Don’t Waste Your Money: $108K Fisker Karma falls short

Posted at 8:39 PM, Nov 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-13 06:29:26-05

The Fisker Karma is the sportiest, priciest electric car out there, costing more than $100,000. A number of celebrities own one, including Justin Bieber, who made a splash on his 18th birthday when he received one from his manager on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

The Fisker Karma is a super-sleek luxury car that runs on gas and electricity. It’s the most expensive car Consumer Reports has ever tested. But before testers could run it through the paces, it broke down at the track and had to be towed away!

Once testing got underway, it was clear the unique electric sports car does a lot well. The interior is beautiful, and the ride, handling, and braking performance are solid. But testers found some problems.

The controls are a nightmare, and the interior of the car is quite claustrophobic. In addition, acceleration isn’t what you’d expect from a sports car. But how efficiently does the electric vehicle get you down the road?

When driving on electric power alone, you’ll get the equivalent of 66 mpg, but your range is only 38 miles. When driving on the gasoline engine alone, you’ll get about 22 mpg overall.

You can do better. If you really want an electric vehicle and no one’s planning to get you one for your birthday, you may want to compromise on the “sporty” factor and go for the Chevy Volt. It costs about $40,000. And though it doesn’t have nearly the same “Ooooh” factor, tests show the Volt delivers the equivalent of 99 gallons on electric power and 32 mpg on gas. That’s much better than the Fisker Karma.

If you’re looking for another environmentally friendly vehicle, Consumer Reports says consider the Toyota Prius. Though it won’t give you the super-high mileage equivalency of the Volt, the Prius’ hybrid gas-electric engine delivers about 44 mpg overall. And you’ll save even more at the dealership because the Prius costs about $26,000.