Ford F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T: Must-Know Facts
- The Rivian R1T comes equipped with twice as many motors and delivers 835hp versus 580hp from the F-150 Lightning
- Both trucks get approximately the same battery capacity of around 300 miles
- The F-150 Lightning has a larger bed, superior tie-down points, and better rear outlets for getting work done
- The Rivian R1T offers an 11,000 lbs. Towing capacity and the Lightning offers 10,000 lbs. Of capacity. The Rivian pulls heavy loads more easily overall
- The Rivian has selectable battery charge levels, and the Ford F-150 defaults to a 90% charge every time.
- Most Rivian R1T configurations are approximately $10,000 more than similar Ford F-150 Lightning configurations
Electric trucks aren’t common, and they’re an exciting new idea that buyers in the US are just beginning to explore.
That’s why we knew we had to try and answer the question of the F-150 Lightning vs the Rivian R1T and which one is the better truck. We aren’t going to say which one of these vehicles is our top pick right away, but we will say that both trucks are impressive, and they’re a lot of fun to use.
Read all the way through this write-up to learn which truck is the better option for you and whether you should be shopping for an electric truck or if you aren’t ready for that technology just yet.
Ford F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T: Side by Side Comparison
The first thing any potential buyer should do is look at the specifications for both trucks. The specifications give away what you can expect from each truck, and for some buyers, they are all that’s needed to choose the right option.
|Number of Motors
|Battery Capacity (kWh)
|Estimated Range (Miles)
Ford F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T: What’s the Difference?
Even though both the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T are similar electric trucks, they have key differences worth noting. Getting familiar with the differences in motor configurations, raw power, towing capabilities, interior quality, and more will help you decide which truck will meet your needs and which is best.
The Rivian is Better for Towing
The Ford F-150 Lightning may be the better option when it comes to hauling, but the Rivian R1T gets ahead again due to its more impressive towing. If you want to pull heavy loads the Rivian has a slightly higher towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. versus 10,000 for the F-150. Those weight limits don’t tell the full story though.
The Rivian feels smoother and more at home when towing a heavy load. The truck is quick and fun to drive when towing, and the regenerative braking works better when going downhill than Ford’s brake system. Overall, towing with the Rivian is a better experience even if Ford manages a decent driving experience as well.
If you care about towing, and you want the best towing experience, you should think of the Rivian. However, if you’re more concerned with an all-around work truck, these two competitors are close together and we think the F-150 is more versatile overall.
Software and Driver Assistance Differences
Each truck comes with an advanced driver assistance program that enables drivers to ride down interstates and other long straightaways without keeping their hands on the wheels.
With both trucks having advanced assistance programs, which is the better of the two options, and are the differences big enough for it to matter? We weren’t surprised to see that the Ford offers a more confident and enjoyable self-driving experience.
The truck didn’t have as many jerky reactions, it handled a wider variety of driving conditions and it was more reassuring to use overall. The differences between these two systems aren’t huge though, and both are capable and effective. Rivian benefits from regular updates and is likely to improve significantly.
Both Trucks Offer a Similar Charging Experience
On paper, the Rivian delivers a more capable charger by offering a 220 kW peak charger while the Ford only offers a 150 kW charger, but in practice, the chargers are much more similar in performance than you would expect. The Ford charges at a higher rate than its specifications would indicate, and the Rivian underperforms compared to its specifications.
The end result is that both trucks charge in a similar amount of time with the Rivian having a slight edge in speed. You shouldn’t expect to save more than 10 minutes when charging to 80 percent power with both vehicles, which means that either option will give you the same charging experience in our opinion.
The Rivian Delivers a Superior Software Experience
The Rivian is equipped with a larger and more capable media display, but what we really ended up caring about was that the software is faster and more user-friendly than Ford’s overall.
While some functions were buried in menus on the Rivian, and the digital HVAC blowers are cumbersome to use compared to Ford’s manual vents, the Rivian is faster and more enjoyable overall.
Rivian owners also get better control over different charging thresholds, being able to swap between 85% capacity for daily driving, 90% for longer trips, and 100% for road trips. The F150 defaults to 90% and makes drivers struggle to get it to charge to full capacity when more range is necessary.
The Rivian also offers a Pet mode that keeps the cabin at a comfortable temperature when you’re away from the truck. This is a feature that the F-150 Lightning doesn’t currently offer.
It’s important to note that the Rivian isn’t likely to offer support for Android Auto in the future, while the F150 will support Android devices. Both vehicles are expected to support Apple Carplay. Each software option is usable, but Rivian stands out in this part of the F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1T comparison.
Ford Offers a Larger and More Comfortable Interior
Another area that most buyers will no doubt be interested in is the interior of the vehicles. While both trucks look nice inside, and they’re comfortable, the Ford F-150 Lightning stood out for its superior storage features and for offering more interior space altogether.
It’s just a more comfortable ride inside, and with more than twice as many cup holders, bigger internal storage compartments, and more comfort features, it’s the winner if you’re out for comfort or if you’re going to be carrying more passengers. The Rivian is an adventuring vehicle, the Ford is more of an everyday driver.
Comparing the Costs
Both trucks are similarly priced, but the Rivian comes out at around $10,000 more expensive when configured similarly. It’s important to recognize that the Rivian is more powerful and has twice as many motors as the F-150 Lightning, but the trucks still performed similarly in so many different areas that it isn’t clear that the Rivian is worth the extra cash.
If you’re having trouble choosing one truck over the other, the price difference may be what you need to help you decide on a product.
Summary F-150 Lightning Vs Rivian R1t: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use?
Answering the question of which truck is best isn’t as simple as some buyers think. The truth is, which option is best depends on you and how you’ll use the truck.
While we slightly prefer the practicality and versatility of the F-150 Lightning, true adventurers are going to go for the Rivian every time. Towing and driving are both better in the Rivian, and comfort and practical hauling are better in the Ford.
Decide what features mean the most to you and choose the truck you want based on all those considerations. That’s the only way you’re going to get the vehicle you’re happiest with. Deciding which is best in the battle of F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1t depends on which benefit means most to you.
Both trucks are highly capable, they’re both worthwhile if you want a high-performing electric pickup, but they’re designed for different people. Choose the option that’s going to bring you the most joy and you can’t go wrong.
For some drivers, that means choosing the Rivian for raw performance and spending a bit more. For others, the F150 is the comfort vehicle that’s more practical and user-friendly. Both options are right when chosen for the right reasons.
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