The 2022 Rivian R1T is the most remarkable pickup we’ve ever driven. It drives great, looks modern, and is packed with clever and functional technologies. It also gets a high score for storage, including a gear tunnel located behind the rear bench that can be accessed from outside the truck. But like many EVs these days, the R1T takes advantage of the fact that it lacks a conventional engine by having a frunk—a front trunk under the hood where buyers can store plenty of additional items.
Rivian reports the R1T’s frunk can accommodate 11 cubic feet of life’s detritus, which is quite a bit for such a space. Of course, when compared to the Ford F-150 Lightning’s cavernous 14-cube frunk, the Rivian’s space might seem lacking, but recall that the R1T is a smaller truck overall. It’s still quite useful, and we were surprised to see how much it can hold. As with any cargo area, available room is best maximized with soft bags filled with soft goods.
During our multiweek trip traveling the off-road Trans-America Trail, each team used the R1T’s frunk in different ways. One leg saw the Rivian’s frunk store three duffel bags and a bag of snacks roughly the size of a large backpack. Another leg used it to hold two MaxTrax recovery boards, three large backpacks, and a small Pelican case. Yet another one used it to store three backpacks, a sleeping bag and inflatable pad, and a box of food. Although that may not sound like a ton, using the frunk meant none of those things needed to be stowed in the cabin. (The truck’s bed and gear tunnel, as you can imagine, were packed with other things necessary for the trip.)
The frunk can be opened via the infotainment screen, the remote key, or a button at the front of the R1T, and doing so lifts the power-operated hood panel automatically. The frunk can be powered closed using any of the same methods used to open it.
There are no power outlets or USB ports inside—those are reserved for the cabin—but the frunk does have a large bin underneath the floor to handle additional items, such as more duffel bags. To access the bin, simply lift the floor panel, and it will secure via magnets against the back wall, a great packaging solution that means you don’t have to find space elsewhere to store the panel. What’s missing is a drain plug so you could use the frunk as a cooler during tailgate parties or camping trips. Maybe Rivian will add one—and perhaps some power points—in a later update to its new electric truck.
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