2014 BMW i3: Torque Makes It the Perfect City Sleeper
May 27, 2015
You know what makes our 2014 BMW i3 so fun?
Not its quirky looks or futuristic interior, but instead its instant torque. It hits 30 mph from a standstill in 3.1 seconds, just like our long-term GTI! But even that figure doesn't fully convey the i3's off-the line punch. It's what you want a car to do when you're trying to get across six lanes with oncoming traffic and no traffic light: Launch without lag.
I've always been a fan of that instant EV torque and I know this isn't unique to the i3, which generates 184 pound-feet of twist from 0-4,800 rpm. But it really does play a big part in making this the perfect city car. Driving it around from Santa Monica to Hollywood to West Hollywood and back, I had the chance to try it in traffic, on city streets and on the highway.
The i3 is responsive, instantaneous and linear. It does its best work in the city when you want to get out of the way in a hurry, the trade-off being that it feels relatively blunted at freeway speeds. I know this isn't how most EV car owners drive their cars, but I always floored it whenever I got the chance, like in HOV lanes on freeway on-ramps, leaving Priuses in the dust, and at traffic lights going up against antsy Honda Civic drivers. The i3 is the point-and-squirt champion.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor