2012 Fisker Karma vs. Its Competition

2012 Fisker Karma
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

It's hard to know precisely what to compare the 2012 Fisker Karma against.

The company will tell you it's competing with mid-size German luxury sedans like the Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series--and perhaps their upcoming hybrid models--though it has far less room for people and luggage than either.

In looks, it may be closest to the Aston Martin Rapide, also a sleek four-door sport sedan from a company where Henrik Fisker worked.

But we think among those willing to put down deposits on cars from startup companies before they can even drive them, the closest match is the 2012 Tesla Model S, the all-electric mid-size sport sedan due to launch in the summer of 2012.

We've heard of several buyers who put down deposits for one, then switched to the other.

But we suspect the market for plug-in luxury sedans may be slow to develop once the early-adopter and high-tech crowd takes delivery.

2012 Fisker Karma2012 Fisker Karma
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2012 Audi A6 4-door Sedan FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Plus Side Exterior View2012 Audi A6
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2012 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo 4-door Sedan 550i Gran Turismo RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 5-Series
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2012 Tesla Model S prototype2012 Tesla Model S
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2011 Aston Martin Rapide 4-door Sedan Auto Angular Front Exterior View2011 Aston Martin Rapide
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Fisker Karma is a curious and unique beast, a stylish, luxurious, and pricey sedan with 32 miles of electric range, low gasoline efficiency, and a tiny interior and trunk
It's the same V-6 blast to drive as the far more sexy A7, which makes the 2012 Audi A6 a little irrelevant for those not fixated on five seats or four cylinders.
The 2012 BMW 5-Series appears somewhat conservative on the outside, but it packs an armada of advanced-tech firepower, and new fuel-efficient engines, without interrupting its sport-sedan mission.
The 2012 Tesla Model S sedan turns out to be a much better car than most expected; it just might meld sport-sedan driving, interior space, and comfort with zero-emission running in one revolutionary package.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy
Gas/Electric I4Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4ElectricGas V12
EPA Class    
SubcompactMidsize CarsMid-SizeNASubcompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan EcoStandard4-Door Sedan FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 528i RWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan Automatic
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
SedanSedan4dr SedanSedan4 Door Sedan
AutomaticContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftNAAutomatic w/manual shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Fisker Karma vs. 2012 Audi A62012 Fisker Karma vs. 2012 BMW 5-Series2012 Fisker Karma vs. 2012 Tesla Model S2012 Fisker Karma vs. 2011 Aston Martin Rapide