I have driven BMWs for 10+ years and this all-electric BMW lives up to the ultimate driving machine claim. It is sporty and solid and handles the road like my 328i. It is filled with high technology with a large screen for nav, music, apps, and information. The construction is solid and the carbon fiber and all-aluminum construction makes the car safe and rust-free. Bodywork is actually less costly than a steel car. This is not for long trips as the practical range in temperate weather is 80-90 miles. But get the DC fast charge option as that has helped me go 300+ miles at times.
I have the base model without range extender, but this is my commuter car around the city with chargers on each end. It's not practical for a weekend trip outside the range unless you plan your travels in stages with 2+ hours in between for recharging, but I love this car for commuting to and from work (32 miles each way). It's a funky, awesome exterior and the interior build quality is eco-luxury. I love the carbon fiber details and the eco-leather on the seats. The accent lighting makes me feel like I'm driving a spaceship. Also I love how BMW is really into the electric car movement by creating new manufacturing and technology to build them. It's not just a compliance car here!!!
Revolutionary from the ground up, sitting on top of a aluminum skateboard with batteries underneath in a carbon fiber passenger space capsule while seated in a Swedish living room and catapulted forward with instant, silent torque. Perfect size, design, airy, comfortable, quick, awesome turn-in, one-foot driving. Honestly thrilling. The proof of the pudding is in daily traffic (vs. a test drive on a freeway which is also awesome) when you wish to place yourself in a certain position and the car is already there by the time you think about it, and you made no fuss while not making a fool of yourself. Unique functionality, purposeful build to be an EV; achieves mission perfectly.
The electric I3 is at heart a great BMW car. It is fun to drive, roomy, handles well, and is quite stylish. The range is ok as long as you have a second gas powered car for trips because you're not taking this one anywhere out of town. The range is ok but you learn to change your operating style to maintain the charged batteries where you feel comfortable, for me I don't let it go below about 30% even with the REX. For an urban car its great for anywhere else, I'd think twice. I have had my car for nearly 1/2 year and generally like the car...would I buy another one? Maybe. Here's the rub: The technology is good but not great, the BMW i app that goes with the car is unimpressive; the ratings on the app store are surprisingly bad. It only has a few features that matter and those are pretty predictable. I'm really unimpressed with the integration with smart phone, I expected a lot more on an electric car (see TESLA). One would think, BMW Engineering would do a better job with an app on an all electric car. As to reliability: first, I had software problems with the entertainment system, the XM radio suddenly went dead. The car spent almost 10 days in the dealership while they tried to figure it out finally replacing just about everything...not good. Secondly the tires, this is the second set of Bridgestone's I've had problems with on a BMW. My first were the Bridgestone run flats on a previous late model M3, on that car I replaced 8 tires in 2.5 years for simple punctures. So far the i3 seems on track to beat that record. In 6 months I've already replaced 2 tires for simple punctures. (i3 has no spare) and the i3 are not run flat so the problem gets a whole lot worse. One would have thought that with no spare and no run flat, BMW would have required a highly reliable tire from Bridgestone...they didn't. So overall, a qualified recommend...urban car only, electronics and tire problems, weak mobile app but fun to drive, adequate range and peppy.
With over 35,000 miles and 44 months now, I still stand behind my earlier review: After reading some of the other reviews, I needed to speak up - it appears that either the purchasers did not research the car, or they are exaggerating. I have a BEV - no gas engine. I have driven the car more than 17,000 miles in the past 19 months. In that time, I have not had the car require service - there is nothing that goes wrong. Very simple. I will say that it is a city car - do not buy it if you are hauling a group of folks around the country. I have a Level 2 charger at home ($600 to $1,200 depending on the location and access of your service) - DOES NOT NEED TO BE A BMW-Branded charger (as some might make you believe). Never has taken more than 3-1/2 hours to charge (it will take 20 hours with a standard 120 volt plug). This is a perfect, quick, nimble ride. I love it! I traded a 535xi SW for this (which is a very different car). My other cars are a 325i and a Mini Cooper S. Recommend doing the overnight test drive offered by BMW if you are serious.