I have been captivated by the concept of Rivian ever since hearing about the R1T. An electric vehicle designed for both everyday use and off-road adventures? Count me in.
As someone who enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking, it’s important for me to have a vehicle that can handle rugged terrain. While I currently own a Subaru Crosstrek, I am interested in switching to an electric vehicle for its environmental benefits, as well as the advancements in performance and technology.
Subaru does have an electric car, the Solterra, in its lineup, but I’m not a fan of its design. So, for those of us looking for an adventure-focused EV, Rivian seems to be the best option. However, the high price has been a barrier for many, including myself. The starting price for the R1T is over $70,000, and it can easily exceed $100,000 with added upgrades. The R1S SUV model is even more expensive.
Although I have paid off my Subaru, I am starting to save for my next car. However, spending over $70,000 on a vehicle doesn’t feel like a wise financial decision to me, no matter how much I save. This has led me to consider the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y as alternatives. They are renowned for their software and charging network, and I believe they would be enjoyable to drive in daily life and on road trips.
However, I also want a vehicle that can handle off-road adventures, which the Tesla models are not designed for. While they can manage some trails and modifications can improve their off-road capabilities, that was not their intended purpose. When it comes to off-road escapades, I still feel more confident in my Crosstrek.
There’s Hope for an Affordable Adventure Vehicle Yet
I found myself longing for the R1T, knowing that buying one in the near future was unlikely. That was until Rivian CFO Claire McDonough mentioned that the R2, the company’s upcoming smaller SUV, could start at $40,000. During her speech at the Deutsche Bank conference, covered by CarBuzz, McDonough stated that the R2’s price range would be between $40,000 and $60,000, with a reveal in early 2024 and a release in 2026.
McDonough emphasized that the R2 would maintain many design elements of the more expensive R1T and R1S, but in a smaller SUV form targeted at the general SUV/crossover market.
“R2 really leans on the brand and ethos of what R1 has started,” she adds, suggesting the baby R2 will be similar to the larger models but in a more condensed package. “It still maintains some of that adventure aesthetic, but it’s also contemplating and thinking about… where we’re investing in capabilities that allow us to maintain that more affordable price point, and, therefore, a larger addressable market for the vehicles.”
While the smaller SUV may not offer all the premium features and experiences of the R1T and R1S, it seems that Rivian is committed to preserving the core purpose that sets them apart. I expect the R2 to be comparable to my Subaru Crosstrek — a reliable vehicle for daily use that can also handle outdoor adventures with ease.
Why the R2 Will Probably Be My First EV
If Rivian can truly deliver an adventure-focused electric vehicle starting at $40,000, it will likely be my first EV. Since my Subaru is still in good condition, I don’t need to rush into buying a new car, and I can spend the next three years (assuming the R2 is released in 2026) saving for it.
As someone who has never spent more than $20,000 on a car, a $40,000 price tag is still quite steep for me. Financing the entire car for 72 months would result in monthly payments of over $600, which I’m not comfortable with. However, having three years to save for it makes the transition much more manageable financially.
The R2 will also benefit from Tesla’s NACS connector and extensive charging network, making it even more convenient for those concerned about range and charging options. I applaud Tesla and Rivian for their collaboration on this aspect.
I am ready to embrace electric vehicles and all their advantages, including environmental benefits and enhanced performance. The R2 seems to be the vehicle I’ve been waiting for, perfectly suited to my adventurous lifestyle.
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