2012 Coda Sedan: First Drive Page 3

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2012 Coda Sedan

2012 Coda Sedan

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Two of the test cars clunked under some circumstances, one going over bumps and the other under abrupt power transitions on or off the accelerator.

Coda's wish list

To be fair, most of these items are fixable, and individually, none of them are likely to be dealbreakers.

But together, they add up to underline the impression that Coda needs to continue its development work--and the enormity of the effort required to build a truly competitive car in today's world of high consumer expectations.

We hope Coda will aggressively update and modify its car to address them as it ramps up production beyond the 300 or so cars it's built so far.

Coda product planner Aaron Cohen said the company was aware of all these items, and has a "wish list" of upgrades it hopes to pursue.

6.6-kW charger, 6 airbags

The company should be complimented, by the way, for fitting a 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger.

With a 40-Amp 240-Volt Level 2 charger, the large battery can be completed recharged in 5 hours; the more common 30-Amp Level 2 charging station will take about 6 hours for a full refill.

2012 Coda Sedan

2012 Coda Sedan

Enlarge Photo

So far, among mass-market plug-in cars, only the Coda Sedan and the Ford Focus Electric come standard with 6.6-kW chargers.

The 2012 Coda Sedan has not been crash-tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS, but it has relatively simple safety equipment.

It comes with six airbags (front and side bags for the front passengers, plus side-curtain bags for outboard passengers in the front and rear seats), along with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

Good vision from inside

The outward vision is good, especially the rear three-quarter view over the driver's right shoulder, though we found the door mirrors a little small.

The base price of a 2012 Coda Sedan electric car is $37,250, plus a mandatory $895 delivery fee, for a bottom line of $38,145. $39,900. Although the company hasn't publicized it--there is no bargaining at dealers. Buyers pay the listed price, plus sales tax.

The all-electric Coda Sedan qualifies for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit, and for a $2,500 purchase rebate in California, as well as single-occupant access to that state's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes.

Coda provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to bring you this first-person drive report.

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