TopGear Says Nearly Bankrupt Fisker's Ocean 'Arguably Better Built' Than Tesla's Blockbuster Model Y — But Needs To Come With This Label

Automotive publication TopGear on Friday adjudged beleaguered EV maker Fisker Inc‘s Ocean SUV as “better looking” than the world’s best-selling EV from mammoth Tesla Inc, the Model Y. However, the Ocean is not without its own set of issues.

What Happened: TopGear published an independent review of the Fisker Ocean on Friday, highlighting both the good and bad aspects of the SUV. First and foremost, the publication deems it to be an absolute bargain for its price.

“For near-MG4 money, you get a cool-looking, 282bhp five-seat family crossover with a 73kWh battery for 288 miles of range, panoramic glass roof, a giant 17-inch central screen, a full suite of driver ‘aids', LED headlights and much more,” the publication noted.

The Ocean is available in three trims: sports, ultra and extreme. The lowest-priced Sports trim starts at $24,999 after the company slashed prices on the model year 2023 vehicle in March from $38,999. The Extreme version, meanwhile, starts at $37,499 The new prices undercuts the Tesla Model Y, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Audi Q8 e-tron.

While Top Gear deems the vehicle to be better looking and “arguably better built” than Model Y and much easier to use, it noted that the vehicle must also come with a “buyer beware” label.

The steering wheel, it said, is overly chunky with cheap control pads, the door handles are horrible and the company didn’t invest much time or money in research and development. The generative braking is occasionally inconsistent and there is surface turbulence on rough roads and the vehicle is not very fun to drive, it added.

“What the Ocean lacks compared to rivals from huge companies is maturity and consistency. You can tell it hasn't had the same amount of investment put into it,” the review noted.

The publication rated the vehicle a seven out of ten, leaving aside concerns about the company’s future stability. The Model Y was rated eight out of ten in December by TopGear.

Fisker Closing-In On Bankruptcy: California-based Fisker in February warned it may not have enough funds to operate over the year. The company's shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange the following month owing to low share prices and potential investment talks with a major automaker collapsed, leaving Fisker’s financial future uncertain.

Late last month, the company said in a filing that it expects to seek protection under bankruptcy laws within 30 days if unable to receive waivers from its debt holders or raise enough capital to settle its dues.

The company had unrestricted cash and cash equivalent of just $53.9 million as of April 16.

Earlier this month, U.S. auto safety regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also opened a probe into 6,813 model year 2023 Ocean SUVs over unintended activation of its automatic emergency braking system that increases the risks of a crash.

In March, Fisker reportedly went into damage-control mode following popular YouTube auto and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee calling the Ocean SUV the “worst car” he had ever reviewed yet.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: Nio, Xpeng Take Twice As Long As Tesla To Pay Suppliers: What’s Ailing Chinese EV Makers?

Image: Fisker

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