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I Sold My Lucid Air After Driving it for 3 Months

It’s a better car than my Tesla Model S, but not for me

It’s not you, it’s me — photo by Sanjay Singhal

Ouch, that really hurt. I lost 30% of the value of the car, $35,000 US, poof, in only three months of driving. And there was nothing actually wrong with the car.

I bought a Lucid Air Dream Touring Edition back in March 2023, because I’d been driving a Tesla for eight years and I thought, surely by now somebody has come up with a better car. Scouring reviews and headlines, it looked like Lucid was a great competitor. During a showroom tour, every cool feature of Tesla was replicated by the Lucid Dream Edition. iPhone as a key? Check. Autopilot? Check. Apple CarPlay? Oh my, even Tesla doesn’t have that!

And boy did it look amazing. While I was driving it I had strangers honking at me, people gathered around when I returned to the parking lot, and I loved looking at the little light show the front lights put on when you unlock it. All experiences I had and loved when I got my first Tesla Model S in 2012.

But after driving it for a few weeks, the shine started to come off. Yes, the interior space is expansive. Yes, the sound system is better than my Tesla. Yes, there is less wind noise and creaking. Yes, the interior actually looks and feels like a luxury car. Yes, when we’re going out for dinner my wife prefers to ride in the Lucid.

But throwing my kids’ hockey bags into the trunk? The Tesla’s hatchback makes that much easier. And autopilot? Tesla’s autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) blow away any other car on the market. Navigating anywhere? Damn, that big-ass screen on the Tesla comes in handy. And you can navigate, play music, and change car settings all on the same screen.

I had kept my Tesla because before buying the Lucid I asked friends in a Tesla WhatsApp group I’m part of, if anyone would be interested in buying my two year old Model S. I had several quick responses with good prices, so felt secure knowing I could sell it anytime. And when I test drove the Lucid, the sales guy seemed remarkably ill informed on how the Dream Drive Autopilot worked. He couldn’t even demonstrate it properly during the test drive.

I was suspicious. And I use the Tesla autopilot all the freaking time, so I held on to my Model S, just in case the Lucid autopilot didn’t work. And when the Lucid first got delivered (two months early, a warning sign) what do you know, Dream Drive’s Highway Assist feature wasn’t available in Canada. I was told it was imminent, so I took delivery of the car anyway. I’m a trusting soul.

I began with the intention of driving the Lucid and the Tesla alternately. But that quickly devolved to driving the Tesla in commuter traffic and anytime my kids were in the car because of their sports gear. The Lucid became my recreational car, and came out to play anytime someone we knew was going to join us or see us. Or I wanted to listen to music really really loud.

Then Highway Assist became available a couple of months later and I started driving the Lucid on the two hours of commute into Toronto from Mississauga. It worked. Kind of. It kept shutting off if I approached construction. And only worked on major highways, whereas Tesla’s works on any road, any time. If I was going to fiddle with my Spotify playlists, I always felt comfortable putting my Tesla on auto-pilot for a few seconds. No such freedom on the Lucid. If the Lucid came to a complete stop, I had to manually intervene to get the car going again.

Driving the Lucid made me feel special. Driving the Tesla wasn’t like driving at all, it was just getting places and enjoying the journey.

After three months I realized that I was barely using the Lucid. All of its bells and whistles, how gorgeous it is, none of that could get me past how great Tesla’s autopilot is, and knowing that Lucid would not be able to catch up in the next few years.

When I called my Lucid salesperson to discuss my disaffection, I discovered he had left the company. Not shocking. I had mentioned selling my Tesla, and he said he’d be in the market. Looking back, I really did ignore a lot of signs.

I sold the Lucid through an online retailer of Electric Vehicles, Carnex. They took it on consignment because nobody could figure out what the car was worth, since nobody else is out there selling Lucids. But you can also buy one new directly from Lucid Air, and get delivery immediately, something that was impossible with Tesla in the first few years of production.

Despite a massive loss on my little experiment, I’m not unhappy that I tried out the Lucid. If you’re like my wife, and about half of all the Tesla owners I know, and don’t use autopilot, you will prefer the Lucid. If you don’t have to cart around hockey and baseball equipment every day, the Lucid is a better car. Overall, the Lucid Air Dream is a beautiful vehicle with great software, that not very many people want. I was looking forward to comparing notes with a friend who was buying a Lucid, but he cancelled his order before taking delivery.

So back to familiar ground. There’s just one thing I miss from the Lucid. Elon, if you’re out there listening, could you please add Apple CarPlay? I promise I’ll never look at another EV.

My trusty Model S — photo by Sanjay Singhal

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