In 2014, BMW introduced the I3, combining luxury, peak performance, environmental consciousness and affordability. This year the I3 is even sportier with the BMW I3s.
Spry and energetic looking, the BMW I3 is worth getting charged up about if you prefer the typical BMW intelligent design and high performance. Add efficiency, and it is not hard to see why anyone would find this to be one of the top car models of the new, non-combustion car market.
Given the electric powertrain of the I3, it is one of the most energy-efficient vehicles made. Battery powered cars are intrinsically more efficient, but how much better are their emissions and gas mileage? They emit half the amount of greenhouse gases compared to their gas powered counterparts. They emit no toxic nitrogen oxide chemicals like those from diesel engines.
One final point to consider is that the overall gas mileage while in the most efficient mode is going to range about 80 to 100 miles on a fully charged battery. Keep in mind that this is optimum performance for drivers in the city, as opposed to more rural and mountainous areas. It takes about 6 hours to charge the BMW I3, and then you are off with a full day’s tank of gas.
With the I3, we get to experience a mellow interior, which the designers purposely constructed in order to encourage a slower ride and drive. This was to ease up a little on battery usage, exhibiting a good marriage between design and engineering.
The body structure is carbon-fiber and aluminum with four doors and a fun little hatchback. With all of the personality of the I3, it makes sense that the rear passenger doors are suicide doors to compliment the rest of its uniqueness.
The electric motor is 170-hp on the I3 and 184-hp on the I3s. The range extender that can be purchased separately offers an extra 80 miles utilizing a two cylinder combustion engine.
Under high weights and up steep roads, the battery is a bit limited. This limitation is rarely experienced due to both conditions coexisting. Throw into the mix using all of the heaters and cabin lights and it will put a drain on the fun.
The minor power loss is usually experienced when pushed to perform in extreme circumstances beyond the car’s abilities. The direct result is the engine will slow to around 45 mph. Of the electric vehicles on the market, the BMW I3 has one of the lowest battery ranges, so it would make sense to purchase the range extender.
Small but safe with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and stability control, the I3 also has six airbags and a rear view camera. BMW also installed forward-collision mitigation with automatic braking.
With an ignition disable system, the i3 protects against the wrong key being used or nefarious entry. In the mid 40k price range, it’s battery of features and benefits will accommodate a new generation of BMW drivers.