BMW i3 review - prices, specs and 0-60 time

evo staff
6 Apr 2015
Verdict:

BMW turns the electric city car segment on its head

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£30,980
For 
Brilliant performance, great interior, stand-out looks
Against 
Range extender engine noisy, limited range without it

evo Verdict

BMW's i3 city car was one of two new vehicles to launch the Bavarian 'i' brand - alongside the seminal i8 sports car. While the latter is more of an evo kind of car, the i3 still holds a lot of appeal, especially for those that spend most of their time in a big city. It looks like nothing else on the road, has a surprisingly spacious and yet genuinely interesting cabin plus the instantaneous maximum torque makes it a hoot to drive - albeit in an urban environment. The only thing holding it back is its range - as with nearly all electric cars.

evo Tip

We'd be flabbergasted to find a BMW i3 buyer that doesn't have a smartphone, so assuming you do, it's worth installing the bespoke BMW i Remote app, as it enhances the ownership experience no end. A particularly useful feature is remotely checking how a charge is getting on, while it's also possible to pre-set the climate control temperature for when you return to the car. There's also what BMW claims to be a world first intermodal route planning system - i.e. it'll guide you whether you're in the car, on foot or using public transport. Perish the thought.

evo Comment

If you like the idea of further range in the i3, BMW will happily sell you one with a 'range extender' engine built in that can generate electricity when the battery charge runs out. Great in theory as it nearly doubles the effective range, but that still means less than 200 miles as the fuel tank for this engine is tiny - and the extra weight means a reduced electric-only range. It does make the i3 more usable for more people, but it also comes at a hefty £3100 premium over the already expensive base model. Company buyers tempted by the zero-rated Benefit in Kind of all-electric vehicles should also note that the model with the range extender attracts five per cent BIK as it has an official emissions rating of 13g/km. Still, a combined economy figure of 470.8mpg is interesting...

 

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