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Hi - Jan 2022 R1S preorder holder here.. been reading a while but first time post. This is to be our family car replacing my wife's '16 Grand Cherokee. Meanwhile I drive a completely different car (track prepped BMW M2) and enjoy something quick, dynamic and fun, whereas my wife wants the space, good looks, and versatility. Our hope is the R1S can be a good bridge for both of us to enjoy...

I was able to get a First Drive scheduled at the Rivian Denver Service Center this past week, via the helpful Rivian customer chat service. Apparently these are just beginning in Denver. The car was a very nice Forest Green R1S spec'd with the same AT tires we chose. In fact the only difference in spec between this car we drove and the one we've ordered is we went with white. Gotta say I wish my wife picked the green but the white still looks exceptional (there was a white R1S in the lot ready for a customer delivery..).

I'll keep this brief to a few random observations of things that stood out to us. You'll see I'm a lot more concerned with how it drives while my wife was more interested in what it'll be like to live with day to day.

1. Body control
In "all purpose" mode, the fore/aft body roll is pronounced - which is completely expected for me given the size and weight of this vehicle. It was pretty funny to launch it a couple of times and feel the nose poke up in the air like I'm Dom Toretto. In "sport" mode the modified shock settings did a really good job of controlling this and making for a more stable and controlled launch.

2. Lateral response
In the two modes I tried (just all purpose and sport...didn't have time to play around with height and other suspension settings) I was pretty impressed with the dynamics of the car, particularly with L/R inputs. In the brief seat time I had I wanted to see how it handled weight transfer laterally, trying to imagine how it'd be on an interstate or even just in traffic. It handled much better than our Grand Cherokee that's on all seasons which isn't all that surprising but still a welcome comparison given that's what we're used to. Rivian have done a nice job with the general handling of this car - it felt planted and responsive and feels like a much smaller SUV to drive than it actually is - all of which my wife appreciated.

3. The AT's
Much quieter and smoother than I expected. I would love to feel how this car rides with the road tires or even better some summer performance rubber, but as it stands, the AT's are the perfect Colorado spec... Nice manners on road, really decent off road from what I've read (and plenty for us, given the few times we'll go camping in pretty mellow dispersed sites), and they look the goods. It really is the "Colorado spec".

4. The infotainment
I just wanted to throw it in here that my wife "loves" the way the vents are electronically controlled. I had to chuckle at that, knowing the rest of the universe seemingly hates this feature. I'm indifferent. In general the displays and UI/UX were really impressive - all except the very average camera resolution which has been well documented. Sound system was good.

5. The indicator stalk
Why does Doug Demuro hate this style of indicator mechanism so much? I really like the return-to-center design... feels good.

6. The sunroof
I could have bet my bottom dollar my wife wouldn't be stoked with it, and she doesn't like to have the sun beaming down on her head, and sure enough it was pretty much her only "concern". I suggested we get it tinted at our local shop once delivered, which seemed to do the trick. In the future, an added cost option to electronically control the tint level would be very cool...

7. Seat mechanisms
One slight downer is the seat mechanisms in second and third rows. I thought the middle row was quite clunky and heavy to shift around and certainly isn't the most efficient / easiest mechanism to use. It could do with some fine tuning. And of course, the 3rd row should be motorised. But it's stuff we can live with. No big deal.

8. General fit and finish
Just really impressive. Panel alignment good, interior fit quality felt good (but no idea how it'll stand up, let's see...). We actually changed our spec to leather accents on the dash instead of the woodgrain but after seeing woodgrain "in the flesh" my wife asked me to change it back. I was surprised she liked it as she doesn't usually go for wood trim in cars, but this was really well executed from Rivian.. super nice.

9. Rear tailgate.
Sits at a really great height - super useable. We weren't sure about the split tailgate design but after seeing it for real, it's excellent and will be very useful for getting the kids ski boots on (in bench mode) or easy access to grocery bags etc. Coming from a mid-size SUV in the Grand Cherokee, it was amazing to see how much space we'll have for stuff while road tripping. This truck really feels like the perfect size for a family of 4, and has that extra space needed for soccer carpool duty with friends' kids.

10. We hope we get ours soon... :). I'm guessing it'll be sometime in Q4 next year. Guess we'll find out more in a week's time...

Some pics below. Overall, I can't think of anything that even comes close to the performance bargain this SUV is. BMW X5M performance (well, power wise, maybe not handling) at 80k - incredible. To get anywhere near it, you'd need to spend 130k or more. Just a fantastic deal in my opinion, and I'm grateful to have the pre order pricing.

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Hi - Jan 2022 R1S preorder holder here.. been reading a while but first time post. This is to be our family car replacing my wife's '16 Grand Cherokee. Meanwhile I drive a completely different car (track prepped BMW M2) and enjoy something quick, dynamic and fun, whereas my wife wants the space, good looks, and versatility. Our hope is the R1S can be a good bridge for both of us to enjoy...

I was able to get a First Drive scheduled at the Rivian Denver Service Center this past week, via the helpful Rivian customer chat service. Apparently these are just beginning in Denver. The car was a very nice Forest Green R1S spec'd with the same AT tires we chose. In fact the only difference in spec between this car we drove and the one we've ordered is we went with white. Gotta say I wish my wife picked the green but the white still looks exceptional (there was a white R1S in the lot ready for a customer delivery..).

I'll keep this brief to a few random observations of things that stood out to us. You'll see I'm a lot more concerned with how it drives while my wife was more interested in what it'll be like to live with day to day.

1. Body control
In "all purpose" mode, the fore/aft body roll is pronounced - which is completely expected for me given the size and weight of this vehicle. It was pretty funny to launch it a couple of times and feel the nose poke up in the air like I'm Dom Toretto. In "sport" mode the modified shock settings did a really good job of controlling this and making for a more stable and controlled launch.

2. Lateral response
In the two modes I tried (just all purpose and sport...didn't have time to play around with height and other suspension settings) I was pretty impressed with the dynamics of the car, particularly with L/R inputs. In the brief seat time I had I wanted to see how it handled weight transfer laterally, trying to imagine how it'd be on an interstate or even just in traffic. It handled much better than our Grand Cherokee that's on all seasons which isn't all that surprising but still a welcome comparison given that's what we're used to. Rivian have done a nice job with the general handling of this car - it felt planted and responsive and feels like a much smaller SUV to drive than it actually is - all of which my wife appreciated.

3. The AT's
Much quieter and smoother than I expected. I would love to feel how this car rides with the road tires or even better some summer performance rubber, but as it stands, the AT's are the perfect Colorado spec... Nice manners on road, really decent off road from what I've read (and plenty for us, given the few times we'll go camping in pretty mellow dispersed sites), and they look the goods. It really is the "Colorado spec".

4. The infotainment
I just wanted to throw it in here that my wife "loves" the way the vents are electronically controlled. I had to chuckle at that, knowing the rest of the universe seemingly hates this feature. I'm indifferent. In general the displays and UI/UX were really impressive - all except the very average camera resolution which has been well documented. Sound system was good.

5. The indicator stalk
Why does Doug Demuro hate this style of indicator mechanism so much? I really like the return-to-center design... feels good.

6. The sunroof
I could have bet my bottom dollar my wife wouldn't be stoked with it, and she doesn't like to have the sun beaming down on her head, and sure enough it was pretty much her only "concern". I suggested we get it tinted at our local shop once delivered, which seemed to do the trick. In the future, an added cost option to electronically control the tint level would be very cool...

7. Seat mechanisms
One slight downer is the seat mechanisms in second and third rows. I thought the middle row was quite clunky and heavy to shift around and certainly isn't the most efficient / easiest mechanism to use. It could do with some fine tuning. And of course, the 3rd row should be motorised. But it's stuff we can live with. No big deal.

8. General fit and finish
Just really impressive. Panel alignment good, interior fit quality felt good (but no idea how it'll stand up, let's see...). We actually changed our spec to leather accents on the dash instead of the woodgrain but after seeing woodgrain "in the flesh" my wife asked me to change it back. I was surprised she liked it as she doesn't usually go for wood trim in cars, but this was really well executed from Rivian.. super nice.

9. Rear tailgate.
Sits at a really great height - super useable. We weren't sure about the split tailgate design but after seeing it for real, it's excellent and will be very useful for getting the kids ski boots on (in bench mode) or easy access to grocery bags etc. Coming from a mid-size SUV in the Grand Cherokee, it was amazing to see how much space we'll have for stuff while road tripping. This truck really feels like the perfect size for a family of 4, and has that extra space needed for soccer carpool duty with friends' kids.

10. We hope we get ours soon... :). I'm guessing it'll be sometime in Q4 next year. Guess we'll find out more in a week's time...

Some pics below. Overall, I can't think of anything that even comes close to the performance bargain this SUV is. BMW X5M performance (well, power wise, maybe not handling) at 80k - incredible. To get anywhere near it, you'd need to spend 130k or more. Just a fantastic deal in my opinion, and I'm grateful to have the pre order pricing.

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View attachment 8555
Nice review! How did you get the test drive setup? I'm in Summit and am very interested in doing the same. Thank you
 

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Hi - Jan 2022 R1S preorder holder here.. been reading a while but first time post. This is to be our family car replacing my wife's '16 Grand Cherokee. Meanwhile I drive a completely different car (track prepped BMW M2) and enjoy something quick, dynamic and fun, whereas my wife wants the space, good looks, and versatility. Our hope is the R1S can be a good bridge for both of us to enjoy...

I was able to get a First Drive scheduled at the Rivian Denver Service Center this past week, via the helpful Rivian customer chat service. Apparently these are just beginning in Denver. The car was a very nice Forest Green R1S spec'd with the same AT tires we chose. In fact the only difference in spec between this car we drove and the one we've ordered is we went with white. Gotta say I wish my wife picked the green but the white still looks exceptional (there was a white R1S in the lot ready for a customer delivery..).

I'll keep this brief to a few random observations of things that stood out to us. You'll see I'm a lot more concerned with how it drives while my wife was more interested in what it'll be like to live with day to day.

1. Body control
In "all purpose" mode, the fore/aft body roll is pronounced - which is completely expected for me given the size and weight of this vehicle. It was pretty funny to launch it a couple of times and feel the nose poke up in the air like I'm Dom Toretto. In "sport" mode the modified shock settings did a really good job of controlling this and making for a more stable and controlled launch.

2. Lateral response
In the two modes I tried (just all purpose and sport...didn't have time to play around with height and other suspension settings) I was pretty impressed with the dynamics of the car, particularly with L/R inputs. In the brief seat time I had I wanted to see how it handled weight transfer laterally, trying to imagine how it'd be on an interstate or even just in traffic. It handled much better than our Grand Cherokee that's on all seasons which isn't all that surprising but still a welcome comparison given that's what we're used to. Rivian have done a nice job with the general handling of this car - it felt planted and responsive and feels like a much smaller SUV to drive than it actually is - all of which my wife appreciated.

3. The AT's
Much quieter and smoother than I expected. I would love to feel how this car rides with the road tires or even better some summer performance rubber, but as it stands, the AT's are the perfect Colorado spec... Nice manners on road, really decent off road from what I've read (and plenty for us, given the few times we'll go camping in pretty mellow dispersed sites), and they look the goods. It really is the "Colorado spec".

4. The infotainment
I just wanted to throw it in here that my wife "loves" the way the vents are electronically controlled. I had to chuckle at that, knowing the rest of the universe seemingly hates this feature. I'm indifferent. In general the displays and UI/UX were really impressive - all except the very average camera resolution which has been well documented. Sound system was good.

5. The indicator stalk
Why does Doug Demuro hate this style of indicator mechanism so much? I really like the return-to-center design... feels good.

6. The sunroof
I could have bet my bottom dollar my wife wouldn't be stoked with it, and she doesn't like to have the sun beaming down on her head, and sure enough it was pretty much her only "concern". I suggested we get it tinted at our local shop once delivered, which seemed to do the trick. In the future, an added cost option to electronically control the tint level would be very cool...

7. Seat mechanisms
One slight downer is the seat mechanisms in second and third rows. I thought the middle row was quite clunky and heavy to shift around and certainly isn't the most efficient / easiest mechanism to use. It could do with some fine tuning. And of course, the 3rd row should be motorised. But it's stuff we can live with. No big deal.

8. General fit and finish
Just really impressive. Panel alignment good, interior fit quality felt good (but no idea how it'll stand up, let's see...). We actually changed our spec to leather accents on the dash instead of the woodgrain but after seeing woodgrain "in the flesh" my wife asked me to change it back. I was surprised she liked it as she doesn't usually go for wood trim in cars, but this was really well executed from Rivian.. super nice.

9. Rear tailgate.
Sits at a really great height - super useable. We weren't sure about the split tailgate design but after seeing it for real, it's excellent and will be very useful for getting the kids ski boots on (in bench mode) or easy access to grocery bags etc. Coming from a mid-size SUV in the Grand Cherokee, it was amazing to see how much space we'll have for stuff while road tripping. This truck really feels like the perfect size for a family of 4, and has that extra space needed for soccer carpool duty with friends' kids.

10. We hope we get ours soon... :). I'm guessing it'll be sometime in Q4 next year. Guess we'll find out more in a week's time...

Some pics below. Overall, I can't think of anything that even comes close to the performance bargain this SUV is. BMW X5M performance (well, power wise, maybe not handling) at 80k - incredible. To get anywhere near it, you'd need to spend 130k or more. Just a fantastic deal in my opinion, and I'm grateful to have the pre order pricing.

View attachment 8552

View attachment 8553

View attachment 8554

View attachment 8556
View attachment 8555
Were any of the R1S' there similar to the spec you ordered @dcmac?
 

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I just completed my First Mile Drive at the Denver Service center - probably drove the same vehicle.

The big takeaway for me was that I really don't like the amount of noise coming from the rear drive unit. It's a cheesy sound reminding me of when I was 7 years old and had playing cards clothespined to my bicycle. Not the sound of a precision machine.

The Rivian rep suggested that he's heard that complaint from quite a few people, and this might be more apparent in an R1S since the drive unit is effectively in the passenger compartment rather than 'outside' under the bed as in the R1T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just completed my First Mile Drive at the Denver Service center - probably drove the same vehicle.

The big takeaway for me was that I really don't like the amount of noise coming from the rear drive unit. It's a cheesy sound reminding me of when I was 7 years old and had playing cards clothespined to my bicycle. Not the sound of a precision machine.

The Rivian rep suggested that he's heard that complaint from quite a few people, and this might be more apparent in an R1S since the drive unit is effectively in the passenger compartment rather than 'outside' under the bed as in the R1T.
I totally agree with this and forgot to mention. The "drivetrain" noise I heard was quite obvious... Not to the point where it drastically impacts comfort... but the car wasn't "quiet" like I expected it to be, and like I've experienced in other EV's.

I had mentioned it to the Rivian guide and he said something like "I think that may be the AC compressor, I'm not sure if it always sounds like that" which was a bit confusing to me.

Either way yeah it wasn't great. But not a dealbreaker. My wife didn't even mention it, which is a win. It's still a lot quieter than our Grand Cherokee but not satisfyingly silent like many other EV's where all you hear is tire noise.
 

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Had a great test drive at the Denver facility and a very knowledgeable guide. My res was from late summer last year so I bet others will get the call soon. It seems they only do 2 test drives at a time and each is 45 minutes.

I wonder about cold weather range loss in Colorado (especially in the mountains). My guide thought it was probably only around 5%. I hope that's all it is!
 
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