For $40,000, Should You Be Tempted By A Used Fisker Karma?

Editorial

Fisker's failure means that you can now buy one for a fraction of the price.

Back in 2012, two car companies were hoping to bring electric vehicles to the masses with two very expensive sedans. One was Tesla with the Model S, and despite the hefty price, we know how that story has played out. The other company was Fisker. Back in 2012, the Karma cost $102,000 for the base EcoStandard trim. Other than being extremely expensive, the Karma suffered some serious problems, chief among which was a propensity to catch fire. The car will soon be revived as the Elux Karma, but what is the value of a used one?

One of the reasons why the Fisker Karma wasn't successful may have been the price. The US government attempted to give Fisker money to build an affordable electric vehicle for the masses, but pulled a portion of the funding when the car didn't meet the specific milestones. We looked online, and we found 2012 Karmas for around $40,000. For that money you will be getting an EcoSport model with low mileage. Only about 1,800 Karmas were sold so they are quite rare. So, at less than 40% of the original price, should you buy one? Well, the car comes with a 260 hp 2.0-liter GM EcoTech motor. The engine is supplemented with two 161 electric motors for a total output of 403 horsepower.

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The engine in the Fisker doesn't directly power the wheels. Instead, the engine powers a generator which powers the drive motors. The car can hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. In all-electric mode you can get 52 MPGe or 20 MPG in full gasoline mode. In electric mode, the Karma was about half as efficient as a Chevy Volt. Compared to the Tesla, the Fisker was slower, more expensive, and less efficient. It was also smaller. The Karma had an extremely tight cabin and was rated as a subcompact as a result. The Karma may be a bargain compared to when it was new, but we still think that you should avoid buying one at all costs.

Some famous celebrities like Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ashton Kutcher purchased a Karma, but you shouldn't follow their mistake. The car actually looked pretty cool and despite being small, the hand-built interior was a nice place to sit. Perhaps the Chinese auto parts company that bought Fisker will be able to build a more reliable product, but unless you want a car that may catch catch fire, don't waste your money.

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