Meet the Rivian R3 and R3X, the US electric vehicle (EV) specialist’s smallest models to date.

    Revealed today alongside the Tesla Model Y-sized Rivian R2, the R3 and its jacked-up, performance-focused R3X sibling add variety to the brand’s lineup, which has until now been limited to the R1T full-size pickup and R1S SUV.

    Production of the Rivian R3 is due to begin after the R2 ramps up in 2026.

    According to Rivian, the R3 will be cheaper than the R2, which has a targeted starting price of US$45,000 (A$68,000).

    While the R3 shares the same front-end design language as Rivian’s existing model range – with its full-width LED light bar and ‘pill’ daytime running lights – its rear and side profile is reminiscent of European hatchbacks from the 1970s and 1980s.

    Under the skin, the R3 and R3X utilise the same EV platform as the R2, albeit with approximately 120mm to 130mm removed from the wheelbase – measuring up at about 2800mm between the axles.

    While the Rivian R3 is understood to be offered with a choice of single or dual electric motors – providing rear- and all-wheel drive respectively – the R3X is in line for a tri-motor setup, though outputs are yet to be confirmed.

    Rivian hasn’t detailed the R3 and R3X’s battery capacity, only claiming the models will be sold with two pack sizes, offering up to 480km of driving range.

    Inside, there’s a slim digital instrument cluster, a wide infotainment screen and a squared-off steering wheel, which adds to the retro look along with the R3X’s suave ribbed leather seats – a feature the R3 misses out on.

    A floating centre console includes rear air vents for back seat passengers, as well as what appears to be seat heating and ventilation controls plus dual USB-C ports.

    While the R3’s front seats feature traditional storage bins for second-row occupants, the R3X’s rugged design sees it incorporate straps and a hanging hook.

    Like the R2, Rivian plans to equip the R3 and R3X with autonomous driving technology, aided by up to 11 cameras and five radars.

    MORE: Everything Rivian

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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