5 Reasons to Avoid a Rivian R1T At All Costs


5 Reasons to Avoid a Rivian R1T At All Costs

Key Points

  • The Rivian R1T has several reasons to avoid it, including being a beta tester for a brand-new vehicle with potential safety concerns.
  • The high initial cost of the Rivian R1T, starting at $73,000, may not be worth it compared to more established electric vehicles.
  • Rivian has a limited service and maintenance network, making it difficult for owners to find support centers, especially in rural areas.
  • The Rivian R1T has poor systems and processes, including compatibility issues with other software and a lack of effective customer support.
  • Customers have complained about the inadequate customer service provided by Rivian, including broken promises and long wait times for repairs.
  • Alternative electric vehicles to consider include the Ford F-150 Lightning, 2022 Atlis XT, Lordstown Endurance Electric Pickup, and Tesla Cybertruck.

Rivian makes some of the most eye-catching EVs on the market, but there are a few reasons to avoid a Rivian R1T. As far as electric vehicles go, more goes into making a good selection than just looks.

You need to account for things like features, range, repairability, and overall value for the money. If you’re looking for an adventure vehicle or pickup, you have an even more stringent list of requirements to look at.

When the Rivian R1T was announced with its 3 feet of water submersion capabilities and virtually every terrain being considered fair game, we all thought it would be the answer to our adventuring needs. However, after recent testing, many drivers have brought up complaints that make this EV less than ideal. In today’s article, we’re diving into the top five reasons to avoid a Rivian R1T. Let’s get into it!

5 Reasons to Avoid the Rivian R1T

Going for an electric vehicle can be a great investment to make. The industry still has a long way to go. But so did smartphones when they first started in the market; it’s a process. With that said, some electric vehicles are more worth it and are farther along, than others.

At the end of the day, the Rivian R1T still leaves a lot to be desired. You’re better off buying a more established electric vehicle for now. Let’s look at why.

Rivian R1T
All Rivian vehicles come with a dual-voltage portable Rivian mobile charger that’s stored under the false floor inside the frunk.

©Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

Reason 1: You’re a Beta Tester

Do you remember when the first iPhone came out? How cool it was to look at, and how insanely futuristic the concept was, but the devastation once you discovered its lousy performance? The Rivian R1T is no different. It’s the first model, the first vehicle manufactured by Rivian, and you are, therefore, a beta tester for the company.

That essentially makes you a guinea pig left to discover everything wrong with it so they know what to improve. Some drivers like being the first ones to see a new model up close and personal. But it’s not for everyone.

Being a beta tester isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But with a minimum $73,000 price tag, is it really worth buying a vehicle that might only work part of the time? Every tech company has to start somewhere. And the first edition of any tech product is going to have several kinks to work out.

If you want to be a beta tester, take it easier on your wallet and go for something that won’t put your life at risk when it malfunctions. That brings us to our next reason to avoid a Rivian R1T.

Reason 2: High Initial Cost

The current starting price for the most basic version of a Rivian R1T is about $73,000, and that’s before any driving system or all-terrain upgrades. That is a hefty price to pay for a vehicle that may turn out to be a lemon for you. You can get equivalent electric adventure vehicles between $30,000-$60,000. Is it worth all the extra money for a brand-new model that still comes with a slew of issues?

A price that high can certainly be worth it for some. But for most of us, you’re better off waiting for a later model, or at least giving Rivian more time to work all the kinks out. $73,000 at least is a high price to pay for a truck that may or may not be actually capable of getting you from one place to another in one piece.

We’re not saying the Rivian R1T is the worst thing you can spend your money on. But compared to more established brands, it is more of a gamble. Plus, to make matters worse, the costs don’t end at the initial purchase price. That brings us to our next reason to avoid this EV.

Reason 3: Limited Service and Maintenance Network

Rivian is brand new, and at no fault of their own, they have an extremely limited network for service and maintenance issues at the moment. They are working on expanding their network and being more available to their customers. But it’s going to be quite some time before it’s worthwhile. 

If you live somewhere rural, or even somewhere in the city, be sure to check where your nearest Rivian support center is before you buy. There are very limited approved service collision centers for Rivians, most owners need to get their vehicle to one of their own service centers.

Rivian Destination Charger
The Rivian charging network is available at popular destinations to add a few miles when you’re out and about.


Because the company is so new and still working towards expansion, you may discover your car needs a repair ten hours away. That is not ideal for most people, especially if the Rivian R1T is your primary vehicle. 

We can at least attest to a decent charging network for the Rivian R1T. The company currently has over 200 charging stations across the country, with a rapidly growing network in popular destinations. Plus, come 2024, Rivian owners will be able to charge their cars using Tesla Superchargers.

Reason 4: Lack of Systems and Processes

The systems and processes for the Rivian R1T, both inside and out, leave a lot to be desired. For starters, one of the main complaints about the Rivian R1T is the fact that it is incompatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So, it’s not designed to play well with other software.

Rivian did decide to go with their own software creations. But despite multiple USB ports within the truck, there have been several reports that the truck has a very difficult time communicating with your phone or virtually any other piece of technology. In a world where everyone has a smartphone for navigation and music, this is unacceptable.

On the outside of the R1T, Rivian’s overall software assistance has ample room for improvement. Rivian does offer 24/7 remote customer support for any of their customers that may require assistance. However, many customers have reported being better off after troubleshooting the problems themselves.

It’s not necessarily that Rivian’s customer support team isn’t adequate. It’s that so many of these issues are brand new, and never experienced before. So, there are no systems or processes in place to resolve them. And you end up having to take it in any way.

Reason 5: Lousy Customer Service

On that note, by far, the biggest complaint that has come out about Rivian is their customer service or lack thereof. This isn’t solely related to the R1T, as they do have other products, as well. However, many customers have stated that the vehicle is incredible.

It’s the service of Rivian that makes it an unworthy purchase. Part of this is likely due to the lack of systems and processes as well as how new the company is. But frankly, you shouldn’t release such an expensive, high-end vehicle without the proper service to match it. 

EV cars trucks and SUVs
Aside from the poor customer service, Rivian R1T owners complain about the vehicle’s forward collision avoidance, electrical system, airbags, and steering issues.


The most common complaints stemmed from Rivian going back on its word, an inability to help with safety-related issues at all, and obnoxious wait times for parts.

Other complaints had to do with making an appointment to have the vehicle checked out, the car missing accessories that were paid for, or Rivian’s complete inability to actually fix the vehicle’s problems.

This was made worse by being told to live with it until they come up with a solution at some theoretical point in the future. For a $73,000+ cost, the minimum is adequate support for something so likely to need repairs in the near future.

Recap: Reasons to Avoid a Rivian R1T

Why You Should Avoid a Rivian R1TReasons
Beta TesterIt’s on you to find all the kinks in the vehicle.
This is a brand-new technology, so there might be undiscovered problems with it.
Many of the issues pose serious safety concerns.
High CostsThe most basic model of the R1T starts at $73,000
That’s a hefty price tag for a truck that may only work sometimes.
Much more expensive than many other comparable electric vehicles.
Lack of Service NetworkRivian is brand new and still getting set up.
There are a severely limited number of support centers that can help.
Be prepared to drive 10+ hours for help if you don’t live in a major city, and even then, there’s a strong chance you don’t have one.
Poor Systems and ProcessesIt’s on you to find all the kinks in the vehicle.
This is a brand-new technology, so there might be undiscovered problems with it.
Many of the issues pose serious safety concerns.
Inadequate Customer ServiceBy far the biggest complaint about the R1T is Rivian itself.
The truck is beautiful, but the lack of customer service makes it not worth the cost.
Rivian has a bad reputation of making promises they can’t keep.

Alternative Electric Vehicles

While the Rivian R1T may be worth it still for some, you may find yourself looking for an equivalent alternative to the electric R1T truck. Luckily, there are a few options available that still meet your needs without compromising what you would for a Rivian, both in service and in price for most. 

Ford F-150 Lightning 

The Ford F-150 Lightning offers more features and a better price from a more established brand.


This is arguably the biggest rival of the Rivian R1T on several fronts. Ford is one of the most well-known automotive brands in the US and for good reason. Their vehicles are reliable, and so is their support.

The Ford F-150 Lightning appears to pose no exception to that. The overall range of this truck is pretty comparable to the Rivian R1T. But it has several more functional features, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot, LED zone lighting on the outside of the truck, and much more.

The best part? The Ford F-150 Lightning has a starting price of $39,974, making it a tough competition for half the price of a Rivian R1T.

2022 Atlis XT

The 2022 Atlis XT is certainly one of the most unique-looking trucks on the market, but it has made a name for itself in the electric vehicle world. On the largest battery pack available, it can achieve 500 miles in one go, which is nearly unheard of for electric vehicles this size right now.

It has an impressive 35,000-pound towing capacity and is reported to be a luxurious ride in addition to its work ethic. With that said, it has a starting price of about $45,000, which means luxury just became affordable. 

Lordstown Endurance Electric Pickup

The Lordstown Endurance electric pickup is a sleek-looking truck, and while it’s not quite on the market yet, it is certain to shake things up in the electric truck market once released.

This truck will have the fewest moving parts of any vehicle made in history, meaning that it will require far less maintenance and repairs than most vehicles on the market, electric or not.

At a starting cost of just $52,500, this truck will be a strong contender for the Rivian R1T once released, given its affordability and projected lack of repair costs.

Tesla Cybertruck

F-150 Lightning vs Tesla Cybertruck
The Tesla Cybertruck comes with up to 3,500 pounds of payload capacity


©arda savasciogullari/Shutterstock.com

We had to mention the Cybertruck, even though it might not be better than the Rivian in terms of price and reliability. Of course, the elephant in the room, as of this writing, is that the Cybertruck is not yet available.

The Cybertruck will offer between a 250-mile and 500-mile range, depending on which trim level you get. While it isn’t defeating the Rivian R1T just yet, we’ll have to wait for the battle to unfold. Once it is available, it may be a formidable opponent to the Rivian R1T.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the estimated range of the Rivian R1T?

On a single charge, the Rivian R1T is expected to have about a 300-mile range on average.

Can the Rivian R1T be charged with regular home outlets?

Unfortunately, no, you will require an electric vehicle charger at home or find public chargers around where you live, depending on availability. If you choose to buy a charger, Rivian does sell them directly. Otherwise, the recommendation is a level 2 (240V) electric vehicle charger for your home.

How long does the Rivian R1T take to charge?

This will depend significantly on the power capacity of the electric vehicle charger you’re using. With a recommended level 2 charger, it takes around 11 hours for an R1T to fully charge. However, if you use a higher capacity level 3 charger, you can get around 140 miles after just 30 minutes of charging.

Does the Rivian R1T have off-road capabilities?

Yes! This is precisely what the Rivian R1T was created for. It’s advertised as an adventure vehicle for a reason. It has a robust all-wheel-drive system, high ground clearance, and offers several tire options as well as an “all-terrain” upgrade to maximize efficiency for all of your adventures.

In terms of towing capacity, how does the Rivian R1T compare to other electric pickup trucks?

Despite the fact that times are changing quickly, the Rivian R1T has a pretty impressive towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. This is comparable to some, less than a few, but more than most electric pickup trucks on the market right now.

When did the Rivian R1T come out?

Rivian released the R1T in September of 2021, making it a first in the industry. Rivian even beat more established truck manufacturers, like GM and Ford, to the EV truck market.

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