We Measured the 2022 Rivian R1S’s Cargo Storage to Determine Its Usable Space

This visual guide should help you get a sense of what you can really fit inside a Rivian R1S electric SUV.

byAndrew P. CollinsJul 6, 2022 11:00 AM
We Measured the 2022 Rivian R1S’s Cargo Storage to Determine Its Usable Space
Andrew P. Collins
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If you're buying a vehicle as large as the Rivian R1S, surely you're planning on packing plenty of people and payload on your adventures. To help you get a practical sense of the interior, I've created a little visual guide here so you can size up each cranny and configuration of this electric SUV.

Cockpit packaging is one of the most interesting spaces to watch in electric car development. The absence of an engine and all the mechanical tendrils that come with one opens up a lot of room for creativity when it comes to how a vehicle's passenger and cargo areas can be laid out. The R1S makes good use of this, most notably with a two-shelf storage box under the hood, a big storage cavity between the front seats, and flat cargo areas in the rear.

Rivian's site has some high-level capacity claims (total enclosed storage of 105 cubic feet, frunk's 11.1 cu. ft., rear floor storage is 5.1). You can see some of the storage elements in action in Rivian's story page about the R1T truck, which is the same as the SUV from the B pillar forward. And based on how adamant the company's PR reps were about getting customer feedback at the launch event I went to, I bet you could get answers to specific sizing-spec questions if you reach out through the company's support page.

But I brought my tape measure to the media test drive to investigate the SUV's many compartments and cubbies to, I hope, give you a really solid sense of how your stuff would fit.

Rivian R1S Interior Usable Space, Manually Measured

Before we get to the measurements—and this is important, because it's a little abstract—let me run you through my methodology. Instead of measuring each storage area in its entirety, I tried to measure the largest cuboid box that would fit comfortably in any given section.

For example, you'll see that my measurements for the rear cargo area with all the seats folded down read 42.5 inches wide, 81 inches long, and 28 inches tall. That's not the absolute max of that area; that's the biggest square-edged box I'd be comfortable loading in without worrying about marring the SUV's lovely headliner.

All this to say, there are quite a few cubic inches of cargo capacity left on the table with my diagrams here but that was intentional. Use these visualizations to get a sense of what you could easily carry, and from context, you can imagine what you might be able to stuff into corners if you really wanted to. And one more critical disclaimer: Use the cubes I drew for general reference only. They're not to scale, they're not very sciency; they're just Photoshop doodles to help you see where I'm measuring.

Front Trunk

The front trunk is bisected in the middle, with a divider that's held open with a little pair of magnets. For those who skipped my intro: These measurements are not the maximum size of the space, they represent the largest cuboid box I thought I close in there without hitting walls or edges.

The R1S's frunk is certainly big enough to be useful but I wouldn't call it cavernous. It's not like the interior walls stretch to the exterior sheet metal—there's quite a bit of car between the cargo cavity and the outside. In daily use, it'd be great for groceries, and on a long-haul overland trip, I might toss the first stuff I set up at camp in there like my Kelty Discovery Shade and some chairs.

Under that first section, you've got another area that's a little shallow but wide. I must admit that this is probably the least optimally measured section with a cuboid box so don't get too hung up on my depth, here. As you can see, you could go a little deeper if you utilize that sunken section. This is all hard-plastic lined and it's even got a little one-way drain valve (bottom left corner of the box from this picture's perspective), so you could toss wet stuff in there. I think it'd probably take forever and a day to drain if you straight-up filled it with water or ice, though.

Finally, you'll notice the shelf is being held up for the photo. It snaps into this open position with magnets, so you could fit much taller things in there if you didn't need a shelf. That "nine-inch tall" measurement imagines that the shelf is down.

Cockpit

With no transmission between the front passengers, the area between the footwells (yellow in the illustration) is great for storing something like a little cooler or maybe even a compact recovery kit if you're really mud bogging. Rivian's people mentioned they often found themselves putting Nalgene-sized waterbottles down there; I could see myself using it for the little duffle bag I carry my dog's food and accessories in on trips.

The armrest opens to a center console storage hole (purple) that seemed a bit smaller than what I've seen in, say, half-ton pickup trucks. It would not fit a laptop computer but water bottles, hand tools, and similar-sized stuff would go just fine.

Ahead of that is a little tray (blue) with wireless phone charging. Now, obviously, you could stick something much taller than five inches there—but that's as much space as I'd be willing to give up there without getting annoying and in the way of infotainment access.

Just below that is a pull-out cupholder for two beverages that'd hold a standard pair of coffee tumblers. And below that is a cute little removable speaker/lantern thing that stows flush ahead of that storage area I marked in yellow.

Each of the front seats has a tiny little nook that opens to reveal a triangular pocket. If you like having quick access to a Toblerone chocolate, you'll be stoked on this. I personally tend to wear tight pants so I like to pull my wallet and phone out of my front pockets on long drives—this little thing would be good for that, too. Or maybe a spare pair of sunglasses. Somebody made a joke about this being "the concealed-carry compartment" but it would definitely not fit a handgun.

The door pockets are pretty standard; the top expands out if you stuff something big in there. They're a lot bigger than the map pockets on some old SUVs; I'd probably stash a pair of flip-flops and a water bottle in mine.

In the R1S, you'll find one of these pockets in each door, front and back.

Full Cargo Position, Second and Third Row Down

Once again, remember that these measurements here are not edge-to-edge. This represents the biggest cuboid box I'd be willing to slide into an R1S I was paying off a $90,000 loan for. I'm not trying to say the SUV felt fragile, but I know myself and I'd be sweating bullets if, like, a bike handlebar got anywhere near that headliner or the third-row armrests.

If you want to preserve rear visibility, cut that 28-inch measurement down to about 20 inches.

With all the seats down, a couple and their young kid and even a decent-sized dog could all sleep in the back of this thing pretty easily. Three adults might have to be in a special relationship to bunk up here but I'm about six feet tall and a medium t-shirt size, and I could sleep next to one platonic friend in an R1S without making it weird. Another cool thing is that if you did want to snooze in the rig, you'd still have cargo space because of that front trunk and a little way-back sub-section we'll get into in a bit.

Finally, I want to point out how seamlessly flat the cargo floor is between the way-back and the folded-down third-row seats. There's a tiny little ledge so that when all the seats are down, you can pull the rear floor up just a smidge which gives you this great, smooth cargo floor. You might also notice that there are cargo tie-down clips on rails; those pop out too if you want more flatness.

Unfortunately, neither the second or third-row seats are designed to be easily removed all the way. I don't have kids but I still like huge SUVs; I'd be curious to see just how much space you could make if you unbolted basically everything aft of the cab and made a mega camper/sleeper rig.

Five-Pax Mode, Third Row Down

The only thing to note about my measurement in this position is that the second row of seats reclines, and I set them in a comfortable position here. You could eek out a little more space if you had your rear passengers sitting bolt upright.

Max Passenger Position, All Seats Up

I was earnestly impressed with how much space the R1S has behind the third row. If you've ever tried to pack all the seats in, say, a Toyota 4Runner, Mercedes-Benz GLS, or even a Chevy Tahoe, you'll know that once every seat belt is buckled you've got basically no space for stuff. Not the case here.

Note that I also allowed for more width in my made-up measurement box in this configuration, because the third-row armrests are no longer a consideration. You may also notice that the bottom of this "box" is a lot longer than the top, breaking my cuboids rule. Sorry, but the taper was significant enough that it had to be pointed out—while the floor gives you about 21 inches of depth, the third row reclines in such a way that by the time you get to the top, a 21-inch-deep box would no longer fit.

Removing the cargo cover reveals this three-section storage area. A hose for the air compressor comes in the left little pocket and a first-aid kit comes in the right, so the areas I marked in blue are going to be booked up with those if you carry them.

There's one more layer of secret storage behind the third row of seats. If you wanted to, you could probably ditch that three-section thing altogether and have one bigger bucket here. Much like the frunk, a cuboid box is pretty limited here—there's a decent amount of room in here for things that aren't all hard 90-degree angles.

Everything Else

Here's what I skipped: footwells, the little storage pockets in the third-row armrests, and the thin pockets in the backs of the front seats. There's no dashboard glove compartment at all, interestingly. You might have also noticed that we didn't see a spare tire on our little tour here—there isn't one.

***

The Rivian R1S has a healthy offering of cargo compartments. With every seat full, you could still carry stuff for a family day trip. A group of four could stash stuff for a multi-day camp easily, too. And a couple-plus-dog crew could sprawl out in luxury.

Rivian's PR people liked the word "approachability" a lot when describing the cockpit and pointed out how easily the floormats could be cleaned. Like I said before—the interior certainly doesn't feel so precious that I'd panic every time my dog jumped in with muddy paws. But this is a luxury SUV with three screens inside, a glass roof, and microsuede-looking headliner elements all over the place, not a work van or a 200,000-mile Scion xB. I'm just saying, you wouldn't catch me dropping junkyard engines in the back of this (though hanging a utility trailer off the receiver would be no problem for such a job).

I'm really looking forward to seeing what owners do with the interior's various cubbies and compartments. If you're thinking about becoming one, hopefully, this post has given you some guidance and insight on how well it might fit your lifestyle.