If anything lets the i3 down just slightly, it would be its ride and handling. Its large, standard 19in wheels and low-profile tyres pick up on sharp ridges at low speeds, but at least the i3 keeps its body from shuddering about at the same time. At higher speeds the same ruts become less intrusive.
And while the i3's brilliant performance made it more than a match for combustion-engined cars on our fast, rolling cross-country route from the Cotswolds and towards London, its chassis feels better set up for town driving than for brisk B-roads. The keen rebound from its suspension and aggressive yet uncommunicative steering had us taking several bites at bends, while its relatively narrow tyres don't offer the last word in grip. Still, for low-speed agility in town, few EVs are better.
That urban prowess doesn't just come from performance and agility, because the good driving position and excellent all-round visibility make it easy to judge the i3's extremities. There are no material or infotainment changes with this update, but then neither was needed. Here, BMW has achieved one of the most interesting interiors on sale, while iDrive remains a benchmark both within and beyond the i3's class.
That said, there are more practical EV choices. Two tall adults will sit comfortably in the front seats, but while the rear-hinged rear doors leave a decent aperture, another two adults won't want to spend much time in the rear seats. It's boot, meanwhile, is actually smaller than that of a Ford Fiesta, at 260 litres.
Should I buy one?
We've said it before and we'll say it again: electric vehicles are a considered choice and need to fit your lifestyle. However, the i3's new, longer real-world range of around 124 miles means the majority of commuters won't need a charging point at work for it to make sense. Indeed, this Range Extender version's 217-mile real-world range will fit in yet more easily, although its £3000 premium and higher BIK tax band mean the cheaper and enough-for-most regular i3 remains our range pick.
In either of its forms, the i3 has a Volkswagen e-Golf and Nissan Leaf 30kWh beaten for range, luxury, infotainment and equipment, but it has to be said that these rivals are the far more practical choices given their traditional hatchback design. In the Nissan's case, it's also far cheaper to buy in the first place.
As a premium product, the i3 is naturally closer to the e-Golf in what it sets out to do. That it feels genuinely classier than the VW and does so for slightly less money while going further on a charge will make it the more rounded choice for many.
BMW i3 94Ah Range Extender
Location Cotswolds; On sale Now; Price £30,980 (after £4500 Gov grant); Engine Electric motor; Power 168bhp; Torque 184lb ft; Gearbox single-speed; Kerb weight 1440kg; 0-62mph 8.1sec; Top speed 93mph; Range 276 miles; CO2/tax band 12g/km, 5%. Rivals Nissan Leaf 30kWh, Volkswagen e-Golf