Five Reasons To Buy A 2017 BMW i3 – Video

7 months ago by Electric CarsTV 40

Some eight months ago, BMW revealed that the refreshed 2017 BMW i3 will get 94 Ah cells, which bumps battery capacity up to 33 kWh (from 22 kWh) and increases range substantially to 114 miles.

2017 BMW i3

2017 BMW i3

Those models began to arrive in September…although inventory has been extremely thin ever since, as BMW has been dealing with a global shortfall of plug-in vehicle production to demand on many of its models.

Contributing to the greater demand is the increased range comes with only a slight price increase ($43,600 MSRP for 90 Ah versus $42,400 MSRP for 60 Ah).

And while range may be one reason to buy the new 2017 i3, Autotrader says that there are in fact at least five main reasons why you should go out and buy an i3 today.

Performance is surely expected from any BMW, and the i3 delivers on that front, but if you were asked to list five reason why you bought an i3, what might they be?

Also of interest:  Our own Warren M put up a swell review on the updated 33 kWh/97 Ah BMW i3 this week, focusing both on its performance and charging abilities.  If interested, check it out here.

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40 responses to "Five Reasons To Buy A 2017 BMW i3 – Video"

  1. Mikael says:

    It’s time for them to show the 2018 model with a ~50 kWh battery.

    ~30 kWh batteries are so 2016.

  2. tony marco says:

    Loving MY 2014 Rex!

    Fully loaded off lease for $27K!

  3. franky_b says:

    5 reasons

    1- It fun to drive in the city
    2- Spacious & Modern inside
    3- DCFC is quick
    4- It will never rust
    5- It’s hight tech (effient, the materials used, the way it is built with renewable energy)

    I have more then 5, but these are the one at the top for me

    1. franky_b says:

      ….efficient…..

    2. mx says:

      Automatic collision prevention available.
      Automatic cruise control too.
      And one pedal driving, with a fully independent suspension, with rear-wheel drive and vented disk brakes.

      1. franky_b says:

        How could I forget 1 pedal driving 🙂

  4. tosho says:

    This car makes all the classical EV mistakes. If it was not for the badge it would not get much more attention than a GWIZZ.

    – It is too expensive.
    – it looks odd
    – it is small
    – the “obsession” with lightness is actually the worst way to make an EV more efficient.
    – it is shaped like a brick which makes it less efficient than most other EVs. A IONIQ with a 33kWh battery would have a range of at least 140 miles and not 114, for example.
    – 33kWh is too small for the money. They should have put a bigger battery in it instead of wasting their time with a carbon fiber chassis

    1. Heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

      Yes it is expensive, but those investments made into carbon fibre technology will pay off later on. Mass manufacturing of carbon fibre parts really differs from traditional materials, so it is good to see that those willing to pay for the BMW badge are financing a lighter future for all of us.

      While I do see the ability to regain a certain percentage of the kinetic energy with EVs with recuperation, wouldn’t it be more efficient not to have converted the electricity in the first place? Or to be more precise: you have an eta when accelerating and one at deceleration both are < 1 so the only way to make the process as efficient as possible is to keep m as low as possible.

      Weight reduction has so many benefits.

      With the same power you have higher performance.
      Less weight means less kinetic energy in the case of a crash (imagine a world where cars were light…)
      Less stress on many car parts.
      Higher overall efficiency.
      Less stress on the infrastructure (streets)

      Carbon fibre has its setbacks but definitely I am happily looking forward to a future where cars consists of more carbon fibre parts than today.

      The future is bright! And light…

      1. Tom says:

        There are two forms of friction applicable here.

        1. air resistance. that’s where the coefficient of drag comes into play. It’s the same no matter what the weight.
        2. Rolling friction with the road. formula is coefficient_of_kinetic_friction*weight. If weight doubles the rolling friction doubles.

        I’ll just keep posting that until this nonsense about weight doesn’t matter goes away.

        NOTE: this is a completely separate issue than acceleration and deceleration

        1. tosho says:

          Of course it does matter. But it matters much less than aerodynamics! BMW did a huge mistake by both ignoring the aerodynamics and putting money into carbon fibre instead of simply using a bigger battery. The i3 is what happens when someone tries to do a EV with ICE thinking!

        2. Djoni says:

          Yes but rolling friction count for less than 5% of the total resistance.
          It’s not a game changer.
          I recall cycling friends of mine happily showing their lightweight 7 kg cycle thinking that would help them climbing hill faster.
          Since they were largely overweight themselves, it just didn’t help anyway.

          The i3 is tall and lightweight, it’s fun at low speed, cornering, accelerating and braking, but it has been reported being unstable at highway speed in crosswind.
          And cheesy in the snow.
          Sometime being heavy is helpful.
          Not such a thing with heavier vehicle and/or with better aerodynamic.

          So, yes it matter in a way or another.

          1. franky_b says:

            …The i3 is tall and lightweight, it’s fun at low speed, cornering, accelerating and braking, but it has been reported being unstable at highway speed in crosswind.
            And cheesy in the snow…..

            And you are telling me that today?? Unstable on the highway 50% of my driving is on the highway (over 10 000 miles), like any car with a higher profile, you will get crosswind, but it’s not worse or better then the Jeep or the RAV4 I had in the past.

            Can’t drive it in the snow?? Seriously, I live in Canada, with winter tire, no problem, it’s my 3rd winter with my i3.

            1. toni says:

              OK, we get it. You like your i3. But this does not mean that it is better than most other EVs.

              1. franky_b says:

                Where did you read I was saying the i3 was better then other other EV?

                Some people like to post what they think is an issue with the i3 without even owning one and even ever driving one. As an owner I think I can provide insights that debunk some of those miss-perception. I’m a pro-EV, all EV. But it’s a national sport of some here piss on everything that doesn’t fit their views.

                And I have facts to back what I’m saying. So call me fanboy if you want, I’m merely balancing the bashing festival that always happen here.

                You won’t find me going on Tesla news, or Bolt news to bash on those cars. It would be easy, but I don’t, because I know my needs, my taste are not a fit.

                But most of time, we have people coming in and trying to fit a car to there needs and when it doesn’t, they end up saying it’s no good and go on and on with the bashing.

                It’s too expensive!! No it’s not, your budget doesn’t fit the car and you don’t need the fit and finish the car provide

                Not enough range!! No, not enough for you and you are in the 20% that need more then 80miles/day

                Not fast enough!! No, it’s faster then most and where do need to go that requires to be there in less then 6 second

                It’s the door!! No, it’s has it’s advantages as well,

                It’s ugly!! Well it’s an acquired taste on the outside, but the inside is among the best I have seen.

                it’s too small: Well, is a Series 3 small, a X1 small? Because you get the same space inside. If you need a bigger, choices are limited.

                See where I’m going here, it’s always the same thing, but if a guy like me has the audacity to put positive comments about the car….Ohhhh he’s a fanboy, Ohhh he thinks the i3 is better then other car.

    2. 3laine says:

      “– It is too expensive.” : Debatable. Mine costs the same to own as our previous $25k GTI. MSRP is high, but not a good indication of how much an i3 actually costs to own after tax credit (BMW has given all $7,500 in the past), discounts, inflated residuals, etc.

      “– it looks odd” : Opinion, but personally, I prefer different to boring.

      “– it is small” The rear seats are more useful for kids and adults than my previous GTI due to the doors. It has great headroom all around. The Model S, which is huge, is no better, and actually *feels* tighter in the front seat for me at 6’1″. Point being, it’s not that small, and secondly, it’s a Megacity car, so it’s not intended to be huge. Some people prefer smaller cars, like me (recently MINI, GTI, i3)

      “– the “obsession” with lightness is actually the worst way to make an EV more efficient.” You keep saying this, but can’t back it up. The small difference in weight between the 22kwh i3 and 33kwh i3 made a significant difference in efficiency, so it’s definitely a big factor. Comparing the i3 to the Ioniq leaves far too many unknown variables to be a valid comparison (charging efficiency, motor efficiency, aero, regen efficiency, etc.)

      “– it is shaped like a brick which makes it less efficient than most other EVs. A IONIQ with a 33kWh battery would have a range of at least 140 miles and not 114, for example.” The i3 is a city car. They COULD have built it like a VW XL1 for max aero, but instead it has very useful headroom, door openings, hatch opening, etc.

      “– 33kWh is too small for the money. They should have put a bigger battery in it instead of wasting their time with a carbon fiber chassis” That’s your opinion, as well. The people who want to trade weight and the advantages of that for range can buy a Bolt, and many will. But some people prefer nimble, light cars, quality fit and finish, etc., and prioritize that over max range.

  5. wavelet says:

    Uh, the value proposition looks really bad compared to other current BEVs… Not just the Bolt, but all the other 110-125mi models as well.

    1. mx says:

      I think you need to get off the one-variable thinking.

      Here’s a clue, everyone who test drives it loves it.

      1. DJ says:

        It’s forced 1 pedal driving sucks so no not everyone loves it 🙂

        1. Daniel says:

          Agreed. NOT a fan of one pedal driving “that cannot be defeated”. And the I3 Is too goofy looking for me.

          1. franky_b says:

            You are confusing 1 pedal driving and regen. You think you can’t defeat regen with the i3, and yet I do it everyday. But then again you have to have enough control of your foot and not always do a complete release of the pedal. Most people gets it, no everyone, but most.

            It’s like someone complaining a car has too much break but the only thing he can do is floor the break down every time he needs to break.

  6. janesh says:

    I bought my 2015 i3 Rex 11 month old with 6000 km, six month ago.
    Msrp 52k euro for 32k euro with 2 year bmw warranty.
    I am stil glad and love my i3.

  7. EVMan says:

    5 reason not too 🙂

    1) Bolt is cheaper and practically beats out i3 in almost every parameter including acceleration. . Some how the rare wheel looks good on paper , but does not result in a better drive . the problem is likely the shock absorbers in i3 , specially at highway speeds

    2) The self parking will fail 75% of times partially. The auto cruise will not identify doge cars. Sorry no OTA update available. Good luck. There is a video in youtube , where my experience is mirrored

    3)Its suicide doors , committed the suicide act to its design.
    The chargeport on the right rare makes good sense if u want to fill gasoline in the chargeport port. but is the worst deign to locate a chargeport , in a “all new EV designed from scratch”. Its like BMW revenge to Steve jobs UX .

    4) The car insist on showing odometer when plugged in instead of showing the SOC when plunged into DC. If DC charging fails in between , no notification. u need to keep turning car on/off and toggle buttons to see the SOC. I noticed the Nissan leaf beeping , when charging stopped in error.

    Needles to say , QA & UX testing for DC was not done

    5) If Tesla software is good. Then BMW software is horrible. I dono about other cars. But looks like the money was spent on carbon fiber technology instead of important things

    Pros)
    Concept wise , there is no other car as good as the i3 rex . The Volt battery pack is too small and the engine too large. Concept wise , i think i3 rex the best car on paper. if only BMW did a better job.

    also, Dashboard is really cool. I fall in love with it at first sight.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Regarding #4, does it have a smartphone app to tell you that information?

      The REx should have been about 25-50% more powerful to overcome any performance issues while in charge-depleted mode. It shouldn’t have been that hard, they have motorcycles that do that.

      1. EVMan says:

        Sartphone app will add 2-3 mins delay. but it is not autorefesh. While DC charging for 15 mins , I am sitting in the car . I expect the dashboard to indicate charging stays , and not odometer status, and also do not want to keep waking up the car from sleep mode

        Can u believe it ?. All the Big LED screens cannot CANNOT display odometer and SOC together. They keep reverting to odometer .

        I still do not believe it every morning , till i see it.

        1. Warren says:

          That is just craziness. I mainly DCQC, and I have absolutely no problem checking SOC%. Either through my 2 smart phone apps. Or when I am in the car, I leave my SOC % reading on, and watch the bar graphs. You do know that you can turn on the accessory power when you are charging, run the A/C, heater, SOC% reading, radio, or whatever you want while charging don’t you?

          And anytime you walk up to the car and open the drivers door, or simply hit the remote, you can see if the car is fully charged because the charge door will glow green. The bar graph indicator will stop sweeping across the display. And if you really can’t tell what your SOC is with high enough accuracy by looking at a high resolution bar graph divided into 4 equal segments, then I don’t know what to tell you. Perhaps the i3 isn’t for you.

          As far as the suicide doors, love them. One of the best features.

          One pedal driving. Love it. Other cars feel strange once you get used to the regeneration. I only wish the i3 would have stronger regeneration immediately after releasing the pedal sometimes.

          The active cruise control the will come to a complete stop while following other cars is awesome. Cant say how much less fatigue there is in stop and go traffic. I use it on the highway and city whenever I can to avoid getting speeding tickets, lol. Of course you still have to watch what is in front of you, this is not an autonomous car, so you still have to be alert enough to take over as needed.

          Rear wheel drive on the i3 is much sportier and refined than the FWD platform of the Bolt. FWD is fine for those feather foot cruisers. But you will quickly see the difference under heavy acceleration. Just take both cars around the block, floor it out of the corners, and from every stop sign over the slippery cross walk paint etc. Better yet, compare the Bolt and i3 under full acceleration in the rain. The results will stun you. While the FWD car is squealing its tires with torque steer, the i3 will quietly track true and straight at full acceleration, with uncanny traction.

          1. EVMan says:

            Warren , if car does not goto sleep while DC charging , please get it checked up. Since rest of them do. and when the LCD screen is black , no one can see any graphs

            accessory power , does not disable sleep mode for LCD.

            yes i agree, i need better software , else i would not complain. perhaps its ok for u.

            smart phone app gives me delay for 3 mins on average and few 4 days at max. I am sure we both use different servers and ur app will auto refesh , while mine , i have to refresh manually. amazing.

            Does BMW have special software for BMW fanboys ?

            Did u drive the Bolt ?

            I

            1. EVMan says:

              The car needs to have a basic system , so as not to permit to goto sleep mode , when a presence is detected. Unfortunately no such systems exist in i3 . its like u working on a mac , and it goes to sleep based on time limit

              1. WARREN says:

                I just don’t think you are operating it correctly. If I am just operating my radio, yes it will eventually go to sleep and the screen will tell you to hit the power switch. But just press the vehicle start button and everything comes on, and stays on. You might need to push activate climate mode of you want to run the AC with the door open or in the system off position. I am on my 3rd i3, they all operate like this.

                1. franky_b says:

                  I confirm pretty much everything Warren says. Even did a video about it

                  https://sway.com/LLJMwyUy8exnNUCz

                  Sorry for the french, but first video on the top, left corner. All interfaces are in english, so you can figure this out.

                  1. EVMAN says:

                    see this video done by third , or 3/3 times self parking fail.

                    1. franky_b says:

                      trying to switch topic?

                      I never use it, I can park my car and this car is particularly easy to park

                  2. Buzz says:

                    I agree with EVMan and also the others. When people by BMW , mostly people are buying the badge and the name. so they will be happy with the shortcomings and defend the shortcomigs, wheres some others may not care about the badge at all. Obvious Tesla buyers will not be happy with any shortcomings The fact that OTA is missing as EVMan said , speaks makes me believe about the approach of BMW. I did not have the key-fob in my mole to display SOC.

                2. EVMAN says:

                  So what happens , when u open the door after that. ? Do u still see SOC or does the car not switch to odometer again ? and the u open the door again. Yes i have a kid. so what happens each time. U r idea of keep on toggling the buttons for 1 session of D charge is amazing UX.

                  1. franky_b says:

                    You know what, you are right, this car is way too complicated for you.

                    Hitting the lock on the key fob is too complicated (as the car lock, it will give you SOC and estimated full charge time).

                    It’s too complicated to put the car in accessory mode when you sit back in it.

                    It’s too complicated to either use the Remote App or the App from the charging network.

                    Too complicated to check the DCFC display also giving state of charge.

                    With so many ways to get the SOC information, you can’t find one that fit your level of skill set??

                    1. tony marco says:

                      Franky_b – you made with LOL with the “Hitting the lock on the key fob is too complicated” comment. I guess for some people the BMW i3 is just “too” complicated. 😉

                      Thanks for you & Warren speaking about our great EVs! My i3 surprises me everyday with how efficient it really is!

                      I hope that the Bolt is a success as well since the more the merrier. Anyone who “dumps” on EVs is a troll or troll-in-training and doesn’t get the EV movement anyways!

                      After all, the i3 is ranked third among all-electric cars sold worldwide for three years running !!!

    2. mx says:

      Again, the Bolt is faster, but it’s got a crude suspension, and no vented disk brakes, not a light weigh design.

      And the test drives prove it. People live the i3 experience.

  8. EVMan says:

    So based on my comments , lets the sparks fly. I am sure most ‘Best Driving Machine not anymore’ fanboys will be offended.

  9. Lad says:

    One reason: given that EVs are low-maintenance and last longer; the ability to replace a depleted battery with an upgraded battery(more range) is huge…BMW does this; Nissan doesn’t do this.

  10. Nix says:

    There needs to be as many different choices in EV’s as there are in ICE cars. So it really doesn’t matter if one person or another likes this feature or another from another car more.

    I’m just glad that we haven’t been swamped with stories about the new bigger battery i3’s dying trying to go up a mountain pass somewhere — unless you hacked your brand new $50K car. I will be very happy for that issue to go away forever. Everything else is more a matter of preference than anything else.

  11. Spoonman. says:

    I love the idea of the i3, but I have three kids so it’s worthless to me. How hard could a 5th seat be, BMW?