Look at the vehicle in the picture above. Does that look like a subcompact car to you? Well, if you peer at the Fisker Karma through the regulatory lens of the EPA, then it would.

See, the EPA has a strange methodology that bases vehicle classes on interior size, and the Karma isn't exactly spacious inside (the upcoming Fisker Surf has more luggage space). As AutoObserver notes, since the Karma has less than 100 cubic-feet of space, it fits nicely into the subcompacts class. Go figure.

Like with the low drained-battery mpg rating the Karma gets – just 20 mpg – the Karma's potential customers probably won't care what the EPA officially calls this plug-in hybrid. But just imagine if someone were to cross-shop all the cars in the subcompact class: "Let's see, hon, should we get the Karma, the Bentley Continental Supersports or the Mitsubishi i?" Looks like this class has something for everyone.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 117 Comments
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, do the Fisker haters here actually bother to find out what stuff means before they dog-pile on anything negative about Fisker they can get their hands on? http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byEPAclass.htm List of cars that are also in the EPA subcompact class that MUST also be shitty because they are in the same class as the Fisker Karma: Bentley Continental Supersports Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Aston Martin Rapide Maserati GranTurismo BMW M3 Roush Performance Stage 3 Mustang Audi S5 Ford Mustang Nissan GT-R Hyundai Genesis Coupe Audi TT RS Coupe BMW 135i Lexus IS 350 Nissan Altima Coupe Volvo C70 Mercedes-Benz E350 Mercedes-Benz C350 Coupe Lexus IS 250 Audi A5 quattro And more. Fisker said they were building a 4-door sports coupe, they built a 4 door sports coupe that is the exact same size as a laundry list of super awesome sports coupes that are EXACTLY the type of cars that Karma buyers would cross-shop against. You are short on the facts if you think the Fisker Karma can't be a sports coupe "Grand Tourismo" even though it is the exact same class as THE quintesential GT, the Maserati GranTurismo. Frankly, you professional Fisker haters should all be embarrased of yourselves. If the rest of you folks got caught up in their drama, and you just needed some facts to re-think your position, I can completely understand. But the professional Fisker haters will attack me instead of considering the facts, because they have whatever personal axe to grind with Fisker, or Obama, or taxes, or whatever blah blah blah that erases their capability of being intellectually honest. They will be incapable of honestly admitting that a car that is designed to compete with BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, and etc sports coupes, is actually the exact same size as the cars it was designed to compete against. Bring it on.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        PR, Actually, I got to sit in one while it was here in Atlanta. That car is HUGE. When I walked up to it, I got some strange sense that I was dreaming because it just seemed "wrong" as my perceptions couldn't keep up with what I was seeing. In person, it looked just like an older model Corvette when you took it in at a glance. Same lines, same feel...but it was as big as a house! So when I sat inside, I was stunned at how tight it was. And I'm a guy driving a little Toyota MR2 around for fun on the weekends right now. So when I say it was tight...I mean it was tight. I went with my buddy because he was going to buy one and wanted to know what I thought of it as I'm the "green car guy". I have to admit that I actually loved the way it looked because I always loved those old Vettes and it reminded me of them. I didn't know about the MPG numbers at that point so I didn't comment on that. The funny thing was that after my buddy decided that he absolutely loved the car, but couldn't bring himself to get it because the interior was too small on the interior. He just couldn't see getting it because they have a little girl and he didn't think there'd be enough room for her and her stuff in the car. That was just one person's view, but he is EXACTLY their target market. A rich guy with enough money to throw away on any toy that comes along who likes "greenish" things and loves cool cars. Just my opinion, and all bashing aside: They could get away with the large size OR the small interior OR but not both. The poor MPG is a strike against it for some Greenies, but the people who buy this are more likely to be rich guys who just want to "feel green" rather than get to caught up in the details anyway. That is why I think the large size with the small interior is their bigger problem.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          @Dave D Relax, you're doing fine. What you say is more imporatant that a few pedantic errors.
          Dave D
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Sigh...sorry for the poor writing. Guess I'll have to get in the habit or proof reading all my posts since ABG won't give us an F'ING edit button. Arrogant jerks. Who cares what your readers want, huh?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Sounds like he would prefer the Surf.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 8 Months Ago
        @PR
        The Karma was *very* popular at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. People who buy multi-million dollar boats are Fisker's demographic! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150437477374903&set=a.10150089011634903.303561.338910184902&type=1&permPage=1
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have to say I'm with 2WM on this one. I'm just not feeling this at all. I guess people who drive Hummers and want a sports car should be happy now :-)
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is just like Budget car rental telling me the Kia Soul was a subcompact... A Yaris is a medium sized subcompact, anything that weighs more than 3,000 lbs isn't a subcompact.
        theflew
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        The EPA size classifications to deal with volume not weight.
      EVnerdGene
      • 8 Months Ago
      @EZEE there are some good looking lezbos around like Ellen Degenerate and Ann Heche every time I see one of them in a movie, I think; 'what a shame, what a waste'
      Spiffster
      • 8 Months Ago
      LOL!! I agree, the world would be a better place without self righteous hippies!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I heard on a TV news segment these eco-wonders will cost a mere $97,000 - over double the price of a Chevy Volt. I'm sure they'll sell lots of these....
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        It might astonish you to know that a Maserati Quattroporte costs over double the price of a Cadillac CTS-V Sedan. Now who would have thought that? After all they both have 4 doors!
      • 3 Years Ago
      The EPA was devised by the late and failed Jimmy Carter. It contributes NOTHING to ENERGY production and is an impediment to our national Energy Production. ELIMINATE the EPA. Don't forget the DOE, DOA..ad infinitum, ad nauseum. These departments are an albatross around the necks of American Taxpayers.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Nixon created the EPA. Auto emissions and mileage increases,eliminating Acid Rain, cleaning polluted lakes and rivers, improving air quality, and reducing factories and refineries from spewing out toxic chemicals are just a few of the things the EPA has accomplished. Do you really think large corporations would clean these things up if left to their own devices? Who would regulate the nuclear energy industry and set safety standards, the companies? How about salmonella and e-coli in the food we eat. Put all your trust in Big Business, Big Banks, and Wall Street and no government intervention, that's the American Way.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          Well said, Rich. Big Business, Big Banks, and Wall Street are about making maximum profits. If after the huge profits are made then businesses/business owners might give back some of those profits toward charities and environmental concerns. And strangely this is a big tax break so those rich few get to keep more of their money.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene Actually, Nixon was a very complex politician more like European Prime Minister than an American President. Nixon began office with some very enlightened and intelligent ideas. He accomplished a great deal of good, but was flawed by his paranoia of the left and a mistrust of his own party. He was true American tragedy, increasingly isolated and misunderstood by a overly young and unrealistically idealistic left, his worst attributes came out during his second term. He was caught up in the wrong era of American politics and social development. One of the great 'alternate histories' , is the question of where the US would be today if RFK had served two terms at that crucial time.
          EVnerdGene
          • 8 Months Ago
          you mean JFK It's ancient history now. most young wippersnappers hate him and don't even know why I dunno, I just hate him!
          EVnerdGene
          • 8 Months Ago
          tricky dick did all that ? you mean a right-winger republican ? who'd da thunk
        • 8 Months Ago
        Wow, it's a double header, both historically incorrect and policy stupid. Ask anyone who remembers what Southern California was like in the 1960s and you'll have all the information you need to know about why we have an EPA. We are animals, large mammals living in complex ecosystems to which we are highly adapted. Destroy or greatly alter those systems, and you can forget the economy. There won't be one, since we don't adapt fast enough to survive such destruction. Only someone who is tragically cut off from both nature in the "natural world" sense and their own human nature can advocate rapacious destruction of the very systems that keep us alive. For ideologues who worship the market, nature is an impediment to their plans. To humans who understand our physical nature and place in the world, our very animal nature, there is no more important function on this planet for government to do then protecting that nature. Everything, I mean everything, else is less important. Societies that abuse nature die out at nature's hands. Economies are the fruits of nature. We are the fruits of nature. You are advocating economic and physical suicide. Pull your head out of the middle ages, man.
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        Nixon brought us the EPA. Why did we need an EPA? Because rivers were catching on fire. Multiple times. LA was a brown-smog filled nightmare. Kids were getting brain-damage by eating lead-filled paint chips. And after many decades of a much cleaner environment, stupid people ask "Why do we need an EPA?" Well just because you have a short attention span and don't know much history, that doesn't mean there isn't a need for an EPA.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Not that I want to defend the indefensable but it was Nixon who brought us the EPA.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I said in an earlier thread about the Karma EPA numbers that it was disappointing that the Karma scored lower numbers on the EPA test cycle than we were expecting, especially the 20 mpg when the battery is depleted. Since it seems that the 20 mpg in charge sustaining mode such a big deal in this blog too, I figured I'd post this here as well as in the original blog about the EPA numbers. We all went through this with the Volt too. Everyone was upset that it scored just 30 mpg according the the EPA test cycle, when we all were expecting better numbers. So how did the Volt turn out for actual real owners, compared to test machines? Much better than the 30 mpg in charge-sustaining mode would have made it look. Here are actual statistics (averages) collected from the OnStar data for around 150 REAL Volt owners for the last 5 months: October 72.0% electric-only operation -- 128.42 MPG September 73.7% electric-only operation -- 140.02 MPG August 77.7% electric-only operation -- 167.83 MPG July 65.3% electric-only operation -- 108.04 MPG June 74.8% electric-only operation -- 144.10 MPG So how well did the 30 mpg CS number predict the actual gas mileage for real-world users? It was a LOUSY indicator. In fact, when you dig into the underlying statistics of the roughly 150 real word driver's, it turns out that there is absolutely ZERO correlation between measured lifetime MPG and MPG in charge sustaining mode. The top 25 drivers with the best lifetime MPG (ranging between ~500 mpg and ~3,000 mpg) all have CS mpg numbers that are all over the board, ranging from single digit MPG in CS mode, to nearly 40 mpg in CS mode. The point is that in the real world, the 20 mpg charge sustaining EPA number won't really matter that much for how much gas real world Karma drivers will burn. Just like the 30 mpg charge sustaining EPA number really is not the determining factor for how much gas Volt drivers burn either. If you are saying the Karma is worthless because of the 20 mpg number, then you simply don't understand the math. Because the Karma will return real-world mpg numbers VERY similar to what Volt owners are reporting. The mpg in CS mode won't be the deciding factor for the Karma any more than it has been for the Volt. http://www.voltstats.net/
        • 8 Months Ago
        @PR
        Thanks PR for providing the definitive rebuttal to the charge sustaining concern trolls. What a load of ill informed bunkum. The whole idea of a plug-in hybrid is that you don't use gas in daily operation. Thick skulls, etc.
          PR
          • 8 Months Ago
          Thanks Spence. I expect to get voted down none-the-less.... *smile*
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @PR, Not by me! Thank you for a very well thought-out and coherent post!
        Letstakeawalk
        • 8 Months Ago
        @PR
        Thanks. I was amazed to see the willing ignorance expressed by those who supposedly support EVs. Their seizing on the RE cycle 20mpg and touting it as a major flaw was nothing more than sheer trollery. It is worth pointing out that in the Karma, not only is the RE a charge-sustaining mode, but it will actually replenish the battery up to 65%, so a driver may use the whole battery-only range, and then kick on the RE, and then after a while be able to go back to pure battery-only.
        JakeY
        • 8 Months Ago
        @PR
        The only issue with that is the CD mileage is crap too. That tells me the car overall is inefficient, not matter what mode it runs in. The CS mileage is just an extension of that.
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most comments seem to come from intolerant greenies, that whine bitterly, because this car does not return 100mpg and 200 mpge. Autoblog falsely writes that the weight brings the penatly in terms of fuel consumption but that is wrong. Once in motion the weight plays only a small role in comsumtion. So when driven constantly one should be able to return a much better economy. BUT WHO CARES. Get A grip. This is built a luxurius sports car. How much MPG returns a 63 AMG or a BMW M3? What about the mustang? None of these cars can drive 36 miles on electrons. So what is the problem? 36 miles are 60 KMs which is suitable for a lot of gas free trips. but here is a thing to rant on. WHO IT THE GREENEST Autoblog reader. come on who is be greatest. I am not. I hav a car that uses Gas... now hate me
        Spiffster
        • 8 Months Ago
        @uncle_sam
        I AM THE GREENEST!!! LOL, really though... as I have said before bottom line is that Fisker claimed A, we got B (not green but otherwise a very nice car indeed). Mainly, I am just disappointed in what Fisker produced thus far thats all, but like MP pointed out, I am not their target demographic anyway. That said I dont expect Fisker to give a crap about my opinion. I just expected more, is there something terribly wrong with that?
        EZEE
        • 8 Months Ago
        @uncle_sam
        By action I would say 2wheel or Marco. The issue is a sub compact green car that gets 20mpg, when the mustang, ad you cited, will get 30 mpg highway), and the 'vette will get around 30mpg highway. Even Dan agrees that this is a bit odd, although he would word differently.
          EZEE
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          Am I down voted because the greenest person is not Dan or Marco, that I don't like a 20mpg sub compact green car, or agreeing with Dan? Curious....
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          @EZEE In the greenest category you must include EVsperhero, (and others) who actually build electric vehicles. But, every person who tries in personal ways to assist the environment are far more green than idiots like DF, and other fanatics who distract from environmental priorities with deranged conspiracy theories and irrelevant ideologies.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 8 Months Ago
        @uncle_sam
        I'm certainly not the greenest. I don't own a car (never have). I bike to work daily (only a few miles, so no huge increase in food calorie intake required). My job is outdoors (no electric usage for HVAC or other overhead).
          Spiffster
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I was just joking... the title is all your's... :-)
          EVnerdGene
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          that's purdy dang green Letstakeawalk ! congrats I'd be pooped if I biked to work - 23 miles. But I do drive a car that can get over 70mpg - if I could just find some gas without ethanol. Yeah, I could use a Leaf, but it looks so French ! ( comment just for Marco )
          EVnerdGene
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          there's only one production car (US EPA tested) that has broken 70mpg 2000 - 2006 Insight w/manual I'd buy another one today if it was available.
          EZEE
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @Evnerd What car do you drive?
        Spec
        • 8 Months Ago
        @uncle_sam
        The complaining is about the fact that the government . . . you know, uncle_sam, has given these guys $500M. I know that money wasn't for the Karma . . . but I don't suspect the Nina will be much better.
      EZEE
      • 8 Months Ago
      @Spec Driving the old car until it dies is better than getting a new one... Is that true? I am asking because I do not know. Obviously my Ford Ranger, Flex Fuel that it is, and ULEV rated (proving my green cred) is not bad, but lets take my boat. My boat has a 2 stroke engine. Above water exhaust, so it could be worse - BUT...would the offset of a cleaner, four stroke boat offset the horrors of the 2 stroke engine? I know manufacturing and shipping don't help. The boat runs fine and I don't plan on replacing it, but I am asking because I am curious.
      Dave D
      • 8 Months Ago
      Wow, I'm still laughing. Thanks MP, I needed that laugh. I would have paid to see that one ROFLMAO
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dan! Where are you! You have to be in total glory right now...
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Yes, Dan...WHERE ARE YOU??? And you'll even get voted up for your fun this time!!!
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          I thought we covered this issue. many times. it's a very heavy car and it's a mistake. it strains their already slim chances of survival. it's been said. I'm waiting for the outcome. but if people in general are waking up to the truths I have been saying then that's good. run with it. don't look to me to do everything for you. we need 10% to wake the masses.
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