Rivian R1T first reviews are in: A quick, quiet electric truck made for exploring nature

Tech 29-9-2021 Mashable 61

The first Rivian EV is here: Say hello to the R1T electric truck.

With a $73,000 starting price for the "launch edition," the R1T is going up against other luxury EV brands like Tesla and GMC's Hummer EV. The Tesla Cybertruck won't be here anytime soon — production has been delayed until 2022. Rivian's first vehicle was also held up during the pandemic and parts shortage. But at last, early reservation holders are receiving the truck before the end of the month.

The R1T is the first long-range electric pickup truck to be delivered, but its starting price is nearly double that of the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning. It has over 300-mile range on its 135-kWh battery, plus four electric motors for each wheel. A slimmed down version is expected in January for about $67,500.

The first reviews of the car came in Tuesday after drives of a pre-production version through the Colorado mountains. The consensus: This is a fast, yet quiet battery-powered truck made for camping and outdoor enthusiasts. It can go from 0 to 60mph in three seconds.

TheDrive described it as an REI truck: "Its styling is outstanding, the thoughtful design of its storage and accessories will be catnip to adventurers, and its build quality inspires confidence," reviewer James Gilboy wrote.

He was impressed while heading up a rocky pass and reminded that this is a quiet EV, not a hulking construction truck. He noted, "And not only was this off-roading easy, but it was also downright comfortable, not to mention as quiet as any hike. The only sounds were those of tires on rocks, creeks as we passed them, and the surprised yelps of wildlife that didn't hear us coming."

Bloomberg's Hannah Elliott enjoyed the Patagonia vibes of the rugged ride complete with camping gear, compartments, and attachments built in (there's a gear tunnel and voluminous front trunk, or frunk). But she didn't think it cut it as a tough truck, although it felt sturdier than any Tesla.

"Laden with vegan-leather seats and an all-glass panoramic roof, the R1T is no workhorse," she wrote.

An inside look at the Rivian R1T.
An inside look at the Rivian R1T. Credit: RIVIAN

As The Verge reminded readers, this is the first electric pick-up truck available, so it's setting the tone for what's to come in the space. "Rivian is going after the types of people who buy Subarus and Land Rovers," reviewer Mitchell Clark summed up.

SlashGear's Chris Davies was blown away after off-roading and trail riding, especially in a fully electric 6,000-pound truck. "The truck makes a more than convincing argument that electric is the natural next evolution of the pickup," he wrote.

CNET Roadshow reviewer Antuan Goodwin came to the same conclusion: "The 2022 Rivian R1T is not just the first electric truck, it's a really good truck."

SEE ALSO: Rivian to build exclusive fast charging network, similar to Tesla Superchargers

All reviews noted the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity to the somewhat buggy main touchscreen, but Amazon's Alexa digital assistant will be built-in eventually. Amazon is a main backer after all.

But ultimately the first batch of reviews stacks up with MotorTrend's first impression from an exclusive ride last month: "100 percent amazing."


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