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Just test drove a Model X...

TheRivian

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I had some spare time on my hands today, and on a whim, I decided to go test drive a Model X. Currently I have a R1S Dual Motor Max Pack.

As a little background, I have only driven a Model Y once before, and that was a rental from Hertz. I was throughly unimpressed by it. The ride was harsh and it felt cheap. So I went into the test drive of the Model X with low expectations

Anyway, I dropped by the local Tesla "store" signed up for a demo, was give a key fob and off I went. The Model X in question was a standard 5 seat Model X with a steering wheel and no stalks.

After driving the car on twisty roads as well as on the highway for around 30 minutes, I came away quite impressed - though to be fair I went in with quite low expectations. Here are some of quick observations:

  • Very quiet compared to my R1S. I didn't hear any of the motor whine and the wind noise was practically non-existent. To be fair we are comparing an egg to a boxy shaped SUV
  • The ride was smoother and felt more planted than the R1S. To be expected as the Model X is a CUV vs the Rivian being an SUV
  • As expected, the X felt more nimble and maneuverable than the R1S.
  • Brake regen was far less dramatic on the X than the R1S. I prefer Rivian's implementation as I feel it is more conducive to 1 pedal driving.
  • The Tesla software stack is simply light years ahead of Rivian's.
  • Having the turn signals on the steering wheel didn't bother me... until I had to use them when the steering wheel was turned e.g. signaling out of a roundabout in which case they are utterly maddening
  • This vehicle had the horn in the center of the steering wheel. , where it should be
  • The R1S simply has far more utility than the Model X if you do outdoor activities such as kayaking, surfing etc as the FWD don't allow for a roof rack.
  • Speaking of the FWD, On the one hand they provide amazing access to the rear seats, on the other hand , and as many have reported, they look like trouble waiting to happen. That said, they opened and closed faster than I expected.
  • The interior of the X is certainly more spartan than the R1S, but it is honestly didn't feel as cheap as I expected it to be. I would say it is at the level of a 50K vehicle. Certainly no where near the level of a European car in the same price range and absolutely atrocious at pre-price cut levels.
I came away from my experience torn. On the one hand I really liked the software stack, performance, handling, and quiet of the X vs the R1S; on the other hand, I like the utility, style, and ruggedness of the R1S. Ultimately that isn't surprising when you think about the architecture and goal of each vehicle.

At the end of the day, it comes down to horses for courses.
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ironpig

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My parents have an X. The Falcon doors have never failed, but they are a constant annoyance. They don't do anything better than a normal door. Everyone who has to get in and out of them hates them.
 

DuoRivians

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R1S is much more nimble than the model X. Are you kidding me? This review lost all credibility once that was said.

And the software is just at different levels of maturity. For where Rivian’s is, it is written much better and at higher quality.
 

rhumbliner

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Having the turn signals on the steering wheel didn't bother me... until I had to use them when the steering wheel was turned e.g. signaling out of a roundabout in which case they are utterly maddening
It took me awhile to figure out how to handle roundabouts. Once I learned the best hand/finger placement it was a breeze to signal.
 

Mr. Ham

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I was disappointed to realize they cost you the roof use as well. As a SUV, you want to use a ski box, Xmas tree transport, etc.

My parents have an X. The Falcon doors have never failed, but they are a constant annoyance. They don't do anything better than a normal door. Everyone who has to get in and out of them hates them.
 

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usofrob

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R1S is much more nimble than the model X. Are you kidding me? This review lost all credibility once that was said.

And the software is just at different levels of maturity. For where Rivian’s is, it is written much better and at higher quality.
That surprised me as well. But it seems the OP doesn't have Performance, maybe they aren't familiar with Sport mode.
 

KRG

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As an owner of both I don’t see how Tesla software is light years ahead. Slightly better in some areas, but Rivian’s is pretty dang close. Far better than Lucid and others I checked out as of now.

Also the MY is thoroughly impressive, not unimpressive, when you consider its price point which is half of an average R1 or Model X.

Overall good write up though. I enjoy test driving various cars for the heck of it as well.
 

sphereobject

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I have a 2023 X Plaid and a 2023 R1S Quad. They are completely different vehicles and both are amazing. The X Plaid is for fun and the R1S is for utility. I feel the X will have some value left in 5 years, and I feel like the R1S could be a paperweight in 5 years.
 

emoore

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R1S is much more nimble than the model X. Are you kidding me? This review lost all credibility once that was said.

And the software is just at different levels of maturity. For where Rivian’s is, it is written much better and at higher quality.
Maybe they edited the post but it says the X is more nimble than the R1S.
 

ironpig

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I was disappointed to realize they cost you the roof use as well. As a SUV, you want to use a ski box, Xmas tree transport, etc.
yeah that's a great point. My folks are older so they don't use the roof f0or anything,, but that would be a dealbreaker for me.
 

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TexasBob

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I agree mostly with OP. Model X is much more agile on Moose test/slalom and other urban environment issues. No contest. I agree with other comments as well vs my R1S. I agree that Tesla software is significantly ahead, but Rivian is very good. There are aspects of both that I like better than the other when I switch between our Tesla (model s) and the R1T. Driver + still mostly blows and not even in same league as EAP!

To me, the X has always been ugly. It is the only one of Tesla's vehicles (CT included!) that I really do not like. The proportions seem off to me and I think the FWDs are stupid.

We found for us the sweet spot is Model S (wife's daily driver) and R1T (mine). I will generally take the S on road trips with its monster range, FSD, etc., but love the R1T for everything else. With access to the SC network i will give the R1T a try again on longer trips but it is difficult to beat a Tesla as a road-tripper.
 

Redmond Chad

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I've had a 2023 R1S (quad, large pack) for 10 months. My wife has had a 2023 X for 4 months; before that she had a 2017 X for 6 years. Despite the X being my wife's car, I've been driving it quite a bit lately (the carseats for the grandkids are in her car).

The OP's take on the two vehicles matches mine quite well. Basically it boils down to the X is a better "car" and the R1S is a better "truck", and that matches their design goals so is really not a surprise. I am fortunate to be in a position where we can take advantage of the strong points of each. The X is for around town, grandkid duty, and road trips for the two of us. The R1S is for towing, dump runs, moving furniture, and going places with my son's family (we don't all fit in the 5-seater X). It of course is also better off-road, though we don't use it for that.

DuoRivians, when you say the R1S is more nimble, do you mean off-road? I'm sure that is true, but it has not been our experience on-road. The R1S is extremely good considering its size, weight and off-road capabilities (and yes, I put it in Sport mode whenever I can), but I still enjoy driving the X more in the twisties. (The 2023 X, that is. The R1S is better than the 2017 X, which was notably worse in the ride, handling and noise departments). Of course, there are plenty of sport-oriented smaller vehicles that are far better than either of them.

As for the falcon-wing doors...they were not what we were looking for when we bought the 2017 X, and I agree they never had any advantages for adult passengers. But they are great when you are putting kids into car seats in the back; in fact that's one of the main reasons my wife insisted on a new X to replace her old one.
 
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DuoRivians

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I've had a 2023 R1S (quad, large pack) for 10 months. My wife has had a 2023 X for 4 months; before that she had a 2017 X for 6 years. Despite the X being my wife's car, I've been driving it quite a bit lately.

The OP's take on the two vehicles matches mine quite well. Basically it boils down to the X is a better "car" and the R1S is a better "truck", and that matches their design goals so is really not a surprise. I am fortunate to be in a position where we can take advantage of the strong points of each. The X is for around town, grandkid duty, and road trips for the two of us. The R1S is for towing, dump runs, moving furniture, and going places with my son's family (we don't all fit in the 5-seater X). It of course is also better off-road, though we don't use it for that.

DuoRivians, when you say the R1S is more nimble, do you mean off-road? I'm sure that is true, but it has not been our experience on-road. The R1S is extremely good considering its size, weight and off-road capabilities (and yes, I put it in Sport mode whenever I can), but I still enjoy driving the X more in the twisties. (The 2023 X, that is. The R1S is better than the 2017 X, which was notably worse in the ride, handling and noise departments).

As for the falcon-wing doors...they were not what we were looking for when we bought the 2017 X, and I agree they never had any advantages for adult passengers. But they are great when you are putting kids into car seats in the back; in fact that's one of the main reasons my wife insisted on a new X to replace her old one.
You can drive an R1S hard at turns without losing confidence it’ll miss the turn. It can take absorb more Gs, speed out of turns, generally be pushed harder.

The MX simply doesn’t have adequate suspension to do this. It’s fast for going straight but that’s it.
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