The Lucid Air is the EV choice for those seeking a more conventional driving experience than can be found with a Tesla

Dale JohnsonFor car shoppers looking for an electric vehicle (EV) who like the idea of Tesla’s long-range, quick acceleration and great charging infrastructure but are put off by such things as Tesla’s sometimes-quirky technology, reliability issues and Elon Musk’s behaviour and comments, the Lucid may be the answer.

Lucid is a new kid on the automotive block – and making quite a splash. Headquarters are in California, and the manufacturing plant is in Arizona. In Canada, there are Lucid dealerships in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

I recently test-drove the Lucid Air, an all-electric luxury four-door sedan introduced in 2021 – and which won Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year award for 2022.

The Lucid Air competes with luxury EVs from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The main target is the Tesla S – and they have the same wheelbase of 2,960 mm (116.5 in).

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While Teslas are known for being different than anything else on the road, the Lucid Air takes a more conventional approach. The Lucid Air interior is modern and futuristic without being gimmicky or bizarre.

As I settle into the driver’s seat, the controls and switches are easy to find. The dashboard looks a little more conventional than most other EVs. There are switches on the left side for lights and wipers. There’s a gearshift lever on the steering column, on the right side of the steering wheel. One simply has to move it up or down to select a gear – a system that has proven effective and easy to operate for decades. Unlike some contemporary competitors, there’s no odd, unusual or unintuitive twisting or turning or tapping or pushing to select the gear you want. Lucid proves a car can be futuristic yet also logical.

This feels very familiar, so there’s no learning curve compared to driving a Tesla for the first time.

The spacious Lucid Air feels very airy – thanks to the windshield that extends all the way up to the centre of the roof.

My test car was white outside, with a black interior complimented by light brown accents. It’s very tasteful and stylish.

Cargo capacity is generous because there is a trunk in both the front and rear.

The Lucid Air comes in four trim levels. The entry-level model has a single motor, while the top-end model has three motors. The others have dual motors.

Here’s a look at finding the balance between price, performance and range:

  • The entry-level model is the Air Pure at $96,800. That gets you the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive car with 430 horsepower that can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 200 km/h. The estimated range is 660 km.
  • Next up is the Touring model, starting at $107,800. It has more power – 620 hp – and does 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. This is all-wheel-drive. Top speed is 225 km/h with a range of 661 km. My test vehicle was a Touring model.
  • The Grand Touring model, also AWD, is $150,800. It has 819 hp and extends the range to 805 km. It has a 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h.
  • The ultimate Lucid Air, the Sapphire, goes for $327,300. With three motors, it produces 1,234 hp and has a top speed of 330 km/h. Lucid says this AWD vehicle can go 0 to 100 km/h in “approximately two seconds,” and the range is 687 km.

With a range of up to 805 km, there would be no need to stop and charge up on a road trip from, say, Calgary to Regina, Montreal to Halifax, or Toronto to Chicago or Boston.

If you’re looking for an ultra-fast, luxurious, long-range, all-electric vehicle that will stand out from anything else on the market, then the clear choice is the remarkable Lucid Air.

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. While the manufacturer provided Dale with a vehicle to test drive, the content of this review was not reviewed or accepted by the manufacturer.

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