17 February 2014
Review

BMW, along with Tesla, is doing what looked impossible a few years ago. Electric cars are finally becoming desirable. Maybe it took the power of a couple of premium brands to help them on the way. Or maybe it's the radical looks and carbonfibre structure of the BMW i3? Either way, EVs are here to stay.

And if the BMW i3 is anything to go by, they're here to be enjoyed, rather than endured.

Join the debate

Comments
37

15 February 2014
Q: Is the BMW i3 the world's most desirable affordable electric car?

A: No, because the i3 isn't affordable.

 

 

15 February 2014
I want to like it and admire the manufacturing technology but to be honest was a bit underwhelmed when I went to see one. Does it really move the game on compared to cars like the Leaf and the Zoe? Sure, it has a bit more performance but the range is basically the same and the packaging isn't that great - from this review it seems that it has a pretty poor ride too.

The REX version is substantially heavier / slower than the pure electric version (hence the 8s plus 0-60 time) and stopping to fill the 9l tank on a long journey would p me off just as much as stopping at a fast charger.

Is the sudden flush of evangelism from Autocar mostly because it has a prestige German badge on the front?

22 February 2014
Of course this artice is positive because it has a prestige German badge on the front. If it was say a FIAT no one would notice.... However I replied to an article some time ago when the Renault Zoe came out and there were plenty of people criticising it - seems the same people are applauding the BMW which proves that it is entirely badge snobbery at work. On the Renault report Autocar clearly put on the review in their Good and Bad section - 'Familiar Electric Car Anxieties' which miraculously vanished on the BMW i3 review. Also how can it be competitively priced when it starts at £25,500 + ? The Renault starts at £13,995 Again the only thing that Autocar seem interested in is how the car handles judging by the tests and video! Who on Earth is interested in how the car handles in a car like this??? Surely it is about economy and city/town driving - so please Autocar test cars based on the type of people who are buying them!!

15 February 2014
drove one and love it. trying to justify it or change lives so can get one!

15 February 2014
I love BMW. We have two of them in the family and we're collectively on our 12th. We even have shares in BMW AG - that's how keen we are.....

Now, the i3. What a technically brilliant product !! Yes, let's dispose of the 19th century tech of the combustion engine and embrace electric propulsion ! Yes, let's revel in BMW's superb ability to make it feel like a proper BMW ! Let's install BMW charging unit at home and charge up fr an equivalent of £ 3 quid a gallon !! Let's celebrate the suburbanite's liberation from public transport and the burden of the congestion charge and parking in central London !! Break out free beer and let's dance in the streets......

Then, suddenly, Kensington & Chelsea realise they're losing millions in free parking and kill the 'electric friendly parking' scheme overnight. Then, because of hundreds of i3 owners are chasing down a limited range of on-street chargers, you find you can only commute from A-B and never consider A-C and back to B - unless you've spent a further £ 3.2 K on a 600cc motorbike engine with a 9 litre fuel tank and added 120kg to your 'light-weight' i3.

I can re-fuel my combustion-engine car in approx 5 minutes: it would take me 4 hours for an electric i3. Result: "filling station through-put" completely knackers an all-electric i3.

If we all drove electric i3s we'd need at least 20 times more filling station capacity in central London....Mmmmm, did BMW check real estate prices in the Capital beforehand ?

So, the compromise is a 9 litre fuel tank, lots of visits to top-up each week, a pretty hefty increase in weight (around 8-9% of the vehicle) and a frankly cheeky extra £ 3.2K......

I'd be happy to compromise on stopping at a fuel station even 5 or 6 times a week but if the attendant asked you to leave your keys with him for 4 hours whilst he brimmed it with 4-star you'd think he was mad, wouldn't you ?!! That's is the nub here: electric 're-fueling' is a huge, gaping hole in the electric car's proposition and, due to that, regretfully "I'm out"......

BertoniBertone

15 February 2014
How often do I drive 160 miles? Well yesterday I did 360, day before was 190, and Monday will be over 200. So quite often for me. I do like this though, didn't at first

16 February 2014
superstevie@

If you do this as daily mileage,why haven't you bought a Diesel?,because Petrol and Diesel are still at this moment in time,cheaper to run than an Ev.

Peter Cavellini.

16 February 2014
I have Peter, I bought a Citroen C4 1.6 HDi. Its tremendously dull, but super efficient. And cheap to buy at a year old compared to Golf, Focus or the Korean twins.

15 February 2014
Steve - - - Remember that this is really designed to be urban transportation. It may well be fine for more congested Europe, and cities generally, but in rural and suburban America, its popularity would be marginal. People here want LOTS of storage space; a 400-500 mile range; good, quite (no road noise) traveling comfort; rapid refueling (less than10 minutes); and no performance anxiety. So yeah, I could see the Greenie Weenies in Boston or San Francisco puttering around in this thing (if it can survive the potholes and fender benders), but for a REAL car....no way, José.

-----------------------------------

15 February 2014
It's not particularly affordable and it isn't in the least bit desirable. So the answer's no.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals

Latest videos