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With all the challenges of designing a new car and bringing it to market, Rivian has had a surprising amount of success. That said, Rivian has had a few little surprises that have struck owners and reviewers. As with all EV surprises, most of them tend to be around unmet range expectations. Case in point: Rivian R1T and R1S lose a chunk of range if you buy all-terrain (A/T) or other such tready tires.

What is the Rivian EV range? 

A blue Rivian R1S at a charging station in the desert at sunset. The Rivian R1S price isn't that bad compared to other luxury SUVs.
Rivian R1S | Rivian

Rivian has advertised some pretty decent numbers for the range of the R1T and R1S. The Rivian truck boasts 314 miles, and 316 for the SUV. Adding to the impressive range, Rivian put out an over-the-air update that increased range to 328 miles for the truck and 321 miles for the SUV. 

Those numbers are great, especially for such a young EV manufacturing company. However, these numbers are only possible in a very narrow range. The Rivian has to have a specific powertrain, tires, and driving conditions in order to achieve these ranges. 

Rivian promised more range from the dual-motor setup, and the startup delivered. The dual-motor R1T and R1S get up to 352 miles of range. The Quad-Motor setup makes more power and performance and slightly lowers the range to 328 and 321 miles. 

How much do tires and wheels affect Rivian’s range? 

Rivian R1S on the Rubicon Trail
Rivian R1S on the Rubicon Trail | Rivian

Now, so far, these ranges are based on an example with 21-inch wheels. Changing to just 1-inch bigger wheels drops the range to 303 miles for the R1T and 307 miles for the R1S. 

However, If you put slightly more aggressive tires on those 22-inch wheels, that’s when the range really takes a dip. But even with 20-inch wheels but A/T tires, the EPA estimates as little as 289 miles for the R1T Quad-Motor and 274 miles for the R1S Quad-Motor. That’s a loss of 39 miles for the truck and 47 miles for the SUV.

MotorTrend tested the R1T’s range throughout its long-term test period. MT only got 228 miles of range while using all-terrain tires. This hits as a shock. However, knowing that the real estimated range with that setup is actually only 289 instead of 328, the loss isn’t as bad as it seems. Now, for the dual-motor trucks and SUVs, we are all still a little unsure of what exactly the range might look like. The EPA has yet to include this data on its website. That said, Rivian has updated its configurator to show these numbers, including the new Dual-motor version, which drops to 300 miles with the wheel and tire change.

What does this mean for off-roading in a Rivian?

The fact is, Rivian makes an extremely capable vehicle. Its off-road accomplishments are many and varied. However, EVs are still tough to make sense of as off-roaders. The range issues, along with the difficulties with rural charging, make them a bit of a liability off-road. All of this is made worse when you see the data on how much range suffers when you make them more capable off-road by changing wheels and tires.