9 cool features of the electric 2022 Rivian R1T pickup

·5 min read



The 2022 Rivian R1T is an electric truck that does basically everything you'd expect from a typical half-ton pickup, while simultaneously offering at least 314 miles of range, a variable-height suspension designed to both improve fuel efficiency and increase available ground clearance, and enough available power to rip off a 0-60 run in 3.0 seconds. Oh, and it tows up to 11,000 pounds. Those credentials seem pretty impressive in their own right.

But launching a new pickup in the United States is about as treacherous as slicing an arm open and then going for a relaxing evening swim in shark-infested shoals. Add to that the R1T's unconventional powertrain and an already-difficult path to acceptance becomes even trickier. Plus, current pickups are really, really good. One glance at the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid makes it clear just how steep of an uphill battle Rivian has on its hands.

Standing out in this segment could be difficult for a new gasoline-powered truck, but being an electric gives the R1T some advantages. In our full Rivian R1T review, we went over all those associated with its serious performance and off-road capabilities, but there are also plenty of unique little touches that are worth pointing out. Are some a bit unnecessary? Sure, but sometimes it's the little things that most attract us to automobiles. Here are nine "little things" we like about the 2022 Rivian R1T.

The Gear Tunnel

This is absolutely one of the R1T's cleverer party tricks. The Gear Tunnel is exactly what it sounds like: a storage area that runs between the cab and bed that can be accessed from either side of the truck's exterior. This is cool just on spec, as it can be used for securing long items that won't easily (or safely) fit elsewhere in the truck. It also has attachment points for some of Rivian's earliest accessories, including the ironing-board-like "Shuttle" platform (above left) and the attached accessory camp kitchen (above right).

The onboard air compressor

This is not only awesome for general utility, but great for those who actually off-road their pickups. This integrated compressor comes with a detachable line long enough to reach any of the R1T's tires for refills after airing down for rough terrain. Just set the pressure and hit a button, and it'll air right up while you pack your other gear.

This cool camp speaker

This Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker weighs just 5 pounds and docks within the R1T's center console for easy storage when not in use (above right). It will charge when stowed or can be plugged into an external USB Type-C port when docking isn't an option.

The Gear Guard Camera

This helps prevent stuff in the bed from getting stolen ... or at least records thieves in the act. Just wrap the Gear Guard cables around cargo and if someone tugs on the cable while the truck is locked, the interior screen lights up with the above cartoon to scare them off and let them know they're on candid camera. Will it work? We'll see, but seems like a better solution that keeping a Rottweiler leashed in the bed.

The flashlight with its own integrated door pocket

So you've seen Rolls-Royces (and Volkswagen Passats) with umbrella pockets in their doors, but have you seen an American truck with a built-in flashlight? Now you have. There's not much more to say about this; it's just a handy gadget. The Rivian folks seem quite pleased with it.

The key fob shaped like a carabiner

Yeah, there's not much to say here. It's very "active lifestyle," which is neither here nor there. We just think it's cool.

An under-bed storage and/or spare tire

We acknowledge that climbing over the tailgate and into the bed for a gigantic spare tire might not be the most elegant thing one can do. However, doing so may also be preferable to having to dig under the rear end of a disabled truck after you've managed to ding things up out on the trail. You can also leave the tire behind and have the entire storage bin for whatever you want to keep safe and/or dry. True, the Honda Ridgeline manages to have the storage well and a spare tire, but that's a rinky-dink space saver. This is the real deal.

The frunk

Yep, the R1T has a frunk. While car enthusiasts may be used to seeing frunks only in sports cars and high-end performance machines equipped with mid- or rear-mounted internal combustion engines, they aren't exactly the stuff of typical pickups. This atypical-for-ICE-but-ubiquitous-for-EV design adds a chunk of secure, weatherproof storage to the R1T's nose. It measures 11 cubic feet, which is about what you'd find in a two-door coupe's trunk.

Cross bars for the roof and bed

Roof rails are a rarity in trucks of any kind, making it difficult to install cross bars. Bars spanning the bed are more common. The R1T offers both with the same set of accessory cross bars that can fit on the roof or across the bed. You can use the latter placement for a tent as shown above right.

Some photos by Dan Edmunds. Read his full 2022 Rivian R1T review here.

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