Jeeves

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After a week and a thousand miles with my R1T I feel like I have a good handle on the car.

My comments will primarily compare it to my Model Y Long Range with acceleration boost, but it has such a broad range of capabilities that I’ll ultimately compare certain aspects to other cars I’ve owned, including three Porsches, a Ferrari, an NSX, C8 Corvette, and the last two generations of Mercedes E-Class.

Performance
Of course it surpasses my MY, but between 4 and three seconds in an electric vehicle it’s thrilling either way off the line. The R1T does a better job of sustaining the thrust as speeds climb. I have the road tires and the way it puts down traction in a straight line is phenomenal, but honestly so was the Tesla system.

Cornering
One of the revelations of the car. The ability to maintain a flat cornering stance in soft suspension mode is uncanny. It definitely shares characteristics with McLaren in that respect.
Having said that it can’t corner at the same speeds as the MY. Ultimately it’s physics. Too much weight and too much tire sidewall. Do I want to corner that fast? No. The way this truck glides around it actually changes how I drive. More relaxed, and using the abundant thrust only when needed.

Steering
Wow. Don’t know how they dialed this in so well. Perfect. If the Tesla felt like a typical dead epas system (albeit with a great steering ratio), the Rivian feels like a hybrid between an epas system and a hydraulic system. I picked this up pretty quickly in a test drive and 1,000 miles with my own car hasn’t changed my perspective.

Ride
Another revelation. I’ve experienced air suspension systems that get much firmer and more fidgety as you raise the ride height. The R1T is smoother than either one of my Mercedes in soft mode.
Firm mode? I don’t use it. I don’t like it. On the highway it produces front-to-rear rocking almost like porpoising. It can probably be recalibrated with SW, and IMHO it should. Thankfully the soft setting is peerless.

Storage
Beats anything I can think of in both the combination of storage locations and their usability.
Frunk - weather sealed and fits two sets of golf clubs. Powered system is great.
Gear tunnel - taller than expected, seems bigger in reality. Golf clubs are easier to get in and out than I expected. My son’s telescoping fishing rod fits in there fully extended.
Trunk - it’s a trunk, really. Can’t say much else. The power and the compressor make it more usable. I set a 37 inch LED TV in there so my son could watch basketball while practicing basketball. For me the powered tonneau is a must.
Under-seat storage in rear. No more or less room than you’d imagine. What matters here is that the folding seat mechanism works really well.

Noise Suppression
Surprisingly good. Better than my Mercedes.
Where it excels is in suppressing tire and road noise.
In the simplest sense on the highway a traditional car noise is engine + road + wind. My MY was road + wind. My R1T is primarily wind. Of course if you don’t like the variability of wind noise you will ‘hear’ it more, so it’s a more subjective experience than the story a decibel meter might tell.

Paint and Fit & Finish
The paint quality is about 100 times better than my MY and I unusually got to post that from a number of cars at the service center. Even measuring all MYs with a paint depth gauge my example still wasn’t close to the luster and evenness of flake and flop of the Rivian.
Fit and finish is much better than my Tesla. A couple of really small serviceable issues like the PPF on one side of the gear tunnel having a stretch mark in it, and a little nick in the plastic surround trim on the passenger side mirror. Small, easily swappable things.

Interior
Probably the best part. Everything is functional but the feeling and sense of occasion beats everything I’ve experienced. My last E-Class was my last benchmark for that.
Don’t fear the black interior. In reality it’s a great selection of shades and textures vs. monolithic black. The wood has gray and brown tones. The alcantara-ish roof lining almost has some gray-purple tones.
Seat comfort is on par with the MY, which is saying a lot because that had the best seats I’ve ever experienced.
Seat cooling is Porsche-good. That’s in comparison to my wife’s MDX which is really weak, and, say, a Mustang which just seems to make fan noise.

Charging
The Tesla charging network is (currently) a massive advantage. It just is. It works, the charging rates are consistent.
Also compared to the MY they both have about 300 miles or range, but I don’t think that tells the story…
The R1T has a ‘real’ 300 miles in my experience. I can actually rely on it. The MY’s 300 was more like 240 to me and the range estimate randomly tumbles.
On the other hand, the Tesla range is based on a much smaller battery pack, meaning (with the same KWH charger) the R1T would take much longer -and cost more - to replace, say, 100 miles. That’s just reality from my vantage point. I’m good with it.

App
Basic. Really basic. Sometimes the proximity opening works well. Sometimes, not so much. The Tesla system wasn’t perfect, but it was better. The Tesla app is more sophisticated and - currently - just looks better and works better.

Conclusion
It’s the most complete vehicle of any type I’ve ever owned. By a margin. An enormous margin. No matter what the use case it’s the car I want to drive. My C8 obviously has it’s own strong qualities, but right now it’s sitting in the garage.

Disclaimer
I own no Rivian Stock. I own no Tesla stock. Maybe there’s some of either buried in funds but not that I’m aware of.

 

AdamUCF

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Thanks for this! Makes me feel better about selling my C7 vette in favor of the Rivian. I "need" a truck to tow my boat and other utilitarian things but I also "need" a fun car. Rivian seems to give me all of that in one. Thankfully I should know in a few weeks :)
 
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Jeeves

Jeeves

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Thanks for this! Makes me feel better about selling my C7 vette in favor of the Rivian. I "need" a truck to tow my boat and other utilitarian things but I also "need" a fun car. Rivian seems to give me all of that in one. Thankfully I should know in a few weeks :)
Since you need a truck, I really don’t think you could get a better ‘do-all’ vehicle than the R1T. Just be ready for the amount of attention you’ll get… it easily surpasses my C8 or any GT Porsche I’ve owned.
 
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Jeeves

Jeeves

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A couple of things I forget to mention in my original post:

Lane Keep Assist is way too sensitive. Observing operation using the wheel cameras, it applies steering correction when your wheel is still 6-8 inches from the lane marker. On a narrow-ish road in a wide-ish vehicle you feel like a bowling ball ricocheting back-and-forth off of the lane bumpers.

The camp speaker is actually really good and seems to reliably transfer the music playing in the car to the speaker when you pull it out. At least when the source is music on my iPhone (need to test more).

I just had the home charger installed today with 6AWG and 60 amp breaker and it’s reliably giving me 24.2 miles per hour of range.

The rear compartment AC has both head and feet vents. Combined with the passenger seat’s ability to slide WAY forward, you can turn the rear seat into a nice office while charging.
 


mini2nut

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Great review.

We typically get 15% less than advertised range on our Model Y. It’s been that way since new. We now have 24k miles on the odometer.
 

R1Tom

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I don't think it is possible to fly low in the R1T. And won't be for a while. It is easily the most attention getting vehicle I have ever been in...to point I actually use other cars when I do want to fly under radar. Also agree....it does so many things so well, it is crazy. Most complete by a large margin. The combinations of technologies used hits a sweet spot for sure. Someday I am sure we will get C8 type cars, with optimized electric drivetrains that don't cost $1M dollars, and they will be amazing. But for now...this R1T does a darn good job of imitating one...with tons of room and a pick up bed too!
 

zefram47

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Firm mode? I don’t use it. I don’t like it. On the highway it produces front-to-rear rocking almost like porpoising. It can probably be recalibrated with SW, and IMHO it should. Thankfully the soft setting is peerless.
Glad to see someone else saying the same thing I did after my test drive. Many laughed it off, but it was really bad. I didn't try driving in soft during my short test drive and I probably should've. But I ripped it up a canyon and still had fun. Obviously doesn't compare with a sports car, but even on the ATs it'll shred harder than a 7k lbs vehicle has any right to. I really do hope they can retune the dampers for firm mode with software though, but it's unclear just how much capability they have there. I suspect in the lower ride heights it's undersprung and trying to make up for it with damping and with that much weight and a super long wheelbase it just doesn't work well.
 
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Jeeves

Jeeves

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Glad to see someone else saying the same thing I did after my test drive. Many laughed it off, but it was really bad. I didn't try driving in soft during my short test drive and I probably should've. But I ripped it up a canyon and still had fun. Obviously doesn't compare with a sports car, but even on the ATs it'll shred harder than a 7k lbs vehicle has any right to. I really do hope they can retune the dampers for firm mode with software though, but it's unclear just how much capability they have there. I suspect in the lower ride heights it's undersprung and trying to make up for it with damping and with that much weight and a super long wheelbase it just doesn't work well.
It reminds me in a sense of the old PASM system in 911s, where my inclination was to put it in ‘sport’ because I was doing sporty driving, but in reality all it seemed to do was impact the ride and reduce the suspension compliance. It doesn’t add anything to the already fantastic suspension setup for road driving. Soft is perfect.
 

Iwantatesla

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Have you tried Normal Ride Height and Stiff Damping? It's freaking amazing. I should note I am on 20" AT's so it's probably compensating for the squishiness.
 


Iwantatesla

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Glad to see someone else saying the same thing I did after my test drive. Many laughed it off, but it was really bad. I didn't try driving in soft during my short test drive and I probably should've. But I ripped it up a canyon and still had fun. Obviously doesn't compare with a sports car, but even on the ATs it'll shred harder than a 7k lbs vehicle has any right to. I really do hope they can retune the dampers for firm mode with software though, but it's unclear just how much capability they have there. I suspect in the lower ride heights it's undersprung and trying to make up for it with damping and with that much weight and a super long wheelbase it just doesn't work well.
They definitely can tune with software. Ride comfort on Low + Stiff when I got the thing in December felt like super harsh coil overs. Now it feels much more dialed in and controlled in that same setting.
 
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Jeeves

Jeeves

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Have you tried Normal Ride Height and Stiff Damping? It's freaking amazing. I should note I am on 20" AT's so it's probably compensating for the squishiness.
No, I’ll have to try that and report back. Since I have the road tires it’ll be interesting to see how it compares.
 

AxelR

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The rear compartment AC has both head and feet vents. Combined with the passenger seat’s ability to slide WAY forward, you can turn the rear seat into a nice office while charging.
You mention head and feet vent.
Could you post pictures of the head vents? I didn’t notice them during the first mile drive or my visit at the Venice hub despite looking for them. Thank you
 
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Jeeves

Jeeves

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You mention head and feet vent.
Could you post pictures of the head vents? I didn’t notice them during the first mile drive or my visit at the Venice hub despite looking for them. Thank you
The head vents are actually the most visible/obvious vents, and I believe the feet vents are under the front seats.
A4933BEB-E58B-4B60-B7A1-7B0B8D5E30AF.jpeg


4E1FF164-2CF1-4AEC-A2E4-18E539E7B01C.jpeg
 

AxelR

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The head vents are actually the most visible/obvious vents, and I believe the feet vents are under the front seats.
A4933BEB-E58B-4B60-B7A1-7B0B8D5E30AF.jpeg


4E1FF164-2CF1-4AEC-A2E4-18E539E7B01C.jpeg
Ah, I thought you meant something completely different.
I did see these.
What I thought you meant were vents in the ceiling like you can find in LR or SUVs (not sure about trucks - my Raptor doesn’t have them).
Thank you
 

 
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