- The Rivian R1S is one of the most expensive electric SUVs, starting at $78,000, much more than the Ford Mustang Mach-E ($47,000) and Tesla Model Y ($55,000).
- The 316 miles range of Rivian R1S is due to its 135kWh battery. It takes around 20 minutes to add 140 miles to the carâs range every hour at a DC charging station.
- The R1S lacks Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an easy navigation system, and a massive touchscreen display.
- Although the Rivian R1S has a total cargo space of 104 cubic feet, it only offers 17.6 cubic feet behind the third row of seats.
Everyone loves to go on long weekend trips in a high-end SUV with impressive off-road chops, comfort, and a reduced carbon footprint. The Rivian R1S checks all these boxes like a pro. This mid-size electric SUV offers a great seating arrangement to cater to families of all sizes. However, despite its amazing performance and features, many car enthusiasts are recommending people avoid a Rivian R1S.
Rivian announced the release of the Rivian R1S in 2018, creating immense excitement among car lovers. It became available in 2022 and sold in high numbers. The company then suddenly increased the car’s price, making people question whether it was even worth it.
So, is the Rivian R1S over-hyped? How does it hold up next to high-performing SUVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model X? Let’s find our answers in this guide.
We’ll start with these reasons why you might want to give the R1S a miss.
#1: It Is Super Expensive
The Rivian R1S is one of the most expensive electric SUVs, starting at $78,000. That’s much more than the other models available on the market, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y. The former is priced at $47,000, and the latter at $55,000. Soon after its release, customers started criticizing the Rivian R1s for this reason.
If you’re on a budget, the high price tag is a driving factor in any decision to avoid the Rivian R1S. However, if money is not your issue, you will find this electric SUV the best value for money. It offers 316 miles of range with a towing capacity of 7,700lbs. You may not come across many SUVs with these features, so the high price makes sense.
The R1S is also expensive due to its fancy build and luxurious features, such as a panoramic roof, premium leather seats, and a touchscreen infotainment system.
It’s worth noting that Rivian is a relatively new automotive company, established in 2009. So, it takes time to ramp up production and benefit from economies of scale to manufacture low-priced vehicles.
#2: It Is Available in Limited Areas
Even after a year of its release, the Rivian R1S is only available in some states. If you don’t have a Rivian dealership in your state, you will have to visit the company’s website and place your online order there. This means you won’t be able to inspect the car without buying it, which could be a good reason to avoid a Rivian R1S.
Many factors can result in R1S’s unavailability in all states, including:
- Demand Exceeding the Supply. Despite having a massive price tag, car enthusiasts welcomed the Rivian R1S wholeheartedly. In fact, the company said they received around 49,000 pre-orders in 2021 for this model. So, it’s possible that the vehicle’s demand surpassed its supply, leading to a market shortage.
- Production Issues. Rivian is a relatively new face in the automotive industry, so it must face many issues in R1S production. These include labor shortages, supply chain problems, high manufacturing costs, etc.
- Chip Shortage. Chip shortage was a major concern in 2022, taking a tremendous toll on automotive companies. It also limited the Rivian R1S’ production, leading to only a few manufactured cars.
These are the major reasons behind R1S’s limited availability. On the bright side, the company has claimed to increase its production soon, but it hasn’t defined when. However, the car reservation option is always available on Rivian’s website.
#3: It Takes Longer to Charge
The Rivian R1S has an impressive range of 316 miles at maximum due to the “large” 135kWh battery. However, charging takes significant time, even on a DC fast charger. This means you’ll have to stop at EV chargers frequently during your trip, another reason to avoid a Rivian R1S.
Here is a quick breakdown of the Rivian R1S’ charging times with different types of chargers:
- Level 1 Charging. This is the slowest charging method, usually installed at homes for overnight recharge. These chargers use a standard 120V outlet to add around 3 miles to the vehicle’s range every hour. So, if your R1S is completely empty, it would take around 47 hours to add 140 miles to its range.
- Level 2 Charging. This charging method is relatively faster than Level 1 charging, but still slower than public DC chargers. Level 2 chargers use a 240V outlet to add around 25 miles to the R1S’s range per hour. This means you will have to wait 5.6 hours to add 140 miles to your R1S’s range at a Level 2 station.
- DC Fast Charging. DC charging is the fastest way to recharge an EV. These stations are equipped with DC chargers that add 140 miles to your vehicle’s range in 20 minutes.
Remember, these are just the estimated charging times for the Rivian R1S. Your electric SUV may take longer to charge depending on its battery level, the ambient temperature, and the charger type.
If you plan to take your SUV on a days-long trip, the longer charging time may be a valid reason to avoid a Rivian R1S. However, fortunately, the company is installing 3,500+ DC fast chargers for Rivian vehicles at around 600 locations in the US. That’s indeed very convenient!
#4: It Lacks Many Infotainment Features
The infotainment system is one of the more striking features of an electric SUV. Since these vehicles are designed for road trips, they must have robust infotainment systems with many integrations and modern features.
The Rivian R1S is a modern electric SUV with many infotainment features, but it misses a few necessary ones, such as:
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The major missing features in the R1S infotainment system are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It means you can’t use your smartphone’s music streaming, voice control, and navigation apps to manage your vehicle’s infotainment system.
- Easy Navigation. The R1S uses Mapbox’s navigation system for a Rivian-only experience. Since the vehicle doesn’t support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can’t use Apple Maps or Google Maps in it. Unfortunately, Rivian’s built-in map is super big, with many complicated features that are not easy to use, unlike in other EVs.
- A Small Touchscreen. While a 15.6-inch touchscreen seems more than okay for some car enthusiasts, it isn’t for all of them. Many people find it challenging to interact with R1S’ infotainment system when driving. Comparatively, some high-end electric SUVs have much bigger touchscreens, such as 56 inches in Mercedes EQS, 48 inches in Lincoln Nautilus, and 38 inches in Cadillac Escalade.
Overall, the infotainment system of this vehicle is great, but the above missing features can be a valid reason to avoid a Rivian R1S. However, if the infotainment system isn’t your priority, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you.
#5: It Offers a Limited Storage Space
The Rivian R1S has a significant cargo space of 104 cubic feet, but limited space behind the third row. You will only get 17.6 cubic feet to put in your camping luggage and gear or fit in more passengers.
Compared to other electric SUVs, this cargo area is quite small. For instance, the Tesla Model X has a space of 88.8 cubic feet behind the third seat row, which is more than enough to store luggage camping.
So, why does the R1S SUV have a limited cargo space behind the third row, considering its total cargo space is higher than Model X’s? Well, there are a few factors that result in this issue. First, it’s the large battery pack present in the R1S, which takes up a significant amount of space. The second is the vehicle’s raised suspension, and the third is the sloping roofline. Both these features limit the vertical space in the vehicle’s cargo area.
So, if you’re only planning a short trip with just a few people, the Rivian R1S will still adequately cater to your storage needs. It has 5 to 7 passenger seats and sufficient space for storing camping luggage.
The Rivian R1S is the latest addition to the modern electric SUVs list. From the first look, it’s safe to say that the vehicle has everything an off-road SUV must have. It is stylish from the inside and the outside and has 104 cubic feet of total cargo space for storing camping luggage and catering to 5 to 7 passengers. However, that’s not enough for some people.
This electric SUV lacks necessary infotainment features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It means you can’t use your smartphone’s apps, including music streaming and navigation. Unfortunately, Rivian’s default navigation system is too complicated. These are the major reasons to avoid a Rivian R1S at all costs!
5 Reasons to Avoid a Rivian R1S
|#1. It is super expensive.||The Rivian R1S is priced at $78,000, much more than the Ford Mustang Mach-E ($47,000) and Tesla Model Y ($55,000).|
|#2. It is available in limited areas.||The Rivian R1S’s dealerships may not be available in all US states due to high demand and short supply, production issues, and chip shortage.|
|#3. It takes longer to charge.||The 316 miles range of Rivian R1S is due to its 135kWh battery. It takes around 20 minutes to add 140 miles to the car’s range every hour at a DC charging station. However, this charging time is 47 hours with a Level 1 charger and 5.6 hours with a Level 2 charger.|
|#4. It lacks many infotainment features.||The R1S lacks Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an easy navigation system, and a massive touchscreen display.|
|#5. It offers a limited storage space.||Although the Rivian R1S has a total cargo space of 104 cubic feet, it only offers 17.6 cubic feet behind the third row of seats.|
Avoid a Rivian R1S and Try These Electric SUVs Instead
If the above reasons to avoid a Rivian R1S have convinced you not to buy this electric SUV, you can explore other options in the market. Currently, the best-performing electric SUV is the Tesla Model X, but the Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Ford Mustang Mach-E are also no less attractive.
In fact, these vehicles have the upper hand over the Rivian R1S regarding reliability and customer reviews. All these brands have been around for years, so you can invest in any of them. If budget is your concern, you can even find many affordable yet reliable options, such as the Mustang Mach-E ($47,000), Chevrolet Bolt EUV ($29,000), Hyundai Kona ($35,000), and Volkswagen ID.4 ($41,000).
The easiest way to find your perfect electric SUV is to buy the one that best matches your budget, preferences, and storage requirements. So, evaluate your options and make a wise investment choice!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Mike Mareen/Shutterstock.com.