2014 BMW i3: First Impression
February 18, 2015
After getting some seat time in our 2014 BMW i3, I was struck by how it reminded me of our old Nissan Juke long-termer. Before you question my state of mind, let me elaborate. As with the Juke, the i3 is, at least to my eyes, ugly. Really, with such a disjointed look, especially in profile, it looks as if the three blind mice were given the project. But as with that frog-like Nissan, the i3 quickly won me over with its engaging personality.
Like the Juke, the i3 is fun to drive. It's energetic, and has an easy-going nature. The silent, smooth rush of power when you toe into it never gets old and the rather strong regenerative braking means I rarely had to touch the brake pedal, even when coming to a stop if I timed it right. It encourages smooth, efficient driving.
The i3's small footprint, good outward visibility (increasingly rare with newer cars) and quick steering make maneuvering in crowded parking lots and city traffic a snap.
Lastly, (and something not shared with the Juke), the i3's green nature also appealed to my "save the planet" side. Heck, I even switched it into "Eco-Pro" mode while tooling around on Sunday and went about 73 miles on the battery pack before the gas-powered range extender kicked in.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 2,381miles