Rivian R1T: Two Years Later, Still Worth the Hype?

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Discounted 2023 Rivian R1T Lease Options with Federal EV Tax Credit Explained
Discounted 2023 Rivian R1T Lease Options with Federal EV Tax Credit Explained

Thinking about buying a Rivian R1T? Here’s what a real owner, Jose Castillo from YouTube channel RivianTrackr, has to say after two years.

Since it was a brand new model from a new company, there were some risks involved in being an early adopter. Luckily, Jose lived near a Rivian service center, so he wasn’t worried about repairs.

So, how reliable has it been? Overall, very good! The only major issue was an HVAC problem, which Rivian fixed under warranty. There were a few other minor glitches, but Rivian’s tech support took care of those quickly.

Rivian’s R1T Truck

It’s important to note that not all Rivian owners have been so lucky, especially if they live far from a service center.

Before the Rivian, Jose and his wife owned a Tesla Model Y. They loved it, but there were a few unresolved problems, like a constant rattle in the door. They even tried getting Tesla to fix it multiple times, but no luck.

So, how does the Rivian compare? On the plus side, the Rivian’s build quality seems better. That creaky front drive shaft got fixed through a recall, and there haven’t been any other annoying noises since. Bonus: Jose is even paying less for Rivian insurance than he did for Tesla insurance.

So, how does the Rivian R1T stack up against Jose’s previous car, the Tesla Model Y? Here’s a closer look:

Cargo Space: The Rivian wins hands down. The powered front trunk (frunk) is huge, and Jose uses it all the time. It holds way more than the tiny frunk on the Tesla Model Y. On the other hand, the Rivian’s gear tunnel wasn’t as useful as he expected, but it’s still great for storing beach gear because it’s easy to clean.

Charging: Switching from Tesla to Rivian meant losing access to the Tesla Supercharger network, which caused Jose some anxiety. Non-Tesla charging networks worked most of the time, but there were occasional issues like waiting, malfunctioning chargers, or slow charging speeds. Now that Rivian owners can access Superchargers, Jose prioritizes those over other networks.

Range Anxiety: Thankfully, the Rivian seems to be great at predicting its actual range. Unlike some cars that give you an optimistic guess that ends up being way off, the Rivian starts with a conservative estimate and adjusts as you drive. This means you’ll often reach your destination with more miles left than the truck initially predicted.

Tech Glitches: Both the Rivian and the Tesla had occasional phone app connectivity issues that could be frustrating, especially when you’re juggling groceries or trying to unlock the car in the rain.

Performance: Jose opted for the quad-motor Rivian, which is a beast off-road, but he admits it’s probably overkill for most drivers. He thinks the dual-motor version would be the better choice for most people.

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