Consumer Reports tests the Fisker Karma extended-range hybrid. At $108,000, the Karma is the most expensive car Consumer Reports has ever purchased for testing. Check out our blog post, "Fisker Karma earns a failing grade from Consumer Reports" – YouTube
Dominant Social Theme: A great, green car! Looks sexy, too ...
Free-Market Analysis: We last wrote about the Fisker Karma in a March article entitled, "Bieber's Fisker Karma and Elite Gift-Giving."
At the time we referred to previous articles on GM's dysfunctional Volt that is selling so poorly that GM has had to shut down production several times.
We also explained that the functionality of these cars had little to do with the consumer and much to do with elite "green" promotions. Here's some more:
Such cars are clumsy, inefficient and restrict user mobility ... [However] the elites want complaisant and not-very-mobile workers – and above all, they want control. They want workers that won't roam very far from home and, should they try, they want workers that won't be able to go very fast.
In order to make the argument that slow, restrictive electric cars are "sexy" and "fun," the elites use several tricks from their promotional tool bag. The biggest, of course, is to try to convince people that carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming.
This allows those who carry water for elite memes to argue that cars and indeed all kinds of consumer products that use oil and gas are inherently dangerous and should be licensed, restricted or even banned.
This is generally a ridiculous theme as 1) there probably is NO global warming, at least not as it is currently described, and 2) even if there is, most of the "human" production would still be coming from coal-fired plants.
When one plugs in an electric car, one is fueling it via coal-power mostly, certainly in the US. So any carbon reduction "benefits" are hardly realized.
A more positive approach to this particular promotion is to try to make reductions in carbon output fashionable by using "starpower."... The announcement on a widely-watched TV program that [singer Justin] Bieber is getting a Fisker Karma is supposed to add to the cachet of the car and electrical transportation in general. But the problem generally with such cars is that they simply are no good for the money.
When we wrote that final paragraph, we were relying on several reviews of the car that pointed out it was sluggish despite its positioning as a sports coupe and heavy as well at 2.5 tons. Much of the sluggishness and heaviness has to do with the huge battery the car lugs around.
Now Consumer Reports has weighed in. The bible of automotive reviews provides Fisker Karma with a failing grade.
This is important because the Karma had been positioned as "best of breed" in numerous publications anxious to establish the Fisker Karma's bone fides. Here's an excerpt from the Consumer Reports review:
The striking Fisker Karma extended-range electric car has turned heads for months in our test program, from its distinctive design to its sci-fi hum soundtrack. During that time we've experienced far more than our share of frustrations. And in the final tally, the Karma scores a failing grade.
The Karma ranks as our lowest-rated luxury sedan. Of all sedans, only three have lower overall scores: Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, and Nissan Versa SV. (Learn how we test cars.)
As is often the case, a road test score that is too low to earn a Consumer Reports recommendation is caused by numerous shortcomings, not just a single or even few flaws.
With the Karma, much attention has been paid to our unfortunately routine problems, including an early failure on our track that left the car immobile and led to the battery being replaced, frequent instrument, window and radio glitches, and recurring warning lights.
So far our Karma has made multiple trips back to the dealer (who, by the way, has provided excellent service, flat-bedding the car to and from our facility). But problems with out particular test do not impact the score. Such problems only try our patience ...
Expectations are high with a car that retails for over $100,000. And this car fell well short.
Here's the video:
(Video from ConsumerReport.org's YouTube user channel.)