2014 BMW i3: Complicated Car, Simple Controls
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 12, 2015
Is it odd that the most sophisticated car in our long-term fleet has the most straightforward climate controls? That's not entirely the case with our 2014 BMW i3, but it's close.
There are less expensive vehicles in our fleet that use the basic three-dial climate control system, which is generally about as simple as it gets. Look at the setup in the i3, however, and you'll see that it has a grand total of 5 buttons and one knob. And after driving the i3 for months now I've never wished for anything more.
During our heat wave, I just hit the "Max A/C" button when I got in to cool things down. Now that it's cooler, I simply set the temperature dial and hit the seat heaters while I wait. Sure, it's not a dual-zone setup, but this car is so small that there's really only one zone anyway.
Oddly enough, the setup reminds me of one of our earliest long term cars, a 2000 Honda Insight. Like the i3, it was a car that was ahead of its time in many ways, but very simple in others.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor