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Consumer Reports tests out Fisker Karma electric sports car

August 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Fisker Karma is the sportiest, priciest electric car out there, costing more than $100,000. A number of celebrities own one. What exactly will $100,000 get you?

Consumer Reports put this unique electric vehicle through its paces.

Bieber made a splash on his 18th birthday when he received a stylish new Fisker Karma from his manager on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

The Fisker Karma is a super-sleek luxury car that runs on both gas and electricity. It sports a celebrity-style sticker price at nearly $108,000.

It's the most expensive car Consumer Reports has ever tested. But before testers could run it through the paces, the Fisker Karma broke down at the track and had to be towed away.

Once testing got underway, it was clear this 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.

"Unfortunately, the controls here are a nightmare," said Consumer Reports tester Jon Linkov. "In addition, acceleration isn't what you'd expect from a sports car."

But how efficiently does this electric vehicle get you down the road?

"When driving on electric power alone, you'll get the equivalent of 66 miles per gallon, but your range is only 38 miles," said Linkov. "When driving on the gasoline engine alone, you'll get about 22 miles per gallon 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.

The Volt costs about $40,000 and it delivers the equivalent of 99 gallons on electric power and 32 miles per gallon on gas, much better than the Karma.

If you do want an environmentally friendly vehicle, Consumer Reports says keep the good old Toyota Prius in mind. It doesn't get the super-high mileage of the Volt, but it is rated at 58 mpg overall. It will also saveyou up front with a starting price of just $24,000.


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