Bjorn Nyland’s BMW i3 Review – Video

1 year ago by Mark Kane 24

Bjorn Nyland's BMW i3 Review

Bjorn Nyland’s BMW i3 Review

Bjorn Nyland recently released an interesting video review of the BMW i3 in Norway.

According to the report, the range-extended i3 is good for about 100 km (62 miles) in all-electric mode (Normal) in the winter, but sacrificing some performances in Eco mode, the range could go up to 130 km (80 miles) according to further tests.

Review includes overview, test drive feedback, interior insights, charging and remote control (defrosting for example).

“Review of the 2015 BMW i3 electric car. Special thanks to Espen Limstrand, Anette Limstrand, Johnny Horsdal and OfficeLink for lending me the car.”

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24 responses to "Bjorn Nyland’s BMW i3 Review – Video"

  1. miggy says:

    Good review, looks cold.

    1. Aaron says:

      Especially without a heated steering wheel!

  2. Three Electrics says:

    The i3 is generally inferior to a Model S. But is it 2.5x inferior, as the cost would inply? No. Aside from range and space, it offers an efficient design with novel CFRP construction and a nice interior. It was the first EV to offer auto stop, IIRC. And in the city, it’s small size is a definite advantage.

    1. Robb Stark says:

      Is the i3 $12.4k superior to a LEAF?

      Is the i3 Rex $12.25k superior to a Volt?

      Cheaper cars are almost always a better value.

      1. Alpha777 says:

        BMW gave it vented disk brakes, and a fully independent suspension.

        So, is it “just” an EV or is it really an EV-sport-car?

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “BMW gave it vented disk brakes, and a fully independent suspension. So, is it โ€œjustโ€ an EV or is it really an EV-sport-car?”

          I didn’t know 2 vented disc brakes and slightly quicker 0-60mph with less than 4 full door and less carrying capacity is worth the $12K difference.

          Maybe those extra vents on the rear disc are why it is so important for the $12K difference…

          Do you get a discount for those extra narrow tires? ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Robb Stark says:

      And Yes, a base Model S is $28k better than a base i3.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    Good, now next, please have a review of the REX model with the battery dead and cabin heater on high.

    That would really tell me how the car acts in my area.

    1. alohart says:

      An i3 REx with a depleted battery pack and heater on high would function normally in the urban setting for which it was designed. If one tried to use an i3 at high highway speeds for which it was not designed, the maximum sustainable speed with a depleted battery pack and heater on high would probably be ~60 mph on a level highway according to i3 REx owners.

      1. Alpha777 says:

        Some say 70 mph on a level highway.
        50-60 on hilly highways.

        1. Alpha777 says:

          This point is moot if you fix the software to start the regen at 20% battery.

        2. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Some say 70 mph on a level highway.
          50-60 on hilly highways.”

          What is speed on I-80 crossing Sierra Nevada or I-70 crossing Rocky Mountain during the cold winter?

      2. David Murray says:

        I speak from experience when I say 70 mph on flat freeway. I don’t have any experience on mountain grades.

  4. Skryll says:

    i3 without the RegEx has a bit more range. I wonder how the carbon fiber material insulates against cabin heat loss compared to aluminum and how that affects range… The i3 does not just have autostop but it also has automated cruise control. It doesn’t have lane keeping but honestly the most critical part is the stop and go, current model S autopilot with lane keeping still requires intensive babysitting and is far from autonomous driving.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “I wonder how the carbon fiber material insulates against cabin heat loss compared to aluminum and how that affects range”

      Should be better for the CRFP.

      Not too many materials conduct heat better than AL… (Cu, Ag, Au and Diamond by far).

  5. Romboiii says:

    Bjorn mentions accelerator response at 2:04 in the video. The key question is, in which mode? EcoPro and EcoPro+ mode will deliberately slow down the pedal response as compared to Comfort Mode (encourage lower accel/decel levels). Would be helpful to be more precise, maybe then it’s not so “strange” after all.

    1. Mutwin Kraus says:

      True, there is a very noticeable delay in both EcoPro modes. However in Comfort I only notice it when accelerating from a stand still, and it’s much shorter than the other delays (less than 0.1s). When driving the response feels instant.

    2. Warren M says:

      The i3 definitely has a dampened throttle response. Not as bad as the Focus, but not nearly as quick or violent as the LEAF. If it had the response of the LEAF, the i3 BEV would even be quicker than the 6.5 second 0-60mph sprint.

      1. Philip d says:

        Yeah, the i3 definitely gets its punch around 10 mph. I’m sure it has to do with the throttle mapping needed to keep it from burning out at every light with its super skinny tires.

    3. Alpha777 says:

      Also, the EcoPro mode adds 20 miles to the 80 mile range.
      At least that’s what UK testers have said.

      So, What Is This Doing?

      It’s strange it’s been out for so long and there hasn’t been any really good assessment.

  6. James says:

    I can’t wait for the i3 vs. Bolt EV shootouts.

    First mention will be range, the second – MSRP.
    Then you have to really ponder if the light-weighting of i3 and some of it’s clever gadgetry is really worth the extra cost, even if it does get a true (EPA) 120-ish mile range in the future. And how much will BMW raise the sticker for the larger battery pack?

    Bolt EV, it seems, will not be as quick, and the handling is a big question mark, I’d put it in LEAF territory there, as that big 60kwh pack will be weighty. Still, i3 isn’t the handler many suggest, with it’s spindly tires and wheels. Would 1 – 1.5 seconds 0-60 justify it’s greater expense?

    For me, an electric car is first judged by it’s electric range. This is the center from which all other stats project outward from. If you bought a Tesla Roadster, a McClaren P1 or Porsche 918, odds are you didn’t buy it to be a practical driver. i3, LEAF and Bolt EV are purchased to be practical.

    The best thing about i3 is that it is electric. The whole “efficiency” argument is moot if it’s still a very expensive city car, with very stark limitations.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      For myself, I think the most intriguing thing to come out of BMW with the i3 will be the “new & improved” version…and not the BEV version.

      Most everyone has been looking ahead at BEV technology for the past ~decade, and pegging the sweet spot for BEV range between 200 and 300 miles. However in so doing, we pretty much looked at the Volt and said “40 miles” is what a PHEV does, good enough. Now sure, we are up to 53 miles in the Volt which is an improvement, and sure the BMW i3 REx is 72 miles, but the limited extender retards the value (thanks CARB).

      So, lets assume for the moment that the 2017 BMW i3 REx has a ~115 mile range and a similar petrol range added on top, this becomes and entirely different proposition from its former self, and from all other PHEV technology. It essentially redefines what it is to be a PHEV, or rather what it can be, especially as the REx is fairly basic and only adds ~$4k to the cost.

      For many people not participating, or seriously considering purchasing in the EV segment (say ~90% of the US market?), a BEV would need to have a near limitless range (300,400, 500+ miles), and a much deeper fast charging infrastructure that is not technologically possible today (like gas stations) to have the tech adopted.

      With the new battery/range upgrade in conjunction with the REx, BMW is breaking the norms/limits here…not all the way because of the CARB factor, but a significant jump. Perhaps while we have been focused on the future of the BEV so intently, BMW will force us to re-examine the PHEV.

      Going one further, and eliminating the CARB equation (and perhaps the BMW i3 specifically as a result), a 100+ mile PHEV with a more traditional several hundred mile range petrol backup, is a fairly enticing proposition (especially in large SUV/truck applications)…that platform is one that could likely strongly compete with and/or compliment, even a 300-500 mile BEV; but more importantly, it can access the wider market over the “$30k price-point” much easier.

  7. James says:

    Volt vs. i3 comparisons are still kind of like the old LEAF vs. Volt comparisons back in 2011. People will try to compare the two even if one is a boxy CUV and the other a “4 door coupe”.

    While nobody in their right mind would compare a sporty fastback ICE to a small CUV – it’s still done in our world because there aren’t enough “Mustang vs. Camaro” or “Camry vs. Accord” direct comparisons yet.

    Since an i3 has a range extender option, and the Volt is basically an ICE range-extended EV, some feel it’s adequate criteria for a direct comparo. GM has interestingly made that comparison trickier, squeezing the i3 ReX with another .5 seating position, and 53 real-world EV miles range. Volt has poor headroom in the back seat area, but has a bit more storage acreage in back, albeit low height ( there won’t be many chests of drawers hauled back there – upright ).

    So what say Volt with all the options and a range extended 420 miles of range vs. the very expensive loaded i3 with ReX and a usage profile that still leans strongly towards city car without as much anxiety.

    It’s not a perfect match – comparison-wise, but the Volt sure pencils out strong vs. an i3 purchase – especially since it’s a nearly limitless potential only car for a family with 2 non-teenagers to haul around – and can go to grandma’s house four counties over without the pain and anxiety the i3 would suffer over refueling.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      We shouldn’t compare.

      Both Volt and i3 REx are great cars.

      I think of i3 REx just another notch sliding toward the BEV side…

      Volt is farther away from low EV range PHEVs and i3 REx takes it anther notch closer to full BEV…

      i3 REx comes has the option of DCFC where Volt doesn’t.. It also gets better/faster AC charging.

      So, they are both good. But they are aimed for two slightly different market.