Fri, 12 Jan 2024 06:40:56 +0000 InsideEVs InsideEVs | Electric Vehicle News, Reviews, and Reports Thu, 11 Jan 2024 17:09:46 +0000 Tesla Model Y Vs Ford Mustang Mach-E Compared: Range, Price, Efficiency, And More It’s the battle of the American electric crossovers.

The Tesla Model Y is arguably one of the best EVs on the market, at least when it comes to driving range, availability, and price. In fact, it’s Tesla’s most successful model, holding the title of the world’s best-selling car—including internal combustion vehicles, not just EVs—for much of 2023.

That said, not everybody wants to buy a car that’s as ubiquitous as the iPhone these days. Some are looking for a sportier ride and maybe even a history-rich nameplate, which is where the Ford Mustang Mach-E comes into play.

While its sales numbers can’t match those of the Model Y, with a smidge under 41,000 units sold in 2023 in the U.S., compared to the roughly 200,000 Model Ys sold in just the first half of 2023, the Mustang Mach-E is still a good choice for anybody willing to shop around and not go by sales figures alone.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E

So, without further ado, let’s look at how the two electric crossovers compare.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Price

Tesla Model Y: from $43,990 without tax credits and delivery fees

The entry-level Model Y, which is known as the Rear-Wheel Drive because it’s powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor, includes standard equipment such as 19-inch Gemini wheels wrapped in all-season tires, a Midnight Silver Metallic paint, an all-black interior, and seating for five people.

The base package also comes with a glass roof, a central touchscreen display, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a dual wireless smartphone charger, as well as power-adjustable front seats.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla Model Y Interior

That said, you won’t see any gauges or displays behind the steering wheel of the Model Y, with all the car info being related to the centrally mounted touchscreen alone. It’s definitely a departure from the more conventional setup that’s found in cars made by legacy automakers, and there’s a bit of a learning curve with Tesla’s system, but on the flip side, the infotainment is among the best out there, so once you’ve learned all the settings, you’re good to go.

Every single Model Y, irrespective of trim level, comes with pretty much the same features. In fact, Tesla doesn’t really do trim levels in the traditional sense. Instead, you can choose different powertrain options that come with slightly different wheels and some other cosmetic bits, but that’s it.

In other words, you don’t have to spend extra for a more expensive variant just to get the glass roof, as is sometimes the case with other carmakers. At the same time, however, you can’t get a car without a sunroof, either, which might put some people off.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

There is a list of optional extras, but it’s pretty thin, with different wheels, paint colors, and a tow hitch among the things you can tick in the online configurator.

The base RWD version can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 135 mph. For $5,000 more you can get the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Long Range which offers a quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is the same. The Performance variant, which is listed at $52,490, cuts the sprint time to 3.5 seconds and raises the top speed to 155 mph.

To sweeten the deal, all three Model Y trim levels are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit as of January 2024.

Ford Mustang Mach-E: from $42,995 without tax credits and delivery fees

Ford’s electric crossover is available in four trim levels: Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT (and there’s a Rally version in the works, too). The Select and Premium come as standard with a single rear-mounted electric motor, but a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is available as a $3,000 option for both trims.

The California Route 1 and the GT come as standard with AWD, and the maximum power output is 480 horsepower.

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance in Vapor Blue

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance in Vapor Blue

The base version comes with a 72-kWh (usable capacity) battery pack, while the other versions can be specced with a bigger, 91-kWh extended-range pack that ups the driving range. Earlier in the crossover's life there was a 70-kWh base battery pack but that was superseded by the 72-kWh version.

Standard equipment includes a 15.5-inch central touchscreen and a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel, a manual liftgate, a drainable front trunk, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, manual adjustment for the front passenger seat, 8-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, a 360-degree camera, SiriusXM radio, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, and a 6-speaker audio system.

Upgrade to the Premium, which starts at $46,995, and you get a panoramic fixed-glass roof, a 10-speaker B&O sound system by Band & Olufsen, Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 hands-free highway driving assistant, a power liftgate, as well as heated and 8-way power-adjustable front seats.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

Ford Mustang Mach-E Interior

Step up to the California Route 1 and you get the bigger battery as standard, enabling an EPA-estimated driving range of 312 miles on a full charge. The $56,995 price tag also includes all-wheel drive but excludes the power liftgate and the power-adjustable front passenger seat.

Go for the $59,995 GT model and you get the most powerful and fun-to-drive Mustang Mach-E available, with 480 horsepower and up to 634 pound-feet of torque. This version comes with all the bells and whistles of the Premium and adds an upgraded front motor, 20-inch wheels, and summer tires (as opposed to the all-seasons that come with the other variants). 

There’s also an additional $5,000 GT Performance Edition pack that comes with a pair of Ford Performance front seats with fixed head restraints and a MagneRide Damping System.

All in all, the Mustang Mach-E is more expensive than its Tesla competitor. Furthermore, none of the electric Mustang’s trim levels are currently eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit when buying (not leasing), which is a pretty big deal for shoppers trying to save a buck.

Tesla Model Y trim levels and prices

Trim Name Range Power Price
Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive 260 miles Undisclosed $43,990
Model Y All-Wheel Drive Long Range 310 miles Undisclosed $48,990
Model Y Performance 285 miles Undisclosed $52,490

Ford Mustang Mach-E trim levels and prices

Trim Name Range (depending on battery size) Power (depending on battery size)  Price
Select RWD 250 miles 266 hp $42,995
Select eAWD 226 miles 311 hp $45,995
Premium RWD 250 miles 266-290 hp $46,995
Premium eAWD 226-310 miles 311-346 hp $49,995
California Route 1 (eAWD) 312 miles 346 hp $56,995
GT (eAWD) 270 miles 480 hp $59,995
GT Performance Edition (eAWD) 260 miles 480 hp $64,995

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Range

The EPA-rated range of the entry-level RWD Model Y is 260 miles, while the Long Range increases that number to 310 miles. The Performance fits somewhere in between with an estimated driving range of 285 miles on a full battery.

By comparison, the Ford Mustang Mach-E can travel anywhere between 226 miles and 312 miles on a full charge, according to the EPA, depending on the battery size and powertrain configuration.

The standard range, all-wheel drive Mach-E is the worst offender, with 226 miles, followed by the standard range, rear-wheel drive model with 250 miles, while the Premium with rear-wheel drive and the extended range battery can drive for up to 310 miles. The California Route 1, despite having all-wheel drive, is the best when it comes to range, with an estimated 312 miles on a full charge.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT exterior

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

That said, various factors such as driving speed and ambient temperature can decrease the number of miles that can be driven on a full charge, and it’s not uncommon for Tesla models to fall short of their advertised ranges when tested under real-world conditions.

A Consumer Reports article shows that the Model Y did not meet its advertised range all year round, with the worst scenario being a highway drive at a constant 70 miles per hour and an average temperature of 16 degrees. In these conditions, the Model Y Long Range returned a calculated real-world range of just 186 miles.

The Mach-E, on the other hand, beat its EPA estimate by 29 miles in CR’s testing, going 299 miles before running out of juice instead of the advertised 270 miles.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Efficiency

The EPA says that the Model Y can consume between 26 and 30 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles driven, depending on the powertrain.

The most efficient version is the base RWD, with 26 kWh/100 miles, followed by the AWD Long Range with 28 kWh/100 miles. At the same time, the AWD Performance is the least efficient with 30 kWh/100 miles.

According to the EPA, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is more energy-hungry than its Tesla competitor, with the most efficient version, the standard range, rear-wheel drive needing 33 kWh/100 miles. On the other end of the spectrum, the GT Performance munches through 41 kWh/100 miles.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Charge Time

Tesla specifies that the Model Y RWD can accept up to 170 kW of power from a DC fast charger, while the Performance and Long Range versions can draw up to 250 kW from a compatible fast charger.

The electric crossover can be topped up from a 120-volt household outlet using the Tesla Mobile Connector, a 240V source using the Tesla Wall Connector, or the DC fast charging network of Tesla Superchargers. When connected to a Supercharger, the Model Y can gain up to 162 miles of range in 15 minutes, according to the company. 

The car can also be recharged from other DC fast chargers, including those that have a CCS cable and not the NACS connector used by Tesla, as long as you have a CCS1 to NACS adapter.

Tesla Model Y charging at a Tesla Supercharging station

Tesla Model Y charging at a Tesla Supercharging station

Ford Mustang Mach-E charging

Ford Mustang Mach-E charging

The Ford Mustang Mach-E can accept up to 150 kW when topping up from a DC fast charger. Models with the older 70-kWh base battery pack peaked at 115 kW when DC fast charging.

Ford says the Mach-E can go from 10 to 80% state of charge in 33 minutes for the standard range battery, while the extended range pack needs 45 minutes for the same top-up.

The American EV can also be recharged from a household socket rated at either 120V or 240V using a compatible mobile charger. Ford sells one for $500 and is actually a mandatory option when speccing a brand-new Mustang Mach-E.

Currently, the Tesla Supercharger network is regarded as the best DC fast charging network in North America, with very good reliability and availability. It’s long been exclusive to Tesla vehicles (with the exception of Magic Dock-equipped stalls), giving the company an advantage over competitors. Starting this year, though, almost all competing EV makers, including Ford, will get access to the Supercharger network, which will alleviate some of the pains of EV owners and, at the same time, eliminate the exclusivity that has been associated with Tesla owners and the Supercharger network.

Ford also has its own charging network called the BlueOval Charge Network, which includes several roaming partners.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: 0-60 MPH

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, while the Long Range trim is slightly faster, reaching 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The Performance version can do it in 3.5 seconds.

The Model Y Performance can reach a top speed of 155 mph, while both the RWD and the Long Range variants have a maximum speed of 135 mph.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford says on its website that the rear-wheel-driven version of the Mach-E with the 72-kWh battery can go from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds.

The California Route 1 trim, with its extended-range battery and all-wheel drive system, can reach 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, while the GT version, with its upgraded e-motors, slashes the time to 3.5 seconds.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT exterior

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Top Speed

The Tesla Model Y RWD and Long Range can go up to 135 mph, while the Performance version ups the top speed to 155 mph.

Ford doesn’t publicize the top speed of the Mustang Mach-E, but you might see a figure of 130 mph for the top GT trim floating around the internet, so take that as you may.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Driver-Assistance Systems

Tesla Model Y: Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving

Tesla’s entire portfolio of passenger cars is available with the company’s so-called Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS). This includes traffic-aware cruise control and a steering assistant called Autosteer. 

As an optional extra, the $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot suite adds supervised, Level-2 capable automatic lane changes, automatic parking, and the so-called Navigate on Autopilot feature which “Actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit,” according to Tesla.

Tesla FSD Beta Update Coming, Will Allow Turning Off Steering Wheel Nags

On top of that, there’s the so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) option which costs $12,000 and adds the ability to autonomously steer the car on city streets and to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. That said, Tesla mentions on its website that driver supervision is needed at all times and that none of these features make the car autonomous.

Ford Mustang Mach-E: BlueCruise and Co-Pilot360

Ford’s all-electric crossover comes as standard with the company’s so-called Co-Pilot360 suite of active and passive safety assists, including auto high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency brain, forward collision assist, post-collision braking, and more.

The cheapest Mustang Mach-E also comes with a 90-day free trial of the company’s BlueCruise system which is a hands-free driving assistant that works on over 130,000 miles of prequalified sections of divided North American highways. That’s 97% of controlled-access highways across the U.S. and Canada, according to Ford.

Ford BlueCruise Update

On these roads, the system can change lanes automatically once the turn signal is activated, and it can reposition the car in the lane by subtly shifting away from vehicles in adjacent lanes. This is on top of keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front, following the road without getting out of the lane, and braking when needed.

For an extra $2,100, buyers can add three years of BlueCruise 1.3 to their purchase, which helps drivers stay engaged longer in hands-free mode, according to the company.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Interior

Tesla Model Y

The standard panoramic glass roof gives the Model Y an airy feel to the cabin but it can also cause some issues in the summer, seeing how there’s no factory-fitted sunshade to protect the occupants from the sun.

Tesla says that the glass is treated so that infrared and ultraviolet light is “effectively blocked,” but a quick browse through owner reviews on YouTube is all it takes to see that there are more than a few owners complaining about having trouble keeping their cars’ interior cool on a very hot and sunny day.

tesla model y

The RWD and Performance versions can only be specced with five seats, while the Long Range has an optional seven-seat package that can be added to a custom build.

The central 15-inch touchscreen has native apps for services like Spotify and Apple Music, but it lacks integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto neither wired nor wireless connectivity is available). There is, however, Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Despite its fastback roofline, the Mach-E offers ample room inside for four adults, and with the optional panoramic roof, it feels bigger than it actually is.

Ford’s electric crossover is only available in a five-seat configuration, so don’t expect it to be as versatile as the Model Y when it comes to carrying a lot of people. That said, it has plenty of storage cubbies inside, so for what it is, it’s pretty well thought out.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT interior

The 15.5-inch central touchscreen runs Ford’s latest Sync infotainment system that offers a great built-in navigation system, as well as standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system itself is nicely laid out and it doesn’t take much time to get familiar with its menu system.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Build Quality

Tesla models have been known for their less-than-stellar build quality, especially the lower-priced ones, and the Model Y is no different. Although things have improved over time, there are still problems with body hardware, paint, trim, and the climate control system, according to Consumer Reports.

In the Mustang Mach-E’s case, expect to see Ford’s usual interior build quality, which is not great, not terrible, to quote the internet-famous meme from HBO’s Chernobyl series.

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Driving Dynamics And Ride Comfort

Despite its weight of about 4,300 pounds (for the all-wheel drive versions), the Model Y is surprisingly engaging to drive. The steering feels light and quick and the body stays relatively composed during hard cornering.

It’s not perfect, though. On uneven surfaces, small bumps and cracks make their way to the cabin, especially on the Performance.

The Mustang Mach-E feels more dialed in, with a suspension that’s great at soaking up large bumps in the road and a cabin that’s well insulated against wind and ambient noise. When driving down your average highway, the car feels nicely put together and offers a relaxing ride, but it’s also capable of putting a smile on the driver’s face around sharp turns.

What Our Experts Say

Hard specs will only tell you so much. That’s why we encourage everyone to try both cars as extensively as possible to see which one is suited best to their needs. Until that happens, here are some words from our team of expert journalists about each option. 

Tesla Model Y

We've said it before and we'll say it again: the Model Y is the EV to beat this year (excepting any markets where new contenders from China's automakers are giving it a run for its money.) Sure, everyone in your city has one at this point, but there's a reason for that. For the price, capability and range—and with Tesla's Supercharger network backing it up—it's the value-packed choice that's very hard to match.

There are plenty of reasons to want something that's not a Model Y these days, but I can't fault anyone for going for it. Maybe that will change in the coming years, but for now, almost everyone who's come at this king has missed. 

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

It’s arguable that the Model Y is so popular less because of its merits as a car, but more so because it’s such a screaming deal. There are several ways to get into a Tesla for not much money: the single motor, 260-mile range Model Y can be had for $43,990, not including destination or any other fees. Likewise, the 330-mile range dual-motor AWD can be had for $46,050, provided you’re willing to settle for whatever color and wheel option Tesla has available.

Those are solidly competitive prices for a premium crossover, no matter the propulsion type. A gas or hybrid-powered Lexus NX350, or Acura RDX, in theory, matches the Model Y in terms of premium prestige. But, add in the IRA’s point-of-sale tax credit, and the Model Y becomes an absolute bargain. At $36,490 (RWD) and $38,550 (AWD, on-lot discounts), the Model Y becomes as cheap as mid to high-trimmed compact crossovers. Hell, it’s a stone’s throw away from a few of the subcompact crossovers I’ve driven not that long ago.

—Kevin Williams, Staff Writer

Ford Mustang Mach-E

The first time I drove a Mustang Mach-E, I was convinced it was proof that Ford really is serious about electric vehicles. I was impressed by the many little touches engineers and designers added to make it "feel" like a Mustang (yes, really) and I thought it was an absolute blast to drive. Capable and fun, the Mach-E is a delight in so many ways. 

Unfortunately, these days it gets seriously undercut by the Model Y's knockout-punch combo of range and price. If you want more than 300 miles of range—my personal sweet spot—expect to pay $56,000 for a California Route 1, with no tax credit help as of this writing. With the credits the Model Y All-Wheel Drive Long Range does get, it seriously undercuts this electric pony car.

I'd like to see Ford juice the range on this crossover more in the coming years. It's one of my favorite direct competitors to the Model Y, but lately it's having a hard time measuring up.

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

What the NACTOY-winning Mach-E offers more of than any other EV in its class is personality. This is not an appliance, not even close. Ford smartly used the iconic pony car nameplate to inject some life into its first true mass-market EV, which also blends superior driving dynamics, impossibly good looks, and a few honest-to-goodness muscle car characteristics.

—Jeff Perez, Managing Editor, Motor1

Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Conclusion

The Model Y is hard to beat, let’s face it. With prices that appear to be going down constantly, range figures that are more than enough for the average consumer, and a user experience that’s closer to that of owning a smartphone rather than a conventional car, Tesla’s most affordable crossover has taken the world by storm.

But it’s not perfect, and wannabe shoppers need to take into account the slightly unpolished ride, lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the over-simplified interior that relies on a single screen to relay information to the driver.

Tesla Model Y charging

Tesla Model Y

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E in Carbonized Gray Metallic

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E

For more money, the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers a better ride, a more engaging drive, and an interior that looks like the natural evolution of the conventional car that we all have in our minds. It even has 2 extra miles of advertised driving range when considering the California Route 1 versus the Model Y Long Range. That said, the charging speeds are lower, so expect to spend more time at DC fast chargers compared to the Model Y.

Now, Tesla has the upper hand thanks to its vast Supercharger networks of fast chargers, but that’s about to change come spring when owners of Ford EVs will also gain access to the same network (by way of an adapter at first). In other words, the user experience gap that set Tesla apart from its competitors for years will be smaller than ever before and maybe it will even disappear altogether.

Correction: This story has been updated with the accurate battery pack size information for the entry-level 2023 Mach-E Models. 

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Tesla Cybertruck: What Else Can You Buy For The Same Amount Of Money?

]]> (Iulian Dnistran) Mon, 08 Jan 2024 15:00:06 +0000 This Tesla Cybertruck Video Exposes All Of The Details, Big And Small It covers everything from range to battery to service mode, to thermal management, and even that wonky wiper and everything in between.

The Tesla Cybertruck is still shrouded in a bit of secrecy even following its much-anticipated reveal. That's because Tesla seemingly loves to keep a lot of the details (both big and small) under wraps.

The Cybertruck is not alone in this regard. Let's recall that Tesla still refuses to openly list the battery capacity for any of its models. Battery capacity is, after all, quite a big deal when it comes to electric cars, yet Tesla won't provide us (or you) with this all-important figure.

Back to the Cybertruck...

In steps Kyle Conner of Out Of Spec Reviews on YouTube (and a former InsideEVs video producer). Kyle is known for his wonderfully detailed and extremely thorough video presentations and this one featuring the Cybertruck is no exception. It's an incredibly long video at almost two hours in length, so we can't really get into the details here. But we will say that almost no topic is left untouched.

Cybertruck Range Test

Tesla Cybertruck Falls 20% Short Of EPA/Advertised Range In Real-World Test (Updated)

Kyle is checking out one of the first customer delivery Cybertrucks and he has the pickup for a full four days. Full range tests of the Cybertruck are already posted, but here we present the full tour of the Cybertruck. So, without wasting any more of your time, go ahead and check out the world's most comprehensive video tour, overview, and review of the all-new Tesla Cybetruck. Here you'll find everything out about its range, battery specs and so much more.

And here are most of the chapters to make it easier for you to find the topics that interest you the most:

Intro 0:00 First thoughts on Cybertruck/ Future videos 1:54 Exterior / Attention grabber 6:01 Front trunk/ Trim and price 9:48 Wiper 12:30 Battery 14:26 Motor options / Drivetrain 16:56 Size / rear steering 22:56 Tailgate / Tonneau cover / Bed 24:01 Rear power outlets 31:30 Range extender 33:17 Charging 34:16 Francy's First Impressions 43:11 Thermal system 44:11 Suspension 47:08 Final thoughts on exterior 50:28 Sound system 51:31 Seats / Squeaks 53:09 Range 56:05 Software / screen 57:16 Steer by wire 59:45 Door opening 1:02:52 Back to Software 1:04:05 Service mode Software 1:27:56 Cabin Tour 1:35:09 Phone Died / Final thoughts / Things to still talk about 1:43:58
]]> (Eric Loveday) Sun, 31 Dec 2023 15:12:41 +0000 Autel MaxiCharger 50-A Lite Review: Is This The EV Charger For You? It's packed with smart charging features and impressive specifications, but it's not without a lingering flaw.

Autel's MaxiCharger line of EVSE has quickly become one of the top-rated EV chargers on the market today. With a wide array of options, power levels and colors, there's a MaxiCharger to suit the wants and needs of most EV owners.

Last year I reviewed a 40-amp MaxiCharger Elite and was impressed with its specifications, construction, and smart charging features. It did, however, have one serious flaw: it was equipped with the worst-performing cold-weather cable that I've ever tested. 

Autel MaxiCharger Lite Review

Autel MaxiCharger Lite Key Features

When I perform our comprehensive EV charger reviews, one of the tests I conduct is a cold-weather cable test. The test is designed to test how well the cable will perform if it is mounted outside in very cold weather. I deep freeze the unit in sub-zero temperature for twenty-four hours and then see how flexible the cable is, as well as how easy it is to coil up and store after charging. 

The cable on the MaxiCharger we tested last year performed so badly that I was forced to say I wouldn't recommend the unit for anyone who lives in a cold weather climate, particularly if they needed to install the charger outdoors. 

Autel reached out to me immediately after the review and said they weren't aware of the cable's cold temperature problem, but would immediately begin the search for a better cable and once they have one, they will ship me another test unit to review. 

Autel MaxiCharger cold weather cable test

The Autel MaxiCharger's cold weather cable test

I also spoke to John Thomas, the then COO of Autel at the New York Auto Show this year and John told me they had sourced a new cable and would send me a review unit as soon as they had them, which he did. 

Since I reviewed a 40-amp MaxiCharger Elite model last time, for this review I requested a 50-amp MaxiCharger Lite. The MaxiCharger Lite is a slightly less expensive version and doesn't have the glass panel on the top of the charger. However, the features are all the same as the Elite.

The Elite used to offer a few advantages over the Lite, but Autel informed me that they now include all the same features in the Lite, and the difference is only the glass panel on the front, which isn't a functional touchscreen, it's just for appearance. 

Other EV Charger Reviews

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FLO Home X5 EV Charger Review: A Rock-Solid Smart Charging Option

Autel does sell a commercial version of the MaxiCharger Elite which does have a working touchscreen, but that's aimed at business use and retails for $989.00.

The MaxiCharger Lite performed well in my extreme heat test and automatic restart test and I was looking forward to seeing how well the new cable fared in the deep freeze test. Unfortunately, the new cable still failed the test and was difficult to manipulate when frozen.

Autel MaxiCharger Lite ChargerRater score

Autel MaxiCharger Lite 50-A ChargerRater score

It was definitely better than the cable it replaced, but I believe it's still not good enough to recommend for use in cold weather climates. That's unfortunate because other than that, the MaxiCharger is an exceptionally good unit.

It has a nice connector, the enclosure is NEMA-4 rated, so it's suitable for outdoor installations in any climate. It is Energy Star-certified and CSA approved and when hardwired can deliver up to 50-amps (12 kW) to an EV. Most EVs are limited to accepting 48 amps so a 50 amp charger is just about as powerful as an EV needs. 

There are a few EVs with very large batteries that can accept 80 amps (F-150 Lightning, Lucid Air, and some of the new Ultium-based EVs from GM) but the vast majority of EVs are limited to 48 amps on AC power.

All Autel MaxiChargers are smart chargers that can connect to the Autel app via wifi, Bluetooth, and ethernet cable. They have access control through the app and customers can also order RFID cards for those who want access without using the app. The units can power share with up to 6 MaxiChargers, which makes them a great choice for multifamily installations where there aren't enough circuits to offer full power to each charger. 

The MaxiCharger Lite 50-amp that I reviewed has a retail price of $569.00 and is available with an integrated or remote connector holster. The 40-amp version that comes with a NEMA 14-50 plug sells for $459.00, but as of today is on sale on Amazon for only $399.00

Source: State Of Charge

]]> (Tom Moloughney) Thu, 28 Dec 2023 19:18:57 +0000 Tesla Model Y Vs Hyundai Ioniq 5 Compared: Range, Price, Efficiency, And More Let’s see how these two electric crossovers stack up against each other.

The Tesla Model Y was the world’s best-selling car in the first quarter of 2023 and the best-selling EV in the United States in the first half of 2023. It was also the best-selling car in the European Union in the first half of this year. So it goes without saying that the American zero-emissions crossover is very popular, both on the domestic market and overseas.

But some people don’t want a Tesla, for various reasons. This is why we put together this handy comparison piece that compares the Model Y with one of its biggest and most potent competitors, the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

While Hyundai’s sales volume can’t quite match Tesla's with about 30,000 Ioniq 5s sold in the U.S. in the first 11 months of 2023, compared to the roughly 200,000 Model Ys sold in just the first half of the year, the Korean EV is still a compelling alternative to the wildly popular American crossover.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

With this being said, let’s look at how the two cars stack up.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Price

Tesla Model Y: Starting at $43,990 without tax credits and delivery fees

The base version of the Model Y, which is often referred to as the Rear-Wheel Drive because it only has one rear-mounted electric motor, comes as standard with a Midnight Silver Metallic paint, 19-inch Gemini wheels wearing all-season tires, and an all-black interior with seating for five people.

A glass roof, central touchscreen display, dual wireless smartphone charger, and heated steering wheel are also part of the package, as are the heated front and rear seats. Power-adjustable front seats also come as standard.

What doesn’t come as standard—and is seen as a feature and not an oversight—is any sort of gauge or display behind the steering wheel. All the information is relayed to the driver through the central display only, so there’s a bit of a learning curve here, compared to cars that have traditional gauges showing speed and other info.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla Model Y interior

In fact, all versions of the Model Y come with pretty much the same features as the most affordable trim. In other words, you don’t have to spend extra for a more expensive variant just to get the glass roof, as is sometimes the case with other carmakers.

However, there are some optional extras that can be added no matter the powertrain choice, like different wheels, paint colors, and a tow hitch. Tesla doesn’t detail the power and torque output of its various drivetrain configurations, but it does advertise the zero to 60 mph time and top speed of its cars. In the case of the base RWD Model Y, it can reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and the top speed is 135 mph.

Spend $5,000 more for the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Long Range Model and you can experience a quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is the same.

The top-of-the-range Performance, which costs $52,490, slashes the sprint time to 3.5 seconds and ups the top speed to 155 mph.

Hyundai Ioniq 5: Starting at $41,650 without tax credits and delivery fees

The Hyundai Ioniq 5’s trim levels are a bit more complex, similar to what you’d find on a combustion vehicle. In the United States, the EV is available in four variants, one of which is rear-wheel drive only.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Disney100 Platinum Edition

The list of choices starts with the SE Standard Range, which is the most affordable but it’s also the only version that can’t be had with all-wheel drive. It has an MSRP of $41,650 and comes with a single, rear-mounted electric motor making 168 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as the smallest available battery pack that has a capacity of 58 kWh.

Next in line is the SE, which starts at $45,700 and comes as standard with a more powerful 225-hp rear electric motor and a bigger 77.4 kWh battery. A dual-motor all-wheel drive setup that makes a combined 320 hp and 446 lb-ft is available as a $2,500 option.

The same goes for the slightly better equipped SEL trim that starts at $47,250–this one adds a hands-free power liftgate–as well as the top-of-the-line Limited that goes for $53,350.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

For the extra cash, the Ioniq 5 Limited adds standard Premium LED front accent lighting and projector-type LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, silver bumpers and body cladding (as opposed to the black ones on the other versions), premium side sills, premium gloss-black exterior accents, a panoramic sunroof, and an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat, in addition to the eight-way power driver seat that’s available on all the other trim levels.

Ventilated front seats, a memory driver seat, and adjustable head restraints are also standard on the Limited, as well as a Bose Premium sound system and a head-up display with augmented reality functions.

The Ioniq 5 comes with a heated steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charger, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink from the SEL trim upward.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Range

The Tesla Model Y has a base EPA-rated range of 260 miles when choosing the entry-level RWD model. The Long Range model offers 310 miles of range, while the Performance is somewhere in between, delivering an estimated driving range of 285 miles on a full charge.

On paper, the Ioniq 5 can’t quite keep up with the Model Y range-wise. The SE Standard Range, which is rear-wheel drive only, offers up to 220 miles of driving on a full charge, while the bigger battery on the more expensive versions can deliver up to 303 miles when hooked up to a rear electric motor only.

The optional all-wheel drive eats 43 miles of range on the combined cycle, bringing down the EPA estimate to 260 miles for AWD-equipped Ioniq 5s.

As always, though, these figures are taken with a grain of salt, as various factors such as driving speed and ambient temperature can decrease the number of miles that can be driven on a full charge.

According to Consumer Reports, the Model Y fails to meet its advertised EPA range all year round, with the worst performance seen during a highway drive at a constant 70 miles per hour and an average temperature of 16 degrees. After driving in these conditions, the Model Y Long Range returned a calculated real-world range of just 186 miles.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was submitted to the same test and the real-world range in cold weather, as calculated by CR, was 183 miles, whereas the EPA estimate said it could travel 256 miles on a full charge (the EPA estimates were different from those advertised today).

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Efficiency

Efficiency is an extremely important factor for EVs because it determines how much electricity you'll "burn" on the road and end up paying for in the long run.

According to the EPA window sticker, the Model Y can eat anywhere between 26 and 30 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles driven, depending on the powertrain. The base RWD version is the most frugal, with 26 kWh/100 miles, followed by the AWD Long Range with 28 kWh/100 miles, and the AWD Performance with 30 kWh/100 miles.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a bit more power-hungry than the Model Y, which can be partly attributed to its slightly higher weight. The Ioniq 5 weighs between roughly 4,000 lbs and 4,700 lbs, while the Model Y tips the scales between 4,154 lbs and 4,398 lbs.

As a result, the Ioniq 5 consumes 29 kWh/100 miles in long-range RWD guise, 30 kWh/100 miles when specced with the standard range battery, and 34 kWh/100 miles when the big battery is powering the dual-motor AWD system.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Charge Time

Tesla says the Model Y RWD can accept up to 170 kilowatts, while the Long Range and Performance can go up to 250 kW. Moreover, the EV can be recharged from either a 120-volt household outlet, a 240V source using the Tesla Wall Connector, or Tesla's expansive DC fast charging network of Superchargers. When connected to one of the latter, the Model Y can add up to 162 miles of range in 15 minutes, according to the company.

Hyundai says all Ioniq 5 variants are capable of accepting up to 350 kW from a compatible DC fast charger which enables the EV to go from 10% state of charge to 80% in 18 minutes. On a 240V charger, topping up the battery from 10% to 100% takes five hours and 50 minutes for the small battery and seven hours and 10 minutes for the big battery.


Tests done by Edmunds show that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with a dual-motor powertrain is capable of charging at a speed of 673 miles/hour when hooked to a DC fast charger, while the Tesla Model Y Long Range can add 538 miles/hour when charging from a high-output source.

With all this being said, it's worth noting that Tesla's fast-charging network is considered one of the best, if not the best out there, with stellar reliability and availability. There are over 12,000 stations in North America, which have been available only for Tesla users, but that's about to change starting in 2024 when EVs from several other automakers, including Hyundai, will get access to the Supercharger network in the U.S. and Canada. That's sure to improve the ownership experience for non-Tesla drivers who need to recharge while on the go.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: 0-60 MPH

The base RWD variant of the Tesla Model Y can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds. The Long Range trim is slightly faster, reaching 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and the Performance can do it in 3.5 seconds.

Both the RWD and Long Range versions of the Tesla Model Y have a top speed of 135 mph, while the faster Performance can reach 155 mph.

Hyundai doesn’t advertise the 0-60 mph sprint times for the Ioniq 5. However, Edmunds recorded a time of 4.7 seconds for the AWD-equipped EV, while Car and Driver managed an even quicker 0-60 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Top Speed

The Tesla Model Y RWD and Long Range can go up to 135 mph, while the Performance version ups the top speed to 155 mph.

Hyundai says the top speed of the Ioniq 5 is 115 mph. 

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Driver-Assistance Systems

Tesla Model Y: Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving

All Tesla EVs come with the company’s so-called Autopilot advanced driving assistant system that includes traffic-aware cruise control and a steering assistant called Autosteer. Optionally, one can buy the $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot suite that adds supervised, Level-2 capable automatic lane changes, automatic parking, and the so-called Navigate on Autopilot, which “Actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit,” according to Tesla.

There’s also the so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) option, which costs $12,000 and adds the ability to autonomously steer the car on city streets and to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. However, as Tesla states on its website, driver supervision is needed at all times and none of these features make the car autonomous or actually "fully self-driving."

Hyundai Ioniq 5: A Lot Of “Assists”

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is also available with Level 2-capable technology: partial automation where the car can take over steering, accelerating and braking under certain circumstances, but still with the driver's hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go is available as standard on all trim levels, which includes navigation-based cues and something called Curve Control.

Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Highway Driving Assist are all part of the offer, depending on the trim level.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Interior

Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s crossover offers an airy cabin thanks to its standard panoramic glass roof. But that roof can also cause some issues in the summer, as there is no sunshade to protect you from the heat. 

The Texas-based automaker says that infrared and ultraviolet light is “effectively blocked,” but owners have complained about having trouble keeping the cabin cool on a very hot day.

Five seats come as standard and the Long Range variant can be optioned with two additional seats in the trunk making for a seven-seat layout.

Tesla Model Y interior

Tesla Model Y Interior

As with the Model 3, the Model Y has a single central touchscreen display that’s used to relay all the information to the driver. This was done for cost-cutting reasons and it may take a while for someone who’s only driven a car with conventional dials behind the steering wheel to get used to Tesla’s setup.

There’s also no integration with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto—not even the wired kind. However, Tesla’s infotainment system has native apps for various streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Korean EV only comes in a five-seat layout but there’s enough room to actually fit five adults inside, whereas the Model Y has a slightly more cramped rear bench.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 interior

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Interior

The perceived quality is also regarded as better than the Tesla and the general layout is more in line with a traditional ICE vehicle. Expect more buttons and traditional controls here, but a lot of functions still route through the car's screens. There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and another 12.3-inch touchscreen that does infotainment duty.

There are also physical buttons for the climate control system, but you still have to go through the touchscreen to access the settings for the seat heater, ventilation, or heated steering wheel.

The Ioniq 5 has a neat (and huge) sliding cubby between the front seats and comes with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, but there’s no wireless option.

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Build quality

Historically, Tesla models, especially lower-priced ones, have been known for having some build quality issues. That’s why Consumer Reports continually criticizes the brand’s cars for having problems with body hardware, paint, trim, and the climate control system.

That said, things have improved over time and new cars seem to be screwed together much better than older units. The same Consumer Reports goes on to recommend both the Model Y and the Model 3 as good enough cars that are worthy of your hard-earned money.

The Ioniq 5 seems better built and has slightly better-feeling materials throughout, but it’s not exactly a Rolls-Royce either.

More EV Stories

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV EPA Range And Pricing Overview
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric Gets 261 Miles Of EPA Range
2024 Volkswagen ID.4 EPA Range Increases To 291 Miles
EPA Vs. WLTP EV Range Ratings: Here’s Why They’re Different

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Driving Dynamics And Ride Comfort

The Tesla Model Y is a surprisingly engaging car to drive despite its heavy weight, with the steering feeling light and quick to respond and the body staying relatively composed during hard cornering. That said, driving over uneven surfaces isn’t this EV’s forte, especially in Performance guise, with small bumps and cracks making their way to the cabin.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 offers a somewhat cushier ride and a more laid-back overall feeling that might go a long way on road trips. At the same time, however, the car’s relaxed ride won’t necessarily be to the taste of performance seekers. alumnus Brandon Turkus rated the Ioniq 5’s comfort with nine out of 10 stars in his review of the 2022 model year EV, saying that the Korean crossover is spookily quiet at speed, with virtually no wind noise and only modest amounts of tire roar from its all-season tires. 

Laminated glass on the front and rear doors and acoustic glass on the windshield will do this, and the effect is so pronounced that the Ioniq 5 doesn’t have fancy active noise cancellation to quiet down the cabin. Then again, neither does the Tesla Model Y.

What Our Experts Say

But specs will only tell you so much. Nothing compares to a proper test drive to see if a car really suits your needs and desires. We encourage you to try both as extensively as you can, and in the meantime, here’s what our team of expert journalists thinks about each option. 

Tesla Model Y

It’s very hard to fault anyone who wants to buy a Tesla Model Y these days. It’s almost the default choice for a modern EV; it’s spacious, quick, capable, and offers access to the best charging network ever built. We have our issues with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta system, but Autopilot these days works extremely well on highways. Either way, the Model Y pushes the boundaries of automated driving assistance more than most other options (even though proper human supervision is crucial.) 

There’s a reason the Model Y has become so ubiquitous in every city. It’s very good at what it does and it’s still a blast to drive. I recommend prioritizing range over the Performance model, but the Long Range Model Y is no slouch either. If you don’t mind driving the same car as almost everyone else these days, the Model Y will make a fantastic first EV—or second, or seventh. 

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

With the recent price reductions, the Tesla Model Y is an incredibly compelling option. Starting in the low $40,000-range and qualifying for the $7,500 tax credit, the Model Y undercuts most of its competitors. Even as standard, the Y has a killer sound system, a HEPA air filtration unit, Supercharging access, and Autopilot technology. Plus, with regular over-the-air updates, the Model Y gets noticeably better over time. A recent one builds a 3D depiction of the parking area you've pulled into; it's really neat. On the tech level, the Model Y is nearly unparalleled.

While the Model Y is an impressive electric crossover, it isn't perfect. With an expansive glass roof and large windows, the cabin is more on the noisy side. Pair this with stiff suspension, and the Model Y's ride just isn't as serene as others. Another gripe is the lack of ultrasonic sensors—a decision that has an impact on automated driving capabilities. While Tesla amended some issues with OTA updates, the cameras are simply less accurate than the sensors. And despite Tesla's technological prowess, the Model Y doesn't have a 360-degree surround view camera, a feature even the little Bolt 2LT has.

—Andrew Lambrecht, Contributing Writer

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Pound for pound, the Ioniq 5 is one of the very best cars in the world right now. It’s one of the few EVs at any price point that can match or beat the specs offered by a Tesla—range, charging speed, performance, equipment like a heat pump, and so on. It’s also one of the best-looking crossovers on the market, though design is certainly always in the eye of the beholder. 

While other automakers have struggled to keep up with Tesla in the EV race, Hyundai has more than held its own, and that’s readily apparent whenever you drive an Ioniq 5. The Tesla still beats Hyundai’s offering on the Supercharger front, but otherwise, this is a close race that may come down to personal preference. But if you want an example of the best out there right now, look no further than this retro-future electric crossover. 

—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is certainly interesting to look at, but underneath that crazy exterior lies a surprisingly easy-to-use electric crossover. In an era where computerized, iPhone-like interior interfaces reign supreme, the Ioniq 5’s interior remains somewhat conventional. That’s an asset to the driver that might be turned off by the interface in a Tesla.

– Kevin Williams, Staff Writer

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Tesla Model Y vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Conclusion

The Tesla Model Y is more expensive than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 when comparing these two cars’ base trim levels. That said, the Model Y offers more range for the money, a simpler cabin that might appeal to those looking for a minimalist design, and access to Tesla’s vast DC fast charging station.

But the Ioniq 5 can hold its own against its Tesla-branded rival with a more premium-feeling interior, higher charging speeds, and a futuristic exterior design. Plus, Hyundai’s deal with Tesla that allows Ioniq 5 and other model owners to access the Supercharger network in the United States and Canada from 2024 might make the Model Y’s ease-of-charging advantage less relevant than it once was.

]]> (Iulian Dnistran) Sat, 23 Dec 2023 19:13:06 +0000 2024 Honda Prologue: Everything We Know The Japanese Chevrolet Blazer EV cousin is set to arrive in early 2024.

The upcoming all-electric Honda Prologue is just around the corner, as the Japanese manufacturer expects to start first customer deliveries in early 2024.

The Honda Prologue is the fruit of a partnership between Honda and General Motors, announced a few years ago. The car is based on the GM's Ultium platform and thus some of its core battery/powertrain specs will sound familiar to Chevrolet models. The same concerns the upcoming Acura electric model.

Initially, Honda set a target to sell some 70,000 Prologue cars annually, but it was later updated to 60,000 units in 2024, which still appears to be very ambitious. At a later point this decade, Honda will introduce its in-house developed EV platform—e:Architecture—and a new family of models, so the Honda Prologue is just a prologue, as the name indicates.

So far, Honda has provided only limited info about the Prologue model, saying that the car will be available nationwide with an MSRP expected to start in the upper $40,000s and offer up to about 300 miles of range.

Thanks to the partnership with GM and local production of the Prologue in North America, it is expected to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit (although there might be some temporary issues, as the example of GM indicates).

2024 Honda Prologue Exterior Front Quarter 2024 Honda Prologue Exterior Side Profile

The Honda Prologue is a midsize SUV. Its wheelbase of 121.8 inches (3,093 millimeters) is identical to the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Blazer EV, based on the same Ultium platform.

In the case of the Honda Prologue, there will be three trims—EX, Touring, and Elite, out of which the EX and Touring will be available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powertrain setups, while the top-of-the-line Elite is only all-wheel drive.


All versions of the Honda Prologue are equipped with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack, the same as in the case of the base Chevrolet Blazer EV. An open question is whether we will see also a 102-kWh battery version, as we do in GM's products.

The EPA Combined range estimates for the Honda Prologue are not yet available, although the company said that the entry-level EX trim (19-inch wheels), with front-wheel drive, is expected to get 300 miles of range.

The AWD version probably will get slightly less range. In the case of the Chevrolet Blazer EV, it's 279 miles.

Basic specs

Model Drive Battery
2024 Honda Prologue EX FWD (85 kWh) 19-inch FWD 85 300 mi*
2024 Honda Prologue EX AWD (85 kWh) 19-inch AWD 85  
2024 Honda Prologue Touring FWD (85 kWh) 19-inch FWD 85  
2024 Honda Prologue Touring AWD (85 kWh) 19-inch AWD 85  
2024 Honda Prologue Elite AWD (85 kWh) 21-inch AWD 85  

* anticipated EPA range

2024 Honda Prologue Charging

2024 Honda Prologue Charging

In terms of charging, the Honda Prologue probably will be equipped with an 11-kilowatt on-board charger. The DC fast charging is promised to reach up to 155 kW (compared to 150 kW in the Chevrolet Blazer EV with the same 85-kWh battery).

Honda (and Acura) announced that its Ultium-based EVs will come with up to $750 charging credit to use at EVgo chargers and a 60-kWh introductory charging credit at Electrify America:


Initially, the Honda Prologue will be available with the CCS1 charging inlet, but in 2025, it will be equipped with a NACS charging port and natively compatible with the Tesla Supercharging network. An adapter from NACS to CCS1 will be available to existing CCS1-compatible vehicles by that time.

That's what we know for now but stay tuned for the final pricing and range numbers.

See also

Honda To Unveil A Whole New 'EV Series' At CES In January
The Honda Prelude Hybrid Proves People Really Love Nostalgic Names

]]> (Mark Kane) Tue, 19 Dec 2023 18:12:34 +0000 The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Left Me Stranded In Rural Virginia It broke down after a mere 28 hours in my possession, stranding me in Wythesville, Virginia.

My weeklong test of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV lasted 28 hours. That's when it broke down during an Electrify America charging session that left me stranded in rural Western Virginia.

A drive that should have taken about seven hours, not including two hour-long stops in Gallipolis, Ohio, and Wytheville, Virginia, turned into a 14-hour ordeal. It saw me abandoning a car that seems quite pivotal to the future of General Motors on the side of the road in small-town America.

Chevrolet Blazer EV RS AMA Topshot

Since then, I’ve spent much of my time trying to figure out what the hell even happened here, while pondering what might be one of the most catastrophic road trips I’ve personally had in recent memory. 

This story starts shortly after the initial 2024 Blazer EV press event in San Diego. I wasn’t there for the model’s launch, but GM’s representatives offered me a week-long vehicle loan a mere few days after the early December launch. Of course, I accepted; an afternoon in southern California is far different than a week in the Midwest in December. I had all sorts of plans for the car, including a longer road trip from Ohio to North Carolina, which would show us exactly what the Blazer EV was capable of, as far as charging, range, livability, and consumption. You can learn a lot about a car after seven hours straight behind the wheel.

And it was to be a test of GM's Ultium battery-powered platform and software, the two prongs it's staked much of its electric, connected future on, despite a number of production challenges and delays this past year. 

Blazer EV Trip 5

Sure, I had my reservations about the Blazer EV. I wasn’t convinced that removing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto was as groundbreaking of a move as GM insisted it was. I hadn’t driven any Ultium-platform vehicles, despite my proximity to Detroit—you know, the world headquarters of GM. The GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq have never been available to me for testing. To further fuel my reservations, everyone I had talked to in person about the Lyriq, including an owner, attested to terrible software and quality issues that plagued their crossovers, sending them to service departments for weeks at a time.

A couple of anecdotes aren’t data, though. And one disgruntled owner with buyer's remorse and a viral social media post can easily make even the most reliable of rides sound like a new reincarnation of the Yugo GV. So, I approached the Blazer EV with an open mind. Reviews were mixed to positive on the car, and it had even won Motor Trend’s EV SUV Of The Year award. It couldn’t be bad, right? 

Setting Off

First up, the Blazer was dropped at my house at about 60 percent state of charge, at my request. (Most of these press testers come to journalists like me fully charged, or close to it.) I insisted that the driver not recharge before delivery, so I could make sure everything was all OK before my journey—if there was a charging issue with the car I’d learn it here at home rather than hours away.

Chevrolet Blazer EV Steet Charging

I took the Blazer EV to an Ultium-branded EVGo station near my house, but when I went to plug in, I neglected to pay close attention to where the charge port was located on the car, or how annoyingly short the cords on the charging stations were. Thus I had to move and reposition the vehicle a few times. Each time I stopped, placed the vehicle in park and exited, the Bluetooth would disconnect. When I’d quickly re-enter to reposition, the Bluetooth would reconnect.

When it reconnected to my iPhone 12, the Blazer EV’s stereo would blast the funky house and techno mixes I like to work to, at maximum volume. It certainly snapped me out of any of that 4:30 p.m. "it feels later than it is because the sun is already down" winter tiredness. But it did that to me four times in the five minutes or so it took me to correctly position the car in front of a charger. 

I probably should have taken this as an omen. Yet, I assumed it was just some funny (if not very annoying) glitch, took a mental note of it, and continued preparing for my trip. 

Blazer EV Trip 8

The next morning, I loaded up the Blazer EV and set off around 6:15 a.m. I left my house in downtown Columbus with about 95% charge and trekked to a nearby Sheetz Convenience store and gas station for a chai tea and coffee to keep me awake for the 471-mile journey. I had my road tunes and I installed Soundcloud and PlugShare on the car’s infotainment system. I was completely logged into the Google-based apps on the car ready to give the system an honest try.

I set off for my first stop, a DC fast charging station in Gallipolis, Ohio—a city right on the Ohio River, bordering West Virginia. I’d be charging earlier than I’d need to, at maybe 55 to 60 percent, but strategically it made sense since there were so few DC chargers on the route. Adding some juice there would allow me to head off uncertainty later.

After Gallipolis, I’d stop in Wytheville, Virginia for a full charge. Even with the weather and terrain, the Virginia charge should be enough to make it to my destination, the Hilton in North Raleigh, where the Blazer EV would be able to Level 2 charge at the hotel while I slept. 

But I wouldn’t even make it that far.

The Infotainment Screen Goes First

Initially, the Blazer EV was just fine. But about 25 minutes outside of Gallipolis, there was a quick pause in the Bluetooth audio, and then the whole infotainment screen went blank. The heating, AC, and volume controls still worked, but all of the icons were missing. The gauge cluster’s Google Maps integration still showed my location, and I still had speed and range, so I figured the car was okay, and this was just a glitch.

Blazer EV Trip 10

I couldn’t press on without at least attempting to get to the bottom of the problem. There’s no real troubleshooting yet for the Blazer, but there is some for the Lyriq; it involves being in park, then holding the hang-up call button on the steering wheel to reset the Google Built-In system. 

Ope! That worked, or at least worked for about 10 seconds. The infotainment screen said “Android booting…” and stayed steady for a few seconds, and then it (and the gauge cluster’s Google Maps) flickered on and off for the next 30 minutes.

I sat on the side of the road for the next 20 minutes, skimming through Lyriq forums and Reddit posts, hoping there was a quick fix and I could get back on the road. The consensus is that if the reset didn’t work, many Lyriq infotainment problems have been fixed when the vehicle goes into “deep sleep,” turning off many of its complicated computer modules. This would involve walking away from a locked vehicle for at least five minutes, something that wasn’t possible or safe to do on a busy freeway.

I contemplated turning around and calling it quits. However, I would need to DC fast charge anyway to get home, and I was so close to my first DC fast charging stop. It just made more sense to continue. The reset had also removed the directions I needed to get to the Gallipolis fast charging station. To add insult to injury, there was no way to input directions again because the main infotainment screen wasn’t working. I hastily plugged the address into my phone, and perched the phone near the vents, navigating to the DC fast charging stations via the tiny screen of my old iPhone.

Blazer EV Trip 4

When I arrived in Gallipolis, I plugged into the ChargePoint branded station. I got my phone out and started making calls and sending texts, it was time to inform both Editor-in-Chief Patrick George and Chevrolet themselves what was going on with the car. Patrick and I tried to figure out our next course of action via a phone call, but before we could nail down a plan, a GM representative gave me a ring. It appeared that the act of using call waiting shocked the infotainment back to life.

Suddenly, everything was working again. Once again convinced this was a simple weird one-off, we all agreed that it was probably the best course of action just to press on. 

And for a short while, it was fine. I left Gallipolis, stopping in Charleston, West Virginia for a coffee and to get some petty cash for the West Virginia Turnpike tolls. I left Charleston and kept driving from there. I had driven more than two and a half hours away from Gallipolis before the infotainment screen died again in the same way as it had before; complete with flashing for 20 minutes, then finally settling on a blank screen.

I had kind of reached the point of no return here. I had driven too far to backtrack to Ohio. I was only about 40 minutes away from my second (and last) DC fast-charging stop in Wytheville. The car was performing fine mechanically. I didn’t have any drivability issues. It just was a crappy infotainment solution that wasn’t working correctly—annoying, and something I planned to report on, but not inherently a dealbreaker.

It made more sense to keep pressing onward, especially since the fast roads, cold temperatures, and steep terrain had taken its toll on the range. I had to charge in Wytheville. I didn’t have a choice.

Then It All Goes To Hell

With a non-working infotainment screen and a remaining range of about 50 miles, I rolled into the Electrify America station in Wytheville and plugged in between Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS. I hooked into the 350 KW+ charger and the Blazer EV started charging, shooting up 104 kW within the first few seconds. 

Blazer EV Trip 3

“All right, this is great,” I thought to myself. The EA station was next to a few fast food joints, so I figured by the time I was done eating, the Blazer EV would be nearly done charging and I’d be good to go. I started to gather my things to walk to the Bojangles overlooking the charging station. But before I could walk away, I got a notification on my phone.

Electrify America said the car had completed charging. That was odd, I thought. 

“It’s probably just some EA nonsense,” I said to myself. Electrify America chargers can be finicky, they’ve done this to me before on other makes and models, randomly disconnecting in the middle of a perfectly good charge. Without re-entering the car, I unplugged and re-plugged the Blazer EV. The charging restarted, but Electrify America said the Blazer EV would only draw 3 to 5 kW. Strange, but I was hungry. I figured the Blazer EV would ramp up speed later, so I walked away to get lunch.

Throughout my 20-minute lunch, the Blazer EV never crested more than 5 kW. I marched downhill back to the charging station, figuring it was more EA problems. In the meantime, the EQS had finished charging and left the station, leaving his presumably working charging station all ready for the Blazer EV.

I pressed “Stop Charging” on the now-working infotainment system (accepting an incoming call made the screen work again!), and then depressed the brake to start the car, ready to move the Blazer EV one stall over to a better working charger.

Before I could move the car, I looked down at the plethora of lights and messages in front of me. The car’s gauge cluster was lit up like a Christmas tree. “Service Vehicle Soon." 

The Blazer’s EV’s electrical fault light, (a car with an exclamation point), a check motor and check battery warning, reduced power (yellow turtle), and check charge port lights were all illuminated. Plugging into a different charging station didn’t fix this either.

A glitchy infotainment is an ignorable problem, but now it was clear that this thing had a mechanical issue that goes deeper than Google Maps not working. The car wouldn’t charge faster than 5 kW on a DC fast charger, which meant I couldn’t hope to get enough range to make it to Raleigh in a reasonable amount of time.

Also, the amount of trouble lights made me uncomfortable with charging at all or driving too far in the first place. I was now stuck in Wytheville, VA, with a car that was as useful as a brick.

My journey with the Blazer EV ended at 3:29 p.m., in Wytheville, Virginia, 28 hours after I received the car from Chevrolet. The car was left at Wytheville’s only Chevrolet dealer, while I finished out my journey to Raleigh via the last unit the Wytheville Enterprise Car rental had: a 2021 Nissan Titan with 61,000 miles. Insult to injury, you might say.

Blazer EV Trip 11

An Unfortunate End  

I’m not quite sure what to say here. The Blazer EV at least didn't catch fire and burn to the ground, but it did not pass the real-world test we had planned. 

It’s not clear if the Blazer EV’s failure lies with the car itself, or the charging station; in the eyes of the average customer Chevrolet is trying to reach here, that distinction may not matter much. 

Regardless, I’ve reached out to both GM and Electrify America to figure out what the hell happened. Both won’t have answers for a while, GM is bringing the car back to its Milford Proving Ground in Michigan. EA is also analyzing what exactly happened during my charging session.

GM did send over a statement on the incident, which says: "We have found that there are current fluctuations across public DC fast chargers, with a small number which can exhibit more than others. When fluctuations are more extreme, sensors within the vehicle may see that as a fault and reduce the rate of charging. We have identified the cause and have addressed it in an upcoming software update that will be available soon.  To ensure our customers have a seamless experience, our team continues to work diligently with multiple charging companies to ensure compatibility with all our vehicles."

Blazer EV Trip 2

But it's no secret the Ultium platform's launch isn't going all that hot. For starters, there are very few of any of these cars on the roads, but the ones that are on the road seem to be plagued with problems. There's a whole bugs and quibbles thread on the Cadillac Lyriq forum that is approaching 100 pages. TFL's GMC Hummer EV bricked while off-road, necessitating a tow back home. Would the Blazer EV follow in the footsteps of those two cars? If my experience is anything to go by, then the answer unfortunately might just be yes.

This, obviously, is a pretty big black eye for GM. The Blazer EV and the GM Ultium platform are so integral to the future of GM, that for it to fail this way is no doubt very embarrassing for the conglomerate. Still, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you, the reader, exactly what happened on this trip.

In the meantime, I want to know: Do you have a Cadillac Lyriq or GMC Hummer? Or even one of the few Blazer EVs that have been sold so far? Have you run into serious issues while driving, charging, or using your vehicle? Let’s chat about it.

Contact the author:

]]> (Kevin Williams) Mon, 18 Dec 2023 21:00:05 +0000 Lucid Air Touring Owner Review: No More Asterisk For The EV Road Trip But it is the "buggiest" car I’ve ever owned, and I don't mean software.

After 11,000 miles in a Lucid Air Touring in under 11 months, I don’t see anything coming on the horizon that could ever replace it. It's a stunning car worthy of the 2022 Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Still, if I had Harry Potter’s wand, I’d give it a wave and fix a few things. We’ll get to those in a bit.

The Air Touring is my eighth electric car. I’ve owned a self-built Miata conversion, three different BMWs, a Tesla Model 3, a Jaguar I-Pace, and a Hyundai Ioniq 5 (which is not mine, but my wife’s daily driver).

More Lucid News

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The Jag is probably the most comparable in terms of the driving experience, although the Lucid is quicker, quieter, and has an even more confidence-building connection to the road. The Lucid is also just lovely to sit in. The interior layout and controls make more sense than any other car I’ve ever driven. It strikes the right balance of tactile buttons for frequently used features versus the touchscreen. The Lucid’s touchscreen works well and isn’t “laggy” like the Jag’s and the menus are intuitive (very unlike the Jag’s.)

But by far, my biggest motivation for shelling out the most money I have ever spent on a car is for what I call drivability. I loved to drive the Jag, but its poor efficiency coupled with slow fast charging meant that for every two hours of freeway driving, I needed to charge about an hour. This made any meaningful road trip in the Jag, especially with family, who weren't deriving any fun out of the driving, simply painful.

Lucid Air Review

Road trips are where the Lucid truly shines. With the supremely quiet cabin oozing a chill vibe, the Lucid makes the miles melt away like no other car I’ve driven. Couple that with a very efficient drivetrain and among the fastest charging on the planet, and no one in the family can complain about too frequent or too long of stops to charge.

From my home in the SF Bay Area, I’ve driven the Air to Las Vegas once, Lake Tahoe a few times, and many trips to Los Angeles. The era of attaching an asterisk to EV road trips is over. My “asterisk removal requirement” is when a car's range exceeds my bladder's range, coupled with a recharge to 80% during little more than a restroom break. 

When considering the Air, the only car I cross-shopped was Porsche's Taycan. Drivability was a top priority for me and that effectively limited my choices to the two premium sedans with 900-volt architecture available at the time.

What led me to the Air over the Taycan? First, after owning more EVs than I have fingers on one hand, I’ve become accustomed to the simplicity offered by one-pedal driving. Porsche just doesn’t offer it. Their reasoning sounds perfectly plausible if your goal is top performance on the track, but I wasn’t buying a car for the track. Perhaps most important, was the negative vibe I got from the client advisors at my local Porsche dealer. I walked in, opened a few doors, and sat in a few cars, but the staff were too busy looking at their phones and refused to make eye contact.

Lucid Air Versus Porsche Taycan

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I know Porsche makes a wonderful car, and I can still admire the Taycan, but those two simple things made me run straight into Lucid’s arms and I have zero regrets.

Careful readers may be screaming “Why didn’t you cross-shop the Hyundai Ioniq 6 (or other E-GMP-based cars) or a Model S?" These should all make excellent road trip cars and compete with the Air and Taycan for stellar drivability at lower cost than either.

Well, I already had an Ioniq 5 in the driveway when I bought the Air. The Ioniq 6 was months away when I needed a car, and I had previously owned Teslas and soured on the brand for customer service reasons. ‘Nuff said.

The Lucid Air: What’s Not To Love?

Frankly, all of my criticisms can be categorized as classical “first-world problems” and most can be remedied with software and are, in fact, on the unofficial Lucid software wish list. I do agree with the items on that unofficial list but would like to highlight my pet peeves below.

Lucid Air Interior

Software-Related Items That Need Improvement

Slow to boot up the “bird’s eye view” screen

A feature I can no longer live without is the awesome 360° bird’s eye view (described here). But on occasion, this screen is slow to boot and is unavailable right when I need it most. 


The backup camera covers the HomeLink screen. The geofenced HomeLink works great when pulling into your driveway. But it gets covered by camera views when the car is put into reverse. So backing out of your garage becomes a multi-step process:

Reverse out of the garage Once out of the garage, put the car in park to get access to HomeLink Close the garage door Put the car in reverse to continue backing out

No user-configurable split-screen

There is a lovely center console touchscreen, and above that, there is another touchscreen in the center of the dash. Known as the floating screen, you can ingeniously drag one screen down (or up) extending and expanding the menu between the two screens. But what you can’t do, as one example, is have infotainment on one screen and navigation on the other. You can, however, have navigation on one screen, and even more navigation on the other screen. Which isn’t useful.

No Android Auto

Apple Car Play was added in March 2023, but Android users must suffer the indignity of working with Alexia for voice control, with no analogous feature for phone screen sharing. When I bought the car I was told Android Auto was in the works for the summer of 2023. I’m getting a little impatient…

Lucid Air Interior

The GOM is topography ignorant

The current GOM (Guess-o-meter) is accurate, so long as there are no elevation changes involved. When I drive to Lake Tahoe from the SF Bay Area I need to factor in 6 or 7 miles of range lost for every 1,000 feet of elevation gained. Depending on the initial and final destinations, that can be as much as 50 miles of range lost for a 200-mile drive. Driving to/from L.A. over the Grapevine, I have learned that I’ll lose about 20 miles as I ascend, and then I’ll gain those back as I descend on the other side (due to roughly net zero elevation change).

As stated in pure physics, this is simply mass times acceleration due to gravity times elevation gain and the only variable is the mass of the car's payload, which frankly is a small fraction when compared to the total mass of the car. It’s embarrassing that this is still an issue almost two years after the first customer cars were delivered.

If I had Android Auto and could use A Better Route Planner while driving I wouldn’t care. In fact, I think OEMs should simply give up on in-house range estimators and install ABRP.

Key fob connection is too aggressive 

If you store the key fob within 50 feet of the car, you’ll want to invest in a Faraday bag to store your key in, or your car’s vampire drain will be significant. My other cars have never needed this.

Special Mention Plug & Charge (via Electrify America)

After a few rocky months, Plug & Charge now works flawlessly. Lucid and EA are giving all Air owners 3 years of free charging. However, my concern is that the account is tied to the car, not to me personally. I have an Electrify America account (in my name) and when the 3 years are over, will Plug & Charge still require the account to be tied to the car? I’d like to avoid the scenario that is plaguing Ford owners where the Plug & Charge feature is tied to the car and costs a premium vis-a-vis skipping the Plug & Charge experience and using personal accounts the “old fashioned way.”

Lucid Air Review

Without question the buggiest car I’ve ever owned. This is from one ~100 mile stretch of I5 north of L.A. In the last 30+ years I’ve driven this same section of I5 at least a million times in all kinds of conditions and have never had a result like this.  And this isn’t a one-off, as it happens every time I take this car to L.A.  Ceramic coating is the price we pay for vanity. 

Hardware-related items to be aware of (or need improvement)

The buggiest car I’ve ever owned

The Air has one of the lowest coefficients of drag in the industry, but to a flying insect, there is just something mesmerizing about that front slab of plastic that is like a moth to a flame.

Glass canopy 

I was drawn to the sexy glass canopy that extends well past the driver’s head. And I still see it as a compelling feature. But after living with it for a year, I’ve come to… respect it. The Jaguar I-Pace has an all-glass moonroof so I assumed the experience would be similar. Not so. The execution in the Air is significantly different with glass in front of you, over you, and behind you. In summer months, it gets very hot, and even with the AC turned up to 11, the glass radiates enough heat to make it uncomfortable.

external_image The glass canopy is one of the sexist features of the car.  But in summer months you do get the sensation of a small thermonuclear device operating inches from your forehead. A baseball cap takes care of it for me. Lucid also now sells a sunshade.

Low clearance with significant overhang

At first glance, the car does not seem that low—certainly not like some sports cars. But it is low enough that when coupled with a considerable distance from the front wheels to the front bumper, even modest driveway inclines will cause the plastic chin guard to scrape. Approaching such driveways at a significant angle helps, but this cannot always be done, nor is practical to accomplish with speed bumps or very steep inclines, such as those found in and around San Francisco. An iir suspension would help to get a couple of extra inches of clearance for such cases.

Illuminated charge port

I’m getting nit-picky here and this problem is not Lucid unique. But charge ports should be illuminated so the user can see the port when it is dark. In a classic case of where dogfooding could help, every EV I’ve owned has a light behind the charge port door that shines directly in the eyes of the user, effectively blinding them. At night, I find myself blocking the light with my hand so I can better see the port. For the love of all that is holy, point the light at the port, not in the eyes of the user. Or a backlit port would be freaking divine.


When I was a small boy (before seat belts, let alone car seats) I remember standing behind the front bench seats on the driveshaft tunnel so I could see out the windshield of the car. I would excitedly jump up and down, annoying my parents, and say “Let’s go on a long, long bye-bye!”

The Air reconnects me to that same excitement of seeing the road and all the possibilities that go along with it. Without any asterisks attached.

Owner Stories is a new feature on InsideEVs where real EV owners like you share their experiences with the crowd. Got a good story? Get in touch.

*John Higham is a retired aerospace engineer. John is a self-proclaimed EV activist, contributing to the local EV community and writing position papers supporting or opposing legislation for the Electric Auto Association.

In 2005, John traveled around the world with his family, with stories about them published in The New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, and others. John then wrote a travel memoir about the experience and it was first published in 2009 by Alyson Books, NY, NY. It is now used in public schools nationwide as a geography narrative. It was the first book ever published with a companion Google Earth layer.

]]> (John Higham) Wed, 13 Dec 2023 14:00:00 +0000 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS First Drive: A Heavyweight Fighter With Mixed Results The Blazer EV brings a lot to the table. But is it enough to overcome the Model Y, Ioniq 5 and Mach-E?

The "how it started... how it's going" meme is an unfortunately fitting metaphor for General Motors' electric vehicle plans in 2023. This was supposed to the the year GM took on Tesla for real, with the rollout of multiple new electric models like the Chevrolet Equinox EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and Chevrolet Silverado EV—all meant to deliver 400,000 electric sales through the first half of 2024.

That was how it started. Here's how it's going: This year saw countless product delays, production problems, the cancellation and hasty un-cancellation of the Bolt EV and EUV (which remain GM's top-selling EVs despite their age and dated hardware) and a rethinking of that ambitious sales goal. Sure, GM is still handsomely profitable thanks to gas trucks and SUVs, but this was a rough year for what it still considers an all-electric future. 

Consider 2024 to be the do-over year, then. And the Chevrolet Blazer EV likely kicks off that effort. Aimed at the ultra-popular electric midsize SUV segment, the Blazer EV is a very big deal. It's meant to be a volume-seller that, along with the Equinox EV and upgraded Bolt EUV, will put GM properly in the electric game.

And GM says the Blazer EV is meant to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. In essence, it picked a fight with three of the biggest guys in the yard. 

Does it stand a chance? I'm not sure yet. There are some real highlights here, like this range, interior, user-friendliness for new EV drivers and GM's next-generation software platform. But in other areas, the Blazer EV may just not be as strong a contender as GM needs it to be (and more than a few buyers may balk at the price tags). 

Quick Specs 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS 
Output 340 hp/325 lb-ft (RWD) / 288 hp/333 lb-ft (AWD)
Battery 102 kWh (RWD) / 85 kWh (AWD)
Charge Type 190 kW (RWD) / 150 kW (AWD)
Range 324 miles (RWD) / 279 miles (AWD)
Base Price  $61,790 (RWD) / $60,215 (AWD)
As-Tested Price $63,290 (RWD) / $60,215 (AWD)

A Newcomer That's Friendly To Newcomers

The Blazer EV rides on GM's proprietary Ultium platform like all its next-generation EVs, but it slots into the family as the middle crossover option. The Equinox is technically the "compact" crossover, while the next EUV-only Bolt will be the "subcompact" one. Let's face it: Trucks and SUVs are what GM does best these days. (Also, almost all that it does, period, these days.) It knows what those customers want.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV SS interior

GM also knows that its mainstream American customer base is a little different from the early adopters who might go for a Tesla, a Lucid or a Rivian. Most of those buyers probably don't want an EV that attempts to rethink everything about cars—you know, like having one touchscreen in place of any other controls or getting rid of rear windows entirely. That customer, GM says, probably wants something close to a gasoline-car experience with the many benefits of electric power instead. 

The Blazer EV feels explicitly designed to meet that person where they are right now. It packs a ton of physical controls inside—most of them are extremely similar to existing GM cars—and emphasizes user-friendliness. That's a good thing; not every EV on the road needs to represent some radical industry transformation. The Blazer also has good range ratings for its class and respectable fast charging; Chevy engineers also told me they especially emphasized the accuracy of their range estimates. They knew their customers wouldn't put up with comical overestimates that torpedo their next road trip. 

This approach is also evident in the Blazer EV's vast, diverse lineup. When all of them hit the market next year (hopefully), you can spec a Blazer in front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive forms, which alone makes it one of the most unique cars ever built. (And there are two different AWD systems depending on the level of performance you want.) 

As such, it comes in three trims: base LT, with FWD or AWD; mid-level RS, the car in this test, which can be had with RWD or AWD; or the top-level high-performance SS with 557 horsepower, which is AWD only. Seriously, I wasn't kidding when I said the Blazer family is a diverse one. 


But right off the bat, price is a bit of a concern. The Blazer EV already ended up significantly more expensive, at least at launch, than GM initially said. The AWD LT model starts at $57,710, and the RS starts at $60,215; the SS price hasn't been announced yet. Neither has pricing for the FWD LT model, but GM says it will be below $50,000. That's also where Chevy expects to sell most Blazers. 


It's also worth noting that the Blazer EV had had an unusual rollout, at least as far as Chevrolets usually go. While this is the first "official" media drive for the car, aside from outlets like Edmunds that bought one, it's already on sale. As of this writing, about 1,000 are sitting on dealer lots nationwide. And it's already also been named Motor Trend's SUV of the Year, so it's fair to say there's a good amount of hype here.

On the plus side, GM says all Blazer EVs get the full $7,500 tax credit now, but when the rules change in 2024, the automaker is optimistic it will still qualify for some. 

A Handsome Exterior, But A Winning Cabin

With a few notable exceptions, the midsize crossover world is one where exciting design goes to die. Even in the EV world, most just end up looking like blobs. I wouldn't lump the Blazer EV into that category; thankfully. It's generally a handsome, athletic design that wears its proportions well. It lacks little commonality with the gasoline Blazer (which, dare I say, is a better-looking vehicle) and absolutely none with the classic and iconic K5 Blazers, which may have been a wasted opportunity with this nameplate. But all in all, it's far from bad. 

The inside of the Blazer EV is where the design work shines. This was a superb cabin, full of high-quality materials, extremely cushy seats and user-friendly controls. Buttons! The Blazer EV has them. They're on the steering wheel, the doors, the dashboard—you even get a volume knob. What a concept.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS First Drive

This makes the Blazer EV significantly simpler to operate than many electrics on the market, and safer to do things like adjust the air conditioning or radio at highway speeds. In keeping with the crossover's performance image, you get some Camaro vibes inside, like the big, circular air vents and driver-centered screens.

The downside is that large center console cuts into cabin space that's more open on cars like the Ioniq 5 and Nissan Ariya, but whether you're up front or in back, it's a great place to spend time. I did not love the control stalk that you have to kind of pop in and out to shift into drive or reverse, but otherwise, my complaints were few. 

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV

Blazer EV SS shown. 

I have to throw some praise on the 17.7-inch center infotainment screen and 11-inch display in front of the driver, both of which are standard on every Blazer EV. They're superb units with excellent graphics, quick response times and tons of features, which I'll explain more below. 

The Blazer EV should also appeal to folks who need a lot of size out of their midsize crossovers. It's longer, taller and wider, and it boasts more interior room and cargo space than the Ioniq 5, Mach-E and Model Y, though it lacks the front trunks that the latter two cars have. 

A Promising Start To Ultium's Software Revolution

As notable as any of these features is GM's new Linux-based Ultifi "end-to-end vehicle software platform," which is a fancy way of saying its infotainment system and everything else on the tech front you'd want from a modern EV. That includes over-the-air software updates as well as the new Google Built-In operating system. 


Perhaps infamously now, this means the Blazer EV and its cousins will not include the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection systems. The backlash to that decision has been intense, but it's easy to see GM's side here: It wants to do all sorts of things with maps, advancements in autonomy and charging route planning, and that's tough to do with a third-party system in the way. Plus, imagine where this goes in the long-term; do car companies become, essentially, hardware manufacturers for tech companies? Surely they don't want that.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS Infotainment

To pull off such a move, whatever replaces Apple CarPlay and Android Auto had better be damn good. However, my initial impressions of this system are positive, thanks to no shortage of help from Google Built-In. Not only do the car's two display units look great, but they perform great too, and all menus are generally very simple to navigate. You can also easily customize what information and features you see on each display. Moreover, this is Google Maps we're dealing with, so the navigation experience is basically second to none, including charging route planning. 

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS Infotainment

I want more time with this system before rendering a verdict as to whether it's a viable replacement for the proven and effective Apple CarPlay, but I like what I see so far—and I didn't miss CarPlay at all on this drive. So far, so good. 

Range And Charging

On the range front, the Blazer EV is competitive in its class. It offers two battery sizes depending on the trim level and powertrain: an 85 kWh unit or a 102 kWh one. Generally, you're going to get either an EPA-estimated 279 miles of range (LT and RS with AWD) or 324 miles of range (RS with RWD.)

The 85-kWh battery can DC fast-charge at speeds of up to 150 kW, able to add 69 miles of range in just 10 minutes. The 102-kWh battery does even better with speeds up to 190 kW, and it can add an impressive 78 miles on the RS RWD in the same time frame.

Now, those max charging speeds aren't as good as some competitors—Hyundai and Tesla in particular—but they can still pile on the miles in a relatively short time. (We'll weigh in on the true highway range and efficiency when we get one for longer testing; the few hours we had with these Blazer EVs in sunny San Diego didn't provide what I'd call actionable data yet.) 


For now, the Blazer EV uses the CCS plug, but like all GM EVs it will switch to Tesla's NACS plug in the coming years, giving it access to Tesla's Supercharger network as well. It also has a heat pump system, like all other Ultium vehicles. 

On other fronts, however, the Blazer EV is a mixed bag. It will have Vehicle to Home later next year, GM officials said, so it will be able to power your house and other devices—something not every EV does yet.

Unfortunately, and strangely, GM's excellent Super Cruise driver-assistance system is only available on the Blazer EV SS and RS with AWD; the RWD RS won't have it, and that addition isn't in the cards, officials told me. 

On The Road

Unfortunately, the driving experience itself is where the Blazer EV is a bit lacking. Here's another number that matters a great deal: 5,591 pounds in RS RWD form. That's about what all of these weigh, depending on configuration, which puts the Blazer EV generally around 1,000 pounds heavier than its three direct competitors. No EV is a lightweight at the moment, but that heft puts a real damper on whatever performance aspirations Chevy had for the Blazer EV. (The AWD version cuts about 200 pounds out for its smaller battery, but it's still big.)


It's not a quick car, and it doesn't feel like one; all that weight is a lot to ask from the 288 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque you get in the AWD RS. Its power delivery felt more like a gas car, rising as acceleration builds, and not the hit-you-in-the-face instant torque you get from most EVs. On a few occasions, my co-pilot and I would try and switch to Sport Mode to see if that would give it some extra grunt, but then we'd find the car was already in Sport Mode. Do not expect the athleticism you get from a Mach-E or a Model Y. 

The RWD RS fared a little better. Unlike most dual-motor EVs, it actually has more power—340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. It was also noticeably the more agile of the two RS options I drove in California, certainly not tail-happy but able to handle its size in the corners well enough.  The SS version will surely fare better, since 557 hp (and 648 lb-ft torque!) are nothing to sneeze at; that car will also pack the "Wide Open Watts" mode that uncorks all that power to move it from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds.

Since the RS models are in the mid-$50,000 to $60,000 range, we know it won't be cheap, and a Kia EV6 GT already offers the same performance (or better) than the SS for the RS' price. 


Put aside your "performance" expectations, and the Blazer EV is just a fantastic daily driver. The ride quality is superb—easily trumping the Model Y and Mach-E—the cabin is remarkably quiet and tire noise is minimal. You can toggle one-pedal driving off and on from the main screen, and I preferred using it because it's very smooth and seamless. There's also Regen On Demand, a paddle on the steering wheel that dials up the regenerative braking, just like the Chevy Bolt. 

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV charge port door

Aside from the performance, it's one of those cars from a "mainstream" brand that feels more like a luxury car than its humble badge lets on. But will that be enough to convince buyers to go for it?

Price And Early Verdict

In the end, I'm not so sure. The Blazer RS AWD I spent most of my time in came in at $60,215. Even with the tax credits kicking things down to about $52,715, you're looking at thousands more than a comparable Ioniq 5 or Mach-E—to say nothing of the Model Y, which can be had for fire-sale prices these days. 


Is it worth it? For buyers who truly need the bigger space, maybe. But they may be better suited for the inevitably cheaper 2LT FWD model launching next year. The SS should be quite interesting, but since the RS models are in the mid-$50,000 to $60,000 range, we know it won't be cheap. And if you want performance, a Kia EV6 GT can be had right now for RS pricing. 

Finally, no matter which way you shake it, these prices are all a lot to ask for a Chevrolet and not, say, a Cadillac—something a few of my industry colleagues noted during our test. (For the record, the remarkably similar Cadillac Lyriq starts at $58,590; you may want to check that out instead if you can find one.)

More Chevy Blazer EV News

See How The Chevrolet Blazer EV Stacks Up Against The Tesla Model Y And Hyundai Ioniq 5
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV 2LT AWD, RS AWD Rated At 288 HP
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV Has 498 Horsepower, 250-Mile Range
Chevrolet Kills Base $45,000 Blazer EV 1LT Trim

More than anything, I like what I see from GM's Ultium EVs. I think the Equinox EV and updated Bolt EUV will be huge hits if they can offer similar hardware, software and experiences for much less. If nothing else, the massive success of the Bolt on the year it was sentenced to die proves that people want cheaper EVs above all else. With any luck, the Blazer EV can get there too—or find a niche all its own. 

Contact the author:

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS
MotorFront Permanent-Magnet Sychronous / Rear AC Induction
Output340 hp/325 lb-ft (RWD) / 288 hp/333 lb-ft (AWD)
TransmissionRWD, AWD
Drive TypeSingle-speed electric motor
Battery102 kWh (RWD) / 85 kWh (AWD)
Speed 0-60 MPH6 seconds (est.)
Charge Type190 kW (RWD) / 150 kW (AWD)
Charge Time150 kW, ~69 miles in 10 min. (RS AWD) / 190 kW, ~78 miles in 10 min. (RS RWD)
WeightApprox. 5,500 lbs
Seating Capacity5
Cargo Volume59.8 cu. ft. max rear cargo space
Base Price$61,790 (RWD) / $60,215 (AWD)
As-Tested Price$63,785 (RWD) / $60,215 (AWD)
EV Range324 miles (RWD) / 279 miles (AWD)
]]> (Patrick George) Mon, 11 Dec 2023 23:03:10 +0000 2024 Porsche Macan EV Prototype Test: Screens, Speed And Smart Tech The upcoming Porsche Macan EV will be almost a Taycan in SUV form. Yes, that's a good thing.

When Porsche announced it was making an all-electric Macan, there were plenty of raised eyebrows. But a trip to the Leipzig factory it’ll be built in, and quality time with some of the people behind it, shows that there’s no skepticism necessary. Porsche’s got a high-tech money-printing machine on its hands. 

The Macan will celebrate its 10th birthday next year and will do so by having an electric glow-up. Since its 2014 launch, it’s fair to say the smallest Porsche SUV has been something of a hit. Find the right school parking lot in the right bit of town and you can barely move for them. It became a Porsche for all the family in a way that the Cayenne never really could: it’s smaller, more nimble, more fun. With an EV powertrain on board, it’ll be the darling of the middle classes in no time. 

InsideEVs contributor Tim Stevens drove a Macan EV prototype earlier this year, and then I got to have a go in one for myself a bit later. My trip to Germany also included a few new details, like a good, official look at the car's interior. It's quite impressive how much the Taycan vibes have trickled down here. And as the Taycan is such a good car, it’s no surprise that the Macan follows its lead: it’ll boast an 800V architecture and permanently excited synchronous motors.


Throw in a battery with, according to Porsche, “a total capacity of around 100kWh,” and you’re in for a good time. The headline specs are impressive: up to 603 hp and 737 lb-ft, up to 270kW fast charging, huge displays for the driver and their passengers, up to 240kW energy recuperation, rear axle steering, and everything we’ve come to expect from Porsche. If it comes together the way Porsche says it’s going to, this thing will slap. 

Porsche Macan (2024)

Porsche’s particularly proud of the Macan’s battery; it’s “around 100kWh,” which means we’ll get exact figures later down the line, because its 800v architecture is clever. The lithium-ion battery (standard on all Macans) can charge at up to 270kW, which is enough to get it from 10-80% in fewer than 22 minutes, though you have to have the right kind of charger to get it to do that. If you find your charger of choice runs on a 400v system, the Macan will use “bank charging.” What it essentially does is split your 800v battery into two 400v batteries, allowing the two to be charged in parallel. 

You’ll spot a charging flap on each side of the car, too. Each can charge with A/C, while the left side will also take D/C charging. What those ports link to is immensely smart, too. The onboard AC charge, DC converter, and high voltage heater are all bunched together in a single 42lb unit under the rear bench so as not to eat up too much space. 

Porsche Macan (2024): The battery

Porsche’s also aiming to make charging more convenient. The Macan’s new control unit can, so long as they have a corresponding charging contract, simply plug their car in and the unit will do the rest. No more RFID or credit cards needed, thankfully.

With all that charge on board, you’ll want to have some beefy motors to throw it at. But a Porsche is up for the job. Using water-jacket-cooled permanently excited synchronous electric machines (PSM in Porschespeak), the Macan offers huge power. At launch, there’ll be an entry-level car and a top-of-the-range version channeling power to either the rear wheels or to all four. 

It’s a safe bet that the all-wheel drive car will be the one with 737 lb-ft to play with. It gets a thicker and longer rear axle after all. The power gets to the axles via a two-stage single-speed transmission.

Porsche Macan (2024): The drive including inverter on the rear axle

While you’re using all your power, you’ll want to grab some of it back under braking or when you lift off. The Macan will recuperate up to 240kW depending on how firm you are with brakes. If you give them too great a hoofing, the car’s hydraulic brakes will be used, but thanks to Porsche’s magicians the two will blend together seamlessly. You can coast the car, too, using as little energy as possible to keep you rolling, though you can tell it to claw back power as you’re rolling along. 

You’ve got power, charge, and… drive. The Macan has always been on the sportier edge of SUVs, and the new one should be just the same. As such, Porsche’s lobbing just about everything it can at it. First up is the platform, the Premium Platform Electric (PPE to its friends), which was developed with Audi. It’ll underpin a host of models further down the line, and the Macan hopes to show that it’s got some gusto. 

Porsche Macan (2024)

Up front, you’ll get double wishbone suspension, while the rear gets a multilink setup. On top trim cars, the rear electric drive unit is mounted directly onto the body, and you get Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTVP) as standard. PTVP features an electronically controlled differential lock on the rear axle, and should allow the car to turn in better thanks to braking over the rear axle. If it’s a tighter turn-in you’re looking for, this is the first generation of Macan to get rear-wheel steering. Up to 49.7 mph, the rear wheels will turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels, while over that speed they go in the same direction as the front wheels, aiding stability. 

If your Macan comes with air suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) comes into play (you can add it to steel-sprung cars as well, as an option). PASM now comes with two-valve shock absorbers, which control rebound and compression in the blink of an eye—basically, PASM will let your Macan go from sporty to springy in no time at all, you just need to tell it what to do. 

Porsche Macan (2024)

The Macan’s interior toys are also next level. This is also where it feels strongly Taycan-ish. (Taycan-esque?) Porsche’s new infotainment system has been developed to be as fast as possible on start-up because waiting for your car’s brain to wake up when you’re in a hurry is rage-inducing, and in 2023 we don’t need any more things to wind us all up. Of course, there are plenty of screens to keep an eye on.

The driver’s instrument binnacle is a glorious 12.6-inch curved display that shows everything you could possibly need on the fly. The central display is a 10.9-inch touchscreen. You can add favorite apps to make using it easier, too. There’s also an optional 10.9-inch passenger display to keep your front-seat passenger amused. They can adjust music or nav settings, scroll through apps, or even stream video content. 

Porsche Macan 2024 electric pre-production prototype - Photo

That last point might sound dubiously legal to do on the move, but it’s possible thanks to “special film technology” that keeps moving pictures away from the driver’s eyes. If you’re keen on ticking options boxes you can, for the first time, spec augmented reality tech into your heads-up display. If you’re dreadful at following your GPS, it’ll point you in the right direction. 

It boasts some robust voice controls as well - we were shown that you can use colloquialisms and it’ll pick up on what you’re saying, and react accordingly. The Porsche App Center will keep the system up to date over the air and will let you download your music streamer of choice, YouTube, and even some games. 

Porsche Macan 2024 electric pre-production prototype - Photo

Its inbuilt map will be updated monthly and takes charging locations into account, as well as which provider you prefer. If you’re dozing of a Sunday morning and fancy a road trip, you can plan your trip on the My Porsche app and send it to the car, which have your route standing by when it’s time to go. 

Of course, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come bundled in, so Porsche’s efforts to make its homegrown system more robust can be ignored. These do come with an extra boon: Apple Maps will be displayed in the instrument cluster, not just on the center screen, if you’re using CarPlay. Google Maps will sit there if you’re an Android user. 

For people fond of YouTube streamers, the Macan’s “communication light” will be a big win. The car comes with ambient lighting, but in the front 56 LEDs run from door to door and changes its colors depending on charge status, drive mode, launch control, and more. It’ll even complement the driver-assist tech, and warn you if you’re about to open the door into the path of a cyclist (the people of London thank you for this, Porsche.) 

Porsche Macan 2024 electric pre-production prototype - Photo

Porsche saw fit not only to show us the ins and outs of its new family wagon but to show it off as well. Ushered to the Porsche Experience Center track at the Leipzig factory, we met a fleet of camouflaged Macans with very smiley drivers standing by. Hopping inside, the interior with its bevy of screens was as slick as you’d expect. The reactive lighting was impressive. At first I didn’t notice it; mood lighting in cars isn’t exactly a new thing, and can easily find itself categorized as “pleasant chintz.”

Here, as my driver was waiting to join the circuit, he had activated launch control, and the lights pulsed blue. Of course, I’d had no aural clue that we were about to use an entire stable’s worth of horses, but a glance at the instrument binnacle hinted I was in for a surprise. 

Porsche Macan (2024)

Holy hell that thing shifts. All of its torque is fed through each wheel to catapult it forward. Sure, the EV party piece of being chuffing quick isn’t new, but it’s still bizarre to feel a family car move quite that quickly. My driver was clearly enjoying himself, metering out every hint of grip, showing that, yes, the Macan nails the ‘sporty’ brief. He also took great joy in demonstrating that over 700 lb-ft of torque, even though it’s shared between four wheels, means you can hang the ass out of it with great ease.

I recall asking my driver, while trying to keep from giggling, whether it was easy to slide: “Yes,” he grinned, “very.” The tire squeal was the only thing cutting through the generopop tinkling through the sound system. 

Porsche Macan 2024 electric pre-production prototype - Photo

It slides, it corners, it handles. Good. What about the off-road stuff? Well, round the corner from the track is an off-road facility. Designed to show customers how capable the firm’s all-wheel drive vehicles are, for a city dweller its mix of deep channels, and steep inclines looks rather intimidating.

Throwing the car into its off-roadiest setting whether the hill was steep, the puddle was deep, or the going was rough, the Macan could hack it all with ease. Bearing in mind that the car’s target market isn’t likely to take it on anything more challenging than a damp field, its abilities are perhaps overkill. Good to know it can hack the rough stuff though. 

More Porsche Macan EV News

Porsche Preparing Main Plant To Build 718 EV Sports Car, Macan EV Motors
Volkswagen Group To Slash 2,000 Jobs At Cariad, Future EV Platforms Face Delays
2024 Porsche Macan Electric Prototype First Drive Review: Shockwave Successor
2024 Porsche Macan EV Spied Showing Estimated Range, Sport Chrono Pack

A couple of short rides aren’t really enough to get a full impression of its capability, but initial impressions are overwhelmingly positive. “Porsche makes good car,” what a shocking outcome. 

The new, electric Macan has to work for Porsche. It’s a volume seller, and its success would keep the company going (and let it carry on making 911s and hypercars) long into the future. The ingredients for a hit are there—the tech’s smart, it’s got plenty of power, it’s comfy, it’s roomy, and it’s got the right badge on the nose—but we’ll see if buyers are ready to make the switch the production car is revealed next year. 

Porsche Macan 2024 electric pre-production prototype - Photo
]]> (Alex Goy) Mon, 04 Dec 2023 20:36:19 +0000 2024 Jaguar I-Pace Review: How Does This Electric O.G. Hold Up Today? Is the Jaguar I-Pace old, or just truly sustainable? We find out if it can still compete today.

They still make that thing?” is a remark that’s usually associated with cars and platforms that might’ve made an initial big splash and then gradually faded away, or possibly just produced on autopilot for more years than usual as it was easy money for its respective automaker’s accounting department. (For example, did you know General Motors still makes the Chevrolet Malibu? Look it up, it’s true.) Whichever it is, the timeline always seems like it's seven, eight, or even stretched out to 10 years old. One that checks this box is the Jaguar I-Pace.

But wait, hold on a second—this sleek five-door SUV has only been around since 2018. Sure, that was before everyone’s biological clocks were magnetized by COVID (not literally, take off the tinfoil hat), but the Coventry, UK firm’s first EV is only six years old now. But EV technology’s moved rather quickly ast since the twenty-teens, so it’s understandable that the Jag may seem a bit … well-established by now. And it’s getting to be quickly surpassed by new rivals in terms of range, charging speed and overall tech.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Its sales numbers aren’t exactly complimentary, either, as Jaguar sold just 59,441 I-Paces, globally, between 2018 and 2022. During the same period, its closest original competitor, the Tesla Model 3, sold… I’m not even going to look this up. It’s a lot. No wonder we seem to mostly only see the Jags in the USA as fleeting (pun sort of intended) Waymo robotaxis. We also know it's due to be axed entirely soon

Which begs the question: Is the I-Pace still relevant? There are quite a few luxury EV SUVs to choose from nowadays. How does the ol’ cat stack up in its latest iteration, the 2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic HSE? Recently, I had the opportunity to find out that it’s still got a place in the market.

Quick Specs

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic HSE Data
Output 394 hp, 512 lb-ft
Drivetrain Dual motors, AWD
Range 246 miles on 20-inch wheels; 217 miles on 22-inch wheels
Battery 90 kWh
Max Charging Rate 100 kW
Fast Charging Time 10-80% in 41 minutes
0-60 MPH 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 128 mph
Seating Capacity 5

Ian Callum’s Design Holds Up

The I-Pace’s styling has held up well since its initial production unveiling back in 2017. It’s a generally good-looking compact luxury crossover, with interesting lines and a very striking face. I could admire and photograph its headlights and front grille in warm lighting all afternoon long, though certain angles make it look a bit awkward. I’m not as keen on how it looks straight-on from the side, but overall, this is still an Ian Callum jam, and that guy doesn’t mess around.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

And even the most disinterested passers-by might take one quick look and have the word aerodynamic pop in their heads, because why wouldn’t it? The way the rear end shrinks down and creates a minuscule rear windshield (more on that later) in the name of slipperiness is hard to miss. Good marks for form following function.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

The EV400 R-Dynamic HSE, besides possessing a very long name, is now the sole I-Pace trim offered by Jaguar, and it definitely errs on the side of sportiness. Its black trim pieces, graphite-colored grille and chic Eiger Grey Metallic paint give it a smart appearance, and its black 22-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli summer tires reveal a little bit about its athletic-leaning nature.

So Does The European Luxury

And yes, it’s still a proper luxury car. The 2024 Jaguar I-Pace comes with air suspension as standard, which is fitting for the Jaguar Land Rover lineup—its more off-road-ready cousins the Defender and Discovery have some of the best-riding air suspension on the market.

The I-Pace has an excellent overall ride quality in pretty much any on-road scenario. It feels solid and tight, but in no way shaky or annoying. Rolling across some of Los Angeles County’s most infamous stretches of tarmac was never a chore, and dealt with the choppier bits incredibly well. Even in Dynamic mode, its sportiest mode, the ride was noticeably stiffer, but I wouldn’t call it uncomfortable. While I did raise it up to off-road height just to see what it’d look like (goofy as heck), I never took it down any trails, even though it has a mode for such a task.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

As far as interior comfort goes, the I-Pace has that in spades as well. My tester was a leather-rich environment, with good forward and side visibility and a supportive-yet-supple 16-way adjustable driver’s seat with heating and cooling.

Add in a massive fixed panoramic roof to provide soft lighting and airiness, and It’s a very nice place to spend time in. Rear cargo room was good, too, and it even has a tiny frunk for impressing your friends. Just don’t try not to look too cool in the Whole Foods parking lot, as it’s a very shallow cargo hold. But neat nonetheless.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Speaking of visibility, one of my top gripes was its rear windshield and rear C pillar—the former was awfully tiny, the latter was large. Sure, it has a backup camera, but between its screen’s tiny size in the lower portion of the center dash, and poor visibility at night, this was downright inadequate.

Instead, I found myself reversing the I-Pace into my tight parking space as anyone would a massive old pickup truck: relying heavily on the side mirrors, as well as sticking my head far out the window in a very ungracious, un-Jaguar fashion.

Tech And User Interface

Technological niceties aren’t lacking behind the wheel of the 2024 Jaguar I-Pace. It features JLR’s Touch Pro Duo Pivi Pro system (say that five times fast), with a 10-inch main screen with good haptic feedback and a very nice layout up top, and a 5.5-inch screen down low for climate control settings.

In front of the driver lives a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display with great resolution and all the information one would need, including how much charging and discharging is going on in real-time, as is standard by now for the industry.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Bluetooth, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a wireless charging pad are standard, with the former two being quick and easy to connect. For the old school amongst us, there are plenty of cord ports at the front of the center console.

The infotainment software is a little tough to get used to compared to other systems by Lexus, Audi, and BMW, but once the hang of it is gotten, it’s easy to quickly select the most important aspects: favorite SiriusXM stations and charging. Once your favorite radio stations are stacked up, its 825-watt Meridian sound system has excellent audio quality and absolutely cranks.

More Jaguar News

2024 Jaguar I-Pace Gets A Price Hike Compared To 2023 Model Year
Jaguar EVs Will Gain Access To Tesla Supercharging Network
Jaguar Reportedly Working On All-Electric XJ Luxury Sedan
Jaguar I-Pace To Be Killed Off In 2025 Before Rollout Of New EVs

Situated in the middle of the screen, I always had estimated range clearly defined as part of what Jag calls Energy Impact, including the potential increase in range if I were to schlepp down the road a little easier, and/or cut out some of the creature comforts, like heated and cooled seats, defog/defrost, the heated steering wheel, and air conditioning. Launching it at every stop light gave it no choice but to wag its finger under the right-hand Driving Style column by cutting a big slice of mileage out, but cruising easy and turning off the air conditioning resulted in a thumbs-up. Well, not literally, but a higher percentage would infer that I was rolling along as efficiently as possible.

Its estimated range is pretty darn accurate, too. One afternoon, I discharged a cottage worth of wattage while figuring out the I-Pace’s athleticism on a fun mountain road. Afterwards, I had just 15% of charge left, barely enough to trudge through dense traffic to the nearest DC fast charging station. Luckily, it was generally downhill the entire way, and with a light foot and economy-minded driving, it remained at 30 miles-til’-empty for at least five miles until it dipped to 29. 

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Neither the NHTSA or IIHS has any published ratings for the Jaguar I-Pace, but it’s still well-equipped with advanced driver assistance tech for our modern era. In addition to front and side airbags, as well as ABS, it sports emergency braking assist, driver condition monitor, lane keep assist, rear camera, traffic sign recognition, blind spot assist, rear traffic monitor, adaptive cruise control, and steering assist. All as standard. Blind spot assist and rear traffic monitor were crucial considering its tiny rear aperture and significant blindspot, but I’m never a fan of relying too heavily on either. As mentioned above, the rear backup camera is lacking overall. However, the rest of the systems functioned well, and adaptive cruise and steering assist were especially smooth and easy to toggle on and off.

Still A Performer 

Just like former model years, Jaguar’s latest iteration of the I-Pace is no slouch. Its dual-motor all-wheel drive setup puts down a combined 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to push and pull its 4,784-pound stature to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds—not as quick as competition by Tesla, Genesis, and other brands, but still quite ample for any form of real-world driving.

It also leaps off the line with a certain signature kind of gusto—many EVs reveal a light chirp, but it seemed like the Jag let out a tad more when ripping onto a fast street from a stop, with traction/stability control on. The ICE Jaguar F-Type does this with all traction nannies on, too, and makes me wonder if there’s a theme here.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

In addition to its very comfortable around-town ride, the I-Pace is well-suited for twisty road fun. Body roll is quite taut and pretty much non-existent when attacking mountain-top sweepers with gusto, and its direct steering gains an excellent amount of weight in Dynamic mode.

I only really found the limits of its grip in some tighter sections, such as the naturally decreasing radiuses carved into the San Gabriel Mountains’ topography—while the vast majority of the I-Pace’s mass is concentrated between its wheelbase (just look at how little overhang there is beyond the wheel arches), its Pirelli summer tires and stability control had a heck of a time reigning in the big Jag’s curb weight and not letting it wash out into understeer. Still, it performed admirably for the test I administered.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Its brakes had ample bite, even when sailing along at a decent clip on the highway or on a twisty road. There are two levels of regenerative braking to choose from, but I generally kept it on the lighter setting, as it was just a tad too annoying to try and achieve right-pedal smoothness and finesse on local streets with it cranked up.

Charging And Charging Experience 

Here’s where things get a bit dicier for the I-Pace. While 246 miles of maximum range beats some newer entries to the market, like the 2024 Lexus RZ 450e, it’s still a bit lacking in the grand scheme of modern EV ranges. The Audi Q8 e-tron is much larger yet beats it by about 20 miles. The BMW iX has EPA estimates as high as 324 miles with just 15.2-kWh more of battery life. I’ve seen comparisons to both the Tesla Model X and Model Y, and they also trounce the Jag in range these days. 

Granted, several EVs are still in the mid-200 range, like the Genesis GV60, Mercedes-Benz EQB and Toyota bZ4x, and its range may suit many drivers’ needs just fine, but it’s not a class leader. 

Fancy the 22-inch wheels on my tester? These cut range down to just 217 miles, which may be fine for some, but might be unappealing to many. Gotta pay to play, I guess.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

When it comes to charging, the I-Pace’s 90 kWh battery will jump up to 80% from near-dead in 40 minutes with 100 kW-max DC fast charging. Sixty-three miles can be tacked on in as little as 15 minutes. That’s probably the biggest mark against the I-Pace right now; 100 kW barely feels like “fast-charging” these days, with tons of EVs capable of doing it at 150 kW, 220 kW or even up to 350kW like the Hyundai Motor Group EVs.

Simply put, the I-Pace will not get you on the road as quickly as most modern rivals will. It’s like the Chevrolet Bolt in that regard—an extremely competent EV in many regards, but it’s dusted in the fast-charging area as we go into 2024. 

As with many EVs, my charging experiences were a tad annoying and those weren’t often the fault of the car. Despite having plenty of experience in this arena and following EVgo charging stations’ instructions, I always had to initially plug it in, wait, unplug it, wait some more, and then plug it back in to finally get the watts flowing. This could’ve just been a fluke on EVgo’s side, but it happened at multiple stations, two of which were quite new. My tester was delivered with just 400 miles on the clock, too—I’d hate to think it was a bug in the car’s software.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Price And Verdict 

The 2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE R-Dynamic starts at $73,275 with a $1,275 destination and delivery fee thrown in. For this, you get a very well-equipped trim because, well, it’s the only trim available (there used to be at least three.) My tester’s optional extras came out to $4,378, with most of it accounting for the upgraded 22-inch wheels, and the rest paying for its Eiger Grey Metallic paint, adaptive dynamics, mild leather interior upgrades, and added wheel protection.

While so much comes standard, $73,275 is still a little hard to stomach for just okay range on a now-considered old platform with such not-so-fast “fast” charging. But it still rides quite well, has great performance on a fun road, and is a pleasant, luxurious place to be. I dig the look and dynamics, but even with the range deficit, the more value-filled-yet-still-fun-to-drive Genesis GV70 might have it beat, as it can charge at as high as 240 kW and starts around $5,000 less. Though, the Jag does undercut fellow European firm BMW’s cheapest iX trim by a healthy margin, to the tune of $10,000.

2024 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 R-Dynamic

Finally, 2024 may be the last hurrah for the I-Pace as we know it, as Jaguar is committing to an all-electric lineup for 2025 with some big (though currently unannounced) plans in store. The I-Pace might continue on and reset its status as the luxury compact SUV EV benchmark, or perhaps take on a new badge and form altogether. And those Waymo robotaxis could soldier on for even longer, too.

Regardless, the fact that the I-Pace has sustained and weathered the storm of an increasingly crowded market for five years, with a few updates and changes along the way, is commendable. Truly, a sustainable product. Even if we kind of forgot about it, or have mostly only seen it scuttling around in autonomous vehicle spec. 

Jag was the first out of the gate and has had plenty of time to refine its EV compact crossover formula. With a good survey of all its tight competition these days, it’s entirely possible that it could come up with something truly great in the next few years. Here’s hoping. 

]]> (Peter Nelson) Sun, 03 Dec 2023 17:13:36 +0000 What Do You Want To Know About The Rivian R1S? We're spending the next few days in Rivian's electric SUV. What do you want to know about it?

Sure, they may not be made of stainless steel, but Rivian's electric trucks have delivered plenty of hype and excitement on their own. And this year, the EV startup has significantly ramped up production of its two models: the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. I find myself testing the latter this week. What do you want to know about the Rivian R1S?

For some background, we're in the process of revamping the process we use to review cars here at InsideEVs. In particular, we're working to come up with a format that specifically speaks to the needs, features and nuances of electric vehicles, designed especially for newcomers the world of zero-emission driving. We'll have more on that later, and we'll be seeking reader input as we do it.

In the meantime, the Rivian R1S seems like it will be a great fit for what we're coming up with. 

More R1S News

Rivian 'Recalls' 1,400 R1S, R1T EVs For Faulty Defroster With OTA Fix
UPDATE: Rivian’s ‘Fat Finger’ OTA Software Update Soft-Bricks R1T and R1S
Rivian R1S With 400-Mile Max Pack Battery Added To Online Configurator
Rivian More Than Doubled EV Production And Deliveries In Q3 2023

The SUV I'm currently testing is a Quad-Motor AWD variant: the one packing an electric motor on each wheel, a staggering 835 horsepower, and the Large 135 kWh battery pack. That's good for an EPA-estimated 321 miles. It's cold here in New York, though not as cold as going to get, and thus range losses seem minimal so far.

Rivian hasn't given me an official spec sheet for this car, but with the lovely Limesone paint, 22-inch sport wheels, white Ocean Coast interior and all-weather floor mats, I'd put this R1S at about $99,475. 

Concerns with large, heavy electric SUVs and their big battery packs, I can't deny I really enjoy driving the R1S so far. (Once I got it out of New York City, anyway.) Here's my early read on things. 

What's Good So Far

The ride quality is superb and the handling is outstanding for a truck this size. I left New York City and drove upstate in a rather nasty nighttime rainstorm with limited visibility, and the R1S was totally unflappable. It's a lot of what I liked about my old Toyota 4Runner in a more high-tech, no-gas package.  It's a head-turner for sure, something I don't get tired of seeing in my driveway. The accessories including are as fun as they are useful, too, including the detachable Bluetooth speaker and the air compressor in the trunk. It really does seem convincingly built for outdoor adventures. It's plenty quick! I mean, 835 horses should be plenty, right? Same with the range, too. 

What's Less Than Good So Far

Everyone's needs are different, but damn, the R1S is a big SUV. There's no getting around that. I'm amazed at how many of these things I've seen in New York City lately; this is probably not what you want if tight parallel parking is a regular part of your life. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, the no-button, entirely screen-focused interface isn't my favorite way to do things. Some vent controls to adjust the A/C airflow sure would've been nice. There's a bit more of a UX learning curve here than other EVs I've tested. 

I'll have more to say as I drive this thing in the coming days, so expect a review soon. In the meantime: what do you want to know about the Rivian R1S? Driving experience? Efficiency? Charging? It probably won't go off-road much, but otherwise, I'm here to answer your questions. Let me know what's on your mind. 

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]]> (Patrick George) Fri, 01 Dec 2023 19:30:08 +0000 Here Are The Best Early Video Reviews Of The Tesla Cybertruck So Far Jason Cammisa, Marques Brownlee, and Top Gear all got their hands on the new Tesla Cybertruck. Here are their thoughts.

It's official: the Tesla Cybertruck has officially been launched. Well, at least to a few customers. While Tesla works to ramp up manufacturing, it has trusted a few of the release candidate vehicles to journalists, YouTubers, and influencers who couldn't wait to get their hands on the triangular truck.

Since the truck is now officially in the hands of early adopters, reviewers are finally able to give their thoughts on Tesla's new platform. That includes Jason Cammisa, Marques Brownlee, and Jack Rix of Top Gear. We've gathered our favorite videos on the Cybertruck for you to watch below.

Jason Cammisa/Hagerty

First, Cammisa focuses on the truck’s performance. A bit of a spoiler: the new Cybertruck beats out the quad-motor Rivian R1T and 1,000 horsepower Hummer EV, and by quite a bit—and that’s despite wearing heavy-treaded mud tires and sporting a half-charged battery, which is a feat in itself since the zero-60 sprint rate typically decreases as the pack voltage declines in other Tesla models.

He also touches on efficiency. That means discussing aerodynamics (even as it relates to ICE-powered supercars like the Bugatti Chiron and McLaren F1), battery cells, powertrain, and, of course, your wallet. And if Cammisa’s word isn’t enough, there’s even a surprise cameo by Jason Fenske Engineering Explained to explain why Tesla upped its cars to 800 volts on the high-voltage side, and 48 volts for low-voltage.

Oh, there’s also the Cybertruck being slung around on a track, footage of a crash test, and some objective criticism that’s worth asking before you turn that reservation into an actual order—plus, another cameo that I won’t ruin.

This is the video you want to watch if you’re a fan of the Clarkson, Hammond, and May-era of Top Gear, and you’re not familiar with Cammisa’s work, you’ve got a whole afternoon ahead of you to watch. You’re welcome.

Marques Brownlee

You know him, I know him, and Elon Musk knows him too—the infamous MKBHD. It should come as no surprise to know that Brownlee got his hands on a Cybertruck. Hell, he’s the reason that the Cybertruck range got leaked before the actual launch date. So let’s see what the king of electronics reviews has to say about the world’s boxiest computer on wheels.

Brownlee’s truck wasn’t an actual production truck, but one of the release candidates that we’ve been seeing on the road. Still, it’s as close as you can get to what was actually delivered to customers yesterday.

He covers what changed since the truck was first introduced in 2019. Dimensions, payload, zero to 60, and yes, there’s a lot more (including the price). Brownlee also goes over a lot of the small features that you’ll use while driving—blindspot indicators, removable mirrors, wheel setup, the power tonneau cover, and more.

You’ll also get to see some driving videos on the road. MKBHD goes over how the Cybertruck drives on the road, so get ready to learn what kind of road noise you’ll hear, how many suitcases you can fit in the frunk, the infotainment screen, and where you can stash water bottles in the cabin.

This is the video you want to watch if you’re interested in knowing how the Cybertruck will work in your day-to-day life.

Jack Rix/Top Gear

Jack Rix over at Top Gear also managed to get his hands on the Cybertruck. If you’ve got 40 minutes to spare, you’ll get to learn all of the cool tricks and engineering tips that Rix learned about the truck during his time with it.

The video has a small interview segment with Franz Von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief designer who broke the Cybertruck’s window with a steel ball back in 2019, and Lars Moravy, Tesla’s VP of engineering. The duo describes the why behind the Cybertruck, like how it needed to be separated from other offerings on the market, including the secret design project that led to CEO Elon Musk greenlighting the project.

Perhaps the most interesting thing he covers is the reactions he gets while having possession of the truck. And, unsurprisingly, it proves that the Cybertruck is going to be the latest bit of hypebeast gear. So, congratulations, Elon, you’ve done it.

This is the video you want to watch for a happy medium between Cammisa and Brownlee’s work. You get the driving experiences, the specs, and some fun in between.

More Cybetruck News

Is The Cybertruck Really What Tesla Needs Right Now?
Tesla Cybertruck Debut And Delivery Event
Watch The Tesla Cybertruck Stop Bullets Fired From Three Different Guns
The Tesla Cybertruck's Range Extender Is Something Very Different

]]> (Rob Stumpf) Wed, 29 Nov 2023 17:00:28 +0000 2024 Zeekr 001 First Drive: More Than Just China's Pontiac The Zeekr 001 isn't just a rebadged Volvo or Polestar. It may even be the Geely Group's secret weapon.

Back in 2010, Geely Automotive mustered up enough cash to buy Volvo, transferring a storied brand from Ford ownership to a Chinese upstart that mostly sold refrigerator parts only 13 years prior. Every Swedish car enthusiast waited with bated breath. Was Geely going to ruin Volvo, forcing it to churn out rebadged low-quality cars based on crappy existing Geely models, which were nothing more than restyled Daihatsus made under license?

But all of our collective fretting was for naught. Under Geely ownership, Volvo soared to new heights, dramatically increasing its sales while producing some of the most stylish and high-tech vehicles it has ever made. It seemed like Geely was content to “let Volvo be Volvo,” a saying familiar to anyone who was working in the automotive industry of the early 2010s.


But that statement was always a bit inaccurate, an acrid take tinged with xenophobia and condescension. Geely is a corporation with vast interests, full of its own engineers, designers, and software experts; of course, the goal would be to synergize and integrate, not just back a truckload of cash to Volvo engineers with the implication being that Geely does not have the ability to create on its own. China is full of expertise, talent, and innovative thinking. Just look at how it has absolutely left behind the rest of the world with electric vehicles. Now, Western brands seek out Chinese OEMs because of what they offer. Toyota and Tesla use BYD batteries in some markets, Stellantis is looking to make an EV with Leapmotor, and GM’s tie-up with SAIC and Wuling is so valuable that it’s actually increased its stake in the two entities. 

The Zeekr 001 is just a little glimpse of Geely’s expertise and a show of exactly what the hell we’re missing here in the United States. Or, maybe it’s a preview of what’s to come here, since the Zeekr 001 is a platform twin of the forthcoming Polestar 4. Nor can we completely rule out a potential Zeekr entry to the U.S.

So how does the Zeekr 001 drive,  and why should Americans care about it? I went to a recent event the automaker put on in upstate New York to find out. 

A Slick Entry

For starters, Zeekr is another premium brand aimed directly at China’s middle-class citizens. No, not like Lynk & Co, another Geely brand also aimed at China’s middle class; that brand only sells hybrids and PHEVs. And no, not like Volvo or Polestar, which somehow occupy a different market position. Polestar is headed increasingly upmarket and chasing Porsche, whereas Zeekr is content to stay in the premium market, not unlike Acura. 


Confusing market positioning aside, Zeekr’s products are resonating well in China. The brand has sold more than 140,000 units, about 72,000 of them happening just last year. It wants to sell another 160,000 units this year alone. For Q3 of this year, Zeekr in China has outsold Polestar globally at a nearly 3 to 1 ratio. Most of the brand’s sales come from this car, the 001.

“Man, that thing is slick lookin’,” I said to myself, as I walked out to the two Zeekr 001s parked in the pit lane of the Monticello Motor Club in upstate New York. I’d seen the car in pictures online, but it can be hard to gauge what a vehicle looks like in person via some images on a computer screen.

In a sea of electrified pseudo-crossovers, the 001 is distinctly a car-shaped thing with no SUV pretense whatsoever. Zeekr calls the 001 a “shooting brake;” there’s no unpainted cladding, no elevated ride height, just an old-fashioned wagon, and called a wagon. Interestingly enough, the mechanically related Polestar 4 is marketed as a crossover SUV coupe, but both the Zeekr and Polestar are lower than the Hyundai Ioniq 5, another EV marketed as a crossover despite its hatchback proportions and relatively low-slung nature.


Whatever the case, the 001 is sharp, It wears its lines well. The roughly Kia EV6-sized premium wagon looks long, low, and wide. The detailing and side surfacing are interesting, without being overly fussy. The greenhouse and roofline are satisfyingly squat, and the wheels are big, leading to the appearance of a life-sized Hot Wheels car. The Zeekr’s styling feels distinct, not as if it’s cribbed ideas from some other car. It also manages to look completely different from anything at the Volvo or Polestar stable. 

That look goes beyond just styling. Inside, the 001’s interior was well-finished and reasonably plush, the camel-colored leather surfaces and design aesthetic flair more extravagant than the decisions Volvo and Polestar made. Heck, the 001 had automatic opening and closing doors. That’s a feature reserved for high-dollar cars like the BMW i7 or Genesis G90, and it’s not a feature found on any Volvo or Polestar car.


Similarly, the 001’s infotainment in-car software has nothing to do with the Google-based operating systems found in any given Volvo or Polestar. I can’t read Chinese, but the 001’s infotainment appeared to be a junky mess full of graphics, characters, and menus. Yet Zeekr representative Yilei Sun assured me that the wordy and confusing interface was very usable to Chinese consumers because it is so similar to shopping apps like Taobao, or even Starbucks. It’s a whole different world there, apparently one full of interfaces with a lot of buttons and words, way different from the almost too-simplistic interface of any given Volvo or Polestar product.

Driving The 001

Not counting the hypercar-rivaling Zeekr 001 FR, the 001 comes in three trims: WE, ME, and YOU, in that order. The car can be had with a few different motor and battery options, but the models that Zeekr had on offer were two top-trimmed YOU models, in dual-motor AWD form. This combination was fed by a 100 kWh battery, generates 544 horsepower, and will fling the car to 60 MPH in about 3.5 seconds.

It hasn’t been officially confirmed, but those numbers sound identical to the Polestar 4. Underneath, the Zeekr 001 uses the same SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture), Zeekr says that it took the lead on development. In fact, the 001 is the very first car on this platform.


See, now, EVs are heavy cars, and at more than 4,500 lbs, the Zeekr 001 is no exception. Oftentimes, EVs absolutely feel their weight in the curves, sure, they accelerate well, but taking a curve might involve slowing way down to cope with the wobble and bounce as the suspension tries to manage two tons of mass. Heck, even the Polestar 2 can feel a little out of its element when pushed hard enough. I was curious, did Zeekr put effort into reigning in all that mass? Or would the 001 just be a pretty face—a fast car with a nice interior that would show its lack of development via a crap ride and lack of handling chops?

My time with the Zeekr 001 wasn’t long, consisting of about two to three laps around Monticello with a professional driver hired by Zeekr sitting shotgun, to make sure I didn’t accidentally fly off course. However, after about a third through my first lap, the co-driver said “Ah, you’ve got a bit more skill here than I thought,” and let me really open the car up more than the investor types who just wanted to do a little lap around the track at school zone speed limit. Some of them didn’t even drive, just rode in the back while a Zeekr representative ferried them around at speeds of maybe 45 mph.


Say less, sir. When we hit the back straight of Monticello, I mashed the throttle to the ground and the car quickly rocketed to 170 k/ph (105 mph). I braked and took a right, and attacked the rest of the track and my next lap with gusto, letting the car sail through corners. It felt good; the car was responsive, and predictable, easily handling quick directional changes of an on-track chicane without unpredictably upsetting the balance of the car. The 001’s steering is fairly direct, it corners remarkably flat, and the car is a delight to push around the track.

We were driving with so much zeal that my co-driver was radioed and told to slow down because I had caught up to the other 001 on track. “Man, with some good pads and a sticky tire, this thing would be 100 percent,” my co-driver said. I’d agree. The 001 was impressive, and showed a level of body control and handling prowess that even established brands would likely find tricky to replicate.


“(Zeekr’s) goal was to prove what SEA platform is capable of, and I think we did that,” said Sun. Yeah, Zeekr definitely did. Sun claimed that in China, the 001 is often compared to the Porsche Panamera. I can see why, it’s stylish and handles great, offering a lot of virtues of the Panamera in a package that’s about half the price. 

Honestly, it might be the most exciting EV I’ve driven all year.

Could It Work In America?

It’s not exactly clear if the 001 will ever come to the USA. Zeekr says officially it has no plans to sell consumer cars here (though their responses to that question have been sometimes mixed), but if it did try, the 001 would be a hell of an entry. I understand why it’s such a compelling offering in its home market, it’s stylish and fun to drive, selling on its own merits despite not being cheap.

At 386,000 yuan or about $55,000 USD, the 001 is about the same price as a top-level Tesla Model Y Performance. But the Zeekr 001 is a way better car. And if nothing else, the 001 bodes pretty well for the Polestar 4.


“The Zeekr brand is doing all kinds of innovative things in the premium EV space, so certainly it’s not hard to imagine it finding an audience here,” said Ed Kim, president of the auto industry marketing and research firm AutoPacific. “However, even aside from the 27.5% tariff on Chinese-built vehicles that makes it very difficult to develop a workable business case for them, the other major factor is that parent company Geely already has two premium brands in the U.S., Volvo and Polestar. By 2030, Volvo will be an all-EV brand like Polestar is today. Does Geely really need a third premium EV brand in the U.S.?”

Maybe. Zeekr’s offerings feel so much different than Volvo's. I’d argue that Zeekr makes more sense than Polestar, which has yet to convince consumers that it’s not just hawking Volvo products with a weird logo.


But nearly as important, the 001 is proof that Zeekr, and in turn, Geely Group and China, are full of talented people. There’s no need to condescend and assume that its Western subsidiaries are entirely responsible for the brand’s forward progress. Whatever happens next for Zeekr, it’s clear that it’s doing something very right for the Geely Group. Maybe we’ll see that for ourselves someday too.

More Zeekr News

First Europe-Bound Zeekr X Crossover EVs Roll Off The Assembly Line In China
Zeekr 001 FR Debuts As 1,265-HP Quad-Motor Rival For Model S Plaid

]]> (Kevin Williams) Sat, 25 Nov 2023 15:08:31 +0000 ShockFlo G1 Portable EV Charger Review On the surface, it appears to be a good unit, but without safety certification and a critical cable flaw, we cannot recommend it.

ShockFlo is a relatively new company in the electric vehicle charging space, but in a short time now offers a portfolio of no less than five different AC charging options and three different EV charging adapters.

The company reached out to me and offered to send me its products for review and I asked for the Portable 40-amp G1 EVSE, as many of my followers have been asking me to review more portable charging options. 

ShockFlo G1 EV Charger review

ShockFlo G1 EV Charger key features

Features and Specifications

Made in China, the ShockFlo G1 is available in 32-amp and 40-amp options and both plug into a NEMA 14-50 outlet. I tested the 40-amp version that can deliver up to 9.6 kW to an EV - provided the vehicle can accept 9.6 kW. The actual charger, called the onboard charger, is always built into the vehicle, and that will dictate how much power your EV can accept from an AC charging source. So if your EV has a 32-amp onboard charger, the 40-amp ShockFlo won't charge the vehicle any faster than the 32-amp version will. 

The ShockFlo G1 comes with a 20-foot cable with a J1772 connector at the end. Currently, ShockFlo doesn't offer charging equipment with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector attached, so owners of Tesla vehicles using the G1 will need to use the J1771 to Tesla adapter that comes standard with every Tesla vehicle here in North America.

The body of the unit has an IP67 rating for dust and water intrusion, which is a slightly higher rating than many of its portable charging competitors. The IP67 rating means the Shockflo should be able to withstand being submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes without allowing water to enter the unit. 

More EV Charger reviews

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Is The Tesla Universal Wall Connector The Best EV Charger Available?
Emporia 48-Amp Smart EV Charger Review
FLO Home X5 EV Charger Review: A Rock-Solid Smart Charging Option

It comes standard with a carrying case, a wall-mounting cradle and a rubber cover for the J1772 connector to protect the pins when not in use. It has a three-year warranty and retails for $349.00, but is currently on Black-Friday sale for $279.00. The 32-amp version is on sale from $319.00 to a very inexpensive $186.00.

Both versions have a small display screen that shows active charging information including the line voltage, the amperage, and the amount of kilowatt-hours it's delivering to the vehicle. It also shows the internal temperature, the length of time of the current charging session, and the number of kilowatt-hours that the charger has dispensed in that charging session. 

There are also two buttons below the display screen. One that allows the user to choose the power output between 40-amps, 32-amps, 24-amps, 20-amps, and 16-amps. The second button lets the user delay charging in one-hour increments, for those that don't want the vehicle to begin charging as soon as they plug in. 

Dual Voltage Capable?

It's also unfortunate that the unit isn't being marketed and sold as a dual-voltage EVSE with adapters to allow the user to plug into either a 120-volt outlet or the 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet that it was designed for. It appears you may be able to use the G1 to charge from a 120-volt source because the specifications say the voltage range is 100V to 240V. However, Shockflow makes no mention of that and advertises it specifically as a "Level 2" charger.

Since the NEMA 14-50 plug is tethered to the device, one would need to purchase a NEMA 14-50 to NEMA 5-15 or NEMA 5-20 adapter to see if it will indeed work as a level 1 unit.

I don't believe that responsibility should fall on the purchaser. I believe the company selling the device should explain if the unit can be used as a dual-voltage charger, and offer the adapters directly. 

I always recommend having a dual-voltage portable charger handy, especially when taking a road trip, and to make sure you have the adapters on hand for 120-volt as well as 240-volt outlets. When out on the road, there's a much higher likelihood of encountering 120-volt outlets than there is coming across a 240-volt NEMA 14-50, and even though 120-volt charging is much slower, when you really need some juice, any port in the storm will do. 

ShockFlo G1 water submersion test

ShockFlo G1 water submersion test

Testing, Results and Recommendations

The ShockFlo G1 passed all of the tests I performed, including automatic restart, connector, and unit drop tests, the extreme cold and extreme heat weather tests, and the submersion test. Despite a good showing, in the end, I cannot recommend purchasing the ShockFlo because it has not been safety-certified by any established certification body. 

I take safety certification seriously with any electrical device, but that's especially so with electric vehicle charging equipment because of the high current passing through the unit for many continuous hours, often every day of the week. That type of duty cycle can be challenging even for the most robust-built charging equipment that is safety-certified. 

If ShockFlo puts the unit through safety certification, and make a few small improvements, I believe it will be a good choice for a portable EVSE, provided they can then keep the cost at a reasonable point. 

ShockFlo G1 ChargerRater score

ShockFlo G1 EV Charger ChargerRater score

Source: State Of Charge

]]> (Tom Moloughney) Thu, 23 Nov 2023 21:15:00 +0000 Tesla Cybertruck: Everything We (Think) We Know Here's what we know and what we think we know about the Cybertruck exactly one week before the start of initial deliveries.

Exactly four years after Tesla unveiled the original Cybertruck prototype, deliveries of the futuristic-looking electric pickup are scheduled to start on November 30.

But as we mentioned in our October 31 story that crowdsourced information from Tesla Cybertruck reservation holders, the silence is deafening from the EV maker's side – not one of the dozens of preorder holders we surveyed said they had received any update from Tesla since placing their reservations.

So, what do we really know about the Tesla Cybertruck less than two weeks before its initial deliveries to customers?

Looks And Size

Let's start with the design. The production Cybertruck stays remarkably close to the 2019 show car, but there are some changes. The most obvious include the giant windshield wiper, the addition of traditional side mirrors, deeper front and bumpers, and slightly smaller dimensions – in February 2021, Elon Musk said the production Cybertruck would be "around 3 percent smaller."

Inside, the Cybertruck has seen some changes as well, including the adoption of a new steering wheel that looks like a combination of the Cybertruck concept's yoke and a traditional wheel. Another big change is the production model's huge center console that replaces the concept's front middle seat.

The release candidate prototypes we've seen so far had all-black interiors, but a semi-white interior with white door cards and a partially white dashboard was recently spotted. The cabin is roomy, providing vast space for five passengers.

2019 Tesla Cybertruck Prototype (Petersen Automotive Museum)

2019 Tesla Cybertruck Prototype

Nothing is officially confirmed as far as the production model dimensions are concerned, but according to alleged leaked information posted by The Fast Lane EV recently, the electric truck is 223.2 inches long, 79.9 in wide (excluding the side mirrors), and 70.5 inches high with the air suspension in the medium level; the wheelbase is 143 inches.

That makes the Cybertruck 9.5 inches shorter and 7.8 inches lower than the Ford F-150 Lightning full-size electric pickup, with virtually the same width and a 2.5-inch shorter wheelbase. The Cybertruck is significantly bigger than the Rivian R1T: it's 6.1 inches longer, 0.9 inches wider, and it has a 7.2 inches longer wheelbase.

Basically, Tesla's electric pickup bridges the gap between mid-size and full-size pickups, though it's clearly closer to the latter category than the former.

So how heavy is it? Elon Musk said last month on the Joe Rogan's podcast that the Cybertruck weighs around 6,000-7,000 pounds and labeled it a "heavy truck."

The information posted by The Fast Lane EV matches Musk's estimates at 6,670 lbs for the dual-motor variant and 6,890 lbs for the tri-motor variant. That's about the same weight as a Ford F-250 heavy-duty truck.

Practicality, Capability

The Cybertruck offers a towing rating of 11,000 lbs and a payload of 2,500 lbs, according to a new advertisement at Tesla's San Diego store. The towing rating matches the Rivian R1T's 11,000 lbs and exceeds the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV's 10,000-lbs rating.

Surprisingly, the payload rating is 265 lbs higher than the F-150 Lightning's and 736 lbs higher than the Rivian R1T's. In addition, the Cybertruck's bed is made from ultra-tough sheet molded composite, which is good news for durability. The maximum tongue weight – the maximum vertical weight that a vehicle's hitch can support under normal driving conditions – is allegedly 1,110 lbs.

Tesla Cybertruck winter testing

Most people want to know the size of the Cybertruck's truck bed, and the alleged leaked info posted by The Fast Lane EV claims a length of 72.8 in and a width of 51 in. That would make it 5.7 in longer and 0.4 in wider than the F-150 Lightning's bed. It would also be 18.8 in longer and 0.1 in narrower than the Rivian R1T's bed. As with the Rivian, the Cybertruck's bed has a powered tonneau cover. It also features rear outlets: two 120V, one 240V.

As you already know by now, the Tesla Cybertruck also has a frunk with an alleged volume of 7.1 cubic feet, making it half the size of the F-150 Lightning's frunk. Mind you, the weight capacity of the Cybertruck's frunk is said to be 420 lbs, exceeding that of the Lightning by 20 lbs. However, there are no power outlets in the Tesla's front trunk.

A video posted online in late October showed that the Cybertruck's frunk lid opens and closes electrically, settling a long debate on the internet over this issue. Another video from earlier this month showed that the Cybertruck also has an under-bed storage bin.

Powertrains, Range

Tesla said in 2019 that the Cybertruck would offer single-, dual- and tri-motor powertrains, but it looks like the single-motor variant has been killed off. The NHTSA's 2024 Model Year VIN Decoder released last month revealed that the Cybertruck would offer two choices, a dual-motor and a tri-motor powertrain – both of which with standard all-wheel drive.

While we don't know power and torque ratings, Elon Musk said in late October that Tesla targets a 0-60 mph time below 3 seconds for the so-called "Beast Mode" version. The sub-3-second time is probably for the performance variant of the Cybertruck, which likely features a tri-motor powertrain.

Tesla Cybertruck testing

Musk said in September that the performance Cybertruck "kicks ass next-level." There has been speculation that the Cybertruck's tri-motor powertrain will be sourced from the Model X Plaid, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.

We don't know much about the truck's battery pack either, although rumor has it that the Cybertruck will offer around 350 miles of range. This is according to a Cybertruck Owners Club forum member who claims he got the info from a Tesla engineer he met at a Supercharging station in Mojave, California. In the absence of official information, the proverbial grain of salt is necessary.

The Cybertruck's battery pack is expected to feature 4680 battery cells, which are being made at Giga Texas where the electric truck is also produced. It's also worth noting that the Cybertruck will be Tesla's first passenger vehicle to use an 800-volt electrical architecture, which should help offer shorter DC fast charging times, among other advantages.


The Cybertruck has been spotted several times steering its rear wheels at low speeds, so the rear-wheel-steering system is a given – and it's hopefully standard too. All-wheel steering should help the Cybertruck achieve a tighter turning radius than trucks without this system.

Judging by a recent drone video, the Cybertruck might also offer a crab-walk feature like the GMC Hummer EV, although that hasn't been confirmed yet.

Tesla Cybertruck testing

Speaking of the chassis, we know that the Cybertruck features adaptive air suspension with on-road and off-road drive modes. Several prototypes have been spotted in recent months with the ride height in various settings, and the difference between the lowest and the highest setting appeared significant.

Combined with the approach, departure, and break-over angles that appear to be pretty good for a truck of this size, the Cybertruck should do well off-road.

In the past, Elon Musk suggested that the Cybertruck would have an adaptive suspension system that integrates the company's latest Hardware 4.0 computer, which would adjust the ride height automatically depending on factors such as road conditions, speed, steering angle, and more.


This is arguably the biggest unknown when it comes to the Cybertruck. When Tesla unveiled the original show car in 2019, it said the base single-motor model would start at $39,900, the dual-motor at $49,900, and tri-motor at $69,900.

Accounting for inflation, the Cybertruck Dual Motor could end up with a starting price around $60,000, while the Cybertruck Tri Motor could be priced from around $85,000. Obviously, that's just speculation as Tesla hasn't offered any clues with regard to pricing yet.

Is It Really Bulletproof?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed repeatedly that the Cybertruck's ultra-hard stainless-steel exoskeleton is bulletproof but the windows are not in order to allow them to go up and down. While the standard windows are shatterproof, he noted that owners can fit bulletproof windows if they want to.

On his latest appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, he said Tesla has performed a test consisting of emptying an entire magazine of a Tommy Gun – about 50 rounds – as well as shooting a 45mm handgun and a 9mm gun at the side of the Cybertruck. Musk said the video will be shown at the November 30 handover event.

Wild Claims

We couldn't wrap up this article without mentioning some of the wild claims said over the years about the Cybertruck, such as the fact it can "serve briefly as a boat" – Musk said last year the truck would be able to "cross rivers, lakes, and even seas that aren't too choppy" thanks to a so-called Boat Mode.

Tesla also claims the Cybertruck has "the ability to pull near infinite mass." More recently, Musk also said the electric pickup will be "scratch-proof" to basically everything that's not as strong as diamonds thanks to optional tungsten carbide coating.

While these wild claims will likely remain just that, here's hoping Tesla will reveal essential details that are still missing, such as battery and powertrain specs, range, pricing, and more at the November 30 delivery event.

More stories on the Tesla Cybertruck's Nov. 30 delivery event

Only 10 Tesla Cybertrucks May Be Delivered At Nov. 30 Event: Executive
Tesla Launches Cybertruck Delivery Event Webpage

]]> (Dan Mihalascu) Tue, 21 Nov 2023 23:01:00 +0000 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N First Drive: More Than Just Huge Power (But It Has That Too) Hyundai's made one of the rowdiest EVs on the road. With 641 horsepower it's ridiculously quick, but there's a lot more at play here.

In an age where electrified performance is as easy as moving a slider or turning a knob, where speed is a question of how quickly you can shuttle ions from anode to cathode, it's honestly a little hard to get excited about yet another big, heavy, dual-motor electric vehicle with an ungodly amount of power. 

Take the Kia EV6 GT, for example. Great as it is, it feels a bit disconnected at times. It's stupidly fast, sure, but it's also a bit boring. Kia added the power but forgot about the rest of the experience, the special touchpoints and tweaks that brands like BMW's M division or Mercedes-Benz's AMG have turned into cottage industries.


Given that, I didn't know what to expect from the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. More power, sure, but would it feel special? Or would it just feel like a bigger hammer? 

As it turns out, Hyundai N's performance engineers went way above and beyond to create a car that legitimately does feel special—rowdy even, while still delivering all the excellence of the base Ioniq 5. 

Quick Specs 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
Output 641 horsepower/545 lb-ft of torque
Drivetrain All-Wheel-Drive
Battery  84 kilowatt-hours (lithium-ion)
0-60 MPH 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 162 mph (electronically limited)

The Complete Package

Let's get the numbers out of the way first because, impressive as they are, they're the least interesting part about this car. The Ioniq 5 N is officially rated at 641 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. That power figure is exactly twice what the base Ioniq 5 puts down, a fact that can't be a coincidence.


That power comes courtesy of new electric motors front and rear, 223 hp to the front and 378 at the rear, each able to go into an overboost mode for 10 seconds to get up to that 641 hp figure. 

They're powered by a wholly new battery pack rated at 84 kWh. That's up about 7 kWh over the base car, a figure that seems hardly worth the effort of designing a wholly new pack. But then there are many aspects of the Ioniq 5 N that seem like they'd deliver dubious amounts of return on investment, like the extra seam welding and adhesive to boost chassis rigidity or the reinforced axles. And while Hyundai hasn’t given us range or efficiency estimates yet, you can be sure both will be less than a standard Ioniq 5. 


Taken in isolation, each of these minor tweaks feels a bit unnecessary, fiddling for fiddling's sake, but if nothing else, it shows the microscopic attention to detail brought to the table by Hyundai's engineers in creating something more than the aforementioned bigger hammer. 

The Ioniq 5's suspension has also seen comprehensive revisions, with larger dampers fitted at every corner to provide a broader spread between soft and firm. An electronically activated, clutch-type, mechanical limited-slip differential at the rear ensures that the 282 kW motor at the back doesn't liquidate the inside tire coming out of corners. 

The front diff is open, but the car's stability and traction systems have been comprehensively revised to enable it to do some basic torque vectoring by braking the inside wheel. 

More Ioniq 5 News

Hyundai Motor Sold Over 19,600 All-Electric Cars In July 2023
Listen To Hyundai Ioniq 5 N's Fake Exhaust At Idle In This Drift Spec Model
Watch 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Go Hard At The Nurburgring
Hyundai Exec: Ioniq 5 N Will Be "Much Faster" Than i30 N

Wonderful Toys

The software changes extend throughout all the systems under the proverbial hood, but they present themselves in numerous extra features available to the driver. It starts with the steering wheel, which features not only a drive mode button on the upper-left but also two more mode buttons, both labeled N.


The left N button cycles through a few different performance-minded driving modes. You can configure all these to your specifications -- so long as your specifications entail a raucous, rowdy experience. The right N button dials up the societal nuisance factor even further by toggling through one of three fake engine noises, played not only inside the cabin but outside the car, too. There's even a fake shifting experience, which you can read all about here.

Finally, there's a shiny red button that sits tantalizingly close to your right thumb. A beautiful, shiny button labeled NGB: N Grin Boost. Press this, and you get those 10 seconds of maximum power, in which the car becomes most aggressive, most angry, and lightning quick. Tap this to get to the launch control quickly, but make sure you warn your passengers to put their head on the headrest before you take your foot off the brake.

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N First Drive 060

The customizations continue through to the touchscreen interface, where a specific N page lets you cycle through endless configurable parameters, with toggles for enabling a track-oriented regen mode called N Pedal, an N Race section where you can toggle between maximum power for a single lap or more endurance, and even the N Drift Optimizer, for those who need a little help getting sideways. 

The most tantalizing thing on this page, though, is the N Torque Distribution slider that lets you control the car's power distribution. Leave it in the middle for maximum power from both motors. Want a FWD Ioniq 5 N? Slide it to the left. Want a taste of RWD action? Slide it all the way to the right—and get ready to do some sliding of another sort. 

2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N First Drive 075

All these toggles and buttons are initially overwhelming and disorienting, way too many options to get through on your first drive. Honestly, though, I love it. This was my biggest complaint about the EV6 GT: There just wasn't a single iota of performance-oriented customization to the car's user interface. If anything, Hyundai's gone a little too far in throwing a kitchen sink full of sliders and options at the Ioniq 5 N. Still, tech-obsessed buyers, those who've spent more time than they like to admit fiddling with setups in Gran Turismo, will adore the reconfigurability. 

Behind The Wheel

If you've never had the chance to drive in Korea, let me assure you that you're not missing much. Terminally slow speed limits (30 kph, or 19 mph, in many towns) enforced by endless speed cameras popping away at endless gridlock make for an underwhelming place to helm the wheel. Given that, I learned little about the Ioniq 5 N's more performance-oriented on-road dynamics while in Korea.


However, I did learn that it's still a perfectly civilized way to get from A to B, just like its non-N variant. Ride quality isn't terribly compromised by those low-profile 275/35R21 Pirelli P Zero tires, though they bring more road noise to the party. The suede microfiber seats are still quite comfortable for big miles (and we did a lot of miles), while the latest version of Hyundai's Highway Drive Assist works well on the highway, keeping the car centered in the lane and automatically stopping and resuming when stuck in traffic.

Thankfully, the destination of our long grind of a journey was Korea International Circuit, home of the doomed Korean Formula One Grand Prix from 2010 to 2013. Mother Nature is clearly reclaiming this massive, ill-fated track. Vines crawl up many of the disused grandstands. Sun-faded banners feature the distinctive, walrus-tusked F1 cars of the era, which thankfully haven't been seen since.


Under-used though the circuit may be, it was a great chance to finally turn up the wick on the Ioniq 5 N. While my time on the track was too brief to know whether the car delivers on its promised endurance. It was enough, however, to determine that the 5 N has a delightful, playful character to it.

In the default mode, Normal, the Ioniq 5 N is fast but ultimately a bit tame and quick to reign in things whenever you start to have a bit of fun. Just give a tap to the N button and everything changes.

Now, the car wants to play. The accelerator is more eager, naturally, but the stiffer suspension imparts more urgency when you head for the apex, and it all culminates in much more fun on the way out. Even with the stability and traction controls well and truly enabled, the Ioniq 5 N gladly wags its tail under full-throttle acceleration, and that's a delightful thing.


Turn on the N Pedal mode, which amps up the regen to add a sort of permanent trail-braking, and things get even more lurid. Here, I was able to get the car into a properly good slide coming out of the tightest bend on the circuit. This, again, was with the stability control still enabled.

The car definitely had a strong tendency towards understeer. That at least partly comes down to weight. Hyundai didn't quote a formal figure for the 5 N but did say it weighs more than a regular Ioniq 5, which clocks in at around 4,000 pounds in AWD trim. Given that mass, you can't expect much in the way of nimbleness on the track. Still, the 5 N was remarkably playful, a legitimately good time.

Every little drift was effortless to catch, just a quick twist of the quickened steering. Braking, too, is precise, despite having no mechanical connection between your foot and those calipers. It's a full brake-by-wire system, so the car's ECU decides how much braking to apply in response to your command.

The 5 N can pull up to 0.6 G under regeneration alone, which gets you most of the way there. But, when you ask for more, the car seamlessly brings in the four-piston monobloc calipers at the front and more modest single-piston units at the rear to help reign things in. It'll even let you brake and throttle at the same time, a useful technique for low-grip racing that I've never been able to deploy on an EV before. 


So the new N is fast and competent, and that's all great, but what's more important is its endurance. Too many high-power EVs can deliver amazing performance numbers only over short intervals. But, push them hard, and they soon start cutting power. 

Hyundai N technical advisor Albert Biermann (formerly of BMW M fame) promised two full laps of the Nurburgring before the Ioniq 5 N needed to start dialing back the power. That, he said, was about 16 minutes of full-throttle action. 

The goal, he said, was for you to do a 20-minute session at your favorite track, hit the pits, and spend 20 minutes on a fast charger, then be back out for another 20-minute session with no loss in power at all. That, sadly, we didn't get to test, but it's the kind of promise that should open the eyes of many a weekend warrior to the joys of electrification.


The Cost Question 

There's no way to hide the fact that the Ioniq 5 N is a big ol' car. Its weight and girth are considerable obstacles to overcome in making it a legitimate track-day performer. Yet that's just what Hyundai has done. The Ioniq 5 N is a real joy on the track, and yet also a pleasure to commute through the worst of all the copious traffic that Korea has to offer.

Many of the added features here are of dubious usability, but even the most gimmicky ones are fun, and fun is what Hyundai's N division is all about. The Ioniq 5 N takes a great car and makes it a proper grin machine. 

There is, however, one huge question that Hyundai has yet to answer: price. The Ioniq 5 N is clearly a specialized machine. Hyundai's current Elantra N and Kona N both carry a roughly $10,000 premium over their base counterparts, representing a nearly 50 percent boost in price. Meanwhile, the approximately $63,000 Kia EV6 GT comes in about $20,000 more than a base EV6. 

Given that, it seems unlikely that you'll get into an Ioniq 5 N for less than $70,000, and I fear the final price will be even higher than that. We at least won't have to wait long to find out.

The Ioniq 5 N hits dealers in March 2024. 


Competitor Reviews

Kia EV6 GT 

Tesla Model Y Performance



What will the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N cost?

Hyundai hasn't confirmed pricing on the Ioniq 5 N, but expect it to come in higher than its performance-oriented sibling, the Kia EV6 GT, which will set you back around $63,000.   

What is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N's range?

Hyundai hasn't given any range estimates for the performance-oriented Ioniq 5 N. It has a bigger battery pack than the current Ioniq 5 AWD, which is rated for 260 miles. But, with its worse aerodynamics, more weight, and more power, there's a good chance it'll come in lower.

Will the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N qualify for EV tax credits? 

Unfortunately, since it is currently made in Korea, it will not. Like other EVs made abroad, the tax credit is still available if the car is leased. 

2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
MotorTwo, Permanent Magnet, Synchronous
Output641 Horsepower / 545 Pound-Feet
Drive TypeAll-Wheel-Drive
Battery84 kWh, lithium-ion
Speed 0-60 MPH3.2 seconds
Charge TimeTBA
Charge Type238 Kilowatt-Hours DC
Seating Capacity5
Cargo Volume27.2 / 59.3 Cubic Feet
Base PriceTBA
As-Tested PriceTBA
]]> (Tim Stevens) Mon, 20 Nov 2023 20:00:00 +0000 2024 Audi SQ8 Sportback E-Tron First Drive: Maybe The Best-Handling Electric SUV Right Now The former Audi e-tron S gets some serious upgrades for 2024, and we put them to the test.

I can't be the only one who thinks the Audi e-tron sort of came and went, right? What was once meant to be a front-line soldier in the Volkswagen Group's post-Dieselgate electric offensive was met with repeated production problems, delays, software challenges and other headaches. Don't get me wrong; I know plenty of satisfied, early e-tron drivers, and those cars remain a common sight at just about any fast-charging station. But by the time Audi got its first fully electric SUV truly dialed in, the competition was out there in force.

Thankfully for quattro fans everywhere, Audi wasn't about to let such a groundbreaking car drift into Jaguar I-Pace levels of irrelevance. For the 2024 model year, the entire e-tron SUV lineup has been rechristened to live under the familiar Q8 umbrella, transforming into the Audi Q8 e-tron and more powerful SQ8 e-tron in the process—complete with their more coupe-like Sportback variants. 


And it's more than just a name change. Just about everything about these cars has been upgraded in the process, including their looks, tech features, performance, charging speeds and electric range. Granted, there are still some areas where it falls behind the competition, even now. But none of that changes the fact that this not-new but very improved e-tron SUV is more serious—and more delightful to drive—than ever. 

Quick Specs 2024 Audi SQ8 Sportback E-Tron
Output 496 hp, 718 lb-ft 
Drivetrain Three asynchronous electric motors/AWD
Range 253 miles on 20-inch wheels/218 miles on 22-inch wheels
Battery 114 kWh battery
0-60 MPH 4.2 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph (electronically limited) 
Base Price $92,600
As-Tested Price $105,740

I should note a few things off the bat. First, we first drove the 2024 SQ8 e-tron late last year in Europe; the SUV you see here is the North American-spec version, complete with more official U.S.-specific details than we had last winter.

For this event in California ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi also brought out the SQ8 Sportback for its U.S. debut, so that's what I am choosing to focus on for this review. You'll see photos and specs for both models here because Audi says they are completely identical except for their body styles and some cargo space sacrifices on the Sportback.

Don't expect any significant performance, range or driving differences between the two models, although the Sportback will cost you an extra $2,800. (Also, I picked it on this drive just because I think it looks cooler.)


Four Rings, Three Motors, Lots Of Upgrades

The base Q8 e-tron alone received a lot of enhancements for 2024, but the transformation is even more profound in SQ8 form. (For those who don't know, Audi's S range represents the mid-tier level of performance, typically offering some very quick daily drivers; the RS designation is saved for the really high-test stuff, like the RS e-tron GT sport sedan.) Opt for the S model here and you even get a slightly widened body over the standard Q8 e-tron. 


Arguably the biggest change is the addition of a third electric motor—there's now one at the front axle and two in the rear, which adds 94 more horsepower and a fairly staggering 228 additional lb.-ft. of torque over the Q8 e-tron. Now at 496 hp and 718 lb.-ft. of torque, the SQ8 e-tron can shoot to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds when Boost Mode is engaged. Not bad at all. Neither is the quicker steering ratio with more feedback, 50% stiffer front control arms and a raft of other overall suspension and handling improvements.   

The real party trick here is the torque-vectoring. It's an electronic system Audi says can send power freely to the rear wheels under acceleration and cornering wheel in five milliseconds or less—five times quicker than a mechanical differential. As a result, the SQ8 e-tron can also pretty much drift freely, I'm told, although I had neither the space nor the inclination to test this myself. 

The setup also has significant traction advantages in bad weather, as you'd expect from Audi. In a world where all-wheel-drive systems are increasingly the norm, the Germans are doing what they can to maintain their edge. 


Finally, the battery has gotten a nice upgrade here too. It goes up to 114 kilowatt-hours up from 95 kWh in the previous e-tron even though the overall footprint remains the same. Audi says this yields an EPA-rated range of 253 miles when the SQ8 e-tron rides on standard 20-inch wheels, but gets a sizable drop to 218 miles on the bigger 22-inch wheels. Here, you'll have to decide whether you want to prioritize range or aesthetics. That tradeoff wouldn't be worth it to me, so I'd opt for the 20-inch wheels. 

  Range Max Charging Rate
BMW iX 324 Miles 195 Kilowatts
Genesis Electrified GV70 236 Miles 250 Kilowatts
Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 SUV 269 Miles 170 Kilowatts
Cadillac Lyriq 312 Miles 190 Kilowatts
Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron 253 miles 170 Kilowatts

Neither number is all that impressive for 2024, but less range is par for the course for EVs that prioritize performance; the same is true with gasoline-powered cars, certainly. (I may need to put "Energy Has To Come From Somewhere" on a t-shirt and sell it in the InsideEVs merch store.) But competitors like the BMW iX have the SQ8 e-tron beaten pretty handily, unfortunately for Audi. 


Fast-charging has boosted a bit too; the SQ8 e-tron models can now handle speeds of up to 170 kW, whereas they could only do 150 kW before. It will go from 10% to 80% at that new max speed in 31 minutes. Again, this puts the Audi below several rivals including Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai and Kia, but it is an improvement over what came before. As before, the e-tron offers charge ports on both sides of the car for your parking convenience, although you can only use one at a time. (I asked.) 

An EV That Feels 'Normal'


But for the right kind of buyer—specifically, fans of Audi's SUVs who are ready to move on from gasoline—is how "normal" the car feels inside and to operate. Unlike the wild swings that BMW and Mercedes took the Q8 e-tron family is nearly identical to what you'd get in a gasoline Q8. 


Audi's Senior Manager for Product Planning, Anthony Garbis, told me that this is part of the competitive edge here. "You don't have to be different when you're trying to move your entire company to electrification in the future," Garbis said. "Do you think my mom wants to relearn everything just because we're putting in an electric motor? Besides the gas station, it drives like you'd expect." Fair point; not everybody wants to live with the Hyperscreen, right?

All told, the interior is pretty conventional and user-friendly—mostly. The revised center touchscreen has a haptic system so it kind of clicks when you touch it, and traditionally that isn't my favorite setup but it proved quick, responsive and easy to learn. Below that, you have another screen for your climate controls and heated and cooled seats. I'd prefer buttons for these too, but at least that menu is always stationary. 


Beyond that, this is a very premium interior, as you'd expect from a six-figure Audi. The seats are comfortable, the steering wheel is among the best in the business, the materials are upscale and even the sloping roof on the Sportback didn't cut too much into rear headroom for my just-under-six-foot frame. Audi's always great at interiors and this e-tron doesn't disappoint. 

On The Road


In Santa Monica, I got tossed the keys to an SQ8 Sportback e-tron and was told to go nuts on the nearby Topanga Canyon Boulevard. It's the kind of famously winding road that Southern California's famous for, the sort of thing my West Coast colleagues enjoy with some regularity in their Porsches and McLarens while I'm typically stuck on New York's West Side Highway or the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. (I don't know why I live here, either.) 

Except on this particular day, SoCal had been deluged with rain—yes, it happens there sometimes—while the roads were marked with mud and runoff from the canyons. Suboptimal driving weather, for sure. But it ended up being a perfect test of the SQ8 Sportback e-tron's abilities, and of this enhanced quattro all-wheel-drive for the electric age.


At the outset, the folks at Audi promised a car that would feel half the weight of its hefty 6,100 pounds; amazingly enough, they were right. The SQ8 Sportback e-tron's agility is truly astounding, right up there with the "How is this possible?" levels of breakneck straight-line acceleration you get from many EVs.

The torque vectoring and suspension enhancements have yielded something truly impressive; this thing feels much closer to a smaller sport sedan than a big, battery-filled SUV. No matter how bad the rain and mud got, it never lost its footing—or traction. If there's a better-handling electric SUV on the market right now, I have yet to drive it. 

The brakes—six-piston, 15.7-inch units up front and single-piston, 13.8-inch ones in the rear—deserve a special shout-out. This e-tron's stopping power is immense and adds to the confidence on order here. (But since the Volkswagen Group seems to have a pathological hatred toward this idea, there's no one-pedal driving on offer here.)  

I'm a little surprised Audi didn't shoot for a zero to 60 mph time under four seconds, as many performance EVs can easily do. The result is a car that's plenty quick in a real-world sense, but never tear-your-face-off fast even with its performance settings dialed all the way up. It's far from slow, just not a hardcore speed demon like some choices in this field are.

Quattro Makes Everything Better

Used Audi e-trons Are Going For Crazy Half-Price Bargains Right Now
US: Audi All-Electric Car Sales Doubled To A New Record In Q3 2023
2024 Audi Q4 E-Tron Euro Lineup Debuts With More Range, Performance
2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron Interior Revealed With Front Passenger Display

A few times, I was amazed at how conventional it feels, in a good way. The SQ8 Sportback e-tron is a massively competent, fun-to-drive SUV that happens to be powered by batteries, not something that screams to the world that it's electric in every way possible. Plenty of drivers want that experience. And here, they get a package with remarkable balance, poise and everyday performance.

Early Verdict


It'd be awfully hard not to like the SQ8 Sportback e-tron. From the interior quality to the remarkably usable performance to the superb handling—arguably the best part of this car, really—Audi hit some high notes on this one.

But it's playing in a crowded field. There's no shortage of electric luxury SUVs that cross the six-figure mark these days, and some of them offer markedly better range and charging speeds. (The Audi certainly trumps the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV in the looks department, I'll give it that.) 

Still, it's clear the improvements made with this name change are substantial and even a little transformative. The SQ8 e-tron is a superb option for the many, many customers who love Audi's gas crossovers and are interested in dumping the pump for a charger instead. Whatever you want to call it, consider the e-tron back in the game for real. 

Competitor Reviews

BMW iX  Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV Tesla Model X Cadillac Lyriq


When do the Audi SQ8 e-tron and Sportback e-tron go on sale? 

Audi says it will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is now. So, soon. 

Does the Audi SQ8 e-tron qualify for EV tax credits?

It's made in Germany, so no, it does not. But the $7,500 tax credit still applies if the car is leased.

Is the Audi SQ8 e-tron the same car as the Audi e-tron? 

Essentially, yes. But with this name change and placement into Audi's broadening EV lineup, the Q8 and SQ8 e-tron models get significant upgrades for the 2024 model year and beyond. 

Contact the author:

2024 Audi SQ8 Sportback E-Tron
MotorThree asychronous electric motor
Output496 horsepower
Drive Typequattro all-wheel-drive
Battery114 kWh, lithium-ion
Speed 0-60 MPH4.2 seconds
Maximum speed130 mph (limited)
Efficiency2.5 miles per kwh (approx.)
EV Range253 mi/218 mi (depends on wheel size)
Charge TypeUp to 170 kW/DC fast
Charge Time31 minutes (10% - 80% charge) DC fast
Weight6,118 lbs
Seating Capacity5
Base Price$92,600
As-Tested Price$105,740
]]> (Patrick George) Mon, 20 Nov 2023 17:22:17 +0000 See How The Chevrolet Blazer EV Stacks Up Against The Tesla Model Y And Hyundai Ioniq 5 Edmunds put the three midsize electric crossovers to the test.

Better-than-expected interior quality, a great ride, and a fantastic infotainment system. That’s how Motor1 alumnus Clint Simone described the new Chevrolet Blazer EV in the Edmunds video review where he compared the American electric crossover to two of the best offerings in the midsize segment: the Tesla Model Y and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

But, as with almost everything else in life, it’s not perfect, and I’ll get to that in a bit.

Compared to the Ioniq 5, the front seats on the Blazer are just a little less comfy, but they still come with both heating and cooling, which is something you can’t get on the Model Y (it only has heated front seats).

The build quality is impressive, according to the video embedded at the top of this page. It’s much better than Tesla’s crossover, which squeaks and rattles over uneven roads, as is the ride quality. Somehow, Chevrolet seems to have found the sweet spot in terms of comfort and agility, making for a very relaxing ride in the new Blazer EV.

Tech-wise, Chevy’s new zero-emissions crossover impresses with a huge infotainment screen that’s responsive and has great contrast and graphics. It’s even bigger than the center screen in the Model Y, which is something you don’t get to say very often.

However, just like the Tesla EV, the Blazer EV does not have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which doesn’t make much sense for the end user. Sure, you get native Google Maps and the official Google app store in the Chevy, but it would have been nice to have the option of CarPlay and Android Auto.

When it comes to the driving range, the Blazer EV impressed with a better-than-advertised figure. According to the EPA estimate, Chevy’s battery-powered crossover (in RS AWD trim) can go up to 279 miles on a full charge, but in Edmunds’ testing, it was observed that it could drive up to 320 miles on a single charge.

By comparison, the Tesla Model Y Long Range has an EPA-estimated range of 326 miles, but it underperformed during testing and achieved a range of 317 miles. At the same time, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is rated at 256 miles, but the outlet observed 270 miles of range during testing.

The biggest drawback of the new Chevy Blazer EV, however, is its price. With the base $45,000 1LT trim banished from existence, the cheapest version that’s available now starts at $56,715. That’s over $10,000 more expensive than the entry-level Ford Mustang Mach-E and about $7,000 more than the most affordable Tesla Model Y.

In fact, the more upscale Cadillac Lyriq, which rides on the same Ultium platform and uses the same Ultium batteries as the Blazer EV is just $3,000 more expensive than the Chevy. You also get more power from the Cadillac: 340 horsepower on the rear-wheel drive version of the Lyriq compared to the 288 hp of the all-wheel drive Blazer EV.

With all this in mind, what would you get? Let us know in the comments below.

More Electric Crossover Stories

GM And Honda Ditch Plans To Make Cheap Electric Cars Together
Fisker Pear Deep Dive Shows What Makes $30K Entry-Level EV Special
2025 Cadillac Optiq Electric Luxury Compact SUV Is The Brand's Entry EV
Towing With Your Tesla Model Y? Here's What To Expect

]]> (Iulian Dnistran) Fri, 17 Nov 2023 19:08:28 +0000 Polestar 4: Here's What It's Like Inside With No Rear Window Polestar says you won’t miss that pane of glass in a camera-filled, self-driving future. Is it right?

Polestar is, really, really desperate to prove to everyone it isn’t Volvo. I was scrolling through my endless feed of TikTok only to stumble on a clumsy attempt at self-deprecating humor by the brand, lampooning the fact that people really might not be convinced that Polestars aren’t just Volvos via that currently viral Modern Family meme. I guess it was kind of funny; brands leaning into memes are almost certainly the kiss of death for that particular meme, but I digress. At least someone on the Polestar team has acknowledged the elephant in the room.

Regardless, Polestar is attempting to distance itself from Volvo’s more demure style. The latest Polestar models throw caution to the wind, they take risks and make decisions that Volvo would never do. Like, selling a car without a rear window.


Polestar says you won’t miss that pane of glass in a camera-filled, self-driving future. Is it right? I attempted to find that out during my ride-along in a preproduction prototype of the Polestar 4. I did so at the recent Polestar Day event, where the brand unveiled some of its future plans to journalists, investors and some fans.

This might be one of the only first drives (um, er, rides) where the perspective was generated mostly from the back seat. 

Polestar’s First SEA Platform Effort

If you’re like me, you probably mistakenly thought that the Polestar 3 and 4 were mostly sister cars, akin to the relationship of the BMW X3 and X4. Those two cars are mostly the same, but one has a sportier roofline, crafted to dupe SUV owners into seeing their high-profile, tall crossovers as sporty coupes. However, the relationship between the Polestar SUVs is more complicated. On some level, the Polestar 4 is also a coupe SUV, but it doesn’t share much at all with the Polestar 3. 

For example, while the Polestar 3 uses the same SPA2 platform that underpins the Volvo EX90, the Polestar 4 is based on the SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) that is used on the Zeekr 001 and the Volvo EX30.

Even the price points are way different; the Polestar 3 starts at a surprisingly high $83,600, whereas we expect the Polestar 4 to clock in at the $60,000 range. They’re completely different cars, at different price points. They aren’t sisters. They’re cousins. (Maybe niece and nephew.) But the point is, the Polestar 3 is meant to be the brand's halo SUV, while the Polestar 4 is the volume-seller. The Polestar 4 also is said to clock a preliminary range target of over 300 miles on the long-range, single-motor variant, using a 102-kWh battery pack. 


In-person, the Polestar 4 is a bit odd-looking, but I think generally it’s a sharp-looking car. As is the trend with many modern EVs, it can be hard to gauge the physical size of the 4 in pictures; is it Honda Civic-sized? Is it BMW X4-sized? Did Polestar just decide to fill in the rear window of a normal sedan and pretend like it’s a crossover? Hmm, not quite. The Polestar 4 is definitely on the lower-slung side of the EV crossovers, about two inches shorter than the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but the rest of the dimensions are fairly girthy. The Polestar 4 is about 8 inches longer, and 5 inches wider than the Ioniq 5. It’s a car that is shockingly imposing when viewed in person. Think Toyota Crown, but electric and Swedish. 


Whatever the Polestar 4 purports itself to be, it’s definitely a stylish thing. It’s wide and low, with good proportions, although some may feel the rear end ends a little too abruptly. Like all the other cars in the Polestar showroom, the Polestar 4 is cleanly styled, with neat side surfacing. Every line has a purpose, and all the minor details are masterfully crafted and seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s body. Even the 4’s lack of a rear window feels outrageously chic. 

So, no rear window, huh?

As explained once before, Polestar had some engineering and style goals for the preorder for the Polestar 4 to have an SUV-like raised seating position with adjustable rear seats, glass roof, and strong safety ratings without being overly tall and cumbersome, something e tolse had to give.


Polestar pushed a main support beam as far back as it would go, allowing for a large, unbroken glass roof (when equipped), at the expense of a rear window on the hatch door, since a big structural beam now cuts through what would be the rear driver’s line of sight.

More Polestar News

Polestar 4 Production Starts In China, International Sales In 2024
Here’s Why The Polestar 4 and 5 Don’t Have A Rear Window
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Polestar says the lack of a rear window isn’t a big deal, and they’ve rationalized it (or maybe, just flat-out using some clever PR spin) by extolling the benefits of a lack of a rear window. For example, Polestar representatives insist that the lack of rearward visibility, but adjustable rear seats, and glass roof make the car feel more expensive to ride in, akin to a chauffeured private car ride.


Also, because there’s no rear window, owners are free to pile as many items as possible in the cargo area, since there’s no rear window line they have to accommodate. Rear visibility is handled via a camera that Polestar claims gives the driver a wider field of vision than rubbernecking and looking out a tiny rear window.

With those things in mind, I intentionally chose a rear seat when it came time for the ride-along. 


I’m not sure I buy Polestar’s rationale. Sure, the 4 feels about as nice and as spacious as the 3, but I’m not convinced that the lack of a rear window adds anything to the experience. Sure, the 4 has a coupe-like roofline from the outside, but inside, things feel so much different. The roofline comes down abruptly behind the rear seats, meaning there’s a huge bulkhead directly behind the rear passenger’s heads. It’s a little claustrophobic and oddly reminiscent of the 1980s-era “formal” rooflines found in cars like the Chrysler New Yorker, with an abrupt roofline that came straight down behind the rear headrests. Except the Volvo’s interior cabin doesn’t match what the exterior body panels are doing. 


All the cars on the test were single-motor, RWD units. Obviously, they were much slower than the twin-motor nearly 500 horsepower Polestar 3, but the 4 felt quick enough. The ride was composed, but I did notice that the Polestar 4 wasn’t quite as quiet, and its ride was not as sophisticated as the Polestar 3. It could be some preproduction woes, but the 4 had a little more jiggle and shake compared to the solid 3. That all could be ironed out by the time the final models reach journalists and owners. 


What is the Polestar 4, even?

I’m not quite sure what I should even take away from the Polestar 4, or Polestar Day as a whole. The brand itself will claim that the 4 is just an EV crossover coupe with a funky twist, but I think it's attempting to be something else. It’s straddling a lot of lines, between coupe, SUV, and passenger-oriented luxury sedan, but I’m not sure if it successfully blends all of those things. It feels like Polestar’s design team had an idea, and they were determined to get it on the roads, come hell or high water. Will drivers warm up to it?  

We’ll see when the Polestar 4 officially goes on sale in 2024. Pricing isn’t official yet, but at an expected $60,000 starting price, the car faces a lot of competition from EVs that don’t have as many hate-it-or-love-it design choices. 

]]> (Kevin Williams) Wed, 15 Nov 2023 20:21:37 +0000 Polestar 3 First Ride: Polestar's First SUV Has Great Expectations And A Big Price Tag The Polestar 3 feels impressive and likable, but will the rest of the driving experience live up to the high price tag?

I don’t call myself an SUV lover, but I can admit that maybe it’s a strange business decision to start out your fully electric (or electrified) brand with a sedan and a coupe. In case you haven’t noticed, the SUV-shaped Tesla Model Y is the best-selling vehicle in the world. Hell, most of the biggest-selling vehicles today are of the light truck variety, regardless of propulsion type. So there’s no doubt the Polestar 3 is a long time coming, primed to pick up all the consumers waiting for a crossover from the Sino-Swedish brand. 

But the crossover’s introduction shows there are a lot of looming questions. Is this truly what Polestar needs to get out from under the shadow of its Geely Group corporate cousin Volvo? I couldn’t get actual driving time behind the wheel, but the brand offered ride-a-longs of the 3 during this year’s Polestar Day event – along with its sleeker sibling, the Polestar 4. There’s still a lot to be said, even as a passenger. 

Polestar 3 First Ride

Polestar’s First Crossover Ain’t Cheap

Even as a person paid to understand, write, and comment on the EV market, I can admit that it can be hard to keep track of the onslaught of new EV nameplates about to hit the market. Heck, Polestar showed off three new models all at the same time – all very stylish and painted in white. So, I wrongfully assumed that the Polestar 3 and 4 were variations of the same chassis, a two-pronged approach aimed at that magical $50-65,000 sweet spot occupied by the Tesla Model Y, Cadillac Lyriq, Genesis GV70 Electrified and more.

I was mistaken. The Polestar 3 and 4 actually aren’t all that similar at all under the skin. They’re even on different platforms, with the 4’s also underpinning China’s Zeekr 001 and the new Volvo EM90 van.  And to top it off, Polestar’s aiming for a much higher price bracket with the Polestar 3, especially compared to the downright budget Polestar 2.

At a base price of $83,900, before destination fees or any options, the Polestar 3 is aimed upmarket against EVs like the Audi Q8 E-Tron or BMW iX. It’s a big car, meant for big budgets, looking for a taste of slightly sport-oriented Swedish luxury. 

Polestar 3 First Ride

Up Close and Personal: The Polestar 3 Is Sharp

This isn’t the first time anyone’s seen the Polestar 3. It’s been unveiled for a while, and a select few Polestar stores across the United States have had examples in showrooms for Polestar fans and customers alike. But they aren’t in every showroom, nor do most of us make a habit of visiting car dealerships on a regular basis to take a gander at new products. I’d wager that this was the first time that most folks in attendance had seen the Polestar 3 in person, since the Polestar Day event was full of fans and investors as well as journalists.

And it looks great. True, Polestar still has yet to beat the “this is just a Volvo” allegations, but the Polestar 3 has strong, clean lines and a presence that’s all its own. The upright, practically minded rear hatch area feels downright novel compared to the kind of hackneyed coupe-like rooflines of so many EV models on the market. The Polestar 3’s hood is long, the car feels wide, athletic, and svelte despite being dimensionally a stone’s throw away from the visually gargantuan BMW iX. In an era of overstyled EVs, the Polestar 3 feels refreshing. 

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Likewise, the interior feels wide and airy. I’ve previously described the Polestar 2 as if it were a car made by Crate & Barrel, but the 2’s kind of mediocre packaging could be accused of making the car feel confining. That car’s interior is snug, featuring a big center tunnel that pushes the occupants to the outside of the car, and tiny windows that make the interior feel cavern-like.

The Polestar 3’s interior is much better in that regard. The freestanding center console juts into the front passenger space but doesn’t connect with the 14.5-inch infotainment display. So there’s a big open space near the driver and front passenger’s feet – coupled with the clean, unencumbered dashboard and elevated driving position inherent to the SUV form factor of the Polestar 3, this crossover’s interior might be the most comfortable feeling interior the brand has produced yet.

With that said, some potential buyers may be a bit off-put by the Polestar 3’s comparatively sparse feeling interior considering the car’s price. It’s a little unfair to critique a preproduction example too closely with regard to material quality or fit and finish, but the Audi Q8 E-Tron and BMW iX interiors look more plush than the Polestar’s.

Polestar 3 First Ride

Swift And Smooth Riding

Unlike the Polestar 4, the Polestar 3 uses the same SPA2 platform as the Volvo EX90, but I get the gist that the Polestar 3’s strictly five-passenger form factor and optional performance pack place it above the family-oriented Volvo. Of course, the Polestar 3's key features are its sleekly integrated LIDAR features that the brand says will enable semi-autonomous driving really soon. Unfortunately, that part wasn't tested, so we can't comment on the effectiveness of that system.

Our test ride was short – only about 10 minutes – but it did encompass actual city roads and traffic. The short jaunt revealed a ride that was well-composed and comfortable, albeit on the firm side. The crossover handled the streets of Santa Monica with grace, with no awkward bouncing or rattle inherent to a preproduction car or underdeveloped suspension where the spring rates and dampers are mismatched, barely coping with the more than 5,500 lbs of electric crossover. The 487 horsepower twin-motor AWD setup flung the crossover to illegal speeds within the blink of an eye, as is the custom with modern EVs these days. It all felt very nice – albeit I'm not entirely convinced that it was an experience worth $83,000.

And I think that'll be the crux of the Polestar 3's issues when journalists and customers alike can finally get behind the wheel. For example, the BMW iX is ugly as sin, but it is secretly one of BMW's best-driving cars, managing to strike a well-considered balance between driving engagement and comfort. In its current state, the Polestar 3 feels impressive and likable, but will the rest of the driving experience live up to the high price tag? Are consumers really in search of yet another nearly $100,000 EV crossover?

We'll soon learn when the Polestar 3 goes on sale in 2024. 

]]> (Kevin Williams)