2023 Lucid Air

2023 Lucid Air
2023 Lucid Air Rearward Vision
2023 Lucid Air Central Console

2023 Lucid Air Review: An Air Of Superiority

Headline-grabbing figures tend to hog people's attention, so the staggering power and performance stats of the flagship Lucid Air Sapphire are the ones most talked about. But there are also three less talked-about trims of the Lucid Air, and although they don't boast 1,200 horsepower or get to 60 mph in under two seconds, they are rapid and luxurious grand electric sedans in their own right. With the base price of the Lucid Air Pure starting at $77,400 in the USA, the car goes toe to toe with the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S, with other options, including the BMW i7. The Air beats them all on range. Not only that, but it's also luxurious, comfortable, spacious, and rapid, even in non-Sapphire guise. By the sound of it, this fledgling electric automaker has done enough to vault past the established players and into pole position. Is Lucid's sedan really the cat's whiskers or just a lot of hot air? Let's find out.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Lucid Air Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Air?

The 2023 Air is here and it loses last year's limited-run Dream Edition, so the only trims are Pure, Touring, and Grand Touring. The 1,200-hp Air Sapphire also launches this year, but we review that Lucid Air model separately. Lucid is making the Stealth Look package available for the 2023 Touring and Grand Touring trims. It comes with an exterior theme that renders the wheels in black and exchanges exterior chrome dealing for dark-gray trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Mega performance
  • Impressive range
  • Smooth and comfy to drive
  • Tech-rich interior
  • Lots of room and storage space
  • Good looks
  • Not the last word in cabin quality
  • Buggy infotainment
  • Some tire noise
  • Handling not class-leading

What's the Price of the 2023 Lucid Air?

The MSRP of the Lucid Air Pure RWD is $77,400 and adding AWD will cost you $5,500 on top of that. All the other trims are AWD by default, starting with the Touring, which costs $95,000, followed by the Grand Touring at $125,600, and the Grand Touring Performance at $149,600. These prices don't include the $1,650 destination fee.

Best Deals on 2023 Lucid Air

2023 Lucid Air Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Air Pure
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Air Touring
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Air Grand Touring
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Air Grand Touring Performance
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Lucid Air Trims and Specs

2023 Lucid Air Handling and Driving Impressions

For a first effort, Lucid has done an excellent job to make the Air a fine car to pilot. A big sedan should be comfortable and refined and, in its Smooth mode, the Air absorbs bumps well and glides along effortlessly. Horsepower is reduced somewhat to improve range, but it's still instantly responsive, as you'd expect from an EV. The brake-pedal feel is a bit soggy and not very progressive, but thankfully you rarely have to touch that pedal in normal driving with the regenerative braking set to High. The steering is light and quite lifeless, but this suits Smooth mode. Switching to Swift or Sport introduces a welcome degree of steering feel and firms up the dampers while sharpening up the entire powertrain's responses, giving a fair impression of sportiness, even if its width and weight prevent it from every feeling as light-footed as a Taycan. This is exacerbated by the standard all-season tires, which have low grip limits and takes the edge off the handling.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Lucid Air A Good Car?

In many ways, the Lucid Air is everything the Tesla Model S should have been by now. Tesla's big sedan still looks almost the way it did a decade ago despite frequent updates, but the Air is a brand-new design that has a leg up on Tesla with superior levels of luxury and even better range figures - a metric on which the once class-leading Tesla has now finally been beaten - and how! With up to 516 miles of range, the Air is in a different class and shows that electric progress can be in leaps and bounds and doesn't have to be incremental. It sets the cat among the pigeons with more power and far better range than a Taycan, while outgunning the aging Model S on almost every front - all that with abundant space and practicality to boot. Nothing from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes can keep up either, even if these cars still have the edge on interior finishes. As a package, the Air might just be the most complete electric sedan out there.

What 2023 Lucid Air Model Should I Buy?

Realistically, why would you need more than the Pure? It can get to 60 mph in less than four seconds and go more than 400 miles on a charge, so it's a compelling package at less than $80k - especially if you consider it comes as standard with adaptive suspension, 19-inch wheels, navigation, and the entire DreamDrive driver-assist suite. However, the Touring is just $20k more expensive and is a clear step up in power and performance, with 620 hp and an even longer range. It looks smarter on its 20-inch wheels and gets genuine leather upholstery, so we feel it gives you the most bang for your buck. The Grand Touring trims are substantially more expensive, making the Touring the sweet spot in the lineup.

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