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Old 09-28-2018, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Karma vs ELR vs i8 vs C-MAX

When I informed my Fisker Friends that I traded in my Karma for a BMW i8, I was asked to write a little review.

Before you read on, I must warn you, Iím not much of a author, which explains why I have an engineering degree. It is the only career path for someone who canít write. That said.

I own a few plug-in cars; Two Cadillac ELRs, Two Ford Cmax Energis and one BMW i8

Here is how they compare on a scale of 1 to 10

Beauty:
The Karma wins hands down. The i8 is racy, but not as elegant as the Karma. The ELR is really futuristic looking. BTW, It took about 3 years for the Karma to stop looking like it was wearing a mustache or smiling at me.

Karma: 10
ELR: 8
i8: 8
C-MAX 0 (Ugly but grows on you)

Quietness:
This is pretty hard without some kind of decibel reader. They all seem pretty much limited by the manufacturer of the tires. The i8 can get loud when the engine kicks in, the Karma sounds more like a pinball machine when the engine is running. When on ICE, the CMAX wins.

No rating, they are all freakishly quite on electric.


Handling:
The i8 makes the other cars look bad. The carbon fiber body is super rigid. But to be fair, itís the only sports car in the group.
i8: 10
ELR: 6
Karma: 6
C-MAX: 4 (It handles way better than most rental cars I have driven)


Comfort:
Another hard one. I will have to split this to front and back. The front seating of the ELR has an edge over Karma because the ELR is much easier to get in and out of and feels roomier. As far as plushness, I think they are tied.

Font seating:
ELR: 10
Karma: 9
C-MAX: 6 youíd be surprised how comfortable the leather seats are and how roomy. In fact, it has the most interior room of the four cars.
i8: 4 letís face it. You feel like you are driving a go cart. It is surprisingly easier to get in and out of than the Karma.

Rear seating:
C-Max: 6 roomy but plain, great for long trips
Karma: 5 Tight but adults can sit in it for short distances
ELR: 4 Itís a two door, so itís hard to get in and out of. If your over 5í8Ē your head will press against the rear window. But same leg room as the Karma.
i8: 4 They are pretend seats like in a Porsche 911. Itís really a 2 seater with a tiny trunk.

Range:
Iím getting 450+ MPG in my BMW i8 as per my i8 app. This is because my commute matches the i8ís range exactly. I have a couple of chargers at work, so I havenít needed gas since I bought it.

ELR: 40 miles per charge
Karma: 40 miles per charge
C-Max 15 Miles per charge
i8 13 Miles per charge

Infotainment:
The ELR is great but missing the wrap around cameras for that overhead view like the i8 has

ELR: 8 (really well thought our, starts working just by getting your hands close to the screen)
i8 7
C-Max 6
Karma: 1 (just awful)

Final thoughts.
When I traded in my Karma at 50,000 miles, it had a small ding on the passenger door. The windshield washer stopped working, the rear suspension joints went bad, and my front right wheel got a wobble and needed to be replaced. All minor very repairs. Other than that, the car was super reliable. Way more reliable than the Teslas my neighbors and friends drive. They constantly have troubles, and the fit and finish of a Tesla is not so hot. My Tesla owner friends love their cars in spite of the minor troubles, I love their Teslas too, but itís amazing how well made my Karma was.

After six years of driving the Karma, it was time for a change. I really like sports cars and love my i8. Actually too much, I haven't been biking to work as much as I did prior.

But every time I see a Revero commercial, I want one all over again. They are gorgeous.

Have fun and drive safe my Fisker Friends.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great review and insight into some of the other EVs that are available. If I had to go out on a limb now, I'd say that an i8 might be my next car (or actually, my wife's car, since we'd have to trade in her Cayman ). There was one at the Drive Electric event I went to a few weeks ago, and I was able to visit with the owner for quite a bit.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome, THANKS!
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome, THANKS!
Thank you for that.

BTW, correction to my post. The i8 rear seating should have been rated at 0. Maybe 0.5 if you have very small children.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for that.

BTW, correction to my post. The i8 rear seating should have been rated at 0. Maybe 0.5 if you have very small children.
@steven,

Thank you for the review. I have always liked the looks of the I8 and have considered getting one, but have been deterred by the fact that it is not a true EV, but an ICE-powere car with an electrical motor bolted on for extra performance. If BMW made one as real EV, I may consider it again.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fabulist View Post
If BMW made one as real EV, I may consider it again.
Hi Fabulist, you can drive in electric mode for 13 miles. Since that is exactly my commute, for me it is an EV.

But when I do run out of juice, I feel like i'm such a bad ass with the engine roaring. But it's usually only for a mile, so I don't feel that guilty.

BTW, You're assessment is 100% correct if you wanted to use it to do long drives along winding California mountain roads.
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi @Fabulist

Or you could reserve this... https://www.tesla.com/roadster
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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@steven Great review on the cars!!! What was ur vin# when u had a Fisker? Unfortunately mine seems to be very unreliable been going into limp mode too much lately.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Mine has been doing the same. hardly ever seen a limp mode and this past week got it a few times. 2148 is my VIN. I thought it was the cold weather as i am trying to dial that in. Is it getting cold by you?

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@steven Great review on the cars!!! What was ur vin# when u had a Fisker? Unfortunately mine seems to be very unreliable been going into limp mode too much lately.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Mine has been doing the same. hardly ever seen a limp mode and this past week got it a few times. 2148 is my VIN. I thought it was the cold weather as i am trying to dial that in. Is it getting cold by you?
Yes its cold here in the morning & night. However I think it may need a module reprogrammed, a new fuel pump or something like that according to the error codes.
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