Video: BMW i3 Test Drive Review

MAR 21 2014 BY ELECTRICCARSTV 6

“The i3 is the first BMW designed from the ground up as an electric car, and BMW hopes it will capture drivers’ imaginations in a way that other electric models have failed to.”

BMW i3

BMW i3

Says the reviewer from Which? who continues:

“The BMW i3 is a five-door Ford Fiesta sized hatchback with an upmarket interior and room for four passengers. It is constructed from lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic to offset the weight of the lithium ion batteries; that means it weighs more than 20% less than the similarly sized electric Renault Zoe.”

Is the i3 a winner?  In the words of the reviewer, a base BMW i3 is likely the best EV out there for the money, but once options start getting piled on, the i3’s value proposition falls, making it far too expensive for most to afford.

The reviewer’s advice?  Buy a base BEV i3.  You won’t be disappointed.

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6 Comments on "Video: BMW i3 Test Drive Review"

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I guess I could get an i3 and not be disappointed, but that would require me to avert my eyes whenever I had to look at the exterior.

Yep, it is rather homely. Whenever I watch one of these videos from England/Germany, I briefly
freak when I see oncoming traffic. That idiot is driving on the wrong side of the road. Even though I know better that immediate visceral reaction sets in.

The i3 is such a tragedy of greatness buried under an ugly car design and some marketing mistakes.

I know design is subjective but going by the comments of so many (such as the two comments above mine), large numbers of people are not attracted to the looks of the i3. (And put me in that list, I think it looks like a piggy bank.) And that is sad considering the great light-weight composite materials, the ecological manufacturing, and the clever new tiny range-extender idea. And they should have offered more batteries as an option in addition to the range-extender.

I’m wincing every time we see these Euro reviews published. They do, however, reinforce my take on the i3 – that it’s expensive, yes – but a much better proposition for upper-income Europeans than us Americans. The roads they show i3 plying are narrow – as narrow as a small alley in my suburban U.S. hometown. Spendy small-footprint cars are common across the pond. They need them to be small. Look at those U.K. neighborhoods and roads that look like a 500 year-old horse path paved over – Oh wait! They ARE a 500 year-old horse path paved over! You’d think they would chop down a hedgerow or 5,000 and do the redistricting of property lines, but evidently they do things differently in Europe and that is just too complicated. I’m in the market for a Mercedes Sprinter van and some say how strangely tall and narrow they look. Case-in-point, Euros need narrow cars – WE DO NOT. Americans buying an 80 mile BEV for $50,000 doesn’t make much sense – thus the Elon Musk giggles, and even with the expensive motorcycle ReX, you’ll drive another 30 minutes at putt-putt power to the gas station so you can eek out… Read more »

Oh yes, and if I offhandedly insulted any Amish out there – I will say that once, while driving through Pennsylvania, I was struck by how odd it was to be passing 19th century horse buggies on a two-lane state highway! You’d think Pennsylvania’d do a better job in widening those roads for buggy lanes instead of highway shoulders – to cut down on what I hear is a significant amount of clashes between gas-burning horseless carriages and Amish buggies.

Sorry – too much coffee…But perhaps an Amish buggy for a town/city conveyance is a better choice than a BMW i3. Depends on the cost of hay, I suppose – but $50,000 buys a LOT OF HAY!!!

Plus – both have ridiculously narrow wheels.