Rivian Owner Talks About the Ups and Downs of Living With the R1S SUV

Rivian R1S has been praised for getting a lot of things right to become one of the best three-row electric SUVs on the market. As more R1S SUVs have been delivered, owners were keen on sharing their experience, even when it wasn't always the best.
Rivian R1S 6 photos
Photo: u/flyingdash via Reddit | Edited
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No cars are alike, even with the same make and model. This is why you can read a car review telling you it's amazing while other owners have had a mixed experience. Having an objective opinion about something as emotional as owning a car is impossible. Your impression ultimately depends on the vehicle's quality and performance, your expectations, and your car culture. What's acceptable after switching from an affordable vehicle to a more premium one would not be sufficient for someone who has owned higher-end models and is more demanding.

With that in mind, it's still interesting to know what owners of a newly launched car model think about it. The Rivian R1S has only recently started to be produced in larger numbers, although it has been around for a while. This is why owners are still curious to learn what owning and driving one means. Reddit user u/flyingdash shared his experience in the Rivian subreddit, and his post has become popular in a very short time.

Flyingdash placed his order three years ago, so taking delivery of the SUV caused a lot of excitement. Still, not everything was as he expected it to be. For context, this was his first electric vehicle, although not the first luxury car, coming from a 2018 Audi Q7. He also grew up in a family with the automobile in their veins. Flyingdash knew what he was buying, so we won't hear him complaining about Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support, which is non-existent at Rivian. Ultimately, he limited his opinion to three hits and three misses Rivian got with the R1S.

Although he started with the R1S's qualities, I'll mention the downsides first to get them out of the way. The first letdown was the infotainment system, even without counting smartphone integration. The main reason is the poor support Rivian offers for offline content. Although this can be fine for most, for those traveling in remote areas with poor cell coverage is a nightmare. Rivian markets the R1S as an adventure vehicle, but when the internet connection drops, you're left with streaming over Bluetooth. That is if you've downloaded content to your phone before the trip because the Rivian cannot play from external storage devices.

Flyingdash also criticizes Rivian's decision to remove the under-dash and trunk power outlets and the non-functional inductive phone charging mat. This restricts the options to charge a phone or use other devices in the car, primarily when one of the USB ports in the center console is used for the Gear Guard storage device. Wind noise is also a problem, as the R1S is significantly louder than the Flyingdash's Audi Q7 when traveling at speed. It's even louder than his wife's pickup truck equipped with similar tires.

Despite these issues, he would still buy the Rivian again if faced with the same decision. He knew from the start that owning an R1S would be like beta-testing for Rivian, and he's optimistic the EV startup would sort out most of the problems. Even if they won't, Flyingdash still loves how his electric SUV drives, especially the instantaneous acceleration afforded by the electric powertrain. Seats are the second thing he appreciates, being the most comfortable he ever experienced in any vehicle. Finally, he appreciates the Phone as a Key (PaaK) feature, despite many owners complaining about it.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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