Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Rivian R2 is the EV I have been waiting for my whole life

Published Mar 8th, 2024 2:59PM EST
A Rivian R2 next to a river
Image: Rivian

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

It’s here. It’s finally here. After years of looking at the R1T and R1S and knowing that both were incredible but completely out of my price range, Rivian has finally revealed the vehicle that I will finally make the jump to electric over.

Yesterday, Rivian hosted its R2 reveal event. Not only did the company unveil the R2, but it surprised everyone by also unveiling the R3 and R3X, its upcoming high-performance electric take on a crossover. After the event, I watched it only about five more times and dug into Twitter, Reddit, and Rivian’s website to learn everything I could about the R2.

This is the Rivian I’ve been waiting for

Right now, I drive a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. I love to run, hike, camp, backpack, and basically do anything you’d want to do outdoors that a purchase at REI would support. While we were coming up to the R2 unveiling, I was considering trading in my Crosstrek for a Forester or Outback Wilderness. After seeing the R2, those plans are dead and I am holding on to my Crosstrek until I can get my first Rivian and my first electric vehicle.

The Rivian R2 is the electric vehicle I have been waiting for since I first saw an electric car. I’ve always wanted to go electric, but there were a few things holding me back. I needed something that was off-road capable, made for my lifestyle, and hit a price point I could afford. The R2 hits all three of those points for me.

I love the design. It’s basically a miniature version of the R1S, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It also has a bunch of things that make the R1S great like the front trunk, plenty of storage behind the rear seats, and the ability to camp inside the vehicle with the company’s Camp Mode.

Pop-out quarter windows and retracting rear window on the Rivian R2.

However, it also packs some unique features of its own. The back quarter panels pop out and the rear window rolls down to give an open-air experience when driving. You get not one but two glove boxes. And, while the R1S can only fold the rear seats down, the R2 can roll the front seats down as well for an even better in-vehicle camping experience. I can’t wait to see what a custom-built mattress looks like for the R2. If someone can design one that you can easily store in the front trunk, I’ll be all over that.

Two glove boxes in the Rivian R2.

I also love the layout of the interior. It’s very similar to the R1 but with its own personality. The layout, positioning, and sizes of the screens all look incredibly nice, and those touch-capacitive dials on the steering wheel look really intuitive. Scaringe also said that the wireless charging pad in the center console is much improved, so hopefully we won’t need to buy a third-party accessory like a lot of people ended up doing with their R1T and R1S.

Even better than the design are the features

I’m not a huge specs guy, but there are some things about the R2 that also made me pretty stoked. For one, the R2 will support NACS charging, so that fixes the whole CCS/NACS debacle and I don’t have to worry about needing an adapter at a Tesla Supercharger station — sweet. It also will be, at the very least, capable of 270 miles of range which is plenty for me as someone who works from home.

Outside of that, I’m most interested in what the experience of using the vehicle would be like. As someone who wants to use it to get to trailheads and go camping, I need it to be capable of that and was worried that Rivian might keep that capability with the R1T and R1S. Thankfully, that is not the case and this thing is the adventure vehicle I’ve been waiting for.

Rivian R2 in White.

Not only will the R2 feature a dual-motor trim that is capable of All-Wheel Drive, but the ground clearance is more than enough to use it the way I intend to. I’m not trying to rock crawl — I just need it to get to some remote campsites. Once I get to the trailhead or campsite, the accessories that Rivian is making for the R2 are the real unlock for me.

The removable bike rack looks fantastic since, when you are not using it, you can detach it and store it in the front trunk. Plus, no tools are needed to attach or detach it, making it super easy to break it out when I’m biking and store it when I’m not. That is super convenient.

Bike rack on the Rivian R2.

At the campsite, Rivian is also making a new version of its kitchen that you can also attach to the back of the vehicle. That would be a ton of fun to have that when I’m car camping since it contains pretty much everything you need to make some delicious food and actually uses the car’s battery to power the induction cooktop.

Rivian R2 with the Treehouse and Kitchen.

The last thing I’m completely into is the Treehouse, Rivian’s take on a rooftop tent. According to the rumor mill from people who got to ask questions at the event, the tent will actually be powered and include integrated lights with the ability to keep it climate-controlled from the vehicle. I can’t wait to get more details about this thing — it looks like the most incredible camping experience.

I immediately preordered

All of these things come together to create the perfect vehicle (electric or not) for someone like me. I’m personally holding on to my Crosstrek, which I paid off last year, and am taking the next two years to save up for a down payment on the R2. I also immediately preordered the vehicle as soon as I was able to do so on Rivian’s website.

I’m certainly not even close to the only one who has put a reservation down on the R2. According to Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, over 68,000 reservations have come in for the R2 in less than 24 hours.

I am so excited to see what the company announces over the next two years leading up to the R2’s release. We still need to learn about color options, pricing on the different trims, delivery windows, and so much more.

We’ll also probably be getting more details about the R3 and R3X, the surprise vehicles that Rivian unveiled at the event. While I’m completely in on the R2, I’m hoping all of you now R3 fans will get a lot more details and the ability to put a reservation in soon!

If you want to rewatch the event (or watch it for the first time), you can check it out below:

The lead-up to 2026 is going to be so exciting, and I can’t wait to finally make the jump to electric in a vehicle that feels tailor-made for me. I hope you all were able to get your reservation in too!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.