BMW: No Sunroof For US-Bound 2014 i3


We’re not precisely sure why, but BMW has decided to not make available either a sunroof or a moonroof on US-bound BMW i3s.

As a premium automobile, a sunroof/moonroof should at least be made available to US buyers, but BMW for some reason thinks otherwise.

No Sunroof Here

No Sunroof Here

This sunroof feature is available (we believe it to be included with any interior package besides base, though some countries may have slightly different packages) on i3s sold in Europe, so why not let US buyers choose to pay more to let the sun shine in?

Our guess?  It’s an MPGe/EPA range thingy.

Sunroof Shown as Standard Equipment With Terra and Giga Interior Packages for US According to This Slightly Outdated BMW Document - That's No Longer True Now Though

Sunroof Shown as Standard Equipment With Tera and Giga Interior Packages for US According to This Slightly Outdated BMW Document – That’s No Longer True Now Though

The added weight of the sunroof, if made standard in the US as we previously expected BMW to do according to press material the automaker released, would lower the i3’s MPGe and EPA-rated range ever so slightly.

That bump could be enough to keep the i3 out of the top spot (currently occupied by the Chevy Spark EV) in terms of combined MPGe rating.

And perhaps the added weight would have even knocked down the range by a few miles.

Of course, BMW could make the sunroof optional in the US and then it wouldn’t necessarily factor into the ratings, but that’s not guaranteed either since the EPA likes to test “typically equipped” versions of various automobiles.

Chevy Spark EV Holds Top Spot – But BMW i3 Is Expected to Surpass It

Chevy Spark EV Holds Top Spot – But BMW i3 Is Expected to Surpass It

Categories: BMW


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36 Comments on "BMW: No Sunroof For US-Bound 2014 i3"

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BMW have really screwed up the engineering of the i3 in pursuit of compliance with Californian regs.
Witness the unnecessarily restrictive petrol tank.

Hi Dave,
I agree. Maybe we should say they both ruined it in the US….but your in the UK (right?) The concept could work there without Ca getting their nose in it (ha -ha). It is absolute idiocy to not be able to use waste heat off the engine for heating. It defies any known logic.


You are correct that an i3 on tour has to stop for fuel every hour.

However, a bigger problem for the Rex is lousy mileage, probably less than 30 mpg. It will be a tough sell for green people. And it struggles on hills, where it will be overtaken by regular compact cars that gets 45 mpg.

Imagine how easy BMW is making it for competitors, whose salespeople will say … “you can buy this car, or you can choose a i3 if you really want to pay more, go slower, stop every hour and burn a lot more gas”

Don’t forget the restricted boot some humorist put into the design.
Its a great idea, with wonderful technology underlying the carbon fibre, horribly executed.

Apparently the REX thrumbs like a lawnmower, and if you don’t switch it on until the batteries hit 6%, and Americans will have no choice, then you have a massive loss of power and limp home only, until it manages to recharge the battery somewhat:

Whatever can BMW have been thinking?

I have no idea what BMW was thinking. But there is still some time to fix things.

They are trying to sell i3 in the California as a BEVx, which is very restrictive. Instead they could sell it in the PHEV category like PiP and Volt, where the rules are much easier.

It is clear to me what BMW and their customers lose by using the BEVx classification. I cannot figure out if they actually gain something from it. Does anybody know?

First they took away the battery % display,
then they price it a bit too high,
then they did not address the rumors of sky-high leases,
then a six month waiting list (despite low sales volume of 559 in Germany over 6 months)
now the sunroof …

This is not trending well for BMW

Don’t forget the gimped REX mode for US versions of the vehicle. 🙁

1) What is this joke chart listing only compliance cars for the top 6 spots? It doesn’t even include the two best-selling EVs: Leaf and Model S.

2) My take re the i3 sunroof: safety / crash testing considerations.
If adding this option would require re-testing anything, BMW might just conclude it’s not worth the trouble for this model year. The company sounds confident it will sell all it can produce anyway…

The “joke chart” is an old version of the data before the 2014 Leaf was available. You can get the latest one here

Sorry about that, we have a couple of these on file as they are updated…current one has the 2014 LEAF (et al) on it.

They need writers.
Perhaps you could volunteer… so we could critique your work LOL.

The grammar in your earlier post makes me cringe, especially since you’re identifying yourself as an American. Those who live in glass houses…

The list provides a rather distorted perspective.

It’s mixing up Micro, City, B-Segment, C-Segment and D-Segment cars, along with BEVs and PHEVs as if they are all the same class based on size or drivetrain.

But the biggest gripe people have with the C-MAX is that it has a panoramic roof, but it does not open. Fusion Energi offer a moonroof. 2014 Focus Electric….no.

Volt no…(as far as I can see)

You should mention that Tesla has a great sunroof, and really cool control on the touch screen

Tesla: Zero emissions. Zero compromise. ™

Terrible efficiency.

BMW is inviting comparison to Tesla by claiming to be the superior car.

Clearly BMW is not serious about EV’s if this the best that they can do.

Pretty sure the BMW provides more for the i3 pricepoint than Tesla does.

You have a pretty tough point to prove there.

Base model BMW i3 vs. base model Tesla Model S:
22kWh battery versus 60kWh battery (more than double)
~80 miles range versus over 200 miles range (more than double)
$41,340 versus $63,570 (less than double)

Nope. $42k gets you zippy Tesla. Point proven

… and I can jump higher than a mountain.

Taser54 did you have a point or are you just being flippant?

The point was to respond to a prior poster’s flippant remark re: BMW not being serious. BMW IS serious and has produced a vehicle with advanced technology at a price point Tesla has not.

So perhaps posters should keep that mind every time they revert to, “But Tesla …” type posts.

42k gets you a zippy ugly pug looking thing

Tesla has bee talking trash about the BMW for ages. They are scared, for sure. Most Americans drive less than 30 miles a day.

Looking at the MPG chart, I am curious that 3 conversion cars (Fiat/Fit/Spark) beat the Leaf, which was designed as an EV. Does anybody know why?

Is it because the Fiat/Fit/Spark are smaller? Or something else?

They are definitely smaller. Wish you could see the picture of my LEAF parked end to end with 500e…huge difference in size. The Fit and 500e also did not fair so well in off set crash tests.

I don’t understand why anyone would want or need a sunroof. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never seen anyone use it (except for some kids playing around).

you serious? pano roofs are the best thing ever, i always have it open in my smart, wish the volt had one, and the model s has the best one of all

I am with you on that. My wires car had a sunroof and don’t think she used it more than once a year. I had one that eventually leaked. My sons broke open in his car. Not worth the trouble and noise.

stupidest thing i’ll read today

why the hell not? the i3’s i were in had the sun roof even though it was kind of lame, thats dumb

I have had three BMW’s sire and with respect it is obvious you have never had one or drive slow.

BMW needs to step up. Take that motorcycle engine out and put a ~300 mile pack in it.

Disappointing not to offer the sunroof. I drove an i3 at a dealer test drive event and was very impressed. I am also a big sunroof fan so will not buy a car without one, and I would like to hear more about the range extender and what it does for and against the i3. Considering that the tesla most people want is 100k+ in the states, a loaded i3 at 50k seems reasonable…even with the limited range, which will work for a lot of people. Keep the m3 for the weekends and an i3 for during the week! If the rex is bad I’m sure they will get it fixed for v2.

No sunroof? No sale. Suck on it BMW. I guess you don’t realize that no one else offers one so you could have zigged when everyone else zagged. I’ll lease a new Leaf, get a sunroof put in and it will still be half the cost of your overpriced kraut car.

count me in the “no sunroof, no sale” category. I walked in check book in hand, like the car (I live in SF, need a small exterior package) but no sun roof stopped the deal cold. With its high belt line, with no sun roof the car is very very restricted in its light and just feels cramped.

Very stupid.