Buying A Rivian Instead Of A Silverado EV

Charjd

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A month or two ago there was a flurry of Silverado EV Work Truck test drives. They were mostly extremely positive. The big problem is that you just can't get one. I gave up and bought a Rivian R1T. It's a fun car that I like a lot. I call it a car because it's not really what you call a truck. It has quirky futuristic un-truck-like styling that is hated and despised by real truck enthusiasts. I'm in the heart of truck country and I know. Nobody even knows what a Rivian R1T is here.

I don't know why I bought a Rivian; I didn't know much about them. I was driven to do something because of my frustration with waiting for the Silverado EV. I didn't want a Ford F-150 Lightning because they look clunky and ordinary. The way it happened is I paid the $1000 reservation fee and expected a long wait. I knew I could get it refunded any time. I was surprised to find that there was a number of them available and I found one in Georgia that matched what I wanted almost exactly. That propelled me into a buying a Rivian even though I wasn't really ready.

Anyone who searches for R1T on the internet will find an online lovefest. I thought I would focus on things I don't like. I owned a Chevy Volt, which I still have. That is partly why I was interested in the Chevy Silverado EV. The Chevy user experience is the culmination of decades of auto evolution and the Rivian is the result of only a few years of development. There are little things the Rivian lacks that I find bothersome. I have to stress that I've only had the car a few months and there might be stuff I don't know about. I miss the resume function for the cruise control. When you hit the brake, you can't go back to the speed you had set before. You have to set it again. The song browsing and listening feature for playing sound files from external media like USB drives is totally lacking. There isn't a single USB 1/2 socket in the whole car. This feature is standard on every other late model car I know about. I was very surprised it just wasn't there. The Rivian uses Bluetooth to stream whatever is on your phone. I haven't been able to pair with any other Bluetooth device. Chevy has a feature for voice-activated commands and vehicle communication. That is a useful feature for hands-free operation. I don't think Rivian even has a microphone to capture your voice. I like the Chevy's parking assist feature. I used to use it a lot. The Rivian doesn't have that.

I have watched YouTube tear-down videos that get into the guts of cars. There is a series which compares the Ford F-150 Lightning with the Rivian. Current Rivians have almost-hand-built-like features that don't lend themselves readily to mass production. They are expensive to build. The lack of standardized parts means that repairing a Rivian is extremely expensive and has to be done at a Rivian service center. This propels the cost of insurance to an astronomical level. Insurance is the biggest expense I have with the Rivian. There is little history of reliability. My biggest hope is that the thing is going to hold up and not need any repairs. Ever. (That aren't covered by a warranty.)

Like I said, owners love their Rivians. Mine has luxury items that I'm not used to. The air shocks make the ride very controlled and pleasant. I love the ride and I love to drive it. The suspension level goes from around nine inches to almost 15 inches. At the highest, off-road setting you can't go over 20 miles per hour. I love the lowest sport setting. It is amazing how a seven-thousand-pound vehicle can hug the road. Then there is the crazy acceleration. Mine has four motors and with all of them pulling it's an incredible experience. With traction control, you can't spin the wheels. It all goes into moving the car. The Rivian is considerably smaller than the Silverado EV, which I like. Parking it in a normal parking place is not difficult. It is also considerably lighter. An almost 5-ton truck is just ridiculous. The Rivian is still pretty heavy.

I know the Silverado EV will be an excellent vehicle. Early reviews have been very positive. But right now they are just a lot of vapor. Eventually there will probably be Colorado-sized trucks that will be a better fit for most people. That appears to be years in the future. Chevy knows the bigger the truck the bigger the potential profit margin. That's why they're starting with the biggest, most expensive model. And that's what customers are stuck with.
 
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camaroz1985

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Rivian has Alexa built in for voice control. Have a look at the manual to see the kinds of things you can control (access the manual through the app, or via the central screen). The cruise resume is kind of annoying, but you get used to it eventually. I never used USB for media files on other vehicles, so that wasn't an issue for me. I use Spotify most of the time. I'm not sure what park assist is on the Volt (we had a 2014 and it didn't even have a backup camera). I find the birds eye camera to be very good. We have just over 16k miles on ours now and it has been a great truck, and the good thing is with OTA updates it keeps getting better every month.
 
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Charjd

Charjd

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I activated Alexa in my Rivian. I use Alexa at home, mostly for my shopping list. I avoid services that I have to pay for when possible. I like Pandora. So the truck does have voice communication hardware. We just need the software to use it. Like a lot of things. That's what updates are for.
 

LLninja

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I also have a Chevy Volt, 2013 White Diamond Tricoat. I'm keeping my Silverado EV reservation while watching other reservations drop like flies near a bug zapper. Even though I submitted my reservation in Aug 2022, the more of you that go to other trucks, the further up the line I will be.

Interestingly enough, the Rivian is built in Normal, IL, about 50 minutes away from me. I am contemplating placing an order for the R1S but I'm waiting for the bigger battery to become available. There was some announcement last Spring that the 400 mile battery from the R1T will make it to an R1S this Fall.

Another contender is the RAM Revolution with the range extender. That might be a game changer, allowing me to drive EV around town but also drive to Alaska without range anxiety, much like the Volt. I really don't understand why they don't make PHEV pickups with 100 miles of EV range and a range extender. It would handle most people's daily commutes as well as allow you to tow a big camper without stopping every hundred miles or so.

Finally, the newly revealed Escalade IQ is stunning, but way overpriced IMHO. I want one, but the most expensive car I have purchased so far new or used is $31k so far, I am really struggling to justify why I need a vehicle that costs 4 to 6 times more.
 
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Charjd

Charjd

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I have a Rivian now, so I don't really have a pony in the Silverado EV show. But I've kept my reservation. I still check the web site frequently to see if something has happened. Too frequently. It's like watching a slug crossing the lawn and looking at it to see if it has moved and it hasn't and it could be dead. I hate waiting worse than anything, especially if there is no end in sight.
 

LLninja

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I have a Rivian now, so I don't really have a pony in the Silverado EV show. But I've kept my reservation. I still check the web site frequently to see if something has happened. Too frequently. It's like watching a slug crossing the lawn and looking at it to see if it has moved and it hasn't and it could be dead. I hate waiting worse than anything, especially if there is no end in sight.
it’s been like this since 2013 when I bought my Chevy Volt. Every year you hope for more EVs and every year it seems like they are coming out at a glacial pace. Had they made the Blazer EV in 2015 I’d be all over it. But now I need something that tows. Why nobody is going down the path of 100 miles of EV with a range extender is beyond me. That would solve my daily commute and towing an Airstream problem.
 
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