2014 BMW i3 Hatchback: Sold At a Steep Discount
by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on January 13, 2016
Over a year ago we were eager to add the unusual 2014 BMW i3 to our fleet and test the range capability of the onboard generator. But as time passed, we began to dread the prospect of selling it. Resale values of electric cars are still unpredictable and all too often disappointing.
We offered the i3 for sale at the Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) price of $33,300 and got no takers. So we knew we had to try other sources.
Naturally, we got a quote from CarMax, but it came in at only $26,000. That was very discouraging because the Edmunds trade-in value is $30,875. We even took it to a local BMW dealer, but their quote was even less — just $25,000. Finally, we decided that CarMax was the best of our bad options. By this time, several weeks had passed and our 7-day quote long expired. That meant we had to have it re-appraised. Luckily, the quote was the same so we cashed out.
That means the i3 depreciated 45 percent during the 13 months we owned it, and that's after subtracting the $2,500 California rebate from the purchase price of $49,999 (we also received the $7,500 federal tax credit, but didn't figure this into our calculation).
Sadly, the i3 set a record for the steepest depreciation for any vehicle in our long-term fleet. Still, our editors thought the i3 was an enjoyable city car with a cool interior and many unusual features.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 10,400 miles