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Video Quick Spin: CODA EV Sedan

Jeff Glucker October 30, 2012 Featured, Quick Spin, Reviews 47 Comments

This is… an unlikely vehicle to find on the virtual pages of Hooniverse.com. Still, we’re interested in everything with wheels, and we also love technology (much like our family members at Atomic Toasters). The CODA EV Sedan combines both of those worlds in a rather interesting way. This is a class-leading electric vehicle when it comes to range and it has all of its impressive torque output available right away. On the other hand, it features a wildly dated exterior shape and the interior is cramped both in the front and reat seats.

CODA says this car is aimed at those looking for an EV that focuses on performance, and this does just that. It delivers an actual driving range in the neighborhood of 125 miles, which blows away anything else on the market. The Nissan Leaf is around 75-80, and the Mitsubishi iMIEV will effortlessly zip you from your driveway to your mailbox. The CODA will get you to work, to dinner after work, and back to work again the next morning before you need to charge it in. There is no denying that the technology underneath this four-door skin is impressive. The problem is that people also shop with their eyes, not just with their brains.

Those looking for a range-topping EV driving experience should look to the CODA. It’s got the great low center of gravity like the rest of the battery-saddled machines out there, which means it handles surprisingly well. The battery technology is impressive, and the price based on driving range destroys the competition. Still, it’s not pretty and it’s cramped.

Check out our quick video on the CODA EV Sedan, which we shot in the famous LA River. (Yes, the lead image was chosen to help reader Scandinavian Flick produce a wonderful Photoshop.)

  • MVEilenstein

    "we also love technology"

    [youtube ERCzN91JicA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERCzN91JicA youtube]

    • dukeisduke

      One of my favorite movies!

  • Devin

    The Coda has always seemed like a proof of concept to me, possibly just because the body has a kind of "YOUR CAR HERE!" look to it.

  • BrianTheHoon

    Anyone else wondering why an electric car needs a hood insulator?

    • JayP2112

      Prolly to dampen the whine of that motor.

      • BrianTheHoon

        I thought these things were pedestrian-killing silent.

    • SSurfer321

      Hood insulators also double as fire blankets.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    Always thinking ahead, and having watched Top Gear's review of the Tesla Roadster, Jeff comes prepared for testing the Coda EV with plenty of spare batteries, just in case.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/EjWPY.jpg&quot; width="600">

  • rpdred6

    Thats a great line: "There are more charging stations than starbucks"

  • MVEilenstein

    My boss has an iMIEV. He can get to work and back on a charge, and that's about it.

    • dukeisduke

      What good is a Mitsubishi if it doesn't smoke after a couple of years?

  • MVEilenstein

    Not up on my old European cars: is that an Opel?

    • KaZk86

      Apparently, it's a Hafei Saibao, a Chinese car designed by Pininfarina and licensed by Mitsubishi.

      <img src="http://gomotors.net/pics/Hafei/hafei-saibao-16-01.jpg"&gt;

      • MVEilenstein

        Cool. Thanks. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • Devin

        I might suggest that Pininfarina wasn't exactly putting a large amount of effort into that one. Mostly because it looks like an alternate proposal for the Daewoo Lacetti, which they also did.

      • dukeisduke

        Great, a battery-powered deathtrap.

  • From http://www.codaautomotive.com/
    "Not in California?
    We will be expanding our network beyond California in the coming months. Put your name on an elite list to be one of the first owners with a reservation of $99."


    • RegalRegalia

      I see at least one of these in mpls semi-regularly. Wonder if it's different if it's a government or fleet vehicle.

  • Scoutdude

    There may be more chargers that Starbucks in the US but how many of them are actually available for public use?

    Seems to me for most people the Leaf is a much better option. The only way the Coda would make sense is if you use that 125 mile range on a daily basis. The range directly affects the cost and efficiency. Want more range and you need more battery power, if you need more battery power then you are going to pay more. The greater battery capacity also means more weight which lowers effecience hence the reason it will cost near 20% more to operate with it's 85 MPGe compared to the 100+ MPGe of the leaf.

    • OA5599

      Actually, I've seen many of them available for public use. Whole Foods and similar "crunchy" stores, and downtown parking garage special spaces, for example. I doubt I've seen more of them than Starbucks yet, but still quite a few more than the natural gas refilling stations in the area.

      What I haven't seen yet, however, is a single one of these public chargers ever being used.

      <img src="http://511contracosta.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/pavement_parking_stall_sign_south_locust-500×338.jpg"&gt;

      • Yeah, HEBs in Austin have EV charging stations too. I have seen a Volt in one, once, one time.

      • Officer Farva

        That's because only rich, elite hipsters that own electric vehicles can use them.

        And there are only so many of those around. The rest drive luxury SUVs.

    • danleym

      I would think instead that the 125 mile range would give you more flexibility and less likely to need a gas vehicle, or at least you would need to use it less. I think that's still the biggest weakness for an electric car- the need to own another car as well. I really liked the idea behind the Volt, but that ended up being too pricey and hasn't been all that successful.

      • Scoutdude

        I know one guy that has a Leaf that is his only car and has managed just fine though his charger is mounted to a piece of plywood and he takes it with him and does opportunity charging as needed.

        • dukeisduke

          American ingenuity.

    • MVEilenstein

      Several Walgreen's stores around here have installed them. Again, never seen them used. How much good would a 15-minute charge actually do on a typical run to the drug store? A few miles?

      • OA5599

        I'm guessing the target market is people who are on the verge of having their car run out of battery while cranking the HVAC in rush hour traffic. Zip into Walgreens to charge up for the extra range to make it the rest of the way home, and while you have 15 minutes to kill, you might as well stock up on condoms and mouthwash.

        • Devin

          That sounds like supplies for an entertaining evening.

          • Tiller188


      • Scoutdude

        Of course it depends on the vehicle being charged, it's actual state of charge when plugged in (ccharge rate is not linear), and the exact charger but yeah best case scenario is that you'd get just a couple of miles of range in that 15-20 minutes.

    • Scoutdude

      Now to tell the rest of the story I live in the Seattle area so there are Starbucks in the parking lots of grocery stores that have Starbucks inside of them and one across the street and down a block. On the other hand we have a ton of Leafs on the streets as well being one of the launch areas. Yet the only "charging station" I've seen in person in my state was in a hotel in Vancouver Wa and that was nothing more than a 110 outlet and a sign that said EV parking only, it of course was empty. To be fair I have read that there are a number of them in the state just obviously not where I go.

      • OA5599

        You probably never noticed the others, because they are less conspicuous than gas stations. I think the businesses that install them know they won't be moneymakers, so they don't invest in awnings and big signs.

        Try your zip code in here:

        • Scoutdude

          I actually do look for them because I do know 3 people who own Leafs the president of the local Tesla owners club and the director of Plug In America and I would certainly consider adding an EV to the fleet since it would work for a lot of our transportation needs and significantly lower our fuel bill.

          Looks like a lot of the Walgreens in the Seattle area have them, in fact the majority of the ones I clicked on are Walgreens, just not any of the ones that are close to my house. It does list some at the hospital that my wife did mention and she did say it was charging a PIP. The others in the area are at the Nissan and Mitsubishi dealers. But the total numbers do not approach the numbers of Starbucks. For example the area I used to live in show them at 2 Walgreens but in that same area there are 3 stand alone Starbucks and 2 in store ones.

  • MVEilenstein

    Speaking of electric, how about a battery-powered 74 Beetle? http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/3359074211….

    • Despite the written description, the photos show a Super Beetle instead, which I suppose makes sense for the added trunk space.

  • Kogashiwa

    Doesn't Tesla Model S have more range than that?

    • SSurfer321

      Tesla Model S not currently available for consumer use.

      Tesla Model S currently available for buff book review following signing waiver that range will not be tested.

      • Scoutdude

        That's funny because there are at least 4 in private ownership in the Seattle area since my friend who only owns electric cars posted pics of the local Tesla clubs cruise in this weekend with those 4 model S and 5 roadsters. So yes they have been delivered to end users already.

        • SSurfer321

          My apologies. I stand corrected. Last I heard there were only 2 Model S cars completed; one for Elan and one for reviews. And that TESLA was not allowing full reviews of the car.

          • They have built over 1000 Model S as of last week, according to a source close to the company.
            To reply to the original question, CODA has the longest range in its class, which is non-luxury compact car.
            The Model S is a large luxury sedan and it does have a theoretical range of 300 Miles.

  • Van_Sarockin

    So, it's a crappy little wart that costs more than a Prius and almost as much as a Volt? I don't think I'll be paying into that R&D project anytime soon. Makes the upcoming Tesla sedan sound like a screaming bargain.

  • BobWellington

    Wow, the interior actually looks a lot nicer than I thought it would. Wheels are kind of cool as well. Front looks like crap.

    • Van_Sarockin

      Looks sharp, but I think I caught some fit and finish issues, like stitching that bunches the seat fabric. Nothing more disappointing than something which looks good at first and then turns into aggravating annoyances.

      • BobWellington

        Yeah, it wouldn't surprise if it seemed cheaper sitting in it. I'm surprised they even have leather, judging by the outside.

  • Rover1

    Another review through rosetinted glasses.

  • yaymx5

    88 miles per gallon, but it has 125 mile range..did you mean 88 mile range?

    also, you said it handles well because of the low center of gravity. how about some actual, ya know, driving?