Is there any real advantage to having the 5 seat configuration?

Scott

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My understanding is that when you configure the R1S as a 5 seater, the cargo area floor is 3 inches lower, increasing cargo area volume by those 3 inches. In reality, my guess is the number of times I will use those 3 inches in a meaningful manner is nearly 0. How often do I have cargo pressed against the ceiling of my SUV? I can't think of any time that has happened in 10 years.

Given that, and given the the following 3 assumptions, can you think of any reason to order the 5 seat version? I don't need 7 seats (family of 3), and all things being equal extra cargo volume is better. But most cars that have options for 5 vs 7 seats have an up charge for that third row. Rivian throws it in for free, and I am assuming having 7 seats will increase resale value as it will make it so larger families would be in the market for that used car.

Ok, here are my 3 assumptions:
* both the 5 and 7 seat versions will allow the area behind the first row to be fully flat
* the 5 seat version does not provide the option for a full size spare (which really should be available in an off road geared vehicle)
* the 5 seat version will not have an option for a bigger battery that requires the use of that extra space. (putting it in other words: battery options will be the same across the 5 and 7 seat versions)
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bajadahl

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Given your assumptions my opinion is there is no reason not to get the extra seats, however, I am still hoping Rivian comes to their senses with the Max Pack 5 seat configuration as originally planned. The only reason to get the 5 seater is for more battery and as you pointed out nominal extra storage space.
 

Speedrye

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I've been thinking about the same thing. I truly have no use for a third row and am heavily leaning towards the 5-seater.

My thoughts are that those seats, mounting brackets, etc weigh something and they take up space, so removing them saves some weight. I don't know how much of a difference 50 lbs makes on a 6k-pound SUV, but every bit helps. Unlike you, I do often fill my SUV to the roof when making a Target or Walmart run (usually jumbo packs of toilet paper and paper towels ride up top against the roof to minimize projectile dangers for me). Other times, I've had taller items in the back that would've fit had I had an additional 3" of height.

The only thing holding me back is the potential hit to resale value as mentioned.

Ideally, they'll take some of that space and offer me a longer-range model on the 5-seater.
 
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Scott

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Given your assumptions my opinion is there is no reason not to get the extra seats, however, I am still hoping Rivian comes to their senses with the Max Pack 5 seat configuration as originally planned. The only reason to get the 5 seater is for more battery and as you pointed out nominal extra storage space.
Yeah, I am hoping 5 seats can either mean a full size spare or more battery room. However, I doubt that will be a case for a while. Adding that kind of variance adds complexity to the manufacturing process, so while it may come at some point, I am not holding out hope in the next year.
 

Daedalus

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My understanding is that when you configure the R1S as a 5 seater, the cargo area floor is 3 inches lower, increasing cargo area volume by those 3 inches. In reality, my guess is the number of times I will use those 3 inches in a meaningful manner is nearly 0. How often do I have cargo pressed against the ceiling of my SUV? I can't think of any time that has happened in 10 years.

Given that, and given the the following 3 assumptions, can you think of any reason to order the 5 seat version? I don't need 7 seats (family of 3), and all things being equal extra cargo volume is better. But most cars that have options for 5 vs 7 seats have an up charge for that third row. Rivian throws it in for free, and I am assuming having 7 seats will increase resale value as it will make it so larger families would be in the market for that used car.

.....
I have a similar question about my R1S configuration, since there was zero cost to getting the 7 seater vs. the 5 (which I had). The rear seats fold flat (mostly), so I am considering switching to 7...just in case I need it.
Anecdotally, I currently have an Acura MDX with the 7 seat option, my car is over 12 years old and the majority of time I have kept the rear seats flat.
If my guide (when they finally contact me) says I don't lose or gain anything with going to 7 seats, then I may leave things at 5 seats.
 

Autolycus

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I'm also on the fence here, but I will thankfully have a good while until I have to commit one way or the other. There will hopefully be lots of details comparisons between the two versions by that time.

One slight counter to your comment about how many times you've ever had cargo filled to the roof: I like being able to see out the back window through my rearview mirror and when turned around to reverse safely. Those 3 inches aren't just to the ceiling. They're also likely to the top of the seat backs. And probably to the bottom of the cargo cover as well. So it's not necessarily just about 3" extra to the roof but could be 3" extra to another meaningful spot in the cargo area.

But this is all total speculation since nobody outside of Rivian has ever seen what the 5-seat back will look like--maybe not even anybody at Rivian has seen one. We don't know what prototypes or pre-production models have been made so far.
 

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One of my top questions that I am looking forward to Rivian answering as well. Without any significant benefit of deleting the third row (I don't consider the extra three inch clearance or weight savings significant), I can't see deleting the third row: it is free (and would be a costly option from many other manufacturers), appears to be of the same high quality of rest of interior and keeps options open for rare occasions when we might actually need it. I imagine trying to retrofit after the fact will be a costly proposition.
 

BigSkies

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As someone with kids, I see the 7 seats as useful.

I’ll just say to keep the 7 seat configuration if your ownership of the R1S will overlap with future kids.

It’s about having a place for grandparents to sit when they visit.
 
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Scott

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FYI, I sent customer service a bunch of questions about the R1S and in general got very little useful information back, here is what I got about 5 vs 7 seats:

My questions to them:
1. I saw the video your CEO shared of the seats folding down to make a completely flat back with the 7 seat configuration, will both the 5 and 7 seat configurations lie completely flat?
2. I also understand the rear cargo floor is 3inches lower with the 5 seat version. Are there any other changes that happen when you select 5 vs 7 seats? More under floor storage? Room for a full size spare tire? anything else?
3. Will a battery larger than the “large pack” be made available on the R1S, and if so will it require the 5 seat configuration for the space?
Here were their responses:
The 5- and 7-seater R1S are almost the same but there are some differences in cargo dimensions. The second and third row seating will fold nearly flat at a 3-degree angle. Here is the full list of the cargo dimensions:

SAE Code
Unit 5 Passenger 7 Passenger
Cargo Floor Length - Maximum Behind Third Row SeatsL212-3mmN/A553
Cargo Floor Length - Maximum Behind Second Row SeatsL212-2mm13151315
Cargo Floor Length - Maximum Behind First Row SeatsL212-1mm21522152
Cargo Width - Maximum Behind Third Row SeatsW3-3mmN/A1298
Cargo Width - Maximum Behind Second Row SeatsW3-3mm12981298
Cargo Width - Maximum Behind First Row SeatsW3-2mm14961496
Cargo Width - MinimumW201 / W202mm11511084
Cargo HeightH201mm925855
Interior Cargo Volume - Maximum Behind Third Row Seats
  • 7-Passenger: No Seats Folded
-LN/A499
Interior Cargo Volume - Maximum Behind Second Row Seats
  • 7-Passenger: Third Row Seat Folded
-L14361323
Interior Cargo Volume - Maximum Behind First Row Seats
  • 5-Passenger: Second Row Seat Folded
  • 7-Passenger: Second and Third Row Seats Folded
-L26122499
Total Enclosed Storage Volume - Maximum-L30792966

If you don’t get a spare tire the compartment it would be stored it can be used for additional storage. The longer-range battery will be coming out for the R1S, but we have not been given a date and it will be available for both the 5- and 7- seater

I had not seen the min width difference anywhere before this response. So the 5 seat version has about 4 cu ft more space behind the second row. I am guessing the width difference comes from whatever structure is on either side of the 3rd row seats being removed. Other than that the fact that having the 5 seat option won't give you a bigger battery option is confirmed.
 

Tatnai

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I think you just sold me on the 5-seater!
And don't forget the kids' friends, when they want to bring a couple along. It's a big win when the only reason to say no is lack of seating space in one vehicle. On the other hand, if you don't like the grandparents or the kids' friends, the 5 seater might be quite attractive...
 

billyt293

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I think going with the 5 seat option may hurt resale value. Even if it's seldom or never used, the industry has convinced consumers that is the standard.
 

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I don't think any of us will know the answer to the advantage of a 5 seater until Rivian releases the higher mileage R1S. At this point, I think it is strictly increased storage space that is the benefit of the 5 seater.

Unless someone can show that Rivian has stated otherwise, it is speculated that the longer range R1S to be announced in the future, may require the 5 seat configuration (or no folding 7 seats) to accomodate a larger battery pack. And that will be the first time I know of a 2nd benefit of the 5 seater v 7 seater.

ON EDIT:

I was looking at a chat conversation I had at Rivian.com on Nov. 17, 2020. This is old info, so may not be relevant but incase it still is helpful, here is what I was told when I asked about 5 v 7:

KING TODD: Can you please tell me beyond the number of seats, does anything change with the R1S (e.g. storage) if I conifgure it for 7 seats v 5 seats
and by storage, I don't mean the obvious storage one gets with one less row of seats, but maybe there is something under wear the seats would be

RIVIAN: I am not aware of any added storage under the seats. With the 7 seats, that 3rd row will fold nearly flat. However, if you only did the 5 seats you would have a completely flat trunk area. That would be the only major difference to my knowledge

KINGTODD: ahh, thank you...very helpful...does the center row fold flat/nearly flat regardless of whether the R1S is a 5 or 7 seater?

RIVIAN: Correct, the second and third rows can fold nearly flat

KINGTODD: Regarding the battery pack, Rivian said it will announce the timing of a "longer range R1S after launch"...when is launch, and will this be the same large batter pack available to the R1T now?

RIVIAN: That's a great question, and I'm actually not sure. I only know the same wording that you know, that it will a longer range battery, but no specifics on the target mileage.

KINGTODD: ok. Last question, can the last row of seats be removed by the owner for a 7 seat configuration in the R1S and reinstalled when needed?

RIVIAN: With a little bit of elbow grease and the right tools, sure! They are bolted in, not welded. However, they aren't engineered for an easy removal.
 
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Scott

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I don't think any of us will know the answer to the advantage of a 5 seater until Rivian releases the higher mileage R1S. At this point, I think it is strictly increased storage space that is the benefit of the 5 seater.

Unless someone can show that Rivian has stated otherwise, it is speculated that the longer range R1S to be announced in the future, may require the 5 seat configuration (or no folding 7 seats) to accomodate a larger battery pack. And that will be the first time I know of a 2nd benefit of the 5 seater v 7 seater.

ON EDIT:

I was looking at a chat conversation I had at Rivian.com on Nov. 17, 2020. This is old info, so may not be relevant but incase it still is helpful, here is what I was told when I asked about 5 v 7:

KING TODD: Can you please tell me beyond the number of seats, does anything change with the R1S (e.g. storage) if I conifgure it for 7 seats v 5 seats
and by storage, I don't mean the obvious storage one gets with one less row of seats, but maybe there is something under wear the seats would be

RIVIAN: I am not aware of any added storage under the seats. With the 7 seats, that 3rd row will fold nearly flat. However, if you only did the 5 seats you would have a completely flat trunk area. That would be the only major difference to my knowledge

KINGTODD: ahh, thank you...very helpful...does the center row fold flat/nearly flat regardless of whether the R1S is a 5 or 7 seater?

RIVIAN: Correct, the second and third rows can fold nearly flat

KINGTODD: Regarding the battery pack, Rivian said it will announce the timing of a "longer range R1S after launch"...when is launch, and will this be the same large batter pack available to the R1T now?

RIVIAN: That's a great question, and I'm actually not sure. I only know the same wording that you know, that it will a longer range battery, but no specifics on the target mileage.

KINGTODD: ok. Last question, can the last row of seats be removed by the owner for a 7 seat configuration in the R1S and reinstalled when needed?

RIVIAN: With a little bit of elbow grease and the right tools, sure! They are bolted in, not welded. However, they aren't engineered for an easy removal.
See my post here https://www.rivianforums.com/forum/...ing-the-5-seat-configuration.2205/#post-59552

CS confirmed to me that the larger battery will be available for the 5 and 7 seat versions
 

Tim-in-CA

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Another thought for consideration of the 7 seater that it does allow you to transport two people in the back sitting tandem (one in 2nd row, one in 3rd row behind the person in the second row), with the opposite sides folded down. This allows you to transport large/bulky items (bike, large items from Costco run!, etc) and still transport 2 people in the back. I know that 2nd row is 3 across, but from the Shatner video today, it looks TIGHT! LOL

I'm ordering the 7 seater!
 
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