2018 BMW I3 Electric

#29
in Compact hatchbacks
2018 MODEL
$44,450 - $51,500 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

BMW i3 is indeed a very quick and funky car. Its latest carbonfiberand aluminum structure has made it light weight and also morecompetitive. This EV is cleverly engineered which gives good power output without compromising on comfort and overall safety. It ranks quite good in the small electric luxury car segment.

Runningon an electric motor, this mini i3 pumps outstandard 170-horsepower for the base(i3)and184-horsepower for its higher trim(i3s).It is obviously quite expensive and can go up to$52,050based on the type of configuration that you desire for. With its special suspension and largerwheels,it truly brings out legendry drivingdynamicsof the EV.


 

7.0/10
Engine

 
 

6.4/10
Interior

 

7.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

Being in the fifth model year BMW i3 has made significant changes to its latest variant especially some of its exteriors and intriguing interior design. Its Zeninspiredcabinmakes the driver to lull in as lower pace thereby increasing the range of the battery.

2018 BMW i3 electric Features

The 2018 BMW i3is offered in four different trim levels namely Basei3,i3Range Extender, i3S, and i3SRangeExtender. The major difference between these various trims its additional gasoline-powered range Extender which is used after the depletion of the battery. The base i3 model has the same battery as that of its siblings and comes equipped with19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and Level 3 DC fast-charging capability alongside some of a major interior overhaul like the keyless entry, rain-sensing headlights and adaptive cruise among others.

By comparison, the i3s offers more power and sharper handling than the base variant. It has healthy184 hp and 199lb-ft of torque which increases its acceleration as well. However, it is a bit shorter than the i3 but has wider performance tires. Some packages can be included to maximize your comfort and safety. Technology + Driving Assistant can be added to any variant but the upholstery packages for the base i3 isMega World, Giga World, and Tera World.

Trims BMW i3 BMW i3Range Extender BMW i3s BMW i3s Range Extender
MSRP $45,000 $48,850 $48,200 $52,050
  Black mirror caps Features on BMW i3 plus: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) roof Slide-through interior floor design
Key Features Power-folding, heated side mirrors Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) roof Rear coach doors Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access
LED headlights Rear coach doors Kona interior dash and door panels Cruise control
CapparisWhite non-metallic paint with BMWiFrozen Blue accent Velour floor mats Slide-through interior floor design Instrument cluster
BMW-shaped LED daytime running lights SeaWorld (includes Atelier European Dark Cloth upholstery) Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access

Tire Pressure Monitor

Exterior thermoplastic bumpers, fenders and door panels

Driver and 3-passenger seating

Multi-function steering wheel Rear-window defroster
HD Radio with "multicast" FM station reception 50/50 split-folding rear seats BMW Navigation Business system with drive controller, 6.5" high-resolution screen and programmable memory buttons Rear-view Camera
SiriusXM satellite Radio with 1-year All Access subscription

Kona interior dash and door panels

BMWTeleService Tilt/telescopic steering wheel column
Cruise control Slide-through interior floor design USB audio connection Power front windows with "one-touch"
Instrument cluster Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access   Electric interior trunk and hood release
Tire Pressure Monitor     12V power socket in center console
       

2018 BMW i3 electric Engine

7.0/10

The engine of i3 is quite powerful as its electric motor with a single gear draws from a lithium-ion high-voltage battery with a capacity of 94Ah (33kWh)making it roar with170horsepowerand peak torque of 184lb ft. Based on your preference the i3 premium can be fitted with two-cylinder gasoline range extender which can be used when your battery is running low.

Unfortunately, the i3 isn’t going to change that perception of EV, let alone live up to its maker’s Ultimate Driving Machine slogan. This car is set up for guilt-free maneuvering and eco-profiling, not to get the driving mojo flowing - Caranddriver

With its other trim i3S and a sportier i3 which gets a bit14bhp/15lb ft power hike compared to its base variant. Among its peers, the Chevrolet Volt steals the show as its1.5L Direct Injection (DI) DOHC 4-cylinder kicks out impressive 294lb.-ftof torque withcombined149 horsepower. Whereas the Audi A3Sportbacke-Tron has higher horsepower than the Chevrolet giving out healthy 204hp from its powerful1.4-liter engine.

 

Models 2018 BMW i3 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
MSRP $45,000 $39,500 $34,095 $27,100
Engine AC Synchronous Electric Motor 1.4 TFSI 4 CYL, PHEV 1.5L Direct Injection (DI) DOHC 4-cylinder 1.8L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16V
Transmission 1-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic CVT Automatic CVT Automatic
Power 170hp 204hp 149hp 121hp
Torque 184lb-ft 258lb-ft 294lb-ft 105lb-ft

Acceleration

Having gained 122 pounds more than its previous avatar, BMW i3 is a quick car as per the electric vehicle category, but it takes7.4 seconds to get to 60 mph instead of 7.1 seconds which was the record for its predecessor. All the vehicles in this category fall in the same line when it comes to acceleration only keeping behind Toyota Prius Prime as it takes 10.2 seconds to get to 0-60mph.

Models 2018 BMW i3 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
0-60 MPH 7.2 sec 7.6 sec 7.8 sec 10.2 sec
Quarter mile 15.7 sec 15.8 sec 15.9 sec 17.7 sec
Engine Electric Motor 1.4L 1.5L 1.8L
Emission

 

(Tons/yrof CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A N/A 1.3 N/A

Ride and Handling

Being an all-around performer BMW i3 boasts of finely balanced handling and responsive steering. Despite its weight of 122 pounds, the EV is quick and its tires being impressively coordinated doesn't ruin your comfort. You'll be surprised by its excellent city maneuverability and ultra-tight-turning circle because of its swift and agile steering. However, the vehicle is susceptible to following grooves in the road.

Especially engineered lightweight carbon fiber construction and batteries being placed under ithe floor it has low center of gravity along with its rear-mounted propulsion system which gives it a slight rear weight bias that aids traction.

Braking

The i3is quite stable even during panic brake tests due to its regenerative brakes. Even while stopping hard it doesn't create any natural pedal feel just because of its substantial off-throttle regenerative braking. It required just125feet to stop from 60 mph, which is around 20feet shorter than its lighter predecessor and no less exciting. Since its an electric vehicle there is no need to shift gears which makes your job easier and gives you a supremely smooth acceleration and braking. Once you get familiar with the natural off-throttle regenerative braking-you'll be able to touse one pedal driving making your ride more efficient and fun. Among its peers, Chevrolet Volt is the least efficient as it takes more time to stop in the panic break testing.

Model 2018 BMW i3 2018 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
Brake Front(in) 11.0 12.3 10.8 10.0
Brake Rear(in) 11.0 10.7 10.0 10.2
Curb weight(lbs) 2961 3616 3543 3365
60-0 MPH 125 123 120 125

 

2018 BMW i3 electric Fuel Economy

The combined EPA of i3 is 118 mpg-e whichismorethan Audi A3 and Toyota Prime Plus. While driving up in the highway it may consume much of the i3's battery juice compared to thecitydrive. Because of its aerodynamic drag the city driving feels moreadventurous. However, the gasoline fueled range-extending generator comes into the picture when the EVschargedrops to 5 percent. You have the option ofrefuelingthei3withitsrange extender and keep going, but the BMW's tiny 2.4-gallon gas tank adds only 80 miles of gas-powered range, according to the EPA.

Model 2018 BMW i3 2018 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
MPG (city) N/A N/A 43 N/A
MPG (highway) N/A N/A 42 N/A
MPG (combined) 118 (mpg-e) 83 (mpg-e) 42 54 (mpg-e)

2018 BMW i3 electric Interior

6.4/10

Well-crafted, contemporary interior has a distinctive style- Caranddriver

Seating and Comfort

The i3can easily accommodate four adults with adequate leg- and headroom all around. But the rear occupants may find the seats a tad bit compromised which can be bothersome if you are planning for long distance cruising. Keeping intact its brand name, BMW i3 has very comfortable seats and it exhibits a level of polish that is quite unique for a small car. The inside of the car is superbly quite which makes the ride more comfortable. Its uniquely designed suspension absorbs road imperfections which likely boosts up your comfort level.

Seating and Comfort

Model 2018 BMW i3 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
Passenger capacity 4 5 5 4
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

 

(In.)

39.6/53.6/40.5 38.7/54.8/41.2 37.8/56.5/42.1 39.4/54.2/43.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.2/49.2/31.9 37.5/52.9/35.4 35.8/53.2/34.7 37.2/53.0/33.4



Infotainment System

BMW has done justice to its i3 variant by upgrading its infotainment system and it comes with the drive which is quite efficient and easy to use. The knobs are easy to reach from the driver's seat keeping it in a good proximity in terms of usage. Here's list of infotainment features that you can enjoy with BMW's i3: -

  • Harman Kardon system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • AUX
  • LEDScreen

Cargo volume

The BMW i3 has an average cargo capacity as it can only hold15.1 cubic feet of space. Sine the electric motor and generator are caged under the floor it minimizes the total cargo area.However,after folding the rear seats you'll be able to manage more items as the storage capacity of i3 double to 36.9 cubic feet of space. The loading height is also too high compared to its peers. The setup of its engine is offset by high roof and absolutely flat folding rear seats.

Model 2018 BMW i3 2018 2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron 2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
Volume (ft.cube)

 

(Behind 2rdrow)

15.1 13.6 10.6 19.8
Volume (ft.cube)

 

(2ndRow Folded)

36.9 33.7 N/A 24.6

2018 BMW i3 electric Exterior

7.0/10

Wherever it goes, the i3 will stand out like a pair of Air Jordans at a line dance - Caranddriver

Dimension and Weight

It's said that BMW i3 resembles AirJordan sat a line dance-which is surely so as its one of the most ambitious BMW designs in recent history. Their design has made rave reviews and its peers have been getting complex because of its attractive looks. The i3 model stands out from its other distant sibling because the brand has shed off its conservative approach of designing the vehicle and has come up with something new that is quite impressive. The compact electric powertrain makes its way to the short front overhang that is matched in the rear.It'sstretched-wheelbasemay give you the impression that it's wide but when compared to its rivals it largely remains short. However, its height covers up its shortness just like the philosophy Chevrolet adopted for the Bolt EV.

 

Model 2018 BMW i3 2018  Audi sportback tron  2018 Chevrolet Volt Toyota Prius Prime
curb weight(lbs) 2961 3616 3543 3365
Length(in) 158.3 169.7 180.4 182.9
Width(in)

 

(w/o mirror)

69.9 70.3 71.2 69.3
Height(in) 62.9 56.1 56.4 57.9
Ground clearance(in) 5.5 4.9 5.5 4.8
Wheelbase(in) 101.2 103.5 106.1 106.3
Track width(in) F/R 61.9/61.3 60.7/59.6 60.6/61.8 60..2/60.6

2018 BMW i3 electric Safety

The BMW 2018 i3 still doesn't have a crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). However, the IIHS has given it a good score for several tests conducted by them. Alongside its crash test-reliability, the i3 has some standard safety equipment like the rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. As per your trim choice you can also include features like adaptive cruise control with stop and go capabilities, front parking sensors, and an active parking assistant can be included.

Safety and Features

  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Acoustic safety-belt warning
  • BMW AssisteCallincludes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification
  • BMW Remote Services includes Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Door Unlock and BMW Connected App Compatibility
  • Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Impact sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of starter generator
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Driver's and passenger's front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology
  • Seat-mounted front side-impact airbags
  • Front safety belts with automatic pretensioners
  • Front-passenger-seat-occupation recognition with Passenger's Airbag Off indicator
  • CodedDriveawayProtection
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger safety belts for installation of child-restraint seat

  •  

2018 BMW i3 electric Competition

2018 Audi A3Sportbacke-tron Vs i3 Hatchback

What makesA3Sportbacke-tronstand out from its peers is that the plug-in hybrid powertrain is rare for an entry-level luxury car. Since its Audi, you'll bemesmerizedby its upscale andwell-designedinterior. It alsoflaunts its attractive and practical hatchback body style. The technology features are excellent and are among the best in class. However, if you wish to upgrade to your desirable technologyyou'llhave to shell off more money as it is restricted tohighertrims. For a luxury car like the A3, it has a lackluster acceleration. It is very highly pricedover non-hybrid A3.

2018 Chevrolet Volt  Vs i3 Hatchback

The Chevrolet Volt of 2018 has moreall-electric range than most plug-in hybrids. It also comes equipped with plenty of safety features and advanced tech. It impresses you with its nimble handling and is easy to drive around cities. However,it may be a bit problematic or tricky to park the vehicle sincethe car's nose is hard to see. Like many of its peers, it suffers from compromised cargo room just like Prius Prime.

Toyota PriusPrime  Vs i3 Hatchback

The most attractive feature of Prius Prime is its fuel economy with 25 miles of EV range. Even with its luxurious interior, it is priced lower than most other plug-ins. Even though you'll enjoy its comfortable seats its the noisy engine and poor acceleration is sure to turn you off. It has also got a small cargo area by sedan standards,

which cannot fit in enough items if you are thinking of traveling long distances. Its infotainment system is also poorly designed and the smartphone integration is also not as good as that of its rivals.

 

2018 BMW i3 electric Final Verdict

The i3 may seem a bit expensive but the interior quality and modern design make it stand out of the box and justifies its high price. This model by BMW boasts of an intriguing mix of high-quality and eco-friendly materials with the typical solid BMW switchgear which is complimented by its peppy acceleration and strong handling. Being a modern EV it still doesn't catch up to the level of performance and driving dynamics as you'll expect from aBMW3 Series. No doubt the i3 is a well suited as an agile city car which is quite eco-friendly and has a healthy mpg-e rating which appeals a wider audience for being a green car. With many options at a lower price at hand, you can still consider some other vehicles unless you are a hardcore BMW fan.

A fancy package with unique features but unimpressive electric range- Caranddriver

Pros

Quicker and more stable

Attractive interior.

Convenient one-pedal driving

Good mpg-e compared to rivals

Cons

Expensive

Limited-range EV

What's New?

New sporty i3S version introduced

Apple CarPlay is now available


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44450

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

4

top speed

92 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

horsepower

170 hp @ 4800 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft.

transmission

1-speed direct drive

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11 in. four-wheel disc brakes, ventilated disc brakes/11 in.four-wheel disc brakes, ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

101.2 in.

length

158.3 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

62.9 in.

curb weight

2961 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

cargo volume

15.1 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.3 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

184 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

129/118/106 mpg

ev range

271.4 mi.

highway range

243.8 mi.

highway range (evs/hybrids)

243.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 BMW i3 electric in Melbourne Red Metallic color  2018 BMW i3 electric in Mineral Gray Metallic color  2018 BMW i3 electric in Imperial Blue Metallic color  2018 BMW i3 electric in Fluid Black color  2018 BMW i3 electric in Capparis White color
Melbourne Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Exterior

7.0

Engine

7.0

Comfort

8.3

Driving

9.5

Interior

6.4

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 BMW i3 electric 4dr Hatchback

4dr Hatchback

power
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Gas/electric
mpg
109 combined

$44,450 - $48,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $44,450 MSRP (129/118/106) 170 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4 NA
4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (electric DD) Starting at $48,300 MSRP (129/109/106) 170 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, gas/electric
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4 NA

 2018 BMW i3 electric s

s

power
184 hp
fuel
Electric fuel
mpg
109 combined

$47,650 - $51,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
s 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $47,650 MSRP (125/112/114) 184 hp, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4 NA
s 4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (electric DD) Starting at $51,500 MSRP (125/109/25) 184 hp, electric, electric fuel
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4 NA

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