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


Whereas it is onerous to doubt that the Ford F-150 Lightning is essentially the most important electrical truck of the second — exterior of Tesla’s hyperbolic (and nonetheless nonexistent) Cybertruck — it is the Rivian R1T that appears to have captured the hearts and minds of most would-be EV truckers. Quick and succesful with tons of vary, the R1T is the right resolution for lots of the EV-curious on the market, regardless that its current value hike made it even much less attainable than earlier than. Nevertheless, the R1T was all the time supposed to be simply the primary wave, the tip of the patron spear for this California-based startup automaker. The followup is the R1S, which takes the identical primary formulation and packages it in a likable SUV form.

On the floor there’s little that differentiates the 2 Rivians. From head-on they appear all however an identical, and that familiarity continues from the motive force’s seat, too, the place the sprint, inside design and seating place once more are the identical. The specs are largely an identical, as effectively. Each tip the scales at round 7,000 kilos and depend on 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque to maneuver that mass round, leading to a claimed 3-second 0-to-60-mph dash. Energy comes from 4 electrical motors, one per nook, although a much less highly effective (and $6,000 more cost effective) dual-motor variant is coming. 

Each Rivians may also go over 300 miles on a cost with the bigger battery pack, the R1S having a slight benefit of 316 miles versus 314 for the R1T. A smaller pack will quickly be accessible, dropping the vary to round 260 miles (and once more saving $6,000). 

Nevertheless, regardless of the intense similarities, there are some substantial variations, most notable being size. The R1S SUV is greater than 16 inches shorter than the truck, rolling on a 14-inch shorter wheelbase. It loses an inch in peak, too. Regardless of that abbreviated posture, the R1S nonetheless makes room for a 3rd row of seats. And whereas entry and exit is decidedly awkward and legroom within the way-back is at a premium, it is really fairly snug again there. The glass ceiling not solely makes the third row really feel quite a bit much less claustrophobic, but additionally delivers wonderful headroom. 

The R1S’ whole cargo capability is 104.7 cubic ft, with a beneficiant 11-cubic-foot frunk at your disposal. Nevertheless, you do lose the ingenious gear tunnel that bisects the R1T. That is a bummer, however you gotta put these passengers and their ft someplace. 

Finest for people with small ft, however the third row is definitely fairly snug.

Tim Stevens/CNET

On the street, the R1S nonetheless has a truck-like really feel. You are sitting means up tall, no shock there, however the experience and resistance of the steering positively have much more in widespread with a typical half-ton machine than your common car-based crossover. That is not a foul factor, thoughts, and if something it ties into the seemingly infinitely succesful nature of the R1S.

Need to drop the R1S for optimum aerodynamics on the freeway and disable the rear motors for optimum vary? No downside. Need to jack it up for a ridiculous 15 inches of floor clearance and a 3-foot wading depth? Straightforward peasy. Just some faucets on the beneficiant central touchscreen and the automobile repositions itself appropriately, rising or dropping with sufficient rapidity to noticeably disorient your passengers if finished with out warning. 

In reality, there’s loads of alternative for inducing nausea within the R1S, a warning that adventure-seeking mother and father ought to heed. Between the outrageous acceleration and aggressive regeneration, with a experience that is both bumpy on stiff or floaty on tender, it’s going to take a clean driver to make sure that children within the way-back can fortunately keep glued to their iPads. Remember the ginger ale and Dramamine in your first street journey.

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Home windows-down cruising by the woods feels extra like climbing than driving, and that is a stunning factor.   

When the street ends and the path begins, although, all that’s forgotten. EV off-roading is superb on a number of ranges. With all that torque accessible at any velocity, you may simply ease your means up and over obstacles, by no means worrying about falling out of a powerband or stalling. The SUV’s 4 motors ship energy the place you want it routinely, so locking differentials are historical past, however better of all is the near-silence. Home windows-down cruising by the woods feels extra like climbing than driving, and that is a stunning factor.

I ran by a really aggressive off-road course with rocky ruts so deep I believed for certain I might be grinding the half-shafts, but repeatedly I used to be informed to goal for the rut and each time I had room to spare. The 9 exterior cameras make this course of quite a bit simpler, recognizing strains and obstacles, although the cameras themselves are disappointingly low-resolution. Blown as much as full-screen on the R1S’ 15.6-inch central touchscreen, the view exterior seems to be quite a bit like a municipal streaming climate cam put in in 1998. 

General the inside is snug, premium and well-equipped. The complete-length glass roof makes all the things shiny and ethereal, although a sunny day has me wishing for a deployable shade. All three rows are snug sufficient and energy choices abound: A whopping eight USB-C ports are scattered all through the cabin, plus three 12-volt and two 120-volt shops. And if all that is not sufficient, there is a wi-fi charging pad, too. 

Greater than only a long-roof.

Tim Stevens/CNET

The infotainment expertise is usually good, with clearly laid out menus, however some choices are missing. You’ll be able to’t, for instance, tune the extent of resistance on the steering nor go for a extra relaxed throttle mapping. And maybe most problematic, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are each nonetheless lacking. Main producers have lengthy since discovered that that is one thing shoppers demand. It is time for the EV startups to determine it out, too. A 3rd-rate navigation expertise on a $100,000 SUV is unacceptable. 

Sure, you may spend about that a lot on an R1S, which begins at $5,000 greater than a comparable R1T. A base R1S Discover begins at $73,575, together with $1,075 vacation spot. Load yours up with the quad-motor setup, greater battery pack, sport wheels, premium inside and another niceties, and also you’re taking a look at $98,325 totally loaded. That is removed from low-cost, however then this can be a premium car by and thru. 

Does the R1S stay as much as the hype set by its open-bed brethren? Its efficiency definitely would not disappoint and it shares the identical high-end, distinctive design that I and so many others love on the R1T. Sadly, the R1S loses its pricing edge, which implies it isn’t a certain wager for anybody. However for these with the means, this SUV is not going to disappoint.

Editors’ word: Journey prices associated to this story had been lined by the producer, which is widespread within the auto business. The judgments and opinions of CNET’s workers are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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