2019 BMW I3 Electric

2019 MODEL
$44,450 - $51,500

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2019 BMW i3 electric Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

The increasing concern of global warming demands emission-free vehicles and efficient use of energy, BMW i3 is here with the new chapter of electromobility. The 2019 iteration of i3 gets a bigger battery over last year version by nearly one third which helps it to clock more than 200 miles.

See detailed review »

Pros

Unique looks

Efficient powertrain

Peppy acceleration

Compliant ride

Hi-tech cabin

Cons

Priced way higher than the rivals

Limited EV range

Rear seats are cramped

What's New?

There are not many changes for the year 2019 and only the battery is increased in size from 94 Ah (33 kWh) to 120 Ah (44 kWh) and few new features are added.\\ufeff


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44450

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

4

top speed

95 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

40

horsepower

170 hp @ 4800 rpm

torque

184 lbs.-ft

transmission

1-speed direct drive

chassis

frame type

monocoque

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

61.9/62

dimensions

wheelbase

101.2 in.

length

158.3 in.

width

69.9 in.

height

62.9 in.

curb weight

2972 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

capacity

cargo volume

36.9 cu ft.

payload capacity

838 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7 sec.

zero to 100 mph

7.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

TBD/113/102 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

48 months. / 50,000

corrosion warranty

12 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr. / Unlimited

ev battery warranty

8 yr. / 100000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 BMW i3 electric in Fluid Black color  2019 BMW i3 electric in Capparis White color  2019 BMW i3 electric in Brilliant Brown Pearl color  2019 BMW i3 electric in Melbourne Red Metallic color
Fluid Black

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

Features

8.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.0

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 BMW i3 electric Base

Base

power
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
113 combined

$44,450


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $44,450 MSRP (113/102) 170 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, electric
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4

 2019 BMW i3 electric S

S

power
181 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
113 combined

$47,650


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
s 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) Starting at $47,650 MSRP (113/102) 181 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, electric
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4

 2019 BMW i3 electric Range Extender

Range Extender

power
170 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
100 combined

$48,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (electric DD) Starting at $48,300 MSRP (100/) 170 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, electric
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4

 2019 BMW i3 electric S Range Extender

S Range Extender

power
181 hp @ 4800 rpm
fuel
Electric
mpg
100 combined

$51,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
s 4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (electric DD) Starting at $51,500 MSRP (100/) 181 hp @ 4800 rpm, electric, electric
See Full Specs
1-speed direct drive rear wheel drive 4

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8.7/10

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MPG: 20 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial October 10, 2019

8.0

Overall Rating


The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks not just to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant. The standard motor in the i3 generates 170 hp while the i3s puts out 184 hp. Made for composite material the bimmer is lightweight and competitive. The BMW i3 and BMW i3s apply the concept of sustainability throughout and the interior is crafted from recyclable material. The i3 aims to sway away buyers from alternatives like the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf. It is priced similar to a mid-size luxury sedan, so does it worth your money let’s see ahead.

2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3

8.0/10
Features

 
 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2019 BMW i3 electric Features

8.0/10

The 2019 BMW i3 is offered in four different trim levels which i3, i3 range extender, i3s, and i3s range extender. The i3 comes with 170 hp electric motor while the i3s puts out 180 hp. The range extender (REX) is a two-cylinder gasoline engine which charges up the batteries to increase the range. The BMW i3/i3s is priced between $44,450 to $52,059 (BMW i3s with Range Extender). Opting for the range-extending gas engine costs $3,850. 

The base i3 model has the same battery as that of its siblings and comes equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and Level 3 DC fast-charging capability alongside some of the major interior overhauls like the keyless entry, rain-sensing headlights and adaptive cruise among others. 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 is Mega World, Giga World, and Tera World.

Trims

BMW i3

BMW i3 Range Extender

BMW i3 S

BMW i3 S Range Extender

Price

$ 45,000

$ 48,850

$48,200

$ 52 ,050

Features

Black mirror caps 

Adds or replaces :

Adds or replace :

Adds or replaces

 

Power-folding, heated side mirrors 

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) roof 

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) roof 

Slide-through interior floor design 

 

Capparis White non-metallic paint with BMW i Frozen Blue accent 

Rear coach doors 

Rear coach doors 

Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access 

 

BMW i U-shaped LED daytime running lights 

Velour floor mats 

Kenaf interior dash and door panels 

Tire Pressure Monitor 

Rear-window defroster 

 

Exterior thermoplastic bumpers, fenders, and door panels 

Deka World (includes Atelier European Dark Cloth upholstery) 

Slide-through interior floor design 



 

Tilt/telescopic steering wheel column 

 

HD Radio with "multicast" FM station reception 

Driver and 3-passenger seating 

Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access 

Power front windows with "one-touch"

up/down operation 

 

SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 1-year All Access subscription 

50/50 split-folding rear seats 

Kenaf interior dash and door panels 

Multi-function steering wheel 

Electric interior trunk and hood release 

12V power socket in center console 

 

Tire Pressure Monitor 

Slide-through interior floor design 

BMW Navigation Business system with iDrive Controller, 6.5" high-resolution screen and programmable memory buttons 

 
 

Rear-window defroster &Rear-view Camera 

Manual front seats with folding rear-seat access 

BMW TeleService 

USB audio connection 

 

We Recommend

The base i3 is a good option to consider as it comes with a lower price tag and incrementally higher range. If you want better performing i3, opt for the i3S as it offers more power than the base and better features too for 3000 bucks more.

2019 BMW i3 electric Engine

"BMW offers both the 2018 BMW i3 and the new more powerful i3s as pure electrics or as plug-in hybrids with extended range. Both are sporty, quick and quirky with unconventional styling and advanced technology like lightweight carbon-fiber construction. The i3's open-space interior concept also separates it from the pack, as does its nearly $45,500 entry-level price tag – Kelly Bluebook

Engine and Transmission

Since its launch in 2014 the battery capacity if the i3 has grown from 60 Ah and now 120 Ah for 2019. The lithium-ion battery pack powers an electric motor which generates 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The optional i3S comes with more powerful 181 hp and 194 lb-ft torque powertrain. The new battery extends the range up to 153 miles which was115 miles in the previous variant.

2019 BMW i3 engine

Based on your preference the i3 premium can be fitted with a two-cylinder gasoline range extender which can be used when your battery is running low. The 647-cc twin-cylinder range extender gasoline engine produces 38 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque. It is only used to charge the battery when it goes off but the performance depletes. 

Models

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

MSRP

$44,450

$30,700

$37,495

$30,885

Engine

Synchronous Traction Motor

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor

Permanent magnet Drive Motor

Electric Motor

Transmission

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

1-speed direct drive

Horsepower

170 hp

118 hp

200 hp

147 hp

Torque

184 ft-bs

218 ft-lbs

266 ft-lbs

236 ft-lbs

The Chevrolet Bolt-EV produces the highest amount of horses followed by the i3. The Nissan leaf hatchback and Hyundai Ioniq takes the third and fourth spot respectively.

Acceleration

The BMW i3, powered by a 170 hp electric motor, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, while the BMW i3s with 181 hp completes the standard sprint in 6.8 seconds. The two models set the benchmark for sporty performance within their vehicle segment. The BMW i3 120Ah and the BMW i3s 120Ah have a much more favourable CO2 footprint across the entire vehicle lifecycle.

2019 BMW i3 acceleration

Models

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

0-60 MPH

7.2 sec

10.2 sec

6.5 sec

8.2

Quarter mile

N/A

17.8 sec

15.3

N/A

Emission 

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 

-

-

-

-

The Quarter mile and the 0-60MPH figures of the Ioniq are just about average and it tails behind Nissan Leaf. The Bolt –EV is fastest among rivals followed by BMW i3.

Ride and Handling

The increase in battery capacity certainly helps to crunch more miles than the previous variant. After the battery goes off the range extender is there so you won’t have to look for a charging spot. The carbon-fibre lightweight constriction and batteries mounted under the floor aids in superb handling and traction. However, the skinny all-season tires tend to lose grip on slippery surfaces.

2019 BMW i3 drive selector

 I3 with its short dimensions is excellent to manoeuvre in city traffic and parking lots. Being an all-around performer BMW i3 boasts of a finely balanced handling and responsive steering. Outward visibility is good and the cabin remains quiet on highway speed with low levels of wind noise. The i3s features special suspension and large wheels than standard variant which makes up for better driving dynamics.

Braking

The i3 is quite stable during panic stops instead of its regenerative braking and just takes 125 feet to stop from 60 mph. The pedal feel is very natural and the brakes are better than the rivals. Since it’s an electric vehicle there is no need to shift gears which makes your job easier and gives you a supremely smooth acceleration and braking.

2019 BMW i3 braking

Model

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

Brake Front (in.)

11

11.2

11

11.1

Brake Rear (in.)

11

11.2

10

11.5

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2965

3164

3563

3433

60-0 MPH (ft.)

125

NA

NA

NA

The i3 is the lightest among the rivals with just 2965 lbs which makes it best in braking performance. The Ioniq takes the second spot followed by Chevrolet bolt and Nissan Leaf.

2019 BMW i3 electric Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The BMW i3 can travel up to 153 miles with its electric powertrain. The range extender helps you to travel more than 200 miles. The gasoline motor is only used to recharge the battery and not to mechanically drive the wheels. However, the gasoline-fueled range-extending generator comes into the picture when the EVs charge drops to 5 percent. BMW’s tiny 2.4-gallon gas tank adds only 80 miles of gas-powered range, according to the EPA.

2019 BMW i3 Charging

Model

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

MPG (city)

129

150

128

124

MPG (highway)

106

122

110

99

MPG (combined)

118

136

119

112

Tank Capacity (gal)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

The BMW i3 has better range than the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq. The Chevrolet Bolt continues to have best-in-class range among all rivals.

2019 BMW i3 electric Interior

8.0/10

The i3's design has always been a big part of why it stood out from the crowd, especially with unique colors and textures in the cabin. It's nice to see more options for personalization- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The BMW i3 can comfortably seat five people but people with long legs in the rear may have a concern. Is rear-hinged doors allow easy access into the cabin for passengers. The carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell is tougher than steel and wonderfully light. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Keeping intact its brand name, BMW i3 has very comfortable seats and it exhibits a level of quality that is quite unique for a compact hatch. 

2019 BMW i3 seating

The BMW i3 and BMW i3s apply the concept of sustainability. Over 80 per cent of the surfaces visible to the passengers is made from recycled materials or renewable resources . The materials used include sustainable woods and eco-friendly fabrics. But they’re all fashioned into a well-designed environment that’s also assembled well. The interior of the i3 is possibly one of the best bits about it. 

Model

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

Passenger capacity

5

4

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.1/56.1/42.2

39.6/53.6/40.5

39.7/54.6/41.6

41.2/54.3/42.1

Second 

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.4/55.0/35.7

37.2/49.2/31.9

37.9/52.8/36.5

37.3/52.5/33.3

The Nissan Leaf is the most spacious from the inside ass compared to the other rivals. While all others are similar in terms of interior space but the i3 feels cramped in the rear because of its smaller dimensions.

Interior Features

  • Heated Front Seats
  • 6-Way Driver Seat 
  • 6-Way Passenger Seat 
  • 50-50 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Valet Function
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
  • Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Integrated Navigation System
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Fixed Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints

Infotainment and Features

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

2019 BMW i3 infotainment display

  • Harman Kardon system
  • Apple CarPlay 
  • Bluetooth
  • USB 
  • AUX
  • Integrated Roof Diversity Antenna
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio -inc: 1 year All Access subscription

Cargo Capacity

The BMW i3 has an average cargo capacity as it can only hold 15.1 cubic feet of space. Since 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 the high roof and absolutely flat folding rear seats. 

2019 BMW i3 cargo space

Model

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

15.1 

23.0

16.9

23.6

The BMW i3 offers less space than most of the rivals and comes close to the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf are somewhat similar in terms of cargo capacity.

2019 BMW i3 cockpit area
2019 BMW i3 cockpit area
2019 BMW i3 steering
2019 BMW i3 steering
2019 BMW i3 dashboard
2019 BMW i3 dashboard
2019 BMW i3 rear seating
2019 BMW i3 rear seating
2019 BMW i3 dashboard
2019 BMW i3 dashboard

2019 BMW i3 electric Exterior

Geek-chic and once BMW’s vision for future mobility, the 2019 BMW i3 looks like few cars on the road. It still draws attention, but it’s clear that BMW has moved away from the futuristic look for future electric cars- Carconnection

Dimension and Weight

Leaving the conventional BMW design the i3s looks boxy from certain angles which screams functionality. Their design has made rave reviews and its peers have been getting complex because of its attractive look. The short front and rear overhangs keep the design compact and the i3 stands out in the BMW lineup. It has won product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been improved by a number of expert design touches that clearly communicate the sporty and stimulating driving experience on offer.

2019 BMW i3

Its stretched-wheelbase may give you the impression that it is 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. LED headlights with automatic high beams neatly house the signature kidney grille. The thoughtful evolution of the exterior design not only helps to bring the sporting credentials of the new BMW i3 more to the fore but highlights its sophisticated elegance too. 

Model

BMW i3 120Ah hatchback

Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

Chevrolet Bolt EV LT hatchback

Nissan LEAF S hatchback

Curb weight (lbs.)

2965

3164

3563

3433

Length(in)

158.3

176.0

164.0

176.4

Width(in)

69.9

71.7

69.5

70.5

Height(in)

62.9

57.1

62.8

61.4

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

5.5

N/A

5.9

Wheelbase (in)

101.2

106.3

102.4

106.3

Track width (in) F/R

61.9/62

61.2/61.6

59.1/59.1

60.6/61.2

The Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf are similar in length and width followed by the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The BMW i3 is the shortest among all.

Exterior Features

  • Wheels: 20" x 5.5" Front & 20" x 6.0" Rear -inc: BMW i light alloy double-spoke bicolor
  • Black Rear Bumper w/Body-Colored Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Body-coloured Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent and Metal-Look Bumper Insert
  • Body-coloured Door Handles
  • Coloured Bodyside Insert and Black Fender Flares
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
  • Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Composite Panels
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low/High Beam Auto-Leveling Daytime Running Lights 

 

2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3
2019 BMW i3

2019 BMW i3 electric Safety

The BMW 2019 i3 still doesn't have a crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the IIHS (from 2018) 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. 

2019 BMW i3 safety

  • Anti-theft alarm system 
  • Acoustic safety-belt warning 
  • BMW Assist eCall includes 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 the 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 
  • Coded Driveaway Protection 
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger safety belts for installation of child-restraint seat 
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation 

 

2019 BMW i3 electric Competition

BMW i3 VS Hyundai Ioniq Electric hatchback

The Hyundai Ioniq comes with best in class cargo capacity an MPG figures. The BMW certainly has better build quality than the Ioniq and offers better performance. The i3 is priced much higher than the Ioniq which be the deciding factor for people with a tight budget. So if Practicality and Frugality is your demand, the Ioniq has its nose ahead otherwise i3 is the performance champ.

2019 Hyundai ioniq electric

BMW i3 VS Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt has has a more all-electric range and more powerful 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 since the car's nose is hard to see. Like many of its peers, it suffers from compromised cabin space. The Bolt is less spacious than the i3 and cabin also feel cheaper. Chevrolet Bolt is much value for money while the i3 seems overpriced.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

BMW i3 VS Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf is among the first and foremost hybrids introduced to the world of petrol addicts. The leaf comes with 110 miles of electric range which is way lower than the BMW i3. The Bimmer certainly has a higher range with its range extender gasoline engine. The Leaf is more spacious and offers higher cargo space than the i3 so practicality is your concern go with the Leaf.

2019 Nissan Leaf

2019 BMW i3 electric Final Verdict

The BMW i3 seems too pricey for an electric car which doesn’t seem like the smartest move. 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. The EV range is similar to most of the rivals the range extender is a boon. The i3 boasts an intriguing mix of high-quality and eco-friendly material with typical BMW build quality. The acceleration is peppy with nimble handling and healthy MPG rating. 

FAQ's about BMW i3

What is the range extender on BMW i3?

With the Range Extender, you can travel 160 to 180 miles. Like the all-electric version, ECO PRO increases the range by 12%, and ECO PRO+ increases it by 24%. BMW i3s equipped with the Range Extender adds an extra 265 lbs to the car's weight, bringing it to 3064 lbs.

Is BMW i3 any good?

It may look pricey compared to rivals, but it definitely feels like the premium choice. The BMW i3 electric hatchback has been around since 2013, yet thanks to its innovative and bespoke design, it still manages to look and feel more advanced than rivals based on regular production models

How many miles does a BMW i3 get?

BMW released an interesting video explaining the range of its i3. The base, all-electric 22 kWh version is rated at 81 miles (130 km) of real-world/EPA range, while the i3 REx offers 72 miles (116 km) prior to a gasoline Range Extender kicking in (extending the total range to some 150 miles / 240 km)