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2022 Lucid Air: What's It Like to Live With?

We bought (!) an Air Grand Touring to test for a year and 20,000 miles

Lucid Air 2022
Miles Driven:Average Electricity Consumption (kWh/100 miles):

Latest Highlights

  • We get locked out of our Lucid Air
  • Our Grand Touring misses its EPA range by nearly 80 miles
  • So many software updates
  • The door handle is stuck and we had to pry it open to get in

What We Bought And Why

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Test Editor

Our test vehicle: 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring
Base MSRP: $88,975
MSRP as tested: $140,500
What we paid: $140,500

The Lucid Air — the first car from the new California-based all-electric automaker — is one of the most important cars to come along in years. It seems companies announce new EVs all the time with promises that don't come true. But Lucid has actually managed to get cars moving out of its factory doors and into customer hands. That alone is laudable. And then there are the eye-popping specs for this luxury electric sedan: potentially more than 500 miles of range on a full charge and more than 1,000 horsepower.

And, yet, you have to wonder: Is it all too good to be true? And to what extent will the Air's first buyers be guinea-pig beta testers?

We've done our initial short-term testing — read our Expert Rating for that — but we wanted to know more. So we, the Edmunds content team, persuaded some very super-great people who oversee our budget to let us buy an Air — yes, really — to run in our long-term test program. The long-term program is where our team evaluates vehicles for a year and 20,000 miles, and sometimes more, to get a better feel for what the actual ownership experience is like.

What Did We Get?

Edmunds purchased a 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring, the top-level trim available when we ordered our car. The limited-run Dream Edition was sold out before the first one was ever built.

As the top trim, the Air Grand Touring comes well equipped. Standard features on the Air include a panoramic glass roof, a two-tone leather interior, automatic climate control, 21-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension and all-wheel drive courtesy of an electric motor at each axle. Additionally, the Air offers super-quick DC fast charging — with the potential to add 300 miles of range in about 22 minutes — and three years of free charging at Electrify America stations.

There's a whole suite of driver aids, too, like blind-spot monitoring, an automated parking and adaptive cruise control. Notably, the Grand Touring also includes DreamDrive Pro, an expanded suite of driver aids that will be activated with a future over-the-air software update. Ditto for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration systems, which are missing but promised in the future.

Options are limited to a selection of wheel sizes, though we stuck with the 19-inch wheels with all-season tires. The 20- and 21-inch wheels look great and have stickier rubber for improved handling, but range suffers. We decided to save money and keep the extra range.

As it stood, our Air Grand Touring set us back $140,500, but things have changed since we put down our reservation.

Lucid has increased the Air's price since we bought our car, though if you had a reservation in place before the price adjustment, Lucid said it would honor the original price. If you bought our very same car at the time we officially introduced the Air to our testing fleet (September 2022), it would cost $155,075.

Lower-priced Pure and Touring trims will arrive sometime later, though you can place a reservation now. To place a reservation, Lucid is asking for a $300 deposit for the Pure and $1,000 for the Touring and Grand Touring. The thing with Lucid is that the price you see is the price you pay, at least until the automaker changes it again. What we mean is that Lucid, like Tesla and Rivian, eschews the traditional dealership model. That means no markups or haggling, just a straight, easy-to-understand figure.

Taking Delivery

Getting our car took a bit of back and forth with Lucid. In late January 2022, we put a $1,000 deposit down to reserve an Air Grand Touring in Stellar White over the two-tone black and white interior that Lucid calls Santa Cruz. At one point we were assigned a VIN and given an estimated delivery date of April 2022.

But that's not what happened.

A few weeks before our estimated delivery date, we got a letter from Lucid stating that our original car didn't meet the company's standards and that our delivery would be delayed. (Presumably, other Lucid buyers-in-waiting also received this notice.) Coincidentally — or perhaps not coincidentally — this was around the time that we went live with our first video evaluation of the Lucid Air, in which we pointed out a variety of build-quality issues.

We never got a clear answer on what exactly failed to meet expectations, and at the time we weren't told how long our car would be delayed. After a few weeks, Lucid offered us another car.

About six weeks after that — late July — our new Lucid Air was in our hands. The only trade-off was that our new car had the Quantum Gray exterior paint and the Mojave interior color scheme.

Why Did We Get It?

Any new EV is worth spending some time with, but that's especially true with a model from an all-new automaker. It's the exact reason we purchased a Tesla Model S when it debuted (as well as a Model X, Model 3 and Model Y). Same goes for the Rivian R1T we recently purchased. What do these vehicles do that sets them apart? What makes them worth considering? How well will the Lucid hold up over time? Early Tesla models, including our own, had some significant build-quality issues. Given our experience with the purchase process, it seems Lucid is struggling in that area too.

When we tested one of the limited-run Dream Edition models, we noted flaws like glacially slow tech and rippling in that massive glass windshield. We had a problem with one of the rear doors opening on its own, too. There was a lot to like, but there were some significant flaws that needed fixing. Building a car is a monumental and hugely difficult task. It's taken years for Tesla to get to where it's at and produce cars in the volumes it does, and it's still not up to the standards of more established automakers like Mercedes-Benz when it comes to luxury features as well as overall fit and finish.

For its part, Lucid has reworked its quality control process in an effort to fix some of the issues we called out in our review. While we'll never know for sure what about our original car failed to meet Lucid's standards, we can say the car we bought feels better than the car we tested in the spring.

That gives us hope, but how are things going to look and feel after 20,000 miles? Will over-the-air updates continue to improve the in-car tech? Will the pop-out door handles still work in a year? If something does break, what's it going to be like to get it repaired?

It's going to be a lot of fun finding out.

2022 Lucid Air: Real-World Range

Driving an EV that can potentially go more than 500 miles on a full charge could be game-changing. We'll report everything we learn about range, efficiency and charging here.

Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 35.9
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 26 combined ( 26 City / 26 Highway )
Best consumption (kWh/100 miles): 23.9
Best range (miles): 426.0
Current odometer: 19,112

So far, our range is disappointing

We tested our Grand Touring along the Edmunds EV range loop, a route dedicated to determine real-world electric range. We drove it on our loop when it was new and again after 5,000 miles. On our first test in September 2022, we saw a GPS-verified 425 miles on a charge, 91 miles (17.6%) off the EPA range estimate. We also experienced some technical gremlins, most notably that the climate control system would switch on the rear climate system or ventilated seats unprompted. But over-the-air updates sent out between our two drives appeared to have fixed things.

Those updates, in addition to seeing how the battery's capacity changes over time, are part of the reason we retested our car at 5,000 miles. The range improved slightly with the second test, up to 438 miles but still a substantial 78 miles (15.1%) shy of the EPA figure. Read all about our experience here.

Testing real-world range

The Lucid Air Grand Touring with 19-inch wheels like ours has an EPA-estimated range of 516 miles, more than any other EV on sale at the time of purchase. Before we got our hands on our own Lucid Air, Edmunds put an Air Dream Edition Range through our real-world EV range testing. It immediately impressed. While it fell a bit short of its 520-mile EPA estimate, the Air Dream Range outpaced every other EV we'd tested to date. The Air was also the first EV Edmunds tested to drive more than 500 miles on a single charge. Check out our full test of the Lucid Air for more on that car.

The Air's impressive all-electric range is among its biggest selling points. How will our long-term Lucid fare? We plan to run our Lucid on our EV range evaluation loop multiple times. Not only will we see how far the car can go on a full charge, we'll also be able to see how the range changes over time. Batteries degrade with use, and we plan to put a lot of miles on this car. — Reese Counts, vehicle test editor

We haven't seen signs of battery degradation after 15,000 miles

"After one year of ownership and nearly 15,000 miles on the clock, our long-term Lucid Air GT is still putting out some downright impressive range numbers. Keep in mind, we've yet to actually hit the EPA estimate of 516 miles, but our latest real-world range test did confirm one thing: This battery has not shown any signs of degradation.

"In fact, we just drove the Lucid the farthest distance yet, banking an impressive 463 miles. We'll have more to share on that soon, but for I now I think the car deserves some praise — which is definitely not always the case. This car has many, many flaws but the one rock-solid area has always been the powertrain. Throughout my week of driving I saw typically 3.5 miles per kWh, an impressive number that beats basically every other EV I've driven. With that sort of efficiency and a massive battery pack to go with, it's no wonder that the Lucid is the range king in our fleet.

"That said, Lucid swears that this car should do over 500 miles on a charge, and I just don't think we'll see that day happen. There will be software updates and other tweaks to improve efficiency, but that's still too large a delta to cover. Oh well, going more than 450 miles is still impressive in this still-growing electric world." — Clint Simone, senior editor

2022 Lucid Air: Comfort

Does the Air live up to its luxury trappings?

It can get pretty toasty in the Lucid Air

"Glass roofs are cool, right? Maybe, except when it's 100 degrees outside, and you're out in a Lucid Air at midday and the sun is directly overhead. Then it's decidedly not cool. It's freakin' hot. Between the combination of the glass roof letting in a lot of heat into the cabin and the glass roof being only a few inches above one's head, the Air can seem like an oven. Seriously, I touched the glass roof in these conditions just to see if it was hot, and yep! Hot enough that I didn't want to keep touching it. This is all bad enough but it seems like the Air's air conditioning struggles to keep the cabin cool. I got into our Air after it was sitting outside on said 100-degree day. It took a full 40 minutes for the climate system running full blast before it finally got the cabin cool enough so that the auto-set fan speed dropped." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"Maybe the Lucid's climate control has always been not very powerful, but I swear the AC has cut out on me a few times within the last week, which is unfortunate with the heat wave we've been experiencing. I usually try to cycle through turning the AC on and off, as well as playing with the auto mode, and then it usually comes back, but not before suffering through a few minutes of warm air blasting through the vents, which is enough to get me sweaty and uncomfortable. Is consistent air conditioning too much to ask these days from a $140K car?" — Jonathan Elfalan, director of vehicle testing

2022 Lucid Air: Technology

The Air is a computer on wheels, so we have a lot to say on the Lucid's tech.

What happens when your Lucid locks you out

Brian Wong, senior reviews editor, drove the Lucid over Thanksgiving weekend to visit family and friends. It was late Saturday night when, to his surprise, the car locked him out. In the moment, not even a call to a live Lucid hotline operator could help. To be sure we don't leave out any of the details, and there are many, read the full story here.

We've got our first three software updates to report on

Three software updates for our Lucid Air in September (1.2.76, 1.2.9 and 1.2.10) were installed, all without needing WiFi connectivity and all installed in under 10 minutes apiece. The first provides a warning to drivers, "in the unlikely event a concern with the battery is detected by the vehicle." The second provides enhancements to two DreamDrive features: Lucid Stability Control and Stop Mode.

The patch notes for the final update are as follows:

"With this update, we're delivering improvements to your Lucid Air's energy and charging system.
— We've made the estimated remaining charge time more accurate, especially at colder temperatures.
— We've improved the way the system monitors and estimates battery health for more accurate battery information over the life of your vehicle.
— We've improved how your vehicle balances energy between battery cells for improved range and more accurate battery level estimates."

More software updates have joined the party

We received a large software update to bring our Lucid Air's software to version 2.0.15. This update was wide-ranging and included updates to the displays, navigation and media apps, the exterior lights and safety and security features.

This came on the back of five smaller updates, which ranged from 1.2.19 to 2.0.13. Those updates largely included updates to the Air's "onboard connectivity, diagnostics and wireless communication system." They also introduced updates to the Air's cameras and sensors.ior lights and safety and security features.

If you're picking up on a theme here, it's that the Air receives a lot of updates, sometimes in bunches. We're all for a better version of a very pricey car, but the process of installing all these updates can be a bit of a chore.

Lag is an issue

Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya explains a frequently occurring issue in the early days of our Lucid Air ownership: long load times.

"Boy, for a car this expensive and on the cutting edge of tech, its central screen takes a looong time to boot up. It took roughly 30 seconds or so from when you sit down for the ability to use any feature controlled by the screens. Then, if you want to switch profiles as the secondary driver, it takes another 30 seconds to load up the profile and its settings. That may not seem like much, but most modern cars take half that time, if not faster. It sort of ruins the "wow" factor when you bring a friend over to show off the car, but then you have to tell them to wait a bit while the screen comes on.

"At this point, I'm not sure if this is a software issue, or if Lucid cheaped out and used a slower processor. We aren't the only ones with this issue. There's a six page thread (at the time of writing) on the Lucid owners forums, with similar complaints."

Editor, Jake Sundstrom had similar frustrations with booting up the Lucid.

We're keeping track of bugs, too

"I assume we'll want to keep a log of these errors, because they're numerous, but I only had it for one evening and had a few errors with the lower screen:

1. One instance, couldn't get the vehicle or climate menus to lower to show the map again on the lower screen until after restart.

2. Couldn't get the overview directions on the lower map to go away, next time I started it the directions never showed up.

One other miscellaneous note: I expected those blind spot camera views to be much better, they were super grainy — felt worse at night than the Tucson PHEV I had earlier this week, but that thing doesn't cost a gajillion dollars."

The perks and quirks of driving a computer

"One cool things about the Lucid Air is its ability to have multiple driver profiles. Once the primary driver's profile is set, it unlocks the ability to make others. The profile covers seat settings and mirror settings, Spotify login, UI theme and your own personal icon. I chose some trees in the mist as my avatar. One thing I don't like is that the vehicle defaults to the primary driver and you have to manually activate your profile. "Signing in" takes a good 30 seconds, which feels way too long. It's as if the car is downloading the settings from the cloud, rather than storing them locally." — Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor & Content Strategy

Software updates have fixed some of our biggest complaints

"It's been a few months since we last provided detail on our Lucid's tech screens. (I'm writing this in May 2023.) The good news is that they boot up much quicker and are less buggy than before. I've been driving our car for about two weeks now and have not encountered any of the problems we had before. For reference, I just installed the most recent software update, which was version 2.0.66." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"Boy, what a difference a few updates can make. I hadn't driven our long-term Air since it got its major updates and it nearly feels like a different car! The instrument cluster and infotainment screen that took nearly a minute to boot up now comes up instantly. And pairing my phone, once a needlessly complicated process that took me 10 minutes to figure out, now took roughly two minutes to set up with Apple CarPlay. Kudos to the software team at Lucid. It's stuff like this that gets people excited about EVs." — Ron Montoya, senior editor

But we're still experiencing some issues

"Still a bucket of worms when it comes to small but annoying electronic glitches. My first complaint is the 'soft close doors,' which sometimes require a Hulk smash slam to get them closed. Otherwise they just keep opening or closing on their own.

"I had the key suddenly go undetected while I'm driving the car, prompting me to think that I may have driven off without it. And then occasionally the key will fail to recognize that I am next to the car and will refuse to unlock.

"I do think the software has improved from where it was before, though, and I love that there is Apple CarPlay now along with Sirius XM radio, which is pretty innovative, in that it streams over data. However, I wish that CarPlay would automatically queue up instead of having to manually open it in the phone menu every time." — Jonathan Elfalan, director of vehicle testing

We've received a couple more software updates

"Just installed software updates 2.1.42 and 2.1.43; the latter changes the support platform for future over-the-air updates. So if you don't do it soon enough, you'll have to do to the dealer to have this version installed." — Mike Schmidt, associate director, vehicle operations

2022 Lucid Air: Performance

The Air Grand Touring packs 819 horsepower — so, how does it drive?

Quirky — or just annoying?

"This may be due to my slight OCD tendencies," began our director of vehicle testing, Jonathan Elfalan, "but I find it really annoying how loud the brake-hold disengagement is every time I get moving from a stop. I like that the Air has one-pedal driving and can bring you to a full stop without having to touch the brake pedal. But as you can see in my video, the brake pedal physically moves and you hear a solenoid activate every time you press the accelerator to start moving from a stop. It's less noticeable when you have the radio on, but SUPER noticeable if you don't. I'm not optimistic this is something to be solved with an OTA software update."

2022 Lucid Air: Interior

The Grand Touring trim is priced like a luxury car. Does it deliver?

We have some initial thoughts on our Lucid Air's interior

"File this under 'How did they do that?' One cool detail that I like about our Air is the wood-trimmed tambour-style door that covers the center storage area. It looks like a thin solid piece of trim that somehow disappears into nowhere. I'm sure it rolls and folds somehow, but the sections are so tightly pieced together I can't tell exactly how it's done." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing

"I think they forgot to install some magnets in our sun visors. The visors have magnets to close the flap that covers the vanity mirrors, but none to hold them open. So as a result you have to hold the flap open by hand to use the mirror. They tried to copy Tesla here, but didn't follow through all the way. Fail." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing

"I don't necessarily go searching for these things, but I noticed the Air's center armrest hinges have a very, very crude look to them. The metal parts have sharp and uneven edges and they just painted over it to try to hide the the cruddy craftsmanship. Also the armrest slams closed like a $12,000 econobox. Details matter, especially at this price." — Jonathan Elfalan, director, vehicle testing

We haven't been blown away by our Lucid's build quality

"I have driven cars one-fourth the price that rattle and creak less than our long-term Lucid Air. This being my first time behind the wheel, I was completely taken aback by how poor the quality felt inside the Air.

"The biggest offender is the steering wheel, which manages to produce some kind of unpleasant sound every time you turn left or right. Applying any pressure on it as a 'stress test' also gives off some uncouth noises. The A-pillar trim pieces are also loose (legitimately loose) on both sides of the car. If you wiggle the passenger side piece hard enough, I am fairly sure that it would come off. Finally, the row of switches in the center stack seems weathered already after just 5,000 miles. You can wiggle the fan speed switch back and forth without the button actually engaging. The interior build quality is Tesla-rivaling bad.

"Final note — this is true of any white interior, not just the Lucid's. The floor mats are appallingly dirty. This car is just a few months old. To keep them alive, you would need to get the floor mats professionally cleaned every week. Dark blue mats, to match the front seats, would've been the better move." — Clint Simone, senior editor

"Lucid should have spent more money and time developing the Air's steering column stalks for the turn signal and drive selector. To me, both feel low-buck for a premium luxury sedan. Same goes for some of the media buttons on the steering wheel. They're hard to press and lack a satisfying feel of quality. Oh, and the steering wheel sometimes creaks when I first get in and start turning it to pull out of my driveway. Not good." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"I was really excited for my first real seat time in our Lucid, particularly for its long range as some friends and I embarked on a road trip to the Bay Area for the weekend. Unfortunately, while the car certainly has solid bones and lots of potential, with glitchy wireless CarPlay, poor quality control (a piece of window trim on the driver's door popped off once when I opened the door), and an all-glass roof that allows way too much heat in, I just couldn't quite fall in love with it. Sure, it drives great, but it just feels unfinished." — Clint Simone, senior editor

But some are impressed by its luxury vibe

"Driving the Lucid for the first time, I was truly impressed. The interior looks and feels like an upgrade from other EVs like the Tesla Model Y. This feels like I'm actually riding in luxury, not a cheap knock off like I've felt in other electric cars," wrote Lauren McCay, producer and video host. "I have a good friend who is a VP at a major national organization and he felt the same way. He's currently a Tesla owner, and while he loves the charging network it has, he's starting to fall out of love with the brand in general.

"When I took him for a spin in the Lucid, which he is now considering, it's like stars lit up in his eyes. He loved the more plush, luxurious interior, the comfort of the seats and how much more roomy it is than his Model S. That coupled with the Lucid's range and performance, i.e. smooth acceleration and steady handling, I think he's pretty sold on it being his next buy.

"For me, I wasn't crazy about the tech. I drove it for about a week, and just about every time I used my phone through Bluetooth, the sound was muffled and very unclear. When I drive a vehicle, the last thing I want to be stressed about is the tech, and the Lucid did not make that a smooth transition for me. I also was disappointed in the low entrance point. I'm pretty short, so if I'm having trouble getting in and out of a vehicle, then that's a clear sign to me that there's a weak point in the design.

"The setbacks aside, the Lucid is a very plush and unique experience. The range alone is intriguing enough, but with the elevated interior added to that, I'd say it definitely feels like an upgrade from the other high-end EVs."

Visibility can be challenging in the Lucid Air

"Forward visibility in the Air is certainly distinctive. First off, the Air has what I'd describe as a panoramic windshield. It extends much farther back over your head than a normal windshield, so much so that Lucid glued the sun visors to the windshield because there's nowhere else to put them. This jet-fighter, canopy-like design is pretty cool, as long as you're looking straight ahead or overhead. Unfortunately, the sweeping view is considerably obstructed by thick windshield pillars. They're in the way a lot more than in most other cars, and it's to the point that I've taken to taking extra time when making turns to make sure those pillars aren't hiding a pedestrian or another car. Ultimately, I'd gladly trade the cool overview view for better everyday visibility." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

But it's pretty easy to figure out how things work

"OK, so I just bagged on our Lucid's physical controls, but here's a good thing: Most everything in this car is pretty easy to figure out and operate, including the dual touchscreens. That means this is a car that you can get in and just drive without having to spend a bunch of time trying to figure out where certain controls are or how things work. It's pretty intuitive. In comparison, Teslas are definitely not intuitive, and the latest EVs from BMW and Mercedes can also require a steep learning curve." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

2022 Lucid Air: Utility

How is the utility in the Lucid Air?

The rear cargo area leaves something to be desired

"The Lucid Air's rear trunk is not as practical as its specs suggest, in my opinion. It's listed at 16.2 cubic feet, which is respectably sized. But while the trunk space is wide and deep, it's not very tall. That kind of means you have to shove stuff in to make the most of the space. That might not be too much of a problem, but the trunklid opens in such a way that it gets right in my face as I'm trying to lean in to load items. It ends up being a rather awkward experience. I like that the Air also has a big front trunk but overall I prefer the Tesla Model S' hatchback design." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

2022 Lucid Air: Miscellaneous

This is where we'll report anything worth mention that doesn't fit into one of the other categories above.

The key hasn't been a hit so far

Jonathan Elfalan, director of vehicle testing, reflects on a little-used yet vital piece of the Lucid experience: the key. He writes, "I really dislike the design of the Lucid key, almost as much as the Tesla key card. Clearly these cars are optimized to work with your smartphone, but for people who prefer to use keys, why not design one that isn't hard to use or feels like it cost 99 cents? The key on the right is an excellent example of a well-made key. And the vehicle it operates costs less than half of what we paid for our Air Grand Touring."

We took an eventful road trip with the Lucid

"Social Media Content Strategist Ryan Greger took the Lucid Air on a road trip to the Bay Area. It was ... eventful.

The trip
"In late April, a few friends and I were getting ready to head up to the San Francisco Bay Area for Luftgekühlt, a highly anticipated gathering of air-cooled Porsches. When I found out our long-term Lucid Air Grand Touring was available for the drive up from LA, I jumped at the opportunity — after all, the Lucid's long range, silent speed and comfortable interior should make for an ideal road trip vehicle. Having only spent a few minutes behind the wheel of our Lucid prior to the trip, I was excited to learn more about the car and what it has to offer.

"After charging the car overnight at a Loop charger in my apartment building's garage, we hit the road bright and early with 505 miles of range according to the car's computer. With the massaging seats activated and the newly added wireless Apple CarPlay playing our favorite tunes, we headed north."

The good
"Overall, the Lucid was a fairly pleasant road trip companion. The massaging seats are some of the best I've experienced, with several different modes — some of which even incorporate vibration — that were all surprisingly strong, in a good way. Plus, even without the massage function, the seats are quite comfortable and wrapped in nice leather.

"I also really enjoy the look and feel of the Air's interior. This is a luxurious vehicle, and people are impressed when they step inside. The use of textile fabric is fantastic, the wood trim adds a dash of warmth, and I love the two-tone color scheme that sees the front seats in black and the rears in a light cream color. The storage behind the retractable center screen is a great touch (as is the ability to retract the screen in the first place), and I immensely appreciate that there are real, true physical controls for often-used functions like climate and volume. While there are still plenty of screen-integrated controls I found the UI intuitive and easy to grow accustomed to.

"One minor criticism: The cupholders up front are horribly located and way too small. Anything larger than a tall Starbucks coffee cup is A) going to be a squeeze to fit and B) will block a portion of the lower screen, which houses most of the vehicle function controls. My Hydro Flask and I were not pleased.

"Charging speed was another strong point. We never put the Lucid's range to the test (it was easier to just plug in whenever we had the opportunity), but whenever we plugged in the experience was mostly painless. Charging speeds were fast, and we never spent more than 40 minutes or so at a station.

"Most importantly, though, the Lucid Air is great to drive. In Sprint mode — which unlocks full power — it's stupid fast when you need it to be, but the power is easily modulated for smooth driving. The ride strikes a great balance between comfy and sporty, and even on all-season tires, the handling is shockingly good for a vehicle so large and heavy — the Air managed the twisty roads around Sonoma and San Francisco easily. Plus, the Highway Assist system did a good job of keeping the vehicle centered in its lane and maintained a consistent distance from the leading vehicle; braking and acceleration were never jerky."

The bad
"I went into this trip hoping for the best from our Lucid. Other Edmunds editors have had qualms about quality and glitchiness, so I was prepared to deal with some hiccups. And, boy, did I ever.

"First up: wireless CarPlay. What should be an easy, pain-free feature ended up being immensely frustrating. Why? Well, when it worked, things were great. But that was only about 40% of the time. For most of the trip, I'd get in the car and it would refuse to activate CarPlay. I'd end up spending 10 minutes trying to get it to work — cycling my phone on and off, getting out and locking the car to try to refresh the system, etc. — to no avail more often than not. Adding to the frustration, when I'd try to tap my phone on the Device Connections screen, it would always lag when I was trying to scroll and cause me to accidentally select the wrong device. Additionally, the steering wheel infotainment buttons were finicky when using CarPlay. I mostly needed them to adjust music, e.g., changing tracks and volume, but those buttons rarely ever worked on the first, second or even third try. Strike one.

"Another issue we encountered had to do with the glass roof. After about two hours of driving, we entered California's Central Valley, and temperatures soared to around 90 degrees. It wasn't long before my friend in the back seat started complaining of a headache, mentioning how hot it was. The glass roof was letting in tons of heat — so much so that, in an attempt to get comfortable, my friend ended up slumping down in the seat to get his head away from the hot glass above him. What should've been a very comfortable back seat became an oven-like penalty box. We had less of an issue up front, but we also had better airflow from the air-conditioning system.

"I love the bright and airy sensation that a glass roof adds to an interior, but it needs to come with a sunshade and/or proper heat resistance. Unfortunately, the Lucid Air has neither. Strike two.

"Making matters worse, the Lucid Air has one of the weakest A/C systems I have ever experienced. There are 10 fan speeds, but the highest setting feels like what should be the middle. Perhaps this is done in an effort to save range, but it does not effectively cool the cabin in warmer temperatures. Further, the ventilated seats are nowhere near powerful enough. Strike three.

"As described earlier, Lucid's Highway Assist system works well … but only when it, well, works. After our initial drive up to Sonoma, I could never get it to engage again. Now, that's quite possibly due to the number of bugs that were splattered on the front of the car and likely obscuring some of its sensors, but there needs to be some sort of warning message that informs the driver of sensor obstruction so that proper action can be taken.

"Now for the darker side of charging: This isn't Lucid's fault, but as it stands currently, America's charging infrastructure is simply not where it needs to be for EVs to become widely adopted. Even in California, which has arguably the strongest charging network in the country, it's a challenging experience. Aside from the overnight charge at my apartment building, we used Electrify America chargers exclusively on our trip (Lucids come with three years of free charging at EA), and more often than not, the most powerful chargers were either broken, occupied, or — worse — being used by a vehicle that couldn't even accept their high level of charge. When planning our first stop with the Electrify America app, we saw that there were two 300-kWh chargers available at our chosen station. Upon our arrival, however, we found that one was broken and the other was occupied by a previous-generation Kia Niro EV, a vehicle which can only accept 77-kWh charging speeds. Frustrating, to say the least. We encountered broken chargers at nearly every EA station we stopped at, making what should be a simple process arduous and inconvenient.

"There is one area in which Lucid could stand to improve its charging experience, and while fairly minor, it's worth calling out. With the car in Sprint mode — the setting that unlocks full power — I attempted to precondition the battery for charging, but for some reason the process wouldn't begin and the car offered no explanation as to why. Eventually, through trial and error, I learned that one of the other two modes — Smooth or Swift — must be selected in order to precondition the battery. That's fine, and I'm sure there's a reason for it, but the car needs to tell me that. Just a simple 'Preconditioning not available in Sprint mode' pop-up message would suffice.

"When it comes to quality, I don't expect perfection from a startup manufacturer, but when you're charging $150,000-plus for your product, it better be excellent. Unfortunately, Lucid still has a ways to go in this department. At one point I opened the driver's side door, and a piece of exterior trim near the window popped up out of place. Also, the wireless phone charger straight up never worked, and there were quite a few creaks throughout the cabin. Strike four, but you were already out.

"I know I covered the negatives more extensively than the positives, but I really did enjoy my time with our Lucid Air. While I probably wouldn't road-trip it again until some of the kinks are worked out, the Air has the bones to be something really great — it just needs further refinement to get there."