Are you curious about reasons to avoid a Lucid Air? Lucid is a relative newcomer to the EV market. The flagship Air EV was poised to topple the likes of the Tesla Model S and other luxury EVs. Instead, the market has responded somewhat coolly to the Lucid line of vehicles.
Low sales aren’t the only reason you’ll want to avoid this EV. As you’ll see over the course of this guide, you’re paying quite a bit for a vehicle that isn’t quite up to snuff with its competitors.
What is the Lucid Air?
The Air is Lucid’s electric sedan. With retail prices starting around $79,000 for the basic trim, you’re getting a presumably high-end experience. Lucid isn’t a known quantity in the luxury EV segment like you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or Tesla.
The Air is a compelling enough vehicle, coming with a bevy of trim options. It has performance to spare, with the highest model topping out at 1,234 horsepower. That said, it might not be the best pick for your next EV purchase.
|Trims Available||Pure RWD, Pure AWD, Touring AWD, Grand Touring AWD, Sapphire AWD|
|Horsepower||480 to 1,234 horsepower|
|Torque||443 to 1430 lb-ft|
|Range||310 to 425 miles depending on the configuration|
|Battery Capacity||92kWh for lower trim levels, higher capacity 112 kWh battery is also available for more expensive configurations|
|Drivetrain||Rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive depending on the trim selected|
|DCFC Charging Rate||Supports up to 135 kilowatts from compatible chargers|
|MSRP||Starts at $79,000 for Pure RWD trim, it tops out at $250,000 for Sapphire AWD trim|
Reasons to Avoid a Lucid Air
Here are seven of our top reasons to avoid a Lucid Air.
Reason #1: The High Cost
The Lucid Air isn’t an EV intended for everyone. This is one of the top reasons to avoid a Lucid Air, and it comes down purely to the raw cost of the vehicle. You can expect to pay a starting price of $79,000 for the Pure RWD model.
If you decide you’d rather go for the top-of-the-line model, you’ll be paying around $250,000 to purchase the Lucid Air Sapphire. It is a luxury vehicle and is designed as such. That said, there are more affordable options that don’t have the same drawbacks.
Reason #2: Unsupported Fast Charging
Lucid has grossly overstated the charging rate of the various Air models. There are 350 kW and 500 kW charging utilities in the wild currently. Now, the Air is one of the fastest-charging EVs on the market today. That said, you aren’t going to be using the full output of a 350 kW charger.
Charging tests found the supported Level 3 charging rate to be under 150 kilowatts. This is a huge amount and is one of the fastest around. However, if you’re looking for faster charging this is just one of the reasons to avoid a Lucid Air.
Reason #3: Vital Controls Are Tied to the Touchscreen
Ideally, any EV will relegate vital functions to physical controls. This includes functionality like air conditioning, windows, gear shifters, and so forth. The Lucid Air follows the same trend as Tesla and ties most of the core functions of the vehicle to the touchscreen.
Now, you can certainly get used to this. That said, there are certain drawbacks to a pure touchscreen operation. If you have dirty hands or the touchscreen is somehow rendered inoperable, you can’t drive your Lucid Air. The ideal scenario would be to have physical controls for things like door locks.
Reason #4: Not Enough Headroom
Despite being designed to appear like a lap of luxury, the Lucid Air is rather short on interior space. When you get down to it, the interior is the most disappointing feature of the Lucid Air. This extends from the basic configuration all the way to the top Sapphire AWD model.
You won’t have ample headroom, thanks in part to the aerodynamic design. When compared to other luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz EQS, it stands out as one of the reasons to avoid a Lucid Air.
Reason #5: The Flush Fit Door Handles Aren’t Ideal for All Climates
Tesla was one of the first EV manufacturers to introduce flush-fit door handles. Lucid has taken a page from the same playbook, which isn’t the best choice. Flush-fit door handles help to keep the exterior lines sharp and sleek. That said, freezing weather is going to leave you outside the car for a while.
Numerous users with earlier model Lucid Airs have noted the flush-fit door handles become inoperable when freezing conditions arrive. Now, it usually handles sub-zero weather just fine for driving. However, you’re going to have a difficult time just getting in the car to drive it.
Reason #6: Poor App Support
When you’re purchasing a luxury car, you want all systems to fire off without a hitch. The Lucid app is a glaringly huge weak link in the overall operation of the system, however. You’ll notice when using the Lucid app that it can be unresponsive, cumbersome, and filled to the brim with latency.
When you consider how many vital metrics are tied to the Lucid app, you’d think more care would be spent on getting it up to snuff. Ideally, the smartphone app would be one of the great features of the Air. Instead, the app is one of the reasons to avoid a Lucid Air.
Reason #7: Updates to the Car’s Software Can Leave You in a Lurch
EVs get software updates just like smartphones, tablets, and other apps. One tester noted he was locked out of his car for over twenty minutes after an errant press of the software update button in the Lucid app. Nothing would restore functionality while the update was applied.
It is relatively simple to trigger the update process. In the event that you do, you’ll be stuck outside of your vehicle without recourse. You’re effectively locked out, and the included keyfob won’t let you back inside. This is just one of the major reasons to avoid a Lucid Air.
Alternatives to the Lucid Air
So, with the drawbacks and complaints out of the way, what are some alternatives to the Lucid Air? Here are three of our absolute favorite luxury EVs.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S has been the luxury EV to beat for over a decade. You get access to sleek styling, fantastic power, and great range. The Model S’s performance and range pale in comparison to the higher-end Lucid Air selections.
However, Tesla has had plenty of time to iron out the kinks in its EV. As such, you won’t find yourself stuck outside of your car in the cold while waiting for a firmware update to finish. Tesla has one of the best charging networks in the country, with Supercharger utilities across most of the continental US.
The EQS is built with a touch only Mercedes-Benz can provide. Sure, it isn’t a powerful luxury EV, but it doesn’t have to be. You’re paying not just for the name here, but a plush interior and stellar UX that few manufacturers come close to providing.
Mercedes-Benz has been one of the more avid adopters of electric vehicles, and the EQS serves as a stellar companion to its S and E series sedans. While the Lucid Air is built as a luxury car, the EQS fully embodies the luxury sedan.
Audi e-tron GT
The Audi e-tron GT looks like something out of a science-fiction film. The sleek contours of the exterior complement the great performance of the vehicle. The e-tron GT lacks the overall grunt of something like the Lucid Air, but it has Audi’s penchant for design to back things up.
Where the e-tron GT differs from the Lucid Air is in the overall construction of its elements. You’re paying more than your standard Model 3, but the materials inside more than back up the price. Much like the EQS, Audi knows how to make a luxury sedan.
The Lucid Air still has some time before it becomes the top choice for a luxury EV. Ideally, Lucid is able to iron out some of the more egregious user experience elements to create a great choice. Currently, you’re better off looking at its competitors.
|Reasons to Avoid a Lucid Air|
|1. It is on the expensive side.|
|2. The fast charging offered isn’t supported by many charging utilities.|
|3. Controlling the AC and windows are controlled by the touchscreen.|
|4. The interior is a bit cramped.|
|5. The flush-fit door handles aren’t a great choice for colder environments.|
|6. The smartphone app could be smoother in operation.|
|7. Software updates can leave you locked out of your vehicle for extended durations.|
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