BMW i3 Review – “Should Tesla Be Worried?”


BMW i3

BMW i3

In this Motley Fool review of the BMW i3, the question asked is “Should Tesla be worried?”

Unlike other Tesla versus BMW comparison, Motley Fool gets it right in stating:

“Make no mistake: The hatchback i3 is not in the same class as the Tesla Model S sedan.  The Tesla is the larger, more luxurious, higher-performance vehicle with a better ride.”

But wonders whether or not the BMW i3 is an intriguing compromise between luxury, performance and price.

Watch the video review to find out how Motley Fool thinks the BMW i3 fares in the mid-range EV class.

Motley's Fool's Video Description

Motley’s Fool’s Video Description

Category: BMW, Tesla, Test Drives, Videos

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27 responses to "BMW i3 Review – “Should Tesla Be Worried?”"
  1. Ocean Railroader says:

    No Tesla shouldn’t lose sleep over this car in that it has a 80 mile range. While the Model S has a 200 to 300 mile battery range. At the same time this is going on Tesla is getting ready to come out with a 400 mile range car that will smash apart hydrogen cars.

    In order for this car to threaten Tesla it would have to double or triple it’s range for the same price.

    1. scottf200 says:

      If BMW wanted more range they would have added a bigger battery … and charged more. ala Tesla.

      1. Tech01x says:

        Not that simple as just adding additional battery capacity. The car itself has to be completely redesigned. Further, the specific energy of their battery chemistry is lower than Tesla’s, so it’s much harder to achieve the range of a Model S. Further, they’d have to develop a different motor too and possibly move away from permanent magnets altogether. Also, time would have to be spent working on the battery cooling and charge management. So basically, they’d have to overhaul the entire drivetrain.

        1. mustang_sallad says:

          What do you mean, “redesigned”? The i3 was a new design from the ground up. They were starting with a blank slate and could have gone with whatever battery size they thought made the most sense.

    2. See Through says:

      Per insideev’s estimate, Tesla sold 500 model S in July in US. That’s some crazy number.

      1. Mikael says:

        It is… it’s pretty high considering the factory has stopped production to make upgrades, re-tool and to make a line for the Model X.

        But you already knew that you little troll. Haven’t you been feed enough?

  2. DonC says:

    This is funny. BMW moved 363 units and that is better than expected. Given that Cadillac sold 578 ELRs and the ELR is considered a dismal failure, just how low did BMW set the bar?

    The problem for both the i3 and the ELR is the same — way over priced. The i3 is also saddled with the problems that its not very attractive and, more importantly, its drivetrain was designed by CARB, which should not be in the car design business.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, I have to say that I also have had a hard time reconciling BMW’s actual sales numbers with the “BMW i3 beating expectations” stories.

      I don’t think the i3 is overpriced . . . just a bit odd looking and there should have been an option for a larger battery.

    2. Mark B. Spiegel says:

      The ELR only sold 188 (U.S.) in July, and that was by far its best month ever. Meanwhile the i3 has been selling in the mid-300s (U.S.) each of the three months it’s been available. So whether or not you consider the i3 to be a success (and I personally thought it would sell 2x as well), the ELR is doing much worse.

    3. Mikael says:

      Eeem… the ELR har have been doing 50-ish sales a month. It needed a massive slashing in price to even get up to so far one sole month of 3-digit sales.

      The i3 is doing 1200 a month and is among the top selling EV’s globally even though being production restricted.

      The i3 sold more twice as much last month as the ELR has sold in total sales since it was released.

    4. David Murray says:

      Uhh… You are comparing the Cadillac’s yearly sales (of which has been on sale all 7 months) to a single month of BMW i3 sales. A more accurate comparison would be the i3’s July sales of 363 and the ELR’s sales of 188.

  3. Murrysville EV says:

    Why no comparison to the Leaf, which actually dominates the mid-level EV market? The i3 is priced closer to the Leaf.

    But the Leaf has a lower price, and a roomier interior. It’s just slower, but not slow.

  4. Big Solar says:

    I dont think Tesla has any worries over anything.

  5. David Murray says:

    The i3 may not have the same EV range as a Tesla. But I’d rather take my chances going cross country with an i3 Rex than with a Tesla.

    1. Big Solar says:

      So, you can drive from gas station to gas station with the Rex?

    2. Spec9 says:

      Really? I’d much rather go with an 85KWH Model S and the supercharger network. The i3 with REx would work I guess but you’d be stopping every 50 miles to refuel.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        I wouldn’t take either to cross country trips.

        I would take a Volt instead.

        Tesla is nice with SC network but it still only covers certain route. I would have to drive way out of the way to visit some part of the country…

        1. See Through says:

          I will take the RV, and pack the whole house and the dogs in there. If I will be in a hurry, I will take a flight.

          1. Big Solar says:

            and I will walk. much much cheaper!

        2. David says:

          Vs. a Volt, I’d rather take an ICE with more interior room and luggage capacity. Our minivan works great for long trips. Volt… not so much. 30 miles of electric range isn’t very useful for a long trip. No quick charge. Unlike 260 mile range of a Tesla with supercharger network.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            If you are willing to go with Minivan, then the other two BEV weren’t in the running for your selection anyway.

      2. Superwha? says:

        That’s fine and dandy for you but there’s no supercharger network where I travel on holidays.. 200 mi outside of California and I would either be on a tow truck with a Tesla or parking overnight at a motel. No thanks.

        Chevy Volt or i3 REx for me.

    3. JakeY says:

      I wouldn’t. Stopping every 50 miles to refuel is not a viable way to make a road trip. I’ll take a Model S and using superchargers over that. Might even take less time than the i3.

  6. jmac says:

    Musk has said himself that he welcomed the advent of the BMW i3 as a vehicle that will help with the progress and establishment of EVs.

    The Motley Fool reviewer also says basically the same thing, near the end of the film clip.

  7. CanH says:

    The just comparison is i3 vs. Leaf
    And I think Leaf would win as it can carry 5 people and double the trunk size at half price with very similar electric range

    1. See Through says:

      Yes, Leaf is dirt cheap and are great, reliable commute cars. Just got email from dealer on VPP lease deals. Look really good.

      LEAF S $169 PLUS TAX
      LEAF SV $212 PLUS TAX
      LEAF SL $261 PLUS TAX


  8. Errol says:

    BMW is a big brand. It may take 5 years or more but they will end up #1 in this category, just like they did in the more traditional cars.