What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Rivian R1S? What does it compare to?
A three-row electric SUV, the Rivian R1S is a look at the future of the family vehicle. It sports mid-size proportions and comes outfitted as an all-wheel-drive adventure vehicle along the lines of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Land Rover Range Rover. EV rivals include the Audi E-Tron, Cadillac Lyriq, and Tesla Model Y and Model X.
Is the 2023 Rivian R1S a good SUV?
Review continues below
It’s a fine all-around vehicle, with billy goat off-road capability, electric efficiency, room for up to seven passengers, and immense power. It earns a spectacular TCC Rating of 8.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2023 Rivian R1S?
Everything. It’s new from the ground up for 2023, though it shares its powertrain and skateboard platform with the R1T pickup. It’s essentially the same from the B-pillars forward, but its wheelbase is 14.7 inches shorter and it’s 16.3 inches shorter overall. It also adds an SUV body and a third row of seats in lieu of a pickup bed.
Rivian’s styling makes the R1S look like it’s ready for adventure yet approachable. It’s tall and boxy, with full-width light signatures front and rear. A pair of oval headlights bisect the front light bar, and the nose has a bit of an underbite with a pair of tow hooks positioned like lower eye teeth. A clean side profile, with large wheels and haunches, adds a muscular, stable feel.
The four-motor powertrain puts two motors on each axle to provide both all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. It makes a total of 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque. Powered by a 135-kw battery pack, it launches the R1S from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds and provides 7,700 lb of towing capacity. Future models will offer larger and smaller batteries, as well as a two-motor powertrain with about 600 hp.
It comes with a standard air suspension that varies the ground clearance between 9.5 and 15.0 inches, as well as a linked hydraulic anti-roll system similar to that used in McLaren supercars. Nine drive modes control the ride height, ride quality, throttle response, and stability control, and Rivian offers two regen modes that always apply some brake regeneration when the driver lets off the throttle. A tall ride height gives the R1S some jiggle and lean, but it’s mostly well controlled thanks to the relatively low center of gravity caused by the low-set battery pack. The ride is smooth, even with the available 22-inch wheels.
Inside, the R1S can accommodate seven adults, but second- and third-row passengers will lobby for leg room, and the far back folks will sit knees up. The driver monitors a pair of large screens for gauges and infotainment/vehicle controls. Entertainment options do not include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The look is simple, and the R1S uses sustainable materials that look good and are well assembled.
How much does the 2023 Rivian R1S cost?
Rivian enacted a big price hike before the R1S even hit the market. To start, the R1S comes only with the Quad-Motor AWD powertrain, Rivian’s Large pack battery, and the Adventure package. The starting price is $91,075, and it includes vegan upholstery that approximates the look of leather, a 23-speaker sound system by Meridian, a wi-fi hotspot, navigation, FM radio only, a removable camp speaker, a panoramic sunroof, and 21-inch alloy wheels. With the Explore Package, Dual-Motor powertrain, and the Standard Pack battery, all due later, the starting price will drop as low as $73,575.
It also comes with a full load of safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, and a driver-assist system that can take over the controls on mapped highways.
Where is the 2023 Rivian R1S made?
In Normal, Illinois.