2014 BMW i3
BMW i3 Review
The 2014 BMW i3 ranks 8 out of 15 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the BMW i3, as well as reliability and safety data.
With a fun interior design and entertaining driving dynamics, reviewers say the 2014 BMW i3 is a great upscale EV for eco-conscious drivers.
Test drivers think the BMW i3’s electric motor provides strong acceleration and plenty of passing power at highway speeds. BMW says the i3 has a range of 80 to 100 miles on a fully charged battery. A range-extending gasoline engine is available, which BMW says extends the i3’s range to 160 to 180 miles. Test drivers agree that the 2014 BMW i3’s low center of gravity makes it remarkably stable and flat during cornering. The BMW i3’s quick, accurate steering system also impresses test drivers, and a small turning radius makes it easy to navigate crowded parking lots.
Reviewers say that in contrast to the dark, serious-looking interiors in some of BMW’s cars, the i3 has a fun, modern interior design. However, the eco-friendly materials, such as the natural woven fiber dashboard panels, are disliked by some critics, who say they’re unappealing. Test drivers agree that all four seats in the i3 are comfortable and roomy. The iDrive infotainment system is intuitive for some reviewers, while others write that it makes it difficult to adjust vehicle settings. The 2014 BMW i3 comes standard with navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, automatic climate control and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Optional features include leather seats, heated front seats, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system.
- "The i3 doesn't stray very far at all from what makes most BMWs great; it simply carries those principles into a new realm." -- Car and Driver
- "For fans of the EV genre, the 2014 BMW i3 represents a premium choice that deserves a hard look." -- Edmunds
- "There are several electric vehicles that can be had for less money, but few offer the dynamic driving manners or the premium creature comforts of the i3, and none offer both below this price point." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "This is one of the smoothest, roomiest and slickest electric vehicles we've ever driven, with a lot of hidden surprises. It is a wonderful city car, and well designed for the car-sharing, emissions-aware drivers of the near future." -- Autoblog
Other Cars to Consider
The Chevrolet Volt has a lower starting price, and it can run on gas or electric power. Critics say it drives like a normal car, despite its high-tech powertrain, with composed handling and responsive steering.
Test drivers like that the all-electric Nissan Leaf accelerates, brakes and handles like a normal gas-powered car. The Leaf is significantly cheaper than the BMW i3 and it has standard features that are optional on the i3, such as heated seats and satellite radio.
Details: 2014 BMW i3
The 2014 BMW i3 is a four-seat hatchback with rear-wheel drive. An electric motor and a single-speed transmission are standard. A range-extending gasoline engine is optional. The i3 is an all-new model that comes in two trims: base i3 and i3 with Range Extender.