My Neighbor has a Karma

My Neighbor has a Karma

I'm eagerly awaiting the Delivery of my Model S P85 sometime this month. As I was finishing the installation of my solar array I see the very recognizable "smiley face" grill of a Fisker Karma turning down my street. I live in Eunice, a small oil town in SE NM. EVs are not popular here and Romney won this county by 40 points. Still in shock that my Model S will be next door to a Fisker Karma in a town of <5000. Neighbors apparently won it in Las Vegas so they aren't "EV people"... just hope they plug it in!

Did anyone seriously consider the Karma? I almost feel sorry for Fisker since it gets to roundly destroyed by the Model S. I doesn't go as far, even with gas. It's almost half as efficient, even on electric. It's less powerful than a P85, even with two motors. It's also more expensive. Has less room; etc, etc. Elon was dead on when he called it a "mediocre product at a higher price"

Brian H | December 21, 2012

"Stealth" mode in the Karma refers to battery power only, no putt-putt power.

tranhv68 | December 21, 2012

I think smop doesn't really have 600K in cars. He's probably some kid with nothing better to do than to disrupt this board. His posts are odd and his responses often do not make sense.

SMOP, if you are reading this, please kindly post some pictures of your 600K in cars with a loaf of bread on the hoods.

Maybe then we can all take your comments seriously.

SMOP | December 21, 2012


I would be more than happy to post the aforementioned pictures. If I do this what will I get in return? Perhaps an apology and a statement that you will leave the forums forever under the cloud of shame? If you are acceptable to these terms I will post these pictures ASAP. I am intolerant to wheat so I may post these pictures under something else (i.e. vegetables, credit card, kindle etc) Please let me know if this is acceptable for your "test"? Thank You

tranhv68 | December 21, 2012


you get credibility, so stop jawing and post your pictures. This will be my last response to you unless you show proof.

Pungoteague_Dave | December 21, 2012

SMOP, whether or not you have $600K of cars is irrelevant (what class for posting such a thing!). There is no question that you are both a troll and uninformed. Sorry there isn't a blocking function on this board because you would be outta here.

tranhv68 | December 21, 2012


you sound like you are pretty well off. I think you can afford a couple of loaves of bread to photograph.

tranhv68 | December 21, 2012


I agree to your terms. Go and buy some bread and show me the pictures. Thank you.

SMOP | December 21, 2012

great I found an old loaf of bread in my trashcan and have posted this wrapper on 3 of the (x number of) Tesla's that I do own. This should suffice for your "test." Nice knowing you buddy GOOD NIGHT NOW!

SMOP | December 22, 2012

bigez1 will you purchase my Model S for more than I paid for it? if so please feel free to post in this thread with an offer. I will gladly sell you the car. I am not willing to take a financial hit on the vehicle to appease an internet message board. Now is the time to put your money where your mouth is. If you are unwilling to then I guess it is a moot point no? The Karma is higher quality than the Model S end of story. I look forward to your offer on my Model S. Thanks!


Thanks for the comment it is very informative. What Tesla products do you personally own? If I were to make a bet I would guess 0? am I close? Thank you kind sir :)

Timo | December 22, 2012

@SMOP ... How is it that the Karma (weighs 800lbs more than the Model S) handles better or even (comparably) to the Model S?...

I bet it is the tires. Karma has some huge tires, much bigger than even 21" Model S Performance tires. Those should give it a bit better grip at corners, at least on dry tarmac road.

IIRC Elon Performance S has wider rear tires just to improve handling.

bigez1 | December 22, 2012

S Mop

Will I purchase your Model S from you? Seriously, I doubt you could sell anything to anyone. As far as taking a financial hit - from what you've already admittedly purchased, you've clearly demonstrated your proficiency at losing money.

This is my final post to you and my final post on this thread. Time to move on... However before I sign off, I'll leave you and and everyone who reads this with my final Fisker vs Model S argument. The 1st link is CR's Fisker eval and the 2nd is of the Model S. (Spoiler alert - The Fisker died and was recalled before the eval was completed).

"A fool and his money are soon parted"
P.T. Barnum

Happy Holidays

Nicu.Mihalache | December 22, 2012

It is very surprising how some are blinded by their love towards an object. I also think Model S is great but I am sure there is room for improvement in many areas (for example, in most pictures, the lip of the hood is at least 1/2 inch above the front "grille" - much larger than all other gaps and just plain ugly).

SMOP did not argue that the Karma is better in any way or in average for most people. He just pointed out what he THINKS is better in Fisker's car. Instead of listening and taking it with a grain of salt (especially that most will never push their car as far as SMOP), people are attacking the messenger? Accusations of being a fake??? Unreal!!!

The best and probably only way to improve something (including oneself) is to sincerely look for defects and failures, and better do that with a magnifying glass. Only once you are aware of those you can take steps to correct them.

Timo | December 22, 2012

@bigez1 from what you've already admittedly purchased, you've clearly demonstrated your proficiency at losing money
"A fool and his money are soon parted"
P.T. Barnum

Directed against guy with three Teslas sounds like anti-tesla attack.

SMOP is not the first that has complained about Model S handling. Apparently it isn't quite as sharp as it could be, and there is that "wiggling" of rear end at accelerations mentioned now by several people. I find it quite believable that Model S doesn't handle cornering extremely well compared to best ICE cars (it's really heavy car), what I find surprising that Karma apparently does handle cornering well.

Electron | December 22, 2012

I may not agree with everything you are saying SMOP, but damn those pictures made me laugh.

bigez1 | December 22, 2012


Actually SMOP did proclaim the Fisker superior to the MS unless you don't consider the statement "higher quality" among other like statements as proclamations. However, I do agree with you on two very important points:

The MS has room for improvement - All cars do. I never said it was perfect or even close to perfect. I've test driven the MS twice and researched it ad nauseam before finalizing my purchase. However, I also believe criticism should be constructive and not simply to smear. You may or may not agree and I'll respect that.

Most importantly, you are correct in another very important way. The statements in my last post were unnecessary and not needed to make my point. Clearly, I went too far and thanks for pointing it out.

S Mop - if you read this, pls accept my apology.

SMOP | December 22, 2012

This thread is hilarious. I love how people who have not even taken delivery of their vehicle are lecturing me on how great the vehicle is. Now that is funny.

@Timo re: Karma Handling

I find that very surprising too. Tesla has always said that the Model S handling will blow away everything else. This is clearly not the case with my Model S.

Getting Amped Again | December 22, 2012

Bump. Best. Thread. Ever.

Mark E | December 22, 2012

Hey SMOP, do you have a Fisker yet? If so, I'd be interested to see how you think it drives in real life rather than from articles. From the reviews that I have read - no, I don't own one - it sounds like it handles quite well but is pretty slow, with its worst performance when trying to overtake, ie 40mph upwards.

I'd agree that the interior of the Fisker looks better, however the review from an owner at really put me off it. His later review of the interface on the centre console is hilarious. (

It's a real pity as I still think the Fisker is gorgeous.

Brian H | December 22, 2012

Gorgeous? To me, it always has looked like a caricature of a car that's trying to look fast.

Mark E | December 23, 2012

@Brian H: With the current performance it's more show than go, but if it had similar performance to the model S then it wouldn't be.

SMOP | December 23, 2012

@Mark E

One of my really good friends owns a Karma and I have driven his car many times. If I give you my perspective on a car it will be after I have been able to spend a considerable amount of time behind the wheel. Anyone can Google car reviews and post the links here. In my opinion these posts are near worthless as they give a perspective based on which car reviews (they have read( rather than first hand experience with the vehicle. The value of an owners forum is to get the perspective from owners not internet spin.

tranhv68 | December 23, 2012

Here is very thorough evaluation of the 2012 Fisker Karma by Csaba Csere who was very positive about his evaluation of the Tesla Model S. The overall tone of his evaluation gives me the impression that he does not like to hate on cars and always gives an upbeat review. However, in the end, if you read between the lines he does not seem to endorse the car.

SMOP | December 23, 2012

Why are you still here?

Mark E | December 23, 2012

@SMOP - the links that I posted were from an owner and were pretty detailed - hence why I'd take them reasonably, however since I am in Australia and cannot actually see a Fisker, let alone drive one I appreciate if others who have actually driven one, think. At this stage, and from this distance, it appears that the Fisker has some issues that undermine the beauty of the styling (grill aside). I was very disappointed to hear that it was so heavy - but I also feel the same about the Model S.

I've seen a beta Model S, (last April) but once again there is currently no opportunity for me to drive one without flying 15,000km. I'll be in the US again in April and will book a test drive while I'm there.

I have driven the Roadster Sport, courtesy of Tesla for a weekend and was hooked on the responsiveness. I didn't like the high levels of interior noise at speed or the lack of practicality, or the price. (The Roadster Sport is $AU250,000).

Since this will actually be the first four door sedan that I have actually paid for - I'm used to driving 2 door vehicles - I'm concerned about the handling. Most reviewers have said that the Model S handles extremely well, yours appears to be the first I have heard to the contrary.

I'm keen to understand if you are comparing it to a super car, or another sedan - ie compared to an M5, or to a 458?

Similarly, I'm concerned about the lack of amenity in the interior and even more about potential build quality issues down the track.

If you have access and can be impartial then your opinion counts.

SMOP | December 23, 2012

@Mark E

I appreciate your comments, but a little more research should be done on your side before quantifying internet links and "youtube" videos as being impartial.

This "Brian Greenstone" individual is a well known poster who was on another Fisker specific forum and has backed off on a lot of his comments with regards to the Karma. He had an axe to grind with Fisker Corporate.

He claims it is a nice daily driver but not "worth it" (also look at what he said about the Roadster). He says to buy an Aston instead. I find it quite an amusing (the contradictions inconsistent statements etc). Most everyone who goes public (in the way he has) probably has an axe to grind or some sort of motive. He went way over the top in his videos.

Make no mistake, both cars are heavy behemoth vehicles. I have been driving a Roadster daily for a few years now and it is an adjustment still to go to a 4600 monster. I prefer the Roadster because of its size and (to me) it is more satisfying than the Model S (to drive often).

I found the steering feel and the handling characteristics of the Karma to be superior to that of the Model S. The translation of road feel was superior in the Karma. The put it simply the car felt planted and tight. With regards to the Model S, the handling is very strange. I am not sure if it is the air suspension (have not driven a Model S with the coils yet) or what it is but when you really push the Model S to the limits it feels unstable and sloppy. The steering feel is artificial and at speeds not very linear (i.e. too heavy at higher speeds and lighter at lower speeds)- this is in all of the steering modes. The road feel is muted and not much is translated to the driver via steering wheel (think Buick more than M5).

I would say without hesitation that the Karma handles almost exactly like a 612 with a hint of DB9- very linear. The Model S feels more CGT with hints of Buick. There is so little road feel the car feels like an appliance. Its not a bad handling car I just think that they did not get the suspension tuning right and that may be the reason my car feels a bit unstable. I can't speak for others but there are people who do feel similarly (and have posted), they are just drowned out by the Tesla Fans.

The interior of my Model S does not feel like a 100k+ car. The interior of the Eco-Chic Karma that I drove felt closer to a 100k car (even without leather). The interior of my Roadster may not feel like a 158k car but you can tell its handbuilt and they wrapped whatever they could in leather and it has that quirky quality feel to it. The Model S lacks this interior pizzaz.