2022 Rivian R1S First Drive Review: Third Row, First Class

Although it can be challenging to question that the Ford F-150 Lightning is the most major electrical truck of the moment — outdoors of the hyperbolic (and even now nonexistent) Tesla Cybertruck — it is really the Rivian R1T that seems to have captured the hearts and minds of most would-be EV truckers. Quick and capable with tons of range, the all-electric powered R1T is the ideal answer for a whole lot of the EV-curious out there, even while its recent selling price hike built it even less attainable than just before. Even so, the R1T was always intended to be just the first wave, the suggestion of the client spear for this California-centered startup automaker. The followup is the R1S, which will take the very same essential method and packages it in a likable SUV shape — still with the exact same battery-powered main.

On the surface area there is minimal that differentiates the two Rivians. From head-on they appear all but equivalent, and that familiarity carries on from the driver’s seat, way too, in which the sprint, interior structure and seating position once again are the same. The specs are mostly cloned, as well. Equally suggestion the scales at all-around 7,000 pounds and depend on 835 horsepower and 908 pound-toes of torque to move that mass around, ensuing in a claimed 3-2nd -to-60-mph dash. Electric power comes from 4 electric powered motors, one per corner, however a less impressive (and $6,000 much less high-priced) twin-motor variant is coming. 

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=CivA1abFEVk

Both equally Rivians will also go over 300 miles on a charge with the greater battery pack, the R1S having a slight edge of 316 miles versus 314 for the R1T. A lesser pack will shortly be obtainable, dropping the selection to all over 260 miles (and once more conserving $6,000). 

Nonetheless, despite the excessive similarities, there are some significant discrepancies, most notable becoming length. The R1S SUV is far more than 16 inches shorter than the truck, rolling on a 14-inch shorter wheelbase. It loses an inch in height, as well. Regardless of that abbreviated posture, the R1S even now can make space for a third row of seats. And when entry and exit is decidedly awkward and legroom in the way-back again is at a top quality, it really is truly reasonably snug again there. The glass ceiling not only can make the 3rd row come to feel a large amount fewer claustrophobic, but also provides great headroom. 

The R1S’ complete cargo ability is 104.7 cubic toes, with a generous 11-cubic-foot frunk at your disposal. However, you do lose the ingenious gear tunnel that bisects the R1T. That’s a bummer, but you gotta set those passengers and their ft somewhere. 

The all-electric 2022 Rivian R1S SUV looking cool in a light green and bright sunshine.

Most effective for individuals with modest feet, but the 3rd row is actually fairly relaxed.

Tim Stevens/CNET

On the street, the R1S continue to has a truck-like come to feel. You are sitting down way up tall, no shock there, but the experience and resistance of the steering certainly have a great deal extra in popular with a normal 50 percent-ton equipment than your regular car or truck-based crossover. That’s not a bad issue, thoughts, and if anything it ties into the seemingly infinitely capable character of the R1S.

Want to drop the R1S for maximum aerodynamics on the freeway and disable the rear motors for most vary? No difficulty. Want to jack it up for a ridiculous 15 inches of floor clearance and a 3-foot wading depth? Effortless peasy. Just a several faucets on the generous central touchscreen and the motor vehicle repositions by itself appropriately, growing or dropping with more than enough rapidity to severely disorient your passengers if accomplished devoid of warning. 

In actuality, there is a lot of option for inducing nausea in the R1S, a warning that adventure-looking for mom and dad must heed. Concerning the outrageous acceleration and aggressive regeneration, with a experience which is either bumpy on rigid or floaty on soft, it’ll just take a easy driver to ensure that kids in the way-back can fortunately remain glued to their iPads. Will not ignore the ginger ale and Dramamine on your very first street vacation.

The all-electric 2022 Rivian R1S SUV looking cool in a light green and bright sunshine.

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The all-electric 2022 Rivian R1S SUV looking cool in a light green and bright sunshine.

Tim Stevens/CNET

When the road finishes and the path commences, however, all that is neglected. EV off-roading is remarkable on numerous amounts. With all that torque readily available at any velocity, you can just relieve your way up and about obstacles, in no way stressing about slipping out of a powerband or stalling. The SUV’s four motors send out electricity where by you require it mechanically, so locking differentials are record, but best of all is the close to-silence. Windows-down cruising through the woods feels much more like climbing than driving, and which is a charming matter.

I ran by means of a incredibly aggressive off-highway class with rocky ruts so deep I imagined for certain I’d be grinding the 50 percent-shafts, yet once more and yet again I was informed to aim for the rut and each and every time I had place to spare. The nine exterior cameras make this course of action a large amount less complicated, spotting lines and obstacles, however the cameras on their own are disappointingly lower-resolution. Blown up to comprehensive-screen on the R1S’ 15.6-inch central touchscreen, the look at outside seems to be a great deal like a municipal streaming climate cam mounted in 1998. 

Over-all the inside is comfy, quality and nicely-geared up. The comprehensive-length glass roof tends to make almost everything brilliant and ethereal, although a sunny day has me wishing for a deployable shade. All a few rows are comfy more than enough and electrical power choices abound: A whopping eight USB-C ports are scattered all over the cabin, plus 3 12-volt and two 120-volt retailers. And if all that’s not sufficient, you will find a wireless charging pad, far too. 

The all-electric 2022 Rivian R1S SUV looking cool in a light green and bright sunshine.

Extra than just a extensive-roof.

Tim Stevens/CNET

The infotainment practical experience is usually great, with clearly laid out menus, but some options are lacking. You won’t be able to, for case in point, tune the level of resistance on the steering nor opt for a additional peaceful throttle mapping. And perhaps most problematic, Android Car and Apple CarPlay are both equally continue to lacking. Main companies have lengthy given that learned that this is some thing individuals need. It’s time for the EV startups to figure it out, much too. A 3rd-charge navigation working experience on a $100,000 SUV is unacceptable. 

Certainly, you can invest about that much on an R1S, which starts at $5,000 extra than a equivalent R1T. A foundation R1S Discover commences at $73,575, such as $1,075 desired destination. Load yours up with the quad-motor set up, more substantial battery pack, sport wheels, high quality inside and some other niceties, and you’re searching at $98,325 absolutely loaded. That’s much from low-cost, but then this is a top quality car by means of and through. 

Does the R1S stay up to the hype set by its open-mattress brethren? Its all-electrical functionality unquestionably won’t disappoint and it shares the exact substantial-finish, exclusive style and design that I and so lots of others appreciate on the R1T. Sadly, the R1S loses its pricing edge, which indicates it is really not a sure guess for any person. But for all those with the usually means, this SUV will not disappoint.

Editors’ note: Journey costs associated to this tale had been lined by the maker, which is common in the car industry. The judgments and opinions of CNET’s team are our very own and we do not accept paid editorial articles.