2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test - Performance

2014 BMW i3 Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

2014 BMW i3: Low Tire Pressure Warning

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on November 11, 2015

2014 BMW i3

The trend continues across our fleet of test-vehicles. The temperature dropped from an exceptionally hot early fall to a more seasonably cool November and low tire pressure warnings have begun to ding.

Social Media Editor Travis Langness reported on the Viper's alert, then the Ram's, and now the 2014 BMW i3 has chimed in with a low pressure warning of its own.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Adaptive, Over-Reactive Cruise Control

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on November 4, 2015

2014 BMW i3

This morning I drove our 2014 BMW i3 into the office. It was just after 4 a.m. so I practically had the freeway to myself. Being an electric vehicle, our i3 has carpool lane access stickers, so I was driving in that far-left lane on principle. In peace.

Actually, the car was doing most of the work. I had the adaptive cruise control system engaged so even if a slower vehicle pulled ahead of me, the BMW would slow to match its pace. But as I soon learned, the adaptive cruise on this i3 stinks.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: The More I Drive It, the More I Like It

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 9, 2015

2014 BMW i3

It would be easy to dismiss a car like the 2014 BMW i3 as nothing more than a goofy-looking science experiment. It looks hopelessly awkward from nearly every angle, and trying to explain its immense breadth of technology to a curious bystander is futile.

After driving it, however, the i3 grows on you quickly.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: When Some Jerk Yanks Your Cord

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on September 17, 2015

2014 BMW i3

OK, I don't know that someone yanked the 2014 BMW i3's charger cord on purpose, but here's what I do know.

Late Sunday evening I parked the i3 parallel to my garage door in the alley behind my house. I plugged the 120-volt home charger into the outlet just inside my garage. I closed the garage door and went upstairs.

That's when things went awry.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Spinning on a Dime

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on September 14, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Business buzz words come and go, with last year's "synergy" becoming this year's "pivot." After spending some solid time in our long-term 2014 BMW i3, I can't help but visualize the electric i3 every time some says "pivot."

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Fits My Current Lifestyle

August 3, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Naively, I once thought electric cars would never fit my lifestyle. But that thought occurred in my pre-parent days, back when I used to drive long distances (places like Montana) on a regular basis.

Now I pretty much only go to work, the grocery store and the playground, and I'm finding our long-term 2014 BMW i3 quite practical for those activities. Its slightly elevated ride height helps me prevent back injury while getting my kid and kid accessories in and out, and its gargantuan interior storage slots make it even more endearing.

Also, it turns out there are a lot of places to charge near my home, so if I owned one, I wouldn't necessarily need to get a 240-volt charging unit installed in my garage.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Must Stop Using Google

July 28, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I like driving our long-term 2014 BMW i3 and I can't really explain why. I think it's a combination of the size, the driving position, the aggressive regenerative braking as you let off the accelerator pedal and the knowledge of its carbon-fiber-intensive structure. Whatever it is, I find myself looking for ways to fit it into my life.

I live 20 miles from our office, so over the course of a long weekend, I was looking for an opportunity to top up the battery pack. There's free charging near me at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, but I have a toddler so I don't have the luxury of going somewhere to sit and wait unless there's a playground. Instead, I wanted to charge the i3 while shopping for produce at the South Pasadena Farmers Market.

So I poked around on Google Maps and found a charging location at an upscale grocery store (Bristol Farms). I figured I'd I plug in there, and then my daughter and I would take the stroller to the farmers market.

Of course, I figured wrong.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Torque Makes It the Perfect City Sleeper

May 27, 2015

2014 BMW i3

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.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Carbon Fiber Chassis Sets Up Promising Future for BMW

May 22, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Our long-term 2014 BMW i3 is BMW's Prius. Some enthusiasts decry its existence, but the i3 represents long-term strategic planning that gives the company a technological head start, one that will make the industry play catch-up for years to come.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Park It Anywhere

March 30, 2015

2014 BMW i3

While the city ride quality in our long-term 2014 BMW i3 isn't ideal, it does have the ability to fit into nearly any parking spot you can find.

Bumper to bumper, it's the exact same length as a 2015 Mini Cooper (157.4 inches) and it's 10.7 inches shorter than a VW e-Golf. The Fiat 500e is considerably smaller (142.2 inches long), but if you want a back seat that can accommodate adults, I'd avoid the Fiat. At 69.9 inches, the i3 is only two inches wider than the Mini and five inches wider than the Fiat and an inch narrower than the VW. Basically, it's the right size for "compact" parking spots.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Regenerative Brakes

March 27, 2015

2014 BMW i3

The feeling of regenerative braking is one of the most overt indicators that you're driving a hybrid or electric vehicle. When you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal while driving, the car will immediately slow down, converting the forward momentum of the car back into energy for the batteries.

Our long-term 2014 BMW i3 uses a regenerative braking system that slows the car down pretty dramatically, but after just a few miles, it's easy to get used to how strong it is and modulate your pressure accordingly. If you plan far enough in advance, you can avoid using the conventional brake pedal at all.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Fun in the Twisties

March 17, 2015

2014 BMW i3

Yes, I know our long-term 2014 BMW i3 was designed to be a short-haul commuter/city car, but it does have a BMW badge.

So I took it to my favorite stretch of country road in the Santa Ana Mountains (yes, we still have country roads in the otherwise densely developed O.C.) to see how much of Bimmer's sporty DNA was transferred to its battery-electric runabout.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Testing the Range Extender

March 3, 2015

2014 BMW i3

I knew I'd be driving 40 or so miles to Simi Valley, Calif., and back to visit the in-laws. I also knew I'd be making a return trip to downtown Los Angeles. There was any number of regular old gasoline-powered cars available with hundreds of miles of range, and yet, I chose to take our long-term 2014 BMW i3. It was time to test its range-extender engine.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Big Surprise, It's Great for Commuting

February 20, 2015

2014 BMW i3

It's almost a backhanded compliment to say that electric cars make great city cars, because well, they aren't good road trip vehicles unless you have access to Tesla's Supercharger network, right? But our long-term 2014 BMW i3 is really an excellent commuter car and there's nothing backhanded about that praise.

I don't actually live "in the city" but in a congested suburb that was once considered well outside the city but is now among L.A.'s inner bedroom communities. It takes me an average of 70 minutes to cover 20 miles between home and the office.

Not only did I enjoy using our BMW i3 for my slog, it was interesting as a comparison to our old long-term Mini E. All EVs are still science projects to some extent, but the i3 is a far more practical vehicle than its forbear.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: First Impression

February 18, 2015

2015 Audi A3

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.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Performance Tested

February 5, 2015

2014 BMW i3

So far, our 2014 BMW i3 has been a hit with everyone in the office. It didn't take long for the quirky electric i3 to be ready to undergo our standard series of tests at the track. Our first test was fully charged in default electric mode. Upon depleting the battery, we ran a second test solely on the gasoline-powered range extender. Here's what we found.

See full article and comment.


2014 BMW i3: Introduction

January 8, 2015

2014 BMW i3

We aim to put 20,000 miles on all our long-term cars over the course of a year, so our i3 has a tough goal to meet. The only other EV to accomplish that feat was our 2013 Tesla Model S. Will the range extender help the i3 achieve that goal, or will the final odometer look more like that of our 2011 Chevrolet Volt, which only managed 15,063 miles?

See full article and comment.


Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Past Long-Term Road Tests