Edmunds BMW i3 Review – Video


The BMW i3 has a 50/50 weight distribution.

The BMW i3 has a 50/50 weight distribution.

Edmunds gives us a walk around and review of the new BMW i3.

As one would expect, all of the i3’s key points are discussed along with why the i3 is unlike any other BEV in comparison to the Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus Electric, and if you are comparing the i3 with REx, the Chevrolet Volt.

Aside from a higher price than its closest competitors, it seems that most agree that the price is worth it, with its aluminum frame and carbon fiber body cell… And its a BMW!

You can expect the i3 to have some high-tech features that make it stand alone against other EVs.

As Edmunds mentioned, the inside and out of the i3 looks very futuristic. However, looks are subjective, so to each his/her own.

Let us know your opinion on the i3 in Comments below.  If you are interested in Edmunds’ written i3 review, along with further details – (Check that out here).

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35 Comments on "Edmunds BMW i3 Review – Video"

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It would be interesting if Edmunds did a long-term review of the BMW i3 to see how many times the powertrain and battery pack would need to be replaced.

Why would you think that either would need to be replaced? This car is a lot like a Chevy Volt, whose battery and drive train have been rock solid, more reliable than comparable ICEs even.

He’s referring to how Edmund’s long term Model S went through 2 full drivetrain replacements during its time in the Edmund’s fleet

Thanks InsideEVs for censoring my comment! What did I do wrong this time? I’ll try again.

Actually, Edmunds long-term review Model S needed 1 battery pack replacement and 3 drivetrain replacements (4 drivetrain replacements if you count the replacement DT that the Tesla service center tried to install, but was discovered it was broken and DOA).

Likewise, MotorTrend’s ongoing long-term review Model S needed 1 drivetrain replacement.


So suspicious…lol

Now that you mentioned the comment, I went to look for it. As it has 3 links it was auto-sent to the spam filter (keeps the Chinese-based peddlers of shoes and whatnot at bay). If you keep it two links per comment in the future you will be fine.

Here is the copy of it:
Sven said:
-Submitted on 2014/09/07 at 3:23 pm | In reply to John Hansen.

No argument from me regarding the Volt’s rock-solid drivetrain and battery reliability. But another EV made by a different manufacturer had 4 drivertrains and 1 battery pack replaced during Edmunds long-term review. Likewise, the same model EV also needed to have it’s drivetrain replaced during MotorTrend’s ongoing long-term review. Here are some links:




Thanks for the heads up Jay!

If Tesla pickup the Model S and deliver a loaner, I don’t mind if the drivetrain needs replacing 50 times, tbh.

Even after the warranty expires?

8 year / 100,000 mile guarantee on the battery

2:30:”But the back seat fold flat, which is a rarity among electric cars.”??? Really? My Volt an Spark both fold down for more space, is that a dig at Tesla, or Leaf? (I don’t remember whether or not either of those do.)
Certainly there are cars that don’t fold, like Honda Hybrid, but I’d not call that an electric car…

Also totally soft pedaled the totally impractical rear doors.

The CMax.

No, Cmax seats fold down. It may not be totally flat because the battery is in there but they do fold down. Fusion seats fold down too, just so you know.

Yup, totally glossed over those suicide doors. Not great if you have young ones using infant/toddler seats.

Other than that, all in all, great high tech car.

We have the i3 and Toddlers. Contrary to your opinion we find it much more practical. I can easily get in and lean over the child seat to buckle up. In our Tesla that is almost impossible.

Maybe a dig at the Leaf because it has that “wall” between the hatch and seats making it less functional. Most of the other mainstream electrics and plugin electrics have a fairly flat folding rear seat.

The Leafs fold down. The remaining bay is not totally flat. Far more useful than the average car though. Many ICEs don’t fold flat.

What I think he is getting at is the early hybrids – Civic, Camry etc, that put the battery behind the seat and so eliminated folding seats. It was (and to some extent is) a significant problem. But it isn’t a problem with EVs generally, but hybrids.

Design once, good for 10 years.

I took part of my test drive from the back seat. I noticed:
– no door handle (you can’t get out unless the person
in the front gets out first)
– no window controls. (you can’t lower the rear window).

My back seat test drive un-sold me on the i3.

What about if you think of it as a two door hatchback instead?

No big deal. You shouldn’t get in the back of someones car if you don’t trust them well enough to open the door for you:)

Looks are subjective . . . but when you have as many people that don’t like the looks of i3 as it appears to have . . . you’ve probably not gone with a good choice.

But the light-weight aluminum & CFRP materials are a great advancement and BMW deserves a LOT of credit for that.

I just wish they had given the OPTION for a larger battery.

I think that BMW is off to a great start with the i3. I look forward to different body shapes in the future and larger batteries.

“Looks are subjective . . . but when you have as many people that don’t like the looks of i3 as it appears to have . . . you’ve probably not gone with a good choice.”

When it comes to new alternative drive trains and tech designed to be more efficient, I think there may be a lot of people who want something that stands out. It can be a bold and sometimes smug statement. It worked well for the Prius.

The i3 taught me (some) humility because I’ve never understood how people can like (what I think is) the ugliest car ever produced in the history of Earth, the LEAF

And then I saw the i3 and thought “How cute is that!!!?” Only to find out that many people think the i3 is the ugliest car ever!

Looks definitely are subjective!

I really hope the i3 sells well so that BMW continues to expand its electric offerings.

I was somewhat surprised that they took such a major departure from the ActiveE.

I wonder if they’ll do the same to the BMW X5 electric concept?

well the leaf is really ugly

and the i3 isnt good looking but it kind of looks cool and looks, better than the leaf, but its still super quirky

The tragedy is neither had to be that ugly.

At least the Leaf and i3 don’t get the “golf-cart” derision the iMiev (or Smart ED) gets. For those who view a car as merely a form of transportation, those comments, and these about the i3 or Leaf, are nonsense. They merely reveal a certain trend, image, wealth and power conscious focus that is a bit misplaced – even if it is quite dominant in our culture.

I think the i3 may look a little better than the Leaf (again, it is all subjective), but 4-door and 5-seat Leaf is a bit more practical than the suicide doors & 4-seat i3.

OMG, insideevs must be getting paid to do this many i3 articles! /sarc

Exemplary fanbois!

The i3 could use some love. 😉

Speaking of the future of vehicular transportation, VW agrees with Tesla when it comes to the future of the FCV.
An oft discussed though off-topic comment, but news nonetheless.

I drove the BMW Rex the other day in Silicon Valley and it’s quite an amazing head turner.

There are twenty available, message me if interested.

Unrelated to the actual review itself, I watched the video with the closed captioning on and towards the end, they use the “F word” in the CC text.


I believe the i3 will get pounded on the reliability side of things..much like Tesla did. If you don’t believe me visit the i3 Facebook page and read about the 4-5 dealer visits with less that 2,000 miles, i3 buy backs, major component replacements, owners without their cars for weeks due to parts supply chain issues. I think BMW is worried…and they should be. Technology aside, this is NOT turning out to be your typical reliable BMW.

BMW needs to get out and train the dealerships and fix the problems with the i3 before this becomes a big black eye. There are some folks on the Facebook page now calling it “spa days” for the i3 – a euphemism for days in the shop. They haven’t fixed the KLE issue, just slowed down the charging, impacting everyone. Unhappy customers. So far I’ve read about five buy backs from BMW.

However the worst was “My i3 went in for service and the dealer gave me an i3 loaner with 143 miles on it. Got the loaner home and it has the very same issue / error as my car!!!”