It's not a surprise that Consumer Reports doesn't like the Fisker Karma. The tester vehicle that the magazine straight-up purchased died before it went 200 miles. Then CR really figured out what was wrong with the plug-in hybrid.
So, is it really a surprise that CR's test results found the $107,000 Karma to have "numerous shortcomings" and "fell well short" of expectations? Enough of each, in fact, to earn a "failing grade." It's a brutal review, and one that goes beyond problems with a single vehicle. No, CR says the Karma has:
poor dash controls, limited visibility, a cramped interior, awkward access into and out of the seats, an engine that is noisy when running, long battery recharge times, and a small backseat and trunk. The Karma's heavy, SUV-like weight affects agility and performance, and the Karma lacks the oomph you would expect.
Fisker had a response ready, pointing out the good parts of the review, like the "outstanding ride, handling and braking." In the CR video, which you can watch below, reviewer Tom Mutchler does say nice things about those particular aspects, but the good is outweighed by the problems found with the fit and finish of the Karma. In the end he says the car "sacrifices way too much function for fashion."
There's also this: Fisker says, "As the Karma is a concept car come to life, packaging and visibility will of course not be that of a minivan," which no one is asking for. Just a little common practicality. Fisker also says it plans to improve NVH and the touch screen. You can get an idea why those are important, in this video.
Related GalleryFisker Karma by GS Automotive Art
Anaheim, California, USA –September 24, 2012: Consumer Reports today published their review of the Fisker Karma.
Since its launch in December 2011 the award-winning Fisker Karma has defined a new automotive segment of luxury electric vehicles.
The Fisker Karma is the only American car to win the Top Gear Luxury Car of the Year award; Automobile magazine named the Karma its Design of the Year; TIME magazine listed the Karma as one of its 50 Best Inventions; the Fisker Karma also received an Edison Award for Innovation and is a finalist in Fast Company's Innovation by Design competition.
The Karma impressed CR's evaluators with its outstanding ride, handling and braking, which can be attributed to the car's low, wide stance, race-inspired suspension and massive Brembo brakes. As the Karma is a concept car come to life, packaging and visibility will of course not be that of a minivan.
The Karma's innovative powertrain technology lowers the center of gravity to give it a slalom time close to that of high performance sedans from the best European manufacturers. And the 66 MPGe recorded during testing – the highest of nearly any production car -- is a great endorsement for Fisker as pioneers of this new luxury segment.
Plans are in place to improve sound quality, which is a new challenge for all silent-running EVs, while software improvements are being made to touch-screen controls to improve responsiveness and functionality.
Fisker has brought this pioneering vehicle to market based on a brand new platform and technology in record time and is now selling the car globally to critical acclaim. Many initial customers have become Fisker's strongest advocates, as seen in testimonial videos at the following link: http://onward.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us/karma/reviews/
Fisker has worked extensively with its customers who are eager to be leading the charge of electric vehicle adoption, are keen to give feedback and are very satisfied with their purchases.