Tested: How is the Rivian R1T Electric Truck Exterior Fit and Finish?

Plenty of consumers are interested in buying a new Rivian R1T electric truck. Everyone has one glaring question: How is the exterior fit and finish of the new pickup? More specifically, paint quality and panel gaps which have become rampant problems with certain automakers. Recently, Average Car Guy on YouTube showed off his Rivian R1T and talked about the exterior fit and finish of the electric truck.

How is the Rivian R1T paint quality?

Firstly, Average Car Guy immediately explains that the quality of paint doesn’t bother him at all. In addition, he mentions that the Rivian R1T is built for off-roading, and he intends to use it that way. It’s crucial that he prefaced his paint review with that because there are some problems with the paint, but the owner is unbothered. In fact, he said the many people who have looked at his electric truck haven’t even noticed.

According to ACG, there is a very obvious orange peel covering the paint’s surface. Moreover, it’s visible on every single panel of the pickup truck. Especially in places where light is shined, the textured surface is viewable. The video also mentions that his is a very early model, so some flaws are expected. Although, ACG noted that orange peel on the paint like his R1T has would be completely unacceptable from an automaker like Mercedes-Benz.

What is orange peel on car paint?

Blue 2022 Rivian R1T electric pickup truck - how is the fit and finish? Paint quality or panel gap issues?
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

A common complaint about the paint on Rivian R1T models is visible orange peel. Are you wondering what the heck that means? In short, orange peel simply means the paint has a texture resembling an orange peel. It sometimes develops on any smooth painted surface due to underlying dirt or other things that could impact it. According to MotorTrend, it isn’t a factory imperfection but something that can be buffed or sanded away.

“Shops trick [car] owners into thinking that orange peel is a factory imperfection. The real reason shops knock orange peel is that they need to sand and buff to remove flaws in the paint. Sanding and buffing takes away orange peel and gives shops one last chance to get out little imperfections; such as dirt, a run, a fisheye, or to touch up a chip they made while assembling the car.” – Bob Perkins, Mustang historian, restorer, and judge told MT.

How are the Rivian R1T panel gaps?

The Rivian logo on the hood of the Rivian R1T - how is the fit and finish? Paint quality or panel gap issues?
The Rivian logo | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The owner says he doesn’t have any problems with panel gaps in the video. Unfortunately, some other users from the Rivian forums and his YouTube audience have mentioned panel gap issues with their electric truck. Furthermore, it’s become a more glaring problem plaguing automakers like Tesla. Now, consumers are watching out for it with a truck as expensive as the Rivian R1T.

Not all R1T models are going to be precisely the same. However, ACG shows off how well aligned every last panel looks. Based on only an eye test, everything looks nearly perfect around the truck’s body. That’s great news considering this is such an early model. Those buying a newer, updated model should only see improvement in panel gaps. Overall, the Riviain R1T electric truck has an excellent fit for its exterior panels.

How is the Rivian R1T electric truck exterior fit and finish?

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Overall, the exterior fit and finish of the electric truck are high quality. One thing that the Rivian R1T suffers from is orange peel on the paint job. Fortunately, it isn’t enough that the untrained eye will ever even notice. On the other hand, the R1T is very well put-together. Panels are aligned, even, and perfectly secure on the truck’s exterior. In conclusion, the 2022 Rivian R1T electric truck’s exterior fit and finish are excellent.

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