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If you’re lucky enough to be in the position to snag a Rivian R1T pickup truck, you might have a few worries about build quality since it’s the EV startup automaker’s first model. It’s understandable. For almost $80,000, you expect a certain quality level.

We’ll list everything you need to be on the lookout for when the truck is delivered. We’ll also take a closer look at the new electric pickup.

Living up to its promise

Rivian R1T, potentially a Rivian R1T exterior issues, driving down the road.
Rivian R1T | Getty Images

Initially, there was a lot of excitement around this new EV startup that seems poised to be real competition for Tesla. According to the New York Times, its initial public offering last year raised almost $14 billion. Shares in the new company soared, and for a short period, its stock market value was nearly double that of Ford.

Only three months later, investors became concerned that the automaker might not be able to keep its commitment. It struggled with increasing the production of its delivery vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. While the automaker was worth around $55 billion as of February 2022, its stock prices fell almost two-thirds of its peak price.

When Rivian struggled to meet the goal of producing 1,200 vehicles for individual buyers last year, investor anxiety grew. They had a hard time providing delivery vans to Amazon, one of their most prominent investors. Then it was reported that Rivian’s chief operating officer left at the end of 2021. The announcement came from the press, not via a Rivian announcement.

Industry experts believed Rivian to be one young EV company that could actually take on Tesla, the current market leader. Ford and T. Rowe Price also back it. If it doesn’t quickly establish itself before Tesla and other traditional automakers start mass-producing EVs, it could lose its window of opportunity.

Exterior issues

InsideEvs recently talked to a current Rivian R1T owner to find out what those expecting deliveries of the truck should be looking for when it comes to overall fit, paint quality, and finish. Alex explained that he’d owned an R1T for a month when they talked to him in May. 

The front hood was the first thing he noticed. A piece of plastic trim beneath the hood kept him from opening it properly.  For a temporary fix, he tucked the piece under the body panel. He filed a report with the automaker since the hood wasn’t properly aligned with the bumper and fenders as a result.  According to Alex, the alignment on the charging port door was also off, which caused it to rub against the bumper when closing it. The driver’s door has a similar issue, and Alex explains you can see the uneven gaps with the rear door and fender. The left side door of the gear tunnel doesn’t align correctly with the door and rear fender. He found visible bubbles under the factory-applied PPF. 

Alex liked the metallic paint aside from the orange peel effect on some panels. The passenger side of the truck, he explained, didn’t have alignment issues and looked far better. 

The 2022 Rivian R1T

The 2022 Rivian R1T has a unique exterior look that is futuristic. The all-electric truck is powered by four electric motors that give it super-fast acceleration and an estimated driving range of 314 miles. 

The R1T is the first model from Rivian, based in Irvine, California, and it earned an Editors’ Choice award from Car and Driver. Falling somewhere between midsize pickups like Ford Ranger and full-size trucks like the Ford F-150, the R1T is available as crew-cab-only. It’s the first electric truck to go into production in what’s sure to be a highly competitive market.

The R1T has excellent acceleration, impressive performance, innovative exterior and interior design, and good off-roading chops. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are omitted, which is surprising at the price. According to Car and Driver, it also has too many touch-only controls.

The 2022 Rivian R1T starts at $79,500 and will be sold by the automaker directly to consumers. They also plan to establish a network of service centers and stores for support.


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