BMW i3 94 Ah (33 kWh) Detailed Review – Autogefühl (video)

1 month ago by Mark Kane 12

While Autogefühl reviews aren’t for everyone, we really like the outfit’s dedication to cover … and geek-out … over every aspect of the plug-in cars they test.  For this week’s episode, the longer range – 94 Ah (33 kWh) battery version of the BMW i3 is put through its paces.

The 36 minute show gives a detailed walk-through; from the exterior, through the interior, and the driving experience overall.

BMW i3

The end conclusion, is that the BMW i3 is considered a pretty great car for the city. And of course, the instant acceleration makes driving a lot of fun.

“It’s really sporty BMW even though it doesn’t look like it.”

One thing is for sure, the BMW i3 is that one particular EV that raises extreme feelings on both sides of the coin – especially on the design.

Hat tip to MTN Ranger!

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12 responses to "BMW i3 94 Ah (33 kWh) Detailed Review – Autogefühl (video)"

  1. Warren says:

    The i3 was very conservatively rated by BMW when they submitted their EPA numbers. The Ioniq is supposed to be more efficient, and has longer range, but head to head tests show otherwise:

    5.3 mi/kWh for the BMW vs 4.7 mi/kWh for the Ioniq.

    I averaged 5.1 mi/kWh (170MPGe) on a 148 mile trip on a single charge. 80% highway driving (almost 50mph trip average). And this was round trip, after leaving a DCQC station at 97%. 150 miles would have been very achievable. A whopping 30%+ over the EPA rating. This would be the same as a Bolt doing 311 miles at mostly highway speeds.

    1. acevolt says:

      But how would it do for someone that is coming from an ICE car and used to driving 80mph on the freeway? That is where the EPA numbers prove to be pretty accurate and useful for people new to EV’s and not wanting to limit speed or HVAC usage. All of these cars are still just city cars. For my Model S 70D I plan 150 miles between superchargers to provide a comfortable buffer even though its rated at 240miles. I really want 300 miles of EPA range and will be getting the 75kWh battery in my Model 3 if its available and hopefully its rated at around 300 miles. For no compromises on road trips 300 is a good number and will maybe allow me to bypass a couple superchargers like the crowded one in Barstow on the way to Vegas.

      1. Well, I have a Nissan Leaf for a year now and would love to be able to drive 70/80Mph again…

        So it’s not only people coming from ICE.

        Hypermiling gets boring very fast.

        1. I’ve upgraded from a ZOE to a 33kWh i3 and I’m very pleased with it. It will comfortably do 100+ miles at 70-80mph.

    2. mx says:

      Nice Info Warren.
      Thanks!

  2. Nix says:

    I think it is interesting that we no longer hear anything about 33 kWh i3 REX’s going into limp mode going up steep mountain passes. Either putting the new battery in fixed the problem, or everybody is hacking their i3’s, or owners are now just smart enough to pull off the road long before pushing it into limp mode.

    1. alohart says:

      Apparently the 2017 REx generator’s output has been increased a tiny bit which helps. Also, the 6.5% SOC at which the REx generator starts increases the energy buffer before limp mode begins by ~50% due to the ~50% larger 33kWh battery pack. These changes don’t eliminate the possibility of limp mode when driving particularly fast, up a long incline, with climate control on high, etc., but limp mode should be less common.

    2. Warren says:

      Because the i3 still uses about a 6% buffer before the rex comes on (unless you get aftermarket software which can hold the rex on even at 75% SOC), the buffer amount is about 50% larger due to the battery size increase. I have also heard the REX generator output has also increased, hence the lower EPA rating.

      Also, about going faster. If you have to go faster than 80mph, your Tesla range is going to go down too. I quite regularly do 80mph-94mph, during my daily driving. That is because I am not worried about doing 100miles+ on my regular daily commutes. Believe me, when I am on the freeway, I am passing 98% of the traffic. Yesterday I kept the cruise control at 80mph. Still averaged over 3.7 mi/kWh. So a 100 mile trip would have been doable even at that speed. As far as long trips, I would only lease these high tech cars. And as it is, I am having a hard time keeping it below 12000 miles a year. I drive more in my EVs than I ever did in my ICE vehicles. I am not worried about long trips, I will rent a SUV if I am going on a family vacation. Otherwise, it is too easy to rack up mileage on the i3 as it is. Have to remember, the other cars in this 30kWh battery class (Golf, Ioniq, LEAF) don’t have close to the acceleration or agility of the i3. And more importantly, none of its competition uses the sportier RWD platform. There is a reason why all the high end sports cars and luxury cars are not FWD.

      Also, although the i3 coach doors may have some limitations, in my experience, I love the advantages over any disadvantages.

      It is so easy to load stuff in the interior, vacuum the carpet, etc, when the doors open up wide like these:

      And with the seats folded down, the cargo area is totally flat and very usable:

      The i3 is quite a unique, and practical car. It’s size makes its incredibly easy to maneuver (U-Turns), and to park, etc.

    3. Nix says:

      Wow! Thanks for the detailed responses guys! A ton of great info, I love it.

    4. shane says:

      on the limping issue. my ’15 no longer has this issue as it has been hacked by a friendly gremlin in the middle of the night. making vehicle is 30% better !!! love this i3 and its bigger tank 😉

      1. mx says:

        What do you set it at? 20%?

  3. evpilot says:

    Why is animal skin not sustainable? it is.

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