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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Comments (20)
  1. I think a very fair and thorough review. I hope Coda can sort out these seemingly minor bugs soon, and deliver a truly competitive vehicle.
    I'm impressed with the acceleration mentioned while driving (and the generous range), but what was the 0-60mph time? Anyone know?

  2. @Gavin: Coda quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of "9 to 9.5 seconds," though we didn't verify it during the test.

  3. Oh yeah! Whatever hapenned to Coda... and Mitsubishi? Soon Nissan maybe?

  4. Perhaps just one thing left out for people who might care about green issues.

    This is a very inefficient car.

    At 73 MPGe it takes 44% more KWHs to travel the same distance as the Ford Focus EV at 105 MPGe.

    Just think of what the range would be if the CODA had reasonable efficiency.

    Coda is by far and away the least efficient EV on the market, save one: the electron guzzling Fisker Karma at 54 MPGe.

  5. Good point. It's actually even worse than 44%, the Coda probably compares more to the Fit EV in terms of interior space which gets 118MPGe. That means travelling 100 miles takes 58% more KWHs in a Coda(46) than it would in the Fit(29).

    I wonder how these huge differences come about. What part(s) of the Coda waste so much energy?

  6. Didn't know that. I must have been asleep when the fit numbers came out at 118 MPGe and 82 miles. Well done Honda. Too bad it is only a compliance car.

  7. if every green person did ther thing we still can't make the diffrence up.

  8. All these Ecars are real nice, but no one posts prices, and are they priced for the 1% (one).

  9. @Raymond: The price is given on the third page of this 3-page review. It's $38,145 including delivery.

  10. Aside from reliable range, the Coda sedan sounds like a piece of crap. Drum brakes in the rear, it hasn't been safety tested, and a long to do list of items that need addressing. They should feel ashamed asking $39,900. for this thing.

  11. Frankly you should be ashamed for judging a well meaning start up like that. The tragedy of Coda is that it's too little too late. I think this initiative started at least 6 years ago when nobody else (except Tesla) seriously contemplated doing a serious EV. It was called the Miles 500 and it was supposed to hit the market in 2008. Many years of delay later things have changed drastically with the big guys beating it to the market with some much more professional offerings. Coda may not be competitive any more but they certainly deserve some respect for hanging in there and trying to do the best job they could.

  12. Yes I am well aware of Coda's original plans, but honestly the car doesn't have the build quality of a 15 to 20 thousand dollar car. Sure they we're we'll meaning, but you can't sell a car for nearly 40k that has a wish list of items that need fixing. I'm sure they did the best they could but in the extremely competitive car market you can't produce a car like this. I'm only judging them from a consumer's stand point, a high price and low quality just doesn't add up.

  13. Totally agree,from a consumer standpoint this car doesn't have a lot going for it in the current market. If they could offer it cheaper they no doubt would but I'm sure they just can't afford to. I think it's tragic, certainly not shameful.

  14. I guess it is tragic, they've backed themselves into a corner and it really doesn't look like theres anyway out.

  15. @CDspeed: Please note I have corrected the price, which is $38,145 including delivery, not $39,900.

  16. Either way we're talking about a 40 thousand dollar car.

  17. I will reserve my judgement until the crash test results come out...

  18. i hear it at least a half dozen times a day that LEAF owners would pay very good money to get a real 100 mile range and we have that and its the same price. too bad no QC though. no QC, no sale for me. when you get right down to it, its a question of how many trips have a distance between 85 (what i can get out of the LEAF) and 100ish (what the Coda can do although i am pretty sure i could get 110-115 easy)?

    not many which makes QC VITAL to my needs!!

  19. Me interested in this car purely for the market of the USa is intended or is it available in Europe/Germany? Unfortunately, the German automaker of is still of the view are that is better PS strong sell cars with Worde gas mileage can be and remain as alternative only the French (Renault) or just tesla, only for the latter I simply lack the money. We currently drive a Dacia Sandero 1.2 16V with 75PS, consumption 6 l / 100 km which German standards is very good for a literpreis of 1.70€ Dacia is part of renault and is being built in Romania. Nevertheless, the interest in an elektrofahrzeug is still there.

  20. This car is unproven and is too costly for the majority of Americans. I'd rather buy a Volt for a few thousand dollars more. Forgggetttaboutit.

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