BMW i8 review - MPG and Running Costs

Can BMW's performance hybrid deliver conventional sports car thrills?

Evo rating
Price
from £106,000
  • Goes as well as it looks - and it's even fun to drive
  • Lacks the outright driving thrills of the best £100k sports cars

As you’d expect, the i8 is an emissions focused car. It’s possible to run it completely on electricity for 22 miles at speeds up to 75mph, or alternatively, use the combination of the two power sources while the car is set to EcoPro mode to achieve a 330-mile total range.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 134mpg, but don’t expect to see that in real world usage – somewhere between 35-40mpg in normal use is much more realistic. Emissions of 49g/km mean it’s no longer exempt from both congestion charge and VED since the introduction of new VED regulations in April 2017.

The bottom line is, the i8 is going to be more efficient in day-to-day use than virtually every other conventionally powered car in its class, but unless you spend much of your time running around using the i8's battery power alone, those claimed economy figures are fanciful at best. As such, the i8 makes most sense, economically and practically, when the owner can regularly charge it – perhaps at home and at work. 

evo Tip

The key to getting the most out of the i8 is being able to charge via a mains socket regularly, in which case it can be run in its electric-only mode for shorter journeys without burning fuel.

Over longer journeys, the i8’s fuel economy figures falls in line with that of a conventional car, although it will prove to be more fuel efficient than a Porsche 911 long term. We’ve averaged around 40mpg when we’ve tested various i8s. 

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