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  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #21 is available now. We covered the recent wide release of FSD Beta and shared our experiences. We also discussed the best times to charge and Tesla's official CCS adapter. You can watch it on YouTube.

Firsthand comparison from an owner of both, between the Rivian SUV and Tesla Model X. The only EV 7-seater SUV's available.

Very informative. I’m not close to making a decision on a 7 seater EV but our next EV will likely be one with three rows. Right now the Rivian would be the better choice due to the larger size, the ability to do a roof rack and the better off road capability. As a family that likes the outdoors and camps the X just won’t work as well… not to mention the price.
 
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just got a rivian r1t for a few days and agree completely with everything op said
I do have a model Y but am familiar with the refreshed X
If I had to choose based on my lifestyle, I'd still go with a Tesla right at this time
Since you say it's a lifestyle choice, what makes the Tesla better under your circumstances? What do you consider the sway factor in all of this?
 
Since you say it's a lifestyle choice, what makes the Tesla better under your circumstances? What do you consider the sway factor in all of this?
So for me, it's the tech aka the autopilot. We go on SOO many roadtrips and being able to sit back and relax on freeways, long roads, is helpful. With the rivian they have highway+ which only works on certain parts of the 5 so even on the 5 freeway to and back from san diego there were times I had to drive and focus. At the end that's fine but I got spoiled by tesla's.

second is the charging infrastructure. the rivian shows you where you need to stop. with the Ev go chargers, it says 5 out of 6 available. With electrify america it says 6 chargers. That means while i'm driving I need to look in the EA app to see if those chargers are free, broken, etc. And, out of the 6, 3 were out of order at the time. Even the owner of the R1T told me that there were times he'd get to a charger and it says it was available but when he charged it didnt work.

The rivian makes me want to go outdoors: camp, be with nature. But I'd never take it on a 2k mile roadtrip because the charging isn't there. So for us, it makes more sense to go with the tesla.

Build quality is amazing on the Rivian. The physical features are outstanding. And they are constantly releasing new software and their own FSD later.
But I'd still give the edge to tesla in that aspect.
 
rivian's strength is that it is more outdoors/off road focused, while the X is more a grand touring package.

While I have taken my X off road more than once, and was blown away about how capable the power train is, it was obviously out of it's element and was far happier getting back on pavement or smooth dirt road.

Rivian is more of a big box. This allows for some more interior room, but far less aerodynamic and efficient on the highway.

Biggest Rivian issue still is that if you want to go off road camping, there is almost no where to charge up away from civilization. Camping with that big tent on top for a few days of off roading is going to be challenging without a charging network.

Same with long road trips. Rivian simply has not rolled out a charging network to their customers at this time.

Tesla Long Range gets 348 Miles/Range. 175 Miles/Range in 15 minutes Supercharging Speed and 35,000 (and growing) Superchargers along the way.
Rivian simply does not compete currently for typical travelers.

Bigger issue is that at current prices, Rivian looses $ on every car they produce. They mis-priced their cars currently and will need to address that before becoming viable.

Tesla is currently making 30% profit on their production, and rapidly decreasing their costs of production with innovative casting processes and more efficient assembly. They have solved the supply chain issues better than other manufacturers and continue to be growing exponentially.

Believe Rivian will appeal more to outdoorsmen and trades people for elite worksite boss vehicles.
 
So, @everydaychris and @Unclepaul one of the key points you say is, essentially, Tesla's Supercharger network. If Tesla does indeed open it up to others, does that change your opinion?

I ask this, because the current charging infrastructure of everyone other than Tesla is what might hold me back from Rivian. In the same respect, opening Tesla's network creates a problem since part of the price we pay for any Tesla goes toward this network. In my area, the Tesla chargers are getting swamped during the summer weekends. If others are allowed, and there's nothing giving Tesla owners priority or even partial access guarantees, how do you feel about it? We're literally on the verge of this happening.

I'll definitely say the X is comfortable for those long trips, AutoPilot is a blessing although I'm not fully trusting FSD in heavy traffic. I see compromises with the 6 seater: middle row doesn't fold, belt buckles are encroaching on seats, unable to add much to supplement cargo capacity (no ability to add roof racks, VERY limited factory hitch mount). On the bonus is the rest of the tech, although I see Rivian is catching up slowly. Rivian has me sold because of perceived durability - I'd chuck stuff into it without concern, but with Tesla I'd be cringing almost all the time. Rivian's biggest issue, of course, has yet to be dealt with - that is whether the company will survive the next year or so.
 
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So, @everydaychris and @Unclepaul one of the key points you say is, essentially, Tesla's Supercharger network. If Tesla does indeed open it up to others, does that change your opinion?

I ask this, because the current charging infrastructure of everyone other than Tesla is what might hold me back from Rivian. In the same respect, opening Tesla's network creates a problem since part of the price we pay for any Tesla goes toward this network. In my area, the Tesla chargers are getting swamped during the summer weekends. If others are allowed, and there's nothing giving Tesla owners priority or even partial access guarantees, how do you feel about it? We're literally on the verge of this happening.

I'll definitely say the X is comfortable for those long trips, AutoPilot is a blessing although I'm not fully trusting FSD in heavy traffic. I see compromises with the 6 seater: middle row doesn't fold, belt buckles are encroaching on seats, unable to add much to supplement cargo capacity (no ability to add roof racks, VERY limited factory hitch mount). On the bonus is the rest of the tech, although I see Rivian is catching up slowly. Rivian has me sold because of perceived durability - I'd chuck stuff into it without concern, but with Tesla I'd be cringing almost all the time. Rivian's biggest issue, of course, has yet to be dealt with - that is whether the company will survive the next year or so.
I thought about that and will say no. What makes tesla good also is that #1 all the info you need about the supercharger is on the screen. And #2, even if it does get more congested, the navigation will automatically reroute you to a less busy supercharger.
I never realized how huge it is to know info about the supercharger that all other companies like rivian don't have because it's not their own network. Also, when they do open it up they will be opening WAY more superchargers and I don't think it makes sense for them to alter the current superchargers now with a CCS plug.
 
I thought about that and will say no. What makes tesla good also is that #1 all the info you need about the supercharger is on the screen. And #2, even if it does get more congested, the navigation will automatically reroute you to a less busy supercharger.
I never realized how huge it is to know info about the supercharger that all other companies like rivian don't have because it's not their own network. Also, when they do open it up they will be opening WAY more superchargers and I don't think it makes sense for them to alter the current superchargers now with a CCS plug.
I'm hopeful of this, although I also think that if they want to have an immediate impact, the solution will be to open up and convert the existing chargers. Simply getting through permits, planning and the other steps seems to take an inordinate amount of time.

Agree with the rest, although it seems OTHER manufacturers (not North American) seem to have some decent charger mappings - I'm looking at the Renault for one. Given the similarities with the Volvo/Polestar, I would think perhaps they would be up to speed as well. Nonetheless, as long as software can be improved, then eventually they might get something usable. For Rivian, I wonder if they'll be providing such info on their own network that they're rolling out?
 

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I thought about that and will say no. What makes tesla good also is that #1 all the info you need about the supercharger is on the screen. And #2, even if it does get more congested, the navigation will automatically reroute you to a less busy supercharger.
I never realized how huge it is to know info about the supercharger that all other companies like rivian don't have because it's not their own network. Also, when they do open it up they will be opening WAY more superchargers and I don't think it makes sense for them to alter the current superchargers now with a CCS plug.
Agree. Adding CCS or building new sites, is a process that will take years.
 
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I'm hopeful of this, although I also think that if they want to have an immediate impact, the solution will be to open up and convert the existing chargers. Simply getting through permits, planning and the other steps seems to take an inordinate amount of time.

Agree with the rest, although it seems OTHER manufacturers (not North American) seem to have some decent charger mappings - I'm looking at the Renault for one. Given the similarities with the Volvo/Polestar, I would think perhaps they would be up to speed as well. Nonetheless, as long as software can be improved, then eventually they might get something usable. For Rivian, I wonder if they'll be providing such info on their own network that they're rolling out?
They do but not as detailed. I was going to go to one of their networks but it was too far away. However it does show how many KW as well as how many are free
 
They do but not as detailed. I was going to go to one of their networks but it was too far away. However it does show how many KW as well as how many are free
One thing Tesla will have to add is queuing - for those who have to wait, it'll control and prevent people from cutting to the front of the line opportunistically.
 
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Tesla definitely wins hands down when it comes to road tripping. Charging network, efficiency and auto pilot. For those that do A LOT of travelling with their EV's, then the Tesla is the better choice of the two. I will say however, Tesla's range figures are inflated whereas, from first-hand experience, the Rivian's range figures are far more accurate. I just took a trip to Vegas in the Rivian and fully expected to have to stop to charge halfway. I've made the same trip in the Tesla many times. I arrived to the same place I charged the Tesla (they have EV America Charges there too). Actually made it with more range left in the Rivian than I ever did in my Tesla. Tesla X may say 348, but real world driving at "keep up with traffic" speeds on the 15 freeway to Vegas (80-85 typically), the Rivian far, far, far outperformed my expectations and to my very big surprise, actually outperformed my Tesla. Don't mistake this for saying that the Rivian is more efficient as it is not. But, remember that the Rivian has a bigger battery than the Tesla. So am simply stating, was able to go further, at "keep up with traffic" speeds in the Rivian than I was in the Tesla.

And again, while the Supercharger network is far superior, public charging network for the rest is building up fairly quickly. At least for any trips I would take, it appears that I would have no problem getting there. Especially after learning that the Rivian actually gets the range it says it will. But, for those looking to go deep into the woods for camping, finding a pubic charger could be more difficult. But, are there Tesla chargers deep into the woods as well?
 
Thanks for the great comparison. We just took delivery of a Model Y LR 7 seater. It'll be my wife's car to shuttle our kids around. She's going to be using the MY instead of my Subaru Ascent - $25 to charge vs $100 a tank of gas. She does about 12-15k mi/yr just driving around the city lol. The extra two seats in the back actually do fit our 11 yr old boys. If we decide to use the MY on our trips up to our second home in Vancouver, B.C., at least we can carry the three kids and our in-laws to dinner.

I had looked at the MX LR 7 seat when it was "just" $90k. I'm still kicking myself for not buying on then. But now at nearly $130k OTD, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic. Plus I hate the yoke steering wheel. The R1S is VERY intriguing, but supply constraints means I wouldn't get one until 2024 or 2025, if I ordered one now. I had initially wanted the new PHEV 7 seat full sized Range Rover, but dealers are asking $20k over MSRP, which really doesn't sit well with me. The BMW X7 is too ugly, especially new new split headlight design. After owning multiple MBZs, I know how expensive they get out of warranty, and the GLS does not interest me. Audi is a non-factor as their 3 row suv is unusable. My MY 7 seat feels more comfortable. I'm not willing to buy another GM luxobarge full sized SUV, especially considering the build quality and asking price these days.

So for now, we will stick with our MY and Subie Ascent combo. I've got my Porsche 911 in the garage for days when I'm in the mood for raucous ICE sports car motoring. Maybe if Tesla goes back to a round steering wheel and drops the price on the MX, I might be interested. Or I will just place an order for the R1S and wait.
 
- MX is not narrower than R1S. Both have a width of 81" with mirrors folded and 89" with mirrors.
- I own a refreshed LR MX and love the yoke. I probably won't ever buy a car without yoke. The turn signal automatically turns off after lane change completion, something a stalk could never do.
- I have a R1t quad motor and MX LR. On paper 0-60 for r1t is 3s and 3.8s for MX, but MX feels significantly faster than r1t.
- Lastly, when it comes to 'fun to drive car', I would choose MX over anything else.
 
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- MX is not narrower than R1S. Both have a width of 81" with mirrors folded and 89" with mirrors.
- I own a refreshed LR MX and love the yoke. I probably won't ever buy a car without yoke. The turn signal automatically turns off after lane change completion, something a stalk could never do.
- I have a R1t quad motor and MX LR. On paper 0-60 for r1t is 3s and 3.8s for MX, but MX feels significantly faster than r1t.
- Lastly, when it comes to 'fun to drive car', I would choose MX over anything else.

With regards to the turn signal stalks, partially true. The old mechanically ratcheted stalks wouldn't work, but the ones on the 3/Y could still have the software applied to do the same thing as the S/X. Personally, the stalks still make more sense than the buttons as 1) they stay relative to your normal hand position, 2) are less likely to signal incorrectly since you sweep in the the stalk in the direction you're turning the wheel (of course, that said, I did see a Hyundai do the opposite at a left turn today - I don't know if she had tried to cancel the turn).
 
With regards to the turn signal stalks, partially true. The old mechanically ratcheted stalks wouldn't work, but the ones on the 3/Y could still have the software applied to do the same thing as the S/X. Personally, the stalks still make more sense than the buttons as 1) they stay relative to your normal hand position, 2) are less likely to signal incorrectly since you sweep in the the stalk in the direction you're turning the wheel (of course, that said, I did see a Hyundai do the opposite at a left turn today - I don't know if she had tried to cancel the turn).
Believe me, I was probably more skeptical than anyone else about the yoke. It only took me a week to get used to it and after that it feels so natural. I have 0 instances of accidental button press with yoke after I got used to it. It's like apple getting rid of the headphone jack. Please complain about it for a while but then they get used to it and appreciate the new tech.
 
Believe me, I was probably more skeptical than anyone else about the yoke. It only took me a week to get used to it and after that it feels so natural. I have 0 instances of accidental button press with yoke after I got used to it. It's like apple getting rid of the headphone jack. Please complain about it for a while but then they get used to it and appreciate the new tech.
I've had it for a couple of months and find that I still miss the turn signal at times. Although the indent helps to locate the proper areas for each, the switch doesn't always engage. So far as the gear selector - they need to toss that. Too many times it doesn't take input, it's slow to respond and it's downright a step backwards. A simple set of stalks makes more sense overall.
 
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