The Rivian R1S is a technological wonder, and it also happens to compete with the venerable Tesla Model X. Both of these premium electric SUVs are great vehicles, but the Rivian R1S has the Model X beat in quite a few different ways.
Tesla fans are very difficult to sway, but Rivian is definitely doing its best to convince everyone that its products are the way to go. If the R1T is proof, Rivian is off to a great start. So, let’s see the reasons why the Rivian R1S is better than the Tesla Model X.
1. The R1S Has the Tesla Beat With Four Electric Motors
The Tesla Model X is a beast of an SUV, and the standard version of the Model X boasts a dual motor setup that can propel the large SUV from 0-60 MPH in 3.8 seconds. This is extremely quick, especially for an SUV, but it’s not enough to beat the Rivian’s time of 3 seconds.
The culprit behind the Rivian’s amazing launch to 60 is the Quad-Motor AWD system, which equips the Rivian with two more electric motors than the regular Tesla Model X.
Even though the standard Dual Motor Rivian R1S isn’t yet available, the Quad-Motor Rivian is still cheaper at $92,000 than the base Model X Dual Motor with its enormous $120,990 price tag.
So, even if you argue that the Rivian isn’t actually the base model and should compete with the Plaid version, the R1S Quad-Motor still comes in cheaper than the cheapest Model X. Not only this, but the faster Model X Plaid is a whopping $138,990.
2. The R1S Destroys the Model X in Off-Road Conditions
There’s no contest in this regard. The R1S absolutely destroys the Model X in an off-road setting, and the numbers tell you why. Tesla’s Model X owner’s manual says that its maximum ground clearance is 8.1″ in its highest setting.
This isn’t horrible and can help get the Model X over some sticky situations safely. But this is quite a tame figure in the world of premium electric SUVs, where bragging rights are super important. For reference, the R1S serves up a colossal 14.9″ maximum ground clearance. Regarding ground clearance, the R1S thoroughly demolishes the Model X. Ground clearance isn’t the end-all metric in off-roading, but it’s super important.
It’s a pretty straightforward number that most manufacturers use when advertising a vehicle’s off-road capabilities because usually, the higher up a vehicle’s vital parts are from the ground, the more obstacles it will be able to clear safely.
As if the R1S didn’t already have enough to boast about, the wading depth is also spectacular at more than 3 feet. This means you can tackle most off-road obstacles, even in wet conditions, without fearing your vehicle experiencing water damage.
This is a huge bragging point for most ICE off-roaders, and the R1S is well-equipped to handle rugged terrain as well. Although, if Elon Musk is right, Tesla’s vehicles are basically on-road boats, so meaningless stats like wading depth are totally unimportant.
3. The R1S Has a Bigger Frunk Than the Model X
One of the main selling points of electric SUVs is that they offer up tons of storage space. Electric vehicles can usually accommodate more cargo than conventional vehicles because of how the batteries and electric motors are packaged.
The lack of an engine is also useful in implementing a front storage area, usually called a frunk. The Model X offers 6.5 cu-ft of storage in its front trunk, which is super useful, especially considering that space wouldn’t even exist in an ICE car.
Rivian’s R1T also has a front trunk, which is enormous compared to the Model X’s frunk. The R1S offers a front trunk almost twice as big as the Model X’s, with the ability to gobble up 11.1 cu-ft of whatever you want to throw in there.
Many performance figures are primarily about bragging rights, and fewer horsepowers here or there won’t make a difference in day-to-day driving. But, with very practical metrics like storage capacity, the differences between the two vehicles are very noticeable.
This is especially true if you’re purchasing an SUV over an electric sedan for the extra interior room. Although, in the world of EVs, you don’t necessarily need an SUV for colossal cargo capacity.
The amazing Lucid Air also has a colossal frunk, even bigger than the Model X’s frunk. It’s crazy that the Lucid Air is a sedan with a front trunk that can hold up to 10 cu-ft of things. Electric cars are definitely revolutionizing the modern vehicle.
4. The R1S Looks Way Better Than the Generic Model X
Design is subjective. But, if you were to gather enough data on the matter, the R1S would surely poll higher than the Model X in terms of its aesthetic appeal.
The R1S shares its design language with the Rivian R1T pickup truck, which also comes with amazing tech, and the designers truly hit it out of the park. The R1S looks rugged and futuristic simultaneously, while the Model X simply looks like an inflated Model S.
The Model X has a design that isn’t aggressive or noteworthy in any way. If it weren’t for the exotic doors, the Model X would be one of the most boring-looking vehicles on the road.
Like every other Tesla, except for the Model S, the Model X’s proportions are quirky. This is especially true on the Model 3, which sports an awkwardly tall roofline as if it’s trying its hardest to be an SUV.
The R1S is clean and boxy, and the design manages to be both old-school and ultra-modern. The oval headlights are unlike any other on the road, something that definitely can’t be said about the Model X’s generic units.
The colossal light bar that crosses the entire front end of the Rivian is also a unique design touch, and it gives the R1T an instantly recognizable mug. The rear end is much of the same story, where the Rivian sets itself apart thanks to the enormous light bar at the back.
The Model X also looks boring and dated from the rear. The side profile is another massive win for the Rivian thanks to the R1S’s muscular boxy stance versus the Model X’s pumpkin-like silhouette.
Rivian Is a Legitimate Challenger to Tesla’s Electric SUVs
Rivian has built two amazing vehicles in its early life as a car manufacturer. Both of these R1 series EVs give Tesla a run for its money in their respective segments. It will be interesting to keep an eye on Rivian and see how they plan on one-upping their vehicles, as well as Tesla’s.
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