The 2014 BMW i3 is an all-
new car. As the first of BMW's i sub-brand, it also paves the way for other vehicles from the luxury German automaker that emphasize efficiency.
About BMW i3
For 2016, BMW’s i3 EV finds itself with a few more competitors and even more on the horizon. Offered as an upscale alternative to the Chevy Volt and
Nissan Leaf, the i3 stands apart with its unique styling, open-space interior concept and $43,500 price tag (and that’s just the entry price). To better compete with plug-in
hybrids like the Chevy Volt, the i3 can be equipped with a gasoline engine that acts as a generator should the car exceed the batteries’ 80-mile range. The i3’s sporty attitude, numerous high-end interior features and unique carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body components not only help it leapfrog the current crop of
electric cars, they ensure the i3 will survive the coming onslaught of new EVs from GM, Tesla and Mercedes-Benz.
"Short, stiff and it sticks. Instant torque makes it feel faster than it really is. Most of 6500 miles to date have been on urban streets. Satisfying to drive on smooth roads but any patches or potholes trigger pitching and noise.
Mileage is about as expected relative to claimed range. January temps of 0 to 15 degrees with heat drop the range to about 40 miles. August highs of 90+ with AC yield 50 to 60. Spring and fall without comfort conditioning and in the most economical setting do give 80 to 90. Wouldn't be happy without the range extending gas generator. Driving in snow can be challenging; traction control takes over and the car stops at the first sign of wheel slip.
Fifth BMW owned and it falls right in the middle. Better reliability than some but not as much fun as most. Can't wait for a bigger electric, maybe a 2 series with 30 mile range?"
Pros: "Ecologically minded, blast to drive, nice looking."
Cons: "Higher priced, limited range, small size"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own the 2015 Tera. Magnificent for the twisty mountain roads I drive in my area. The infrastructure for charging stations is still a work in progress in the Northern California County where I live, but 18 new stations are planned to be operational within the next three years. The leather upholstery is BMW 5 series quality. The car gets a little dancey at high speeds on the freeway when there are crosswinds, though controllable. Best is the torque available at any speed and agile cornering. The car is roomier than expected on the inside and with a turning radius of 16.2 feet handles all parking lot maneuvers deftly. The self-parking feature is also handy for those prone to scraping the tires, but must be used when no traffic is around to interfere with the backing-in process. Also, with the i-3's regenerative braking and judicious slow downs, the brake pads will likely last the life of the car. The gasoline powered range extender on the 2015 gets you 50 to 60+ miles further if you can't find a quick charge & with 70 or 80 miles of electric range, my i-3 is used only for "local" trips of up to 120 miles. A great second car if you want to stop watching your income flow out onto the road in gasoline on a daily basis. Also a feel-good purchase if you want to help the U.S. lessen its dependence on foreign oil, have cleaner air, and the car is also manufactured in a "zero landfill" plant with sustainable materials. I hope the ideas behind the i-3 are picked up by other manufacturers with a collective conscience and we see these greener ideals showing up in other vehicles. This could be the little car that changed the world."
Pros: "No gasoline consumption, Climate Control thru App"
Cons: "People stare too much at car tint your windows."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I used to own a Toyota Prius so the clean energy thing as always been my thing. I swore that if one day I was able of not consuming gasoline anymore I'd jump on that vehicle. I really had considered the Nissan Leaf but I hated its interior cabin. I was happy to see the BMW i3 at an automobile show before they were on sale. I now own 2 BMW i3 without the range extender. I drive around 65 miles on a daily basis. My wife and I are expecting our first born and nevertheless we got her an i3. The child seat fits perfectly and there's enough space in the trunk and hood for storage. I never bought the level 2 (220v) charger, I've been using the Level 1 (110v) charger that goes on any wall outlet.
Since the vehicle regenerates by braking itself there is probably never going to be a need for brake pads or discs while I own the car. My tires are about almost ready to be replaced. There is no oil changes obviously and my service reminder says that on my second year I'll need to bring the car in for a Vehicle check (Basically it's a multipoint inspection). There is no money to be spent on maintenance if you skip on the range extender. Also, that small gasoline engine being offered can only go so fast, it adds weight and therefore takes away electrical range because of its existence. Don't get that option is my advice. Have I had my range anxiety scares? Sure I have. But it doesn't phase me into wanting to spend money on gasoline.
Climate control offers a future in which if you leave to lunch everyday at 1:00pm then you can set it up to be nice and cold/warm inside your cabin. This is specially helpful here in South Florida where temperatures are hot all year long. My wife specially loves that feature.
BMW will offer its customers BMW loaners when going on long trips, in case they don't offer that where you live then make up an excuse like your A/C smells and leave it in for service while you go on a road trip on BMW's loaners. By the way, public charging stations for the most part have built in wifi. I think a lot EV people don't realize this. If you don't have your chargepoint card on you then you can still activate a charging station with your Chargepoint app on Android or iOS. Hope this helps sorry for writing more of a blog then a review. I never do these. Electric Vehicles are the future!"