2023 Rivian R1S Adventure Edition


There's nothing else on the road quite like the R1S. It's not the sportiest SUV on the road, though it is one of the quickest and you're unlikely to be bored behind the wheel. It's plenty capable off-road thanks to the standard four-motor setup and air suspension. And as with the truck, we think Rivian nailed the styling. It looks tough but futuristic, and it doesn't look soft like an EQS or odd like an iX. Few vehicles ooze personality like the R1S.

Looking for a do-it-all SUV? You might have found it with the 2023 Rivian R1S. This is an all-electric three-row SUV from Rivian, an American startup EV manufacturer, and a sibling to Rivian's first vehicle, the all-electric R1T pickup. It's stylish, powerful (more than 800 horsepower!) and spacious, and it offers more off-road prowess than most other SUVs, electric or not. The R1S also has respectable range on a full charge. Go easy on the R1S and it should be able to go more than 300 miles on a full charge with the Large battery pack.

Take one look at the R1S and you'll know it means business.  Combine those tires with four electric motors (one at each wheel), an adjustable air suspension and short overhangs that make for one of the most capable SUVs on the road today, electric or not. Max ground clearance is nearly 15 inches, and Rivian says the R1S has a 3-foot wading depth. It's shorter than the R1T, so it's a little more nimble off-road. The air suspension can be lowered, too, to make getting in and out or loading cargo a bit easier.

But the R1S is likely to spend most of its time on the street, not on off-road trails, so we're happy to say on-road performance is good too. The quad-motor R1S test vehicle sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs ever tested, electric or not. Each motor can work independently, so there's no shortage of traction on- or off-road. Nail the throttle and the R1S simply hauls, though the nose lifts and the steering gets a little light as the weight shifts to the rear.

The steering itself is light, which makes it relatively easy to park, though the slow steering ratio means more turning than in some other EVs. The R1S offers excellent one-pedal driving, and the brakes themselves are firm but not touchy.
The R1S may look all rough-and-tumble, but with a base price that puts in competition with luxury SUVs, expect it to have a certain level of on-road refinement. The ride quality is OK with a general feel that's closer to a truck than a luxury car. The adjustable air suspension didn't seem to improve the ride either. The BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV deliver a much smoother, luxury-oriented ride, and the R1S feels unrefined in comparison. It's worth noting, though, that neither of those cars has the Rivian's off-road capability.

Better seats would probably help the Rivian's case, though we wouldn't call them uncomfortable. The seats in all three rows are flat and don't offer much support, though we didn't have too many complaints after a long day behind the wheel. The front seats are heated and ventilated, while the second row gets heating too.

As with the ride quality, overall noise levels aren't quite what we expect from a vehicle at this price. Cabin noise isn't overbearing, but there is a moderate amount of wind and road noise. Our test R1S had the all-terrain tires; presumably the regular tires would be a little quieter. We like the standard four-zone automatic climate control, and the system works well to cool the vehicle relatively quickly. We wish, though, that things like vent position adjustment weren't tied to the touchscreen. It's needlessly overcomplicated.
* Source - Reese Counts, Edmunds.com 



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