The Rivian R1T Shares It’s Only Flaw With Tesla According to Consumer Reports

The Rivian R1T is seeing plenty of praise from the hordes of auto journos like me. It isn’t just a bandwagon thing; the Rivian R1T might just be the spark that sends the electric pickup truck to outer space! However exciting the new electric pickup truck is to you, it isn’t without a least one annoyance. According to Consumer Reports, the Rivian R1T shares a sneaky flaw with Tesla. 

The Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck model covered in dirt and grime while driving off-road in wet mud and earth
Rivian R1T electric pickup truck | Rivian

Enough with the screens already

Tesla is THE name in EV manufacturing and design, and for good reason. Tesla set the template and aesthetic of electric car design. Like it or not, mostly everyone in the automotive industry is taking a little from the EV superstar. 

EV newcomer, Rivian, is one of the freshest – scratch that – THE freshest pickup truck design we’ve seen in the last several decades. This electric pickup truck is carving its path from pop-out electric kitchens to some of the coolest off-roading features ever. However, the one place where Rivian took a page from Tesla’s book is the one flaw Consumer Reports had with their 2022 Rivian R1T tester. 

Consumer Reports says that the massive screen interface with which you control nearly every interior function can be a bit of an inconvenience. It seems we are moving further away from physical buttons in cars, which may not be the best move. 

Consumer Reports goes as far as to say that the truck’s oversized screen and the reliance the driver has on it might be the electric pickup truck’s only flaw. 

Are the screens in our cars distracting us? 

The inside of a Tesla displaying the Tesla screen.
Tesla interior | Getty Images

According to NPR, the screens in our cars are becoming a real distraction. Research conducted in 2017 showed that all 30 systems they tested cause driver distraction. A prominent safety advocate says automakers can make their systems safer by preventing drivers from using certain features when the car is moving.

Limiting our exposure to these systems and attention-demanding interfaces is clearly necessary for safe driving. We understand that looking at our phone screens and navigating the touch screen is unsafe. So, why have we steered so hard into putting them all over our cars? 

Admittedly, things like backup cameras, blind-spot detection, and other such driver assisting features help make driving safer but also require a screen. However, using our screens to interface with everything is simply not the move. Things like volume control, air conditioning, driving modes, and so on aren’t really touch-screen appropriate features. 

In my old Jeep Wrangler, I never needed to take my eyes off the road to change the song, adjust the A/C or volume, or anything else for that matter. I knew where all the buttons lived on my dash, allowing muscle memory to take over instead of my eyes. This is better. This is safer. 

The Rivian R1T is still a monumentally impressive pickup truck

Rivian badge
Rivian rear badge |Getty Images

Despite failing to resist the temptation to follow in Tesla’s footsteps, Rivian made piles of stellar decisions during the development and design phase of building their all-new, from-scratch electric pickup truck. For the future, I’d like to see Rivian abandon and last shreds of the Tesla template and fully step into its own world and continue to revolutionize the electric vehicle space. 

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