While it is arduous to doubt that the Ford F-150 Lightning is probably the most important electrical truck of the second — outdoors of Tesla’s hyperbolic (and nonetheless nonexistent) Cybertruck — it is the Rivian R1T that appears to have captured the hearts and minds of most would-be EV truckers. Fast and succesful with tons of vary, the R1T is the proper resolution for lots of the EV-curious on the market, though its latest worth hike made it even much less attainable than earlier than. However, the R1T was at all times supposed to be simply the primary wave, the tip of the buyer spear for this California-based startup automaker. The followup is the R1S, which takes the identical primary system and packages it in a likable SUV form.On the floor there’s little that differentiates the 2 Rivians. From head-on they give the impression of being all however an identical, and that familiarity continues from the motive force’s seat, too, the place the sprint, inside design and seating place once more are the identical. The specs are largely an identical, as nicely. Both tip the scales at round 7,000 kilos and depend on 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque to maneuver that mass round, leading to a claimed 3-second 0-to-60-mph dash. Power comes from 4 electrical motors, one per nook, although a much less highly effective (and $6,000 less expensive) dual-motor variant is coming. Both Rivians will even go over 300 miles on a cost with the bigger battery pack, the R1S having a slight benefit of 316 miles versus 314 for the R1T. A smaller pack will quickly be obtainable, dropping the vary to round 260 miles (and once more saving $6,000). However, regardless of the acute similarities, there are some substantial variations, most notable being size. The R1S SUV is greater than 16 inches shorter than the truck, rolling on a 14-inch shorter wheelbase. It loses an inch in peak, too. Despite that abbreviated posture, the R1S nonetheless makes room for a 3rd row of seats. And whereas entry and exit is decidedly awkward and legroom within the way-back is at a premium, it is really moderately comfy again there. The glass ceiling not solely makes the third row really feel quite a bit much less claustrophobic, but additionally delivers glorious headroom. The R1S’ whole cargo capability is 104.7 cubic ft, with a beneficiant 11-cubic-foot frunk at your disposal. However, you do lose the ingenious gear tunnel that bisects the R1T. That’s a bummer, however you gotta put these passengers and their ft someplace. Best for people with small ft, however the third row is definitely moderately comfy. Tim Stevens/CNETOn the highway, the R1S nonetheless has a truck-like really feel. You’re sitting manner up tall, no shock there, however the journey and resistance of the steering undoubtedly have much more in frequent with a typical half-ton machine than your common car-based crossover. That’s not a foul factor, thoughts, and if something it ties into the seemingly infinitely succesful nature of the R1S.Want to drop the R1S for optimum aerodynamics on the freeway and disable the rear motors for optimum vary? No downside. Want to jack it up for a ridiculous 15 inches of floor clearance and a 3-foot wading depth? Easy peasy. Just just a few faucets on the beneficiant central touchscreen and the automotive repositions itself appropriately, rising or dropping with sufficient rapidity to noticeably disorient your passengers if finished with out warning. In reality, there’s loads of alternative for inducing nausea within the R1S, a warning that adventure-seeking mother and father ought to heed. Between the outrageous acceleration and aggressive regeneration, with a journey that is both bumpy on stiff or floaty on gentle, it will take a clean driver to make sure that children within the way-back can fortunately keep glued to their iPads. Don’t overlook the ginger ale and Dramamine in your first highway journey.
Tim Stevens/CNETWindows-down cruising by the woods feels extra like mountain climbing than driving, and that is a beautiful factor. When the highway ends and the path begins, although, all that’s forgotten. EV off-roading is superb on a number of ranges. With all that torque obtainable at any pace, you’ll be able to simply ease your manner up and over obstacles, by no means worrying about falling out of a powerband or stalling. The SUV’s 4 motors ship energy the place you want it robotically, so locking differentials are historical past, however better of all is the near-silence. Windows-down cruising by the woods feels extra like mountain climbing than driving, and that is a beautiful factor.I ran by a really aggressive off-road course with rocky ruts so deep I believed for positive I’d be grinding the half-shafts, but time and again I used to be advised to intention for the rut and each time I had room to spare. The 9 exterior cameras make this course of quite a bit simpler, recognizing strains and obstacles, although the cameras themselves are disappointingly low-resolution. Blown as much as full-screen on the R1S’ 15.6-inch central touchscreen, the view outdoors appears to be like quite a bit like a municipal streaming climate cam put in in 1998. Overall the inside is comfy, premium and well-equipped. The full-length glass roof makes every thing shiny and ethereal, although a sunny day has me wishing for a deployable shade. All three rows are comfy sufficient and energy choices abound: A whopping eight USB-C ports are scattered all through the cabin, plus three 12-volt and two 120-volt retailers. And if all that is not sufficient, there is a wi-fi charging pad, too. More than only a long-roof. Tim Stevens/CNETThe infotainment expertise is mostly good, with clearly laid out menus, however some choices are missing. You cannot, for instance, tune the extent of resistance on the steering nor go for a extra relaxed throttle mapping. And maybe most problematic, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are each nonetheless lacking. Major producers have lengthy since discovered that that is one thing shoppers demand. It’s time for the EV startups to determine it out, too. A 3rd-rate navigation expertise on a $100,000 SUV is unacceptable. Yes, you’ll be able to spend about that a lot on an R1S, which begins at $5,000 greater than a comparable R1T. A base R1S Explore begins at $73,575, together with $1,075 vacation spot. Load yours up with the quad-motor setup, greater battery pack, sport wheels, premium inside and another niceties, and also you’re $98,325 absolutely loaded. That’s removed from low-cost, however then it is a premium automobile by and thru. Does the R1S reside as much as the hype set by its open-bed brethren? Its efficiency actually does not disappoint and it shares the identical high-end, distinctive design that I and so many others love on the R1T. Sadly, the R1S loses its pricing edge, which suggests it isn’t a positive wager for anybody. But for these with the means, this SUV is not going to disappoint.Editors’ observe: Travel prices associated to this story had been lined by the producer, which is frequent within the auto trade. The judgments and opinions of CNET’s employees are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.