I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Lucid Motors’ entry-level sedan is a better car than its technological tour de force, the $250,000, thousand-plus-horsepower Air Sapphire. But after driving the American electric vehicle startup’s entire lineup back-to-back, it’s clear that the cheapest Lucid is the best choice for most people. 

Of course, if you’ve got a quarter-million big ones burning a hole in your pocket and a strong stomach for roller coaster-like acceleration, then by all means, knock yourself out and buy a Sapphire. It will shatter your understanding of what a car can do. For those of us who don’t need a life-altering EV or, more likely, can’t afford one, there’s the 2024 Air Pure. 

2024 Lucid Air Pure

Starting at $71,400, the Pure isn’t cheap. But it is the lowest-priced vehicle Lucid sells. Importantly, it doesn’t feel like a major downgrade from the automaker’s more expensive and highly impressive stablemates. It delivers nearly everything that makes Lucid’s cars awesome—exceptional range, jaw-dropping interiors and great technology—just at a more accessible price.  

[Full Disclosure: Lucid put me up in a hotel near its Northern California headquarters and provided food and drink so I could test the Air lineup.]

The 2024 Lucid Air Lineup

The Air Pure RWD went on sale in late 2023 for $78,900 before getting a sizable price cut earlier this year. Lucid also used to sell a Pure AWD but axed it from the 2024 lineup for simplicity’s sake. Why the price drop? It was likely to help juice demand during a time when Lucid was struggling to grow sales. 

The rest of the lineup is as follows: 

2024 Lucid Air Trim Price (Incl. Destination) Range (EPA Est.) Powertrain
Pure $71,400 419 Miles Single-Motor RWD
Touring $79,400 411 Miles Dual-Motor AWD
Grand Touring $111,400 516 Miles Dual-Motor AWD
Sapphire $250,500 427 Miles Tri-Motor AWD

What’s Great About The Air Pure On Paper

Lucid made a splash in 2021 when its very first car, the Air Dream Edition, debuted with a 520-mile range that put the entire U.S. EV market to shame. Today, the 2024 Air Grand Touring delivers a still-untouchable 516 miles on a full tank of electrons, according to the EPA. The Pure can cover 419 miles on a single charge, more than any rival. That includes the stalwart Tesla Model S and the Mercedes-Benz EQS. What’s more, the Pure uses an 88-kilowatt-hour battery pack that’s significantly smaller than what you’d find in either of those cars.

Energy efficiency is Lucid’s thing. The Grand Touring’s 118-kWh pack provides well over 100 miles more EPA range than the Model S' slightly smaller battery.

2024 Lucid Air Pure

The Pure charges at a maximum rate of 210 kilowatts when plugged into a sufficiently powerful fast-charging station. Again, that falls short of Lucid’s other cars but still beats out much of the market. The Touring and Grand Touring max out at 250 and 300 kW, respectively, so they can charge a bit faster. 

If kilowatts mean nothing to you, just know Lucid says the Pure can add 200 miles of range in 17 minutes, which is very good. 

I didn’t get to push the Pure’s range or charging capability to the limit during my hour with the car. We’ll be sure to bring you a more in-depth review of its range and charging speeds once we get more seat time. 

Gallery: 2024 Lucid Air Pure

Inside The Air Pure

The Pure’s streamlined silhouette and unique proportions mean it exudes a futuristic vibe, just like all Airs do. Its interior lacks some of the higher-end finishes of pricier trims but retains the same funky, modern aesthetic. My test car came with the standard combination of faux leather and gray-fabric accents, which wasn’t as luxurious as some Airs can get but still felt premium. 

What’s great is the Air’s cabin feels distinctly nontraditional without veering into the stark minimalism of a Tesla. The view from the driver’s seat is uncluttered, refined and screen-heavy, but not completely stripped down. A crescent-shaped sliver of a screen elegantly suspended behind the steering wheel tells you everything you need to know at a glance, provides some basic controls and looks stylish while doing it. 

2024 Lucid Air Pure

A larger tablet by the driver’s right knee lets you delve deeper into drive modes and other settings. All told, playing around with the Air’s responsive and thoughtfully designed infotainment system feels just about as smooth and intuitive as using a tech product, which is a win in my book. But it’s not perfect. 

Although it’s a neat idea, putting the main tablet down low makes it inconvenient to use while driving. Flipping on your heated seats or switching drive modes can require glancing unnervingly far from the road ahead. You can also only type in a destination on the lower screen and not on the upper display. Lucid appears to have taken note and has bumped the tablet upward significantly in its upcoming Gravity SUV

2024 Lucid Air Pure

All Airs have generously sized trunks and frunks. But the Pure and Touring offer more interior space overall than the Grand Touring or Sapphire thanks to their smaller battery packs. Lucid raised the floor in the back seats of those pricier models to accommodate their beefier batteries. Taller passengers need to sit in almost a squat, with their knees strangely high up. In the Pure and Touring, on the other hand, Lucid was able to scoop out the floor to create more foot room. This may sound insignificant, but it makes a big difference for comfort.

If you really want luxuries like soft-close doors, ventilated seats or genuine-leather upholstery, those are all available add-ons on the Pure. However, to get Lucid’s striking glass roof (with a windshield that sweeps over the driver’s head) you’ll need to upgrade to the Touring or higher. Personally, I prefer the metal roof since it keeps the cabin cooler on sunny days. 

2024 Lucid Air Pure

On The Move: The Air Pure vs The Rest

The Air Pure smoothly glides over rough pavement and soaks up bumps nicely. It delivers the swift, effortless acceleration electric cars are known for, but not the face-melting raw power of higher-end Airs. You can dial up the quickness by switching between the Air’s three drive modes: Smooth, Swift and Sprint. 

Despite its (relative) lack of oomph, it’s fun to whip around twisty roads. Its steering is fairly precise and inspires confidence. And it handles its size well around corners, without too much body roll. Lucid nailed the delicate balance of making a car that’s comfortable when you want it to be—and agile when you need it to be. 

2024 Lucid Air Pure

Thanks to a second motor up front that significantly boosts power and torque, the Touring feels like a huge step up in terms of performance. That’s to say nothing of the Grand Touring and Sapphire, which are just outrageously, stupidly quick. But, frankly, all those cars are total overkill for everyday driving. The Pure has plenty of power to help you pass trucks on the highway, make tight merges or spice up a morning commute. 

The Verdict: 

I was blown away when I first drove a Lucid Air last year. I loved its performance, style, range and blistering charging speeds—but its stratospheric price made it impossible to seriously recommend it to anyone. The Grand Touring Performance Lucid loaned me came with a sticker price of roughly $180,000. 

It’s tough to say whether a vehicle like that is a great value. But the Air Pure certainly is. It’s fun, interesting and technologically ahead of the competition while undercutting rivals from Tesla, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche on price. That’s as great for consumers as it is for Lucid itself. 

The startup is on a treacherous path to profitability that will largely be driven by its future models: the Gravity SUV and a to-be-announced smaller vehicle. Until those saviors arrive, it needs to generate as much cash as possible from the Air. The Pure hits a sweet spot in the EV market that should make that tough job just a little bit easier.

Contact the author: tim.levin@insideevs.com

2024 Lucid Air Pure Specs

Base Price $71,400
Output 430 hp
Speed 0-60 MPH 4.5 sec
Battery 88 kWh
Drive Type Single-Motor RWD
EV Range 419 miles (EPA, on 19-inch wheels)
Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com