2022 Rivian R1T Electric Pickup Truck Wows Us as It Lives Up to the Hype

We finally got to drive this powerful new truck, and it proved to be ultra-quick, ultra-capable, and brimming with innovative features

2022 Rivian R1T pickup truck front driving Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

The Rivian R1T is the most cutting-edge pickup truck the industry has seen in a very long time, with a shockingly wide repertory of capabilities. The 835-horsepower all-electric pickup can accelerate with the ferociousness of a supercar, claw its way up and over boulders with the tenacity of a Jeep Wrangler, carve through corners better than many SUVs, and tow a trailer of up to 11,000 pounds. 

And unlike many pickups, there’s a feeling of quality luxury throughout the well-made cabin. And we love the attention to detail, including the metal accents on the doors and seats, and the natural, untreated feel of the wood trim. 

A new from-the-ground-up, potentially segment-changing vehicle like the R1T would be noteworthy from any automaker. But that this is startup-EV automaker Rivian’s first-ever production vehicle, and that it’s this well sorted, right out of the gate, is worthy of a standing ovation.  

What’s more, this isn’t just a new truck: It’s a new truck with dozens of clever features—such as the ingenious gear tunnel and the power-sliding tonneau cover, just for starters—that other automakers are bound to copy. Yet it appears, after our admittedly very short time with three versions of the R1T at our track that the automaker let us drive for a day, that it has come together in a convincing and cohesive package.

As Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing succinctly put it, “If Tesla tried to build a Honda Ridgeline, this is what it would be.”

@consumerreports A removable Bluetooth speaker inside a car?! 🔊 See why the all-electric #RivianR1T is living up to the hype. #cartok #trucktok #electriccar ♬ original sound - Consumer Reports
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Not that it’s all wine, roses, and eco-friendly interior materials. Rivian took a page from EV-rival Tesla’s controls-layout playbook, requiring nearly every interior function has to go through the oversized center-dash infotainment screen. In fact, at this point we’d say that this screen-over-reliance is the truck’s biggest fault. 

Still, we can’t wait until the R1T that we’ve long had on order arrives at our test track, because driving the Rivian for just one day was nowhere near enough time to explore it fully.  

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the details of our initial expert assessment of the 2022 Rivian R1T are available to you below. Once our model arrives at our track, we’ll log 2,000 initial break-in miles, then send the electric pickup through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members will get access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available. 

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We had three trucks on hand from Rivian. Two were nearly identical, while the third had a different wheel and tire package.

What we rented: 2022 Rivian R1T Adventure Package
Powertrain: 835-hp, quad electric motors; 1-speed direct-drive; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $73,000
Total options: $20,900
Options: Quad-Motor AWD, $6,000; large battery pack, $6,000; 20-inch all-terrain tires w/dark wheels, $3,500; Red Canyon paint, $2,500; reinforced underbody shield, $2,000; full-sized spare tire, $900.
Destination fee: $1,500
Total cost: $95,400, minus the $7,500 federal EV tax credit 

What we rented: 2022 Rivian R1T Adventure Package
Powertrain: 835-hp, quad electric motors; 1-speed direct-drive; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $73,000
Total options: $21,150
Options: Quad-Motor AWD, $6,000; large battery pack, $6,000; 22-inch all-season tires w/bright wheels, $2,500; Forest Edge interior, $2,000; reinforced underbody shield, $2,000; Forest Green paint, $1,750; full-sized spare tire, $900.
Destination fee: $1,500
Total cost: $95,650, minus the $7,500 federal EV tax credit

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