exclusively on fast charging, the savings is hardly noticeable."


2022 Rivian R1T: Maintenance

We'll cover any maintenance issues our R1T has here.

How's the R1T's build quality?

Senior Editor, Written Content, Brent Romans takes a look at our electric truck's build quality in this video.


2022 Rivian R1T: Comfort

Is the all-new electric truck a comfortable place to hang out?

Efficiency, but at what cost?

"The R1T offers a comfortable ride when driving in All-Purpose mode and with the truck at its standard height. But using the adjustable air suspension to lower the truck, say if you wanted to put the truck into Conserve mode, makes the ride quality much worse. The trade-off: Your truck will be slightly more efficient, but you'll feel many of the road's pockmarks." — Jake Sundstrom, editor

"You know, our R1T's ride quality is just not the best. It's typically a bit rough and jiggly when driving over ruts and broken pavement. I suppose there's a certain expectation that it's just going to have a rough ride because it's a truck. It's sort of like my expectations of the French — you just know every few years they are not going to be happy about something and start a strike or protest. ("Croissants are too expensive! Liberté!") But I don't see why this has to be the case for the R1T.

"For starters, it has a rear independent suspension. Regular pickups have a non-independent solid rear axle, which is traditionally a rougher-riding design. Plus, you'd think that being an all-new EV design, Rivian could have put extra effort into making the suspension ride smoothly. Interestingly, the R1T has an adjustable air suspension that can raise or lower the truck's ride height. The ride is OK at its normal height but drop it down and it gets increasingly rough. And sometimes the suspension dampers — also adjustable! — seem OK for controlling the truck's body motions, and others they get too soft and make the truck feel wallowy. Oh, and we've got the 20-inch wheels that have, in theory, cushier tire sidewalls than the 21- or 22-inch wheels." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"Not to pile on about the suspension complaints, but what I noticed most when driving isn't so much up-and-down stiffness (jounce and rebound to you car nerds) as I did a side-to-side head tossing motion. It feels like the anti-roll bars are too stiff, which is odd because the truck has a normal amount of lean for a vehicle this size and weight. I also noticed during a recent rainstorm that the truck's tracking was inconsistent. On some surfaces it was fine, but as things slicked up, it felt as if the four motors were working independently of each other instead of being coordinated, resulting in a jerky motion. It never felt dangerous, mind you. Just uncomfortable." — Keith Buglewicz, managing editor

The back seat isn't very comfortable

"'I hate this car.' That's the feedback my wife gave when I asked her what she thought of the R1T a few days after I brought it home for the first time. I didn't understand at all. My first impressions had been highly positive, save for the extreme amount of regen braking (even in the standard mode) and a fussy infotainment interface.

"One important detail to note: My wife typically sits in the back seat with our infant, to keep her entertained in case she gets restless. After dropping the kiddo at her grandparents' one day, my wife migrated to the front passenger seat. And that's when we realized that she didn't hate the car; she hated the second row.

"The R1T has narrow rear doors, which, combined with the relatively tall ride height, makes it quite a challenge for my wife to easily enter or exit the vehicle. Narrow rear doors are an unfortunate necessity given that the R1T is a midsize pickup, and that the front doors are nice and wide. I don't think she'd have the same misgivings about the R1S, which seems to have sizable rear doors." — Cameron Rogers, manager, news



2022 Rivian R1T: Performance

The R1T generates more than 600 horsepower. Does that make it a performance vehicle?

The all-terrain tires are quite noisy

"While I realize that all-terrain tires are always going to be louder than standard street tires, the ones on our Rivian are particularly noisy. You can hear the tires all the time &mdash even at crawling speeds &mdash and it's even worse on the grooved pavement of some LA freeways. I don't think I could live with our truck every day on these tires." — Steven Ewing, director, editorial content


2022 Rivian R1T: Technology

The R1T comes equipped with an impressive arsenal of technology; how well does it put that tech to use? That's what we hope to answer over the next year.

The Drive Mode screen has a new look!

"I updated the Rivian during my stint with it, and the biggest change was an entirely new Drive Mode screen with a new Gauges function that shows various information about the vehicle. The update also made it way easier to find and reset the trip meter (now included in the Drive Mode screen). But my favorite part has to be the new Halloween theme, which includes fun lock sounds that sound like a spooky organ and changed the interior accent lighting from white to green." — Ryan Greger, social media content strategist

The software updates keep on coming

"A few days after senior editor Ron Montoya installed software update 2023.06.02 and 2023.06.00, our R1T notified us that another update was available.

Some highlights include access to Tesla Superchargers and a yearlong TuneIn Premium subscription. Patch notes are as follows:

Software update, Version 2023.10.01:

New TuneIn Premium Trial
An exclusive TuneIn Premium trial for 365 days is now available for Rivian customers. With TuneIn Premium you have access to:
-Every MLB and NHL game. Live. No blackouts.
-Nonstop news coverage. Commercial free.
-Less ads on 100,000 radio stations.
-Note: You may lose access to TuneIn Premium channels unless you activate the free trial or have a Premium account.

-Tesla Supercharger Network Now Available In Navigation Charger Filters
Your vehicle now shows select Tesla Supercharger locations with a Magic Dock in the Navigation app's charger filters. A Magic Dock allows you to charge your Rivian at select Tesla Supercharger locations. These locations also show in the Rivian mobile app version 1.12 or later. To charge at a Tesla Supercharger, you need to download the Tesla app.

Plug and Charge
-This release enables vehicle Plug and Charge functionality when charging on the Rivian Adventure Network and Waypoint Chargers, in order to provide a seamless experience.
Note: This feature will be introduced on the Rivian Adventure Network and Waypoint Chargers on a rolling basis.

Additional Improvements
-Highway Assist has been improved to reduce the frequency of hands-on warnings when Highway Assist is active in stop-and-go traffic scenarios. You still must remain attentive and should be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time while Highway Assist is engaged. For more information, please see the Owner's Guide.
-You can now release your tailgate with mobile app version 1.12 and later. (R1T ONLY)
-Improved range loss when a phone key is near the vehicle for long periods of time.
-Improved phone key and key fob proximity unlocking consistency.
-You can now toggle exterior lock sound on and off. Choose Settings > Vehicle > Access > Lock Sound (exterior).
-Added a text label to state your key fob's battery level inside of Settings > Drivers and Keys. The indicator text will appear when the battery level is medium or low only.

Hotspot Improvements
-You can now choose the Hotspot button in the status bar to toggle the hotspot on or off and open hotspot settings.
-Fixed an issue where quickly toggling the hotspot on and off indefinitely disabled it until you restarted the vehicle.

Media Fixes and Improvements
-You can scroll through your Favorites with the left thumb control on the steering wheel.
-Fixed a rare issue where TIDAL crashed when trying to perform a text search.
-Fixed an occasional issue where the Bluetooth media player showed the incorrect play/pause state.
-Fixed an occasional issue where the radio wouldn't resume playing after returning to your vehicle within five minutes.
-After you remove the charging cable, the charge port door no longer automatically closes after 30 seconds. The charge port door closes automatically when you drive the vehicle. You can also manually close it from the center display or using the sensor on the charge port door.
-Fixed an issue where an erroneous notification was shown when attempting to use Adaptive Cruise Control while stability control was disabled in vehicle settings.
-Fixed a rare issue that caused inconsistent lane centering when Highway Assist was active.
-Fixed an occasional issue where you would see an unrelated notification when switching between day and night mode.
-Fixed a very rare issue that caused an internal loss of communication when turning on a vehicle, which drained the 12 V batteries.

Senior Editor Ron Montoya got our R1T up to speed.

"One of the cool things about owning a modern EV is the software updates that can bring new functionality to the vehicle or fix any issues. Rivian says it launches its updates in batches, as evidenced by this recent update. This one launched in early March, but we just got around to the update in early April. Patch notes are below:

Software Version 2023.06.02
Additional Improvement
Improved the reliability of the key fob software update. If the key fob update previously failed, you can try the update again without contacting Rivian Service; go to Settings > Vehicle > Updates.

Software Version 2023.06.00
New Proximity Locking and Unlocking via Key Fob
Proximity locking and unlocking is now available via your key fob. To turn on his feature, go to Settings > Vehicle > Access. Also, if the battery level of the key fob is low, a notification appears on the driver display, and you can see a low battery indicator when you go to Settings > Drivers and Keys.

We've also improved proximity locking experience for both phones and key fob: locking is more consistent, and we've decreased the number of unintended locking occurrences.

Navigation Improvements
We've introduced the following new features in navigation:
-Place search is now powered by Google Maps™
-You can now easily switch between charger status pins on the map to preview information. -Choose a charger. Then choose Start to begin a new route to that charger.
-We've enhanced detection of your vehicle's arrival at its destination. The Navigation app now ends your trip when you park your vehicle near the destination.

Enhanced Front Camera View
We've improved the front camera view on the center display:
-Increased the horizontal and vertical fields of view for the front camera to provide a better perspective of the bumper relative to any obstacles.
-Improved the image quality of the front camera and increased the number of usable pixels by 50%.

Additional Improvements
Driver+ Improvements
-Increased the Highway Assist hands-off warning time period from 10 to 20 seconds for your convenience.
-Your vehicle now notifies you that rear Park Assist warnings aren't available while the Rear accessory setting is enabled.
-Reduce the time window from 2 seconds to 1 second to engage Highway Assist when you push the drive stalk twice. This enhances usability when you initiate Adaptive Cruise Control with the first push of the drive stalk, accelerate the vehicle to the desired speed, and then push the drive stalk again to set the higher speed.
-You vehicle now retains calibration for the windows, seats, and steering wheel after loss of 12 V battery power.
-Fixed a rare issue that briefly triggered limited performance mode when you started driving in cold ambient temperatures.
-Fixed a rare issue when quickly turning defrost on or off changed the set temperature to the maximum.

Media Improvements
-In Spotify, added a progress bar for podcast episodes or audiobooks.
-In Spotify and TIDAL, added a notification to confirm when a song is added to a queue.
-Fixed an issue where the FM radio channel frequency wasn't displayed properly.
-Choosing the logo of a media sources now goes to the Home tab of that app.
-Fixed a rare issue when the Bluetooth media art wasn't displayed properly if you quickly switched between media sources.
-Bluetooth audio is now transferred from your phone to the vehicle only when you open either of the front doors.
-Fixed a rare issue when the paired phone didn't appear in the Bluetooth panel.
-Fixed a rare issue with loss of cellular connectivity in Canada after the vehicle woke from sleeping.
-Fixed a rare issue with Gear Guard videos not being properly saved to USB external storage drives.

Software update, Version 2023.10.01:
New TuneIn Premium Trial
An exclusive TuneIn Premium trial for 365 days is now available for Rivian customers. With TuneIn Premium you have access to:
-Every MLB and NHL game. Live. No blackouts.
-Nonstop news coverage. Commercial free.
-Less ads on 100,000 radio stations.
-Note: You may lose access to TuneIn Premium channels unless you activate the free trial or have a Premium account.

Tesla Supercharger Network Now Available In Navigation Charger Filters
Your vehicle now shows select Tesla Supercharger locations with a Magic Dock in the Navigation app's charger filters. A Magic Dock allows you to charge your Rivian at select Tesla Supercharger locations. These locations also show in the Rivian mobile app version 1.12 or later. To charge at a Tesla Supercharger, you need to download the Tesla app.

Plug and Charge
-This release enables vehicle Plug and Charge functionality when charging on the Rivian Adventure Network and Waypoint Chargers, in order to provide a seamless experience.
Note: This feature will be introduced on the Rivian Adventure Network and Waypoint Chargers on a rolling basis.

Additional Improvements
-Highway Assist has been improved to reduce the frequency of hands-on warnings when Highway Assist is active in stop-and-go traffic scenarios. You still must remain attentive and should be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time while Highway Assist is engaged. For more information, please see the Owner's Guide.
-You can now release your tailgate with mobile app version 1.12 and later. (R1T ONLY)
-Improved range loss when a phone key is near the vehicle for long periods of time.
-Improved phone key and key fob proximity unlocking consistency.
-You can now toggle exterior lock sound on and off. Choose Settings > Vehicle > Access > Lock Sound (exterior).
-Added a text label to state your key fob's battery level inside of Settings > Drivers and Keys. -The indicator text will appear when the battery level is medium or low only.

Hotspot Improvements
-You can now choose the Hotspot button in the status bar to toggle the hotspot on or off and open hotspot settings.
-Fixed an issue where quickly toggling the hotspot on and off indefinitely disabled it until you restarted the vehicle.

Media Fixes and Improvements
-You can scroll through your Favorites with the left thumb control on the steering wheel.
-Fixed a rare issue where TIDAL crashed when trying to perform a text search.
-Fixed an occasional issue where the Bluetooth media player showed the incorrect play/pause state.
-Fixed an occasional issue where the radio wouldn't resume playing after returning to your vehicle within five minutes.
-After you remove the charging cable, the charge port door no longer automatically closes after 30 seconds. The charge port door closes automatically when you drive the vehicle. You can also manually close it from the center display or using the sensor on the charge port door.
-Fixed an issue where an erroneous notification was shown when attempting to use Adaptive Cruise Control while stability control was disabled in vehicle settings.
-Fixed a rare issue that caused inconsistent lane centering when Highway Assist was active.
-Fixed an occasional issue where you would see an unrelated notification when switching between day and night mode.
-Fixed a very rare issue that caused an internal loss of communication when turning on a vehicle, which drained the 12 V batteries."

Rivian's latest update addresses our sensitive shifter

"Our Rivian R1T came to a sudden stop on the 405 freeway — a scary situation that resulted from the vehicle being accidentally shifted into neutral shortly after adaptive cruise control was disengaged. The latest over the air (OTA) software update from Rivian should help make what we experienced less likely to occur in the future. Here are the relevant portions of that update:

*A chime that indicates Highway Assist isn't available is now louder so it's easier to hear.
*A new chime indicates immediate cancellation of Highway Assist.
*An increased delay before the vehicle shifts to Reverse or Neutral after Highway Assist or Adaptive Cruise Control ends. This prevents unintended shifts.

The new delay is 3 seconds, which should alleviate concerns about accidentally shifting into neutral.

What's the state of Rivian's software a little more than six months after our first drive?

"Rivian's software has come a long way since our first test drive. The advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in particular are much improved, but still not as good as they should be. My main complaints remain that there is no 'resume' function when it comes to the cruise or lane-keeping systems if you have to press the brakes or changes lanes, respectively. You have to reactivate and set the speeds each time. This is definitely something that will improve with software updates, but when they'll get around to it is anyone's guess." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing

"When it comes to technology, our early-production test model didn't get high marks. However, I found in our long-term Rivian R1T, it worked well. The touchscreen interface is the size of a small laptop. With cues that mimic Tesla's interface, the display controls most of the truck's functions, including air circulation. This is a huge pet peeve of mine because it is actually less efficient than manual vents, but Rivian's touchscreen controls were easier to manipulate than the Tesla's. Plus, the passengers in the back can control their climate via their own accessible digital screen.

"My mobile phone and Bluetooth were easy to connect, and navigation worked well. It provided charging stations along a defined route and also displayed a detailed, closer route view on the driver's dashboard display. The entertainment options do eliminate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But, you can easily log in and connect to a Spotify account via a QR code or log-in. Advanced driving aids could be sensitive at times, and the traffic display screen consistently misidentified smaller cars as motorcycles.

"But the big winner here is the 360-degree view cameras. It allows you great visibility when backing up and even gives you a front view when pulling into a parking spot." Jodi Tourkow, senior director, written content

Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya isn't a fan of all the Tesla-inspired features in our R1T. "This truck has a bit too much Tesla envy for my taste. It's like the kid in class on test days who would copy what the person next to them was writing. This is a new company that I imagined would bring a fresh approach to car design and yet many of their decisions seemed to be influenced by Tesla. Here are some examples:

  • Two unmarked (and unlit) rounded steering wheel dials. Check.
  • Starting up and turning off the vehicle without a button. Check.
  • Glass roof, just because it looks cool. Check.
  • A large horizontal screen to control roughly 90% of the features. Check.
  • White background on the operating system with a row of static virtual buttons for commonly used features. Check.
  • Silhouette visualizations showing what the vehicle can detect in its environment, such as cars or pedestrians, displayed on the main screen. Check.
  • Over-engineered AC vents that can only be controlled with a touchscreen. Check.
  • Steering wheel and side mirror adjustments handled with a menu and using the steering wheel dials. Check.
  • Use of those turn signal stalks that go back to center when you flick in either direction (I'm not a fan, btw). Check."

Even though it's been out for a while now, the Rivian still has a cool factor. Got stopped a lot by people to either ask what it was or to see if they could check it out, the cute Baymax-esque styling up front helps it in that regard as well.

But once you get past that, to me it felt incomplete. Like a vehicle that should still be in beta, rather than a full on ready-for-prime-time vehicle.

The display that Tesla does so well to show vehicles around you is buggy. Vehicles phase in and out like ghosts and are misidentified frequently, I pulled up behind a Ford F-150 at a stoplight and the display thought it was a semi-truck. It did a really good job picking out motorcyclists somehow, but regular cars appeared at weird angles or would simply disappear. This diminished confidence in the safety systems, though they all seemed to work properly.

Basic functions seemed to take longer than they should all the time. Hitting unlock on the remote, for example, would come with a 5-to-10-second delay about half the time (same with the tailgate and frunk buttons). The gear tunnels wouldn't open from the screen inside. They would unlatch briefly but the doors wouldn't deploy enough so when the locks reactivated you were unable to pull the doors open and you'd have to step outside to shut them again before driving.

The gear tunnel is a crowd-pleaser — but the interior screen doesn't always open it on first try.

"I've been giving a lot of 'show and tells' or tours of the R1T, as it piques the curiosity of friends and family. One bug that keeps showing up is the gear tunnel doors not opening properly. I press the virtual button on the center touchscreen and about half the time the gear door moves a few millimeters, then gets stuck. An error message on the screen says that there's an issue with the doors. To fix it, I give the gear door a push to make sure it is fully closed, then try the button again. This usually solves it, but not without the R1T losing some style points, as that doesn't leave you with the best impression." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor

No physical key? Problem.

"The batteries in our key fob died, which is surprising in itself given we've owned the truck for under a year. While we work on getting a new battery, I've been getting in and out of the R1T using one of the key cards (credit card sized — another Tesla lift) with mixed results.

"Locking the truck by pressing the key against the handle is a painless process, but unlocking it is a different story. The delay between pressing the key to the handle and the vehicle unlocking (more than 5 seconds on most occasions) is long enough to make you doubt where you've placed the key, if you even have the right key and why anyone would want to operate a car like this.

"Getting the vehicle started, which requires pressing the key to the inside of the door panel, is also a so-so experience. That's not terribly different from our long-term Tesla Model Y, but it's a far cry from getting into a car that unlocks based on proximity and then allows you to start up the vehicle without fiddling with a key card." — Jake Sundstrom, editor

The Highway Drive system doesn't always work as intended

"Highway Drive has disengaged a few times. It also sometimes sees a truck in the next lane before it sees the curve in the road and thinks the truck is directly ahead of me and slows down. No, dude ... the road curves. We good. Finally, I can't figure out how to just use the cruise control part of Highway Drive and not the steering part. In order to disengage the steering element essentially I've been giving the wheel a slight jerk to disengage. I feel like there should be a button somewhere to do this.

"Re: steering control in Highway Drive. I realized just one click down with the gear stalk activates adaptive cruise control. Two clicks down adds the steering component." — Emme Hall, correspondent

"Things were overall good with the R1T this round, but when driving to Santa Barbara the Highway Assist decided to stop functioning and said “unavailable until your next drive." It did work on the next drive, but thought it was worth noting. Also, the key fob was super finicky and wouldn't really work unless I was right next to the car." — Ryan Greger, social media content strategist

We're digging the R1T's audio system

"I'm enjoying the Meridian audio system in our R1T. It produces a pleasing amount of bass and overall sounds pretty accurate and detailed. There might be some distortion at high volume but overall I'm pleased. Interestingly, this is the only audio system you can get in the R1T. Most other automakers offer audio system upgrades. Rivian is copying the Tesla playbook: Offer just one audio system and make it a good one." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content


2022 Rivian R1T: Interior

The R1T interior uses vegan (aka faux) leather and manages to be a nice blend of good-looking and sporty. We'll see how it holds up over a year of use.

"I'm pretty certain that the child locks on the doors were an afterthought. Why is it that a truck whose HVAC vents are controlled through the touchscreen requires you to remove a plastic tab in the door jamb and use a quarter or flathead screwdriver to activate the child safety locks? Most cars have a button or even a simple lever for this. One of the few poor design decisions here." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing

Edmunds' director of vehicle testing, Jonathan Elfalan, was not impressed with the R1T's doors, specifically with how difficult it was to close them.

"I'm sure there's a reason for the airtight door sealing (fording streams maybe?) but you really need to use some muscle to ensure the doors close on the first try," he said. "I thought it was just me at first, but my wife noted how much she didn't like the doors after spending a weekend climbing in and out of the cabin. Not sure a software update is going to be able to fix this."

"The back seat is definitely not an afterthought in the R1T. I won't go as far as saying it competes with a fully specced Ford F-150 (what does?), but passengers get individual climate control and the bench seat is comfortable." — Jake Sundstrom, editor

"Our R1T's cabin lets in a lot of light and heat on hot, sunny days. The upright windshield and windows are the main culprits, but the glass roof is a problem, too. Yes, it's deeply tinted, but there's no sunshade to fully block out the sun. The heat soak got so annoying during a summer heat wave that I decided to partially address this issue by way of the aftermarket.

"I did an internet search for sunshades that would fit the R1T's glass roof and found one from a company, Heatshield. It cost $49.95, which seemed reasonable (ish) to me. I ordered it and it arrived at my house a few days later. It's a flexible sunshade that's black on one side and gold-colored foil on the other. It attaches to the glass by way of suction cups. You can roll it up when not in use.

"It took a bit of work to line up properly and attach with the suction cups, but after that I was pleased with the result. But I still find it odd that Rivian doesn't offer a sunshade of its own design for people who don't like glass roofs." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content


2022 Rivian R1T: Utility

This is one area we expect to draw numerous comparisons to ICE trucks as we know them. How easy is the R1T to move all of our stuff around? Do any electric components hamper the experience, or do they make it better?

I heard it has an onboard air compressor — how is that?

Edmunds' editorial assistant, Jake Sundstrom, drove the Rivian to the track the first time we performance tested it. During our usual safety check-ins he noted, "The R1T comes with a built-in air compressor in the truck bed (the hose is stored in the wings of the gear tunnel). Pointless party trick or practical tool? We put it to the test by filling up the R1T's tires to the Rivian specified 45 PSI before testing the brand-new truck. The results were mixed.

"The compressor is exceptionally user-friendly. After attaching the hose, you set the PSI to the desired number using physical buttons (a welcome change given how much of the R1T relies on touch screens) and hit a play button to start the machine up. It delivers air in what appears to be fits-and-starts while displaying the current PSI on the digital readout.

"Eventually, all four tires are filled with air. It became clear this compressor was designed for bike tires and inflatable kayaks, not automobile tires. Listen, it got the job done and it was very convenient. But it wasn't quite as quick as walking around the vehicle with a portable compressor."

How useful is the R1T's gear tunnel?

"The gear tunnel storage area is interesting. Its log-like shape means you can only put suitably shaped things in it. But the upside is that you can quickly store stuff and keep it out of view. I've been playing tennis recently and found that my ball caddy fit perfectly. It was easier than putting in the rear seat area or in the bed, where it would just slide around." —Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

It's great for holding pumpkins

"Took the R1T to the pumpkin patch. They stayed put en route home and my daughter is now OBSESSED with the gear tunnel. We ended up taking the whole lot in and out three times so she could crawl in and push them out to me on the other side." John Adolph, supervising producer


2022 Rivian R1T : Road Trips

Sometimes you just need to get out on the open road and stretch a car's legs.

How Our Long-Term Rivian R1T Fares in Seriously Cold Weather

Emme Hall took the R1T on a 2,500-mile road trip from California to Colorado by way of Moab, Utah. Off-road, snow and cold weather charging adventures ensued. Read all about it here.


2022 Rivian R1T: Miscellaneous

We don't have anywhere else to put this, so we're putting it here.

A failed stress test for our EV infrastructure

Senior Editor Clint Simone had a frustrating week dealing with the growing pains of America's burgeoning EV infrastructure.

"I took our long-term R1T up Highway 5 to visit family for Thanksgiving. I expected the journey to be more arduous with an EV, but not to the extent that I experienced. While the R1T was a joy to pilot on a road trip, the surrounding infrastructure that it relies on for electricity let us down over and over again."

Problem 1: Broken chargers
"During my trip, I used Electrify America and EVGo charging stations, with the majority of stops at EA. Over the course of eight days, I charged the truck seven times, six of which were at EA stations. In all six instances, at least one charger was completely nonfunctional – at two stations there were multiple machines down. That's right, 100% of my Electrify America charging stops had at least one broken machine. As the company continues its network growth, charger reliability has to be a top priority because right now it is lacking significantly."

Problem 2: High-volume usage
"This was definitely a product of the Thanksgiving holiday, but there were lots of EVs that needed charging. Stations with three or four machines weren't getting the job done, and at three separate locations, lines were starting to form. The worst I saw was six cars deep, amounting to over an hour of wait time before even plugging in. Expansion plans are in the works for Electrify America, but for the time being it's really too late. New EV sales are simply outpacing the number of (working) chargers out there, and the result is a stressful experience, especially during a busy week. What could've been a 6.5-hour drive in a combustion car turned into almost 9 with the Rivian. This was mainly due to overstressed charging stations."

Problem 3: Lack of education/courtesy among drivers
"I found out the hard way this week that not everyone is aware of what their car is capable of as it pertains to charging. During a wait in line for a machine to open up, I talked to a woman who was charging her Kia EV6 to 100%. She refused to unplug prior to full, despite several people waiting. During a charging stop on the way home, I had a man (a fellow Rivian driver) try to plug his truck in while mine was actively charging. In doing so, he actually stopped my charging session. This ended up costing me almost 25 minutes by the time I realized what had happened and returned to my vehicle. Finally, I saw several cars with limited peak charge rates plugged into 350-kW machines. All that mattered to them was that a charger was open, even though their car — a Chevrolet Bolt, for example — couldn't handle anywhere near the max capacity of the machine.

"A great week driving the R1T, but an awful experience with the infrastructure."

You can't deny the R1T's style

"There's a cool factor to the Rivian that you don't get with any other truck, electric or otherwise. As much as I like it, the thing the Ford F-150 Lightning lacks is raw presence. That truck, for better or worse, doesn't look all that much different than the standard F-150. On the other hand, the R1T doesn't really look like any other truck on the road. It stands out, but not in the same way the Tesla Cybertruck will, if Elon's vaporware ever makes it to production.

As someone that commutes through Beverly Hills, I can't imagine that crowd rolling around in Lightnings or F-150s. Meanwhile, Rivian sells an all-electric truck that isn't saddled with the gas-guzzling image of the F-150 or all of the baggage that comes along with driving a Tesla. I've seen quite a few R1Ts and R1Ss rolling around town." — Reese Counts, vehicle test editor

The R1T has made a solid first impression

"This is my first time spending more than a few minutes in a Rivian, and I have to say I'm extremely impressed. Overall quality feels very good, especially compared to our Lucid. The steering is superb, as is the overall handling, especially for an 8,000-plus-pound truck — though the ride in Sport mode is unbearably stiff. I wish Rivian would add Apple CarPlay, especially since there doesn't seem to be much in the way of voice control outside of the Alexa integration. I also can't stand the steering wheel controls being multifunctional, as the lack of labels causes them to be quite confusing at first. Overall, big fan, can't wait to drive it again!" — Ryan Greger, social media content strategist