How is the interior of the R1S?
The R1S is a three-row SUV that seats seven. The 60/40 split second-row seats and 50/50 split third-row seats can fold almost flat, with a small step from the rear cargo area for storing large items. The seats are very comfortable and more than roomy enough in the second row for adults. The third row of seats is ideal for children. An all-glass panoramic roof reinforces the feeling of lightness. However, there is no cover or screen for the roof, so you get direct sunlight at midday whether you like it or not. Even through a piece of tinted glass, it can increase the warmth of the cabin.
As well as being spacious, the interior of the R1S is truly classy. Initial build quality seems excellent, and there were no noticeable squeaks or rattles on our first ride with the R1S despite some serious off-roading and driving on poorly maintained roads. Premium materials are used on almost every surface with soft padding for your elbows in all three rows. The interior design seems to favor minimalism by removing the buttons, and aesthetically it’s very pleasing. It can create a steep learning curve for some cabin controls, but it’s certainly nice inside.
How is the R1S technology?
As the centerpiece of the interior, there’s a horizontally oriented 15.6-inch central touchscreen that controls nearly all cabin functions. For the driver, there is also a 12.3-inch information display in front of the steering wheel. Rivian says the R1S supports over-the-air update capability, which means it can automatically incorporate improvements or new features without you having to visit a dealership or service center. There’s also built-in Wi-Fi, six USB-C charging ports, and a wireless phone charger.
Connecting a smartphone requires you to use Bluetooth. There’s no way to connect via USB, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration isn’t available. This means you can’t view and use your phone’s apps directly on the center touchscreen like you can with most other vehicles. There’s onboard navigation, music and other features available, but the lack of full smartphone integration is still a disappointment.
Advanced driving aids are also present. Rivian calls its system Driver+. It is standard on the R1S and offers features such as adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-defined distance between the R1S and the car ahead), forward collision mitigation system (warns you of a collision impending and applies the brakes in certain scenarios) and lane keeping assist (steers the R1S back into its lane if it begins to drift above the lane marker).
Rivian’s Lane Keeping Assist system is limited to specific mapped areas like major highways, so it may not work on smaller roads near you. We tried the adaptive cruise control and steering assist on a highway and found the systems worked fine. The adaptive cruise control system maintained an appropriate distance from the vehicle ahead, but the lane-keeping assist turned off several times when it couldn’t tell the difference between an asphalt repair groove and a painted lane line on the highway. Hopefully over-the-air updates will improve this system in the future.