2014 BMW i3: The Buying Experience
January 21, 2015
EK900, a frequent commenter on the long-term blog, said he wanted to know more about what it was like to buy the 2014 BMW i3. I had a busy December and I didn't get a chance to write a buying blog, so without further ado, here's the exciting backstory.
There was no shortage of i3s in the dealer inventory. I saw as many as 25 cars in a couple of locations. Now, some those didn't have the range extender (or "Rex" as it referred to on dealer sites) but still, I had a good selection of cars to choose from. Prices ranged from a lightly optioned "Mega World" car in the high $40,000s to the mid $50,000s for a loaded "Tera World" model.
We set out first to buy the mid-trim Giga World (yes, these trim level names are terrible). It seemed like the way to go, since it included everything in the Tera World, except for the leather interior. Problem was, Giga World had a light gray interior, which was a deal breaker for us. Lighter interiors haven't aged well with us, what with so many people getting in and out of a car over the course of a year's testing. So we decided on a loaded Tera World. It would be nice if it had come with the sport 20-inch wheels, but it wasn't crucial to get them.
I called a few local dealerships to get purchase-price quotes. One dealership sent me a lease quote, even though I had specifically asked for a purchase price — must've caught the guy off guard. Most people do lease these cars and I'd advise anyone else to do the same (EVs are notorious for bad resale value). But for various reasons, we buy our cars, so I had to proceed in my usual fashion.
MSRP on the i3 we wanted was $54,800. Most quotes from dealers were at the invoice price, which was $50,970 in the case of our i3. A few dealers didn't want to go any lower than that. We had a $50,000 budget and told the folks at New Century BMW that if they could get their price under $50K, we'd have a deal. They sent a revised price quote of $49,999 — fair enough. They delivered the car to us a couple of days later.
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 950 miles