Should I lease a first-generation Rivian R1 or finance a second-generation Rivian R1?

I’ve had various people ask whether they should consider getting a 2023/2024 Rivian R1 or the 2025 model. So, this is an opinion piece I put together with my thoughts on what you should do; as always, this is strictly an opinion; any financial advice I offer is just advice, and you should always do what is best for your financial interest.

The first question you must ask yourself is if you’ll lease or finance your new Rivian. If you decide to lease your Rivian, you can take advantage of the $7,500 EV lease credit, which Rivian will automatically remove from the MSRP of the vehicle upon purchase. If you finance, you’ll need to see if the car you want qualifies for the partial EV tax credit of $3,750. As of this article, for any Rivian to qualify, it must be under $80,000 MSRP + you must meet the required income limits.

So, when should you consider a 2023/2024 Rivian R1? If you plan to lease the vehicle, I think the best thing to do right now is get one of those fantastic 2023/2024 deals that Rivian has going on. They offer great deals and incentives to sell those Gen 1 vehicles. No auto manufacturer wants to sit on previous-generation inventory, so Rivian is trying very hard to sell those, which is why they can offer some great lease incentives.

By leasing, you are only committing yourself to a 24-month or 36-month term with the Gen 1 Rivian R1, and in a few years, you can upgrade to Gen 2 or even Gen 3. Now, you’ll probably ask yourself, “Well, Jose, what about all that new stuff that Gen 2 gets that Gen 1 won’t get? What about that?” and you are right; you will miss out on some of the new stuff by leasing a previous generation vehicle. While the new Rivian Autonomy Platform is impressive and will bring incredible new tech to the Rivian Gen 2 vehicles, the platform doesn’t do much more than Gen 1 Driver+ can. You should never buy a product that promises what it can do tomorrow.

Rivian R1S Dual-Motor Standard Battery
2025 Rivian R1S Dual Standard

What about financing your new Rivian? If you want to spend extra cash and get the latest and greatest, consider the new 2025 Gen 2 Rivian R1. You’ll instantly get the best with the latest tech with zero concerns. Something to note is that, as of this article, zero vehicles are eligible for any EV tax credit because they are over the $80,000 mark.

It is up to you to decide what the right move is. You can drive the latest and greatest, take advantage of great incentives, get into a Rivian, pay less, and still have a phenomenal vehicle.

Finally, I want to compare two vehicles I found in my area to see what lease pricing would look like if I compared a 2024 R1S versus a 2025 R1S.

2024 R1S2025 R1S
EV lease credit$7,500$7,500
Term36 months36 months
Annual Mileage10,000 mi10,000 mi
Est. lease$709/mo$734/mo
Est. due at signing$6,604$6,629
Drive systemQuad-MotorDual-Motor
BatteryLarge (NMC)Standard (LFP)
Range321 mi258 mi
Horsepower835 hp533 hp
Torque908 lb-ft610 lb-ft
0-60 mph3.0 sec4.5 sec
Exterior ColorLA SilverLA Silver
Wheel21″ Road20″ All Season
Interior ColorBlack Mountain + Ash WoodBlack Mountain
AudioRivian Elevation AudioRivian Audio
Roof typeGlass RoofGlass Roof
Air compressorYesNo
Camp SpeakerYesNo

Based on this chart, I would find it hard to recommend anyone lease a 2025 R1S. You pay an extra $25/mo, but you lose out on the range, horsepower, torque, and a few additional accessories like the Air compressor and Camp Speaker, now charged features on the Gen 2 vehicles. Of course, on the flip side, you would miss out on new 4K HDR cameras, the Rivian Autonomy Platform, and much more.

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