Loaded BMW i3 REx Costs $56,025


BMW has sort of fired up its build configurator for the i3 REx (and BEV version of the i3), so we took a crack at maxing out the price by ticking all of the option boxes.



The base i3 REx has an MSRP of $45,200, but when all the options are added in, the price tag soars to $56,025 (before the $7,500 federal tax credit).

BMW has always been a fan of expensive options and most BMW buyers tick a lot of the boxes.

As we suspected, a typically equipped i3 REx will easily cost north of $50,000.

That’s a lot of dough, but it’s just cheap enough that buying a bare bones 60-kWh Tesla Model S at $71,070 (before the $7,500 federal tax credit) will likely not be considered an option for most i3 REx buyers.

The base MSRP of the i3 BEV is $41,350.  That version maxes out at $52,175.

Try out the i3 REx configurator for yourself by following this link.

Or the i3 BEV configurator at this link.

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41 Comments on "Loaded BMW i3 REx Costs $56,025"

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Bloody Hell! That’s BMW expensive!

BWM’s are always expensive. When it’s state of the art technology of course it’s also going to be expensive.

As a more accurate reference to a Tesla, I just “checked all the boxes” and a loaded Model S is $123,720.

And your point is ???? Several car experts believe Tesla is better is really a deal because it beats Porsche, Aston Martin etc

The point is that if you are going to talk about a fully loaded i3 for $56k and change, you can’t compare that to a “bare bones” Model S at $71K.

The Model S is my favorite car, ICE or EV, by a long shot. I test drove one and was even more excited about the vehicle. Then I went back to the store to configure one. By only adding a handful of options, I was quickly looking at $85k – it adds up fast on that car. For that price I can almost get two i3s.
I still like the Tesla but the i3 is a better deal.

Yep.. been saying it for a while. The BMW i3 is a much better deal than the Tesla. What I’m saying is that you get more bang for your buck. You get a car that is decently fast (although not insanely fast like a Tesla) and a car that has virtually unlimited range with the Rex but enough range with the battery that you’ll seldom need to use it.

However… Truth be told, the Chevy Volt is an even better deal when it comes to “bang for your buck.” The most significant difference being that you’re losing about half of your battery range and some speed.

“virtually unlimited range with the Rex”
Not really. The gas tank is too small to make long trips. Combined EPA range including gas usage seems likely to be around 160 miles, which is less than even the base 60kWh Model S. On a trip with the Rex, you would have to refuel every 80 miles (while a Model S would only need to stop every 150-200 miles to supercharge).

But the likelihood of cross shopping the two isn’t too high in the first place. The i3 is a tiny city car while the Model S is a full sized sedan.

As far as the unlimited range, I think I read somewhere (here maybe?) that the i3 can’t do over 40mph with depleted batteries. If that is true then you can’t [safely] drive it in the only place where range becomes an issue – the highway. Has anyone else heard this, and if it is true, is BMW planning to modify their design to allow highway use with a depleted battery?

With a depleted battery the REx could maintain a speed of 70-plus mph indefinitely, provided that there are no long steep inclines.

For most REx buyers, the i3’s performance will not diminish at all when the battery pack is depleted and the REx kicks in.

You can’t go unlimited miles with the extender just refueling the car. You need to recharge the at some point, this make this car different to a Chevy Volt.

Not true. You could continue to drive the i3 indefinitely (as long as there’s no steep continuous incline) without charging the battery pack, though I have no clue why you’d do that.

I think his point is about the 50-60 mile refuel intervals being a deal-breaking inconveinience…on all those 200+ mile drives.

I keep thinking that the aftermarket will end up solving that problem with some sort of larger gas tank, or second gas tank if that really becomes an issue. I know that would be the first thing I would try to add if I bought one. Only time will tell….

There is always the plastic gas jug I suppose. Not really elegant, and not exactly convenient, but it would work.

50-60 miles? Wow, that is low!! There must be several places in the rural US where gas stations are further apart than that!

Eric, I found the article: http://insideevs.com/video-review-bmw-with-range-extender-a-big-step-forward-but-not-five-stars/

“I’d just come through a heavy but localised rain storm on the M20 when the i3 started to slow. It was a gradual process, from motorway cruising speed all the way down to 44mph. By this time I was travelling up a slight incline and had effectively become a slow-moving obstacle. Lorries were catching me with quite frankly terrifying closing speeds. It was three or four minutes – which was long enough to make me consider pulling over – before the i3 recovered; just as slowly as it had lost speed, so it crept up.”

An episode like that – which would not manifest in a typical test drive – would make me want to push it off a bridge.


“What I’m saying is that you get more bang for your buck”
Uh . . . I think you get much more bang for your buck with the Tesla. Yeah, you pay a bit more. But you get a lot more. A much bigger car, faster acceleration, long pure electric range, the ability to charger very fast, better handling, etc.

Model S is definitely a lot more value for money than i3, but in a different market segment so people are unlikely to cross shop.

What it basically amounts to is that if you get the top of the line interior along with the 20″ sport wheels and every option offered it adds $9,900 to the price of either the base REx or base BEV i3. The $925 Destination and handling should really be counted into the base price, not a line option.

Agreed. It’s not out of line, and the options are sensible too. Not everybody wants park assistance, for example.

Bare bones i3 but with heated seats, 46,475 (less 7500 fed) 38,975 (less 2500 ca) 36,475. Looking good, now we’ll see what a 3yr lease with 19.500 smiles will be!

That is basically the same as a 328d 4-cylinder turbo-diesel sedan, or in other words, not expensive for a BMW.

I think we have learned the lesson that the sticker price is only a part of the whole equation. BMW ownership experience is a significant step above others and I don’t think the Bavarians are going to disappoint their i3 clients.

Tesla’s warranty was recently amended to essentially read: If you don’t intentionally break your car, it’s covered. Even BMW can’t match that.

I just wish some other manufacturer was offering a vehicle similar to this but without all of the expensive BMW stuff. When I say similar, what I’m looking for is something with 60+ miles of EV range and a small 2 cylinder REX option. Right now the only thing even close is the Chevy Volt.

I totally agree with you. If the Volt could have a bit more battery, slightly less robust ICE, and just a slightly bigger fuel tank, you could have a more economical i3, with unlimited range. You could probably even get a 3rd seat in the back if it was designed well.

I drove a leaf for 6 months then bought a volt. Each has its virtues. And I agree the volt needs about 10-15 more miles of BEV range and it would be great if it could seat 5. But looking closely at how they distributed the materials they had to work with in order to accomplish all their goals, the car seems to be the product of a ton of solid thought. If you put the extra batt in the trunk, people would complain about cargo space. If you put them all in the floor like Tesla you would be raising the floorboard, thus roof, thus negatively affecting your cd. If you weaken the engine you couldn’t do highway speed with 0 batt, let alone charge while driving (mountain mode). IMO they hit a bullseye given their initial constraints and goals. Now that they are getting some real consumer miles on them there are some improvements that could be made without consequences to the experience. They should solicit and prioritize them in bang for buck order. But they should not make any of them until they can do so while also bringing the cost down… Which should be their sole… Read more »

That’s actually not that bad. You can usually add on $20K+ in options on a 3 or 5 series. I love the Tera interior. I would take a Laurel Grey REx with Tera World, heated seats and parking package: $50,725 ($43,225 after tax credit). I hope a get a good bonus this year!

Is it true the i3 REX will not supply heat to the battery or cabin?


In theory, if they were to deliver the i3 via BMW’s European Delivery program, the price could be as low as $42K for the REx version, and $38K for the pure electric version.

So far there have been no signs that BMW plans to offer the i3 through their European Delivery program though.

Couldn’t find heat pump “option”, on those links. Given the seasonal complaints about resistance heat being significantly worse than normal gas mpg losses, the folks going i3 BEV may have something to brag about.

From my experience you have a valid concern. The heat in my volt is a lot nicer than the heat in my leaf. Not sure what strategy each uses but it is good to be comfortable.

The heat pump will be standard on the BEV trim in the US, and it won’t be available on the REx trim. At least not at launch in early 2014.

Easy to understand because Volt uses engine heat for the passenger compartment … according to http://gm-volt.com/2010/12/09/the-chevrolet-volt-coolingheating-systems-explained

That’s correct, Nelson. The REx won’t supply any cabin heat.

This car might be the first car that the New Tesla model E attacks unless they have some kind of price cut on the Model X such as the Model X being a starting price $55,000 or $60,000. But for the time being it’s safe for now with the Tesla hanging out in the $70,000 price deep end of the car buying ocean.

so the volt is the obvious standout choice, go volt

Maybe you should tell GM that as even they don’t get it.

vdiv? Are multiple people blogging under the same name? I thought you were a Volt fanboy. What happened?

Yes, I am a Volt fanboy. However I am not a GM goon. There’s a difference, you know. 🙂

As a more accurate reference to a Tesla, I just “checked all the boxes” and a loaded Model S is $123,720.