EV Review: 2018 Karma Revero
From years gone by, you might recognize the name Fisker Karma. No longer carrying the name Fisker and no longer built in Finland, Karma became the brand, not the model. However, the connection between the Fisker Karma and the Karma Revero is extremely close. It’s evident in the looks, the quality, the performance, and the function.
The Karma brand might sound like it’s a copycat company with Tesla in the crosshairs. But there’s a different culture; a calm assured poise that you don’t find in many car companies. It’s like they don’t care if you buy their car – they will still build it to the best of their ability.
What they do differently than the rest is who Karma is. In the 2018 Karma Revero, they use minimally dyed leathers and reclaimed wood. The Revero harnesses the sun with an integrated solar roof. They knowingly target the sliver of a demographic that the Revero appeals to, from the luxury sports sedan shape to the uniquely sculpted interior and exterior details.
It contains a visceral bespoke feeling to the core, more so than virtually any other hybrid car. But its price tag is quite isolating, and only the wealthy will have the opportunity to experience the 2018 Karma Revero.
The 2018 Karma Revero leaves a lasting impression. Its expressive design is polarizing; you love it or you hate it with a passion. I’d expect most people will love it.
The front end has two long upper grille openings, similar to a BMW but not too close. The lighting up front is LED signature lighting and piercingly bright LED headlights also. The front fenders bulge upward, and the headlight assemblies swoop back into them.
One thing that can be distracting is the cabin length. It’s on the verge of being awkwardly long with four large doors. While it allows for extreme comfort on the inside, it’s the one visual aspect that feels out of place.
Fit and finish interior
The Karma Revero is simple, but only in one aspect: there’s one trim level and optional equipment is non-existent, other than premium floor mats or a car cover. The Revero has a full load of equipment, but you might not even notice it there.
If the 2018 Karma Revero interior feels like it’s been hand-crafted, it’s because it has been. The seats, dash, and console are wrapped in minimally-tanned leather, and the seating surfaces have a simple, asymmetrical design. The console has inlaid, unlacquered reclaimed wood that you won’t find in any other car. The front seats are six-way power adjustable and have multi-level heating.
Steering wheels are often unnoticeable, but the two-tone, unique three-spoke design gives off more of that custom-car vibe. The center console stretches fully from the front to the rear seats and integrates switches and buttons very cleanly.
A 10.2-inch screen in the center stack operates as the hub for infotainment and the dual-zone climate control systems. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless streaming work with the system, as you might expect.
It’s equipped with a few good driver-assistive features too, such as Lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic windshield wipers, automatic exterior low beam lighting, park distance monitoring, rear back-up camera, and tire pressure monitoring.
There are a few items noticeably missing. There’s no sunroof or option listed for one, there’s no adaptive cruise control, and the infotainment system maxes out with seven speakers totaling 225 watts. Those might not seem like a big deal, but it’s egregious when you’re paying $130,000 for a luxury sedan.
Going for a drive in the 2018 Karma Revero results in a hush – one in which you’d expect to hear a quiet chorus of angels singing. It’s that good behind the wheel. It isn’t that the Revero is overly fast, although it’s plenty quick, but that the car moves as if an extension of your own body.
The lightweight space-age aluminum frame and low-slung powertrain make the Revero exceptionally rigid and stable, and with near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. It rides on auto-leveling suspension that erases road noise and bumps and provides the most precise steering you’ll feel in a car this size.
In Sport mode, the 2018 Karma Revero can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 125mph. The combined gas and electric motors provide an all-wheel-drive operation that may not be quite as good as German-engineered models, but it holds its own. More importantly, it has a combined 403hp and the low-end torque that cars like this demand.
For those who perform round-trip travel of 50 miles or less, Karma advertises that you might never need to gas up again. While that may or may not be the case, 50 miles of extended-range electric-only performance is up to par for this type of car. Of course, the solar panel-integrated roof helps top up the charge on sunny days. And with a level 2 charger, it’s only three hours to add another 50 miles of range to the battery.
|Electric Range||50 miles / 80 km|
|Total Range||300 miles / 486 km|
|Time to Charge||3.0 hours (Level 2)|
|Electric Motor||301 kW|
|Battery Capacity||20.8 kWh|
|Top Speed||125 mph / 202 km/h|
|Warranty||4 years/50,000 miles or 80,000 km|
The 2018 Karma Revero is a marvel of engineering in many ways. The driving experience will impress any cynic and the interior quality is fitting for makes like Bentley and Rolls-Royce, or close to it. Looking past its relatively few shortcomings is pretty easy because of everything else it does well.
With an extended driving range of 50 miles on electric power only, this is the perfect luxury sedan for business executives and power couples. Outside of Silicon Valley and Manhattan, there aren’t too many places you’ll find the right clientele to drive the Karma Revero.
- 2018 Tesla Model S
- 2018 Lexus LC 400h
- 2018 BMW 740e iPerformance
- 2018 Porsche Panamera Hybrid