2022 Rivian R1T: What's It Like to Live With?
Electric pickup trucks are now a thing and we just bought one.
|Miles Driven:||Average kWh/100:|
Latest Highlights (updated 06/27/22)
- Introducing our brand-new 2022 Rivian R1T Launch Edition
- 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 raveneous appetite for electrons?
- We get up close and personal with the R1T in our new Interior section.
What We Bought And Why
• Our test vehicle: 2021 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)
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 Fuel Economy
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): 48.9
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: 1,874
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."
"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
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 air tight 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 cabin. Not sure a software update is going to be able to fix this."