by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on November 24, 2015
It seems like an inevitability: gauges being replaced by display screens. With virtual instrument clusters becoming increasingly ubiquitous in EVs like our 2014 BMW i3 and various luxury cars, it's hard to imagine any car having traditional dials in 20 years.
The trouble is that these screens are often susceptible when the sun shines from behind you. If you already have a touchscreen in your car, you probably know what I'm talking about. Want to change the radio station or see where you are on the navigation system? Good luck.
by Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor on October 6, 2015
Call them delusional, but most people think they're good at parallel parking. So good, in fact, that they say they don't need help from autonomous parking systems in cars, such as the one in our 2014 BMW i3, thank you very much.
Those are the findings of a new survey by AAA. According to the auto club, nearly 80 percent of American drivers "are confident in their parallel parking abilities." And just one in four people would trust the technology to park their cars.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on September 22, 2015
If you own a late model BMW, you may have noticed a button overhead with a phone icon and the letters "SOS" printed on it. There's also a good chance you've never pressed this button.
What does this button actually do? If you look in the BMW owner's manual, it says it should be pressed only in case of an emergency. But what constitutes an emergency? Does it have to be life-threatening or could I summon help for running out of gas — or in the case of our 2014 BMW i3, battery juice? What if the button didn't work?
I wanted answers, so I pressed it.
June 12, 2015
I would like to welcome you to the 21st Century. It's quite an interesting time, as dressing like a well-coiffed lumberjack is chic and I don't need stinky, burny old gasoline to make myself move. OK, so I have an engine, but I only sorta need it. Anyway, good luck with that quaint, shiny bit of plastic you have in your hand. If you're expecting me to do something with it, well, LOL.
April 7, 2015
I usually listen to sports talk on the drive home, so imagine my surprise when I pressed the radio button on our 2014 BMW i3 and couldn't find the AM band. The photo above shows your choices. I tried scrolling the control knob in both directions, but the AM option never appeared. I took to the interwebs and found that this wasn't a glitch, but rather a design decision.
March 20, 2015
The center display screen in our long-term 2014 BMW i3 is one of the best I've ever seen. The resolution is crisp, the screen is barely affected by sunlight and the rearview camera provides an impressive amount of detail.
This first photo shows the rearview camera display (in broad daylight of course) along-side the parking sensors so it's not the harshest test of the i3's abilities, but it works well in several other scenarios too.
March 5, 2015
I received the following email from our long-term 2014 BMW i3 recently:
Dear BMW ConnectedDrive Customer,
The state of charge of your V275231 is low!
We recommend recharging the battery.
It seemed like a helpful note at first. But then I received at least 25 of these emails in the two months that we've had the car.
January 16, 2015
People hate parallel parking. So you would think that self-parking systems would be very popular. But since their introduction nearly seven years ago, they have remained below the radar. In fact, if you mention to a non-car person, that the car can park itself, they look stunned and say, "What? You mean the car literally parks itself?" Yes, literally. In fact, it even looks for a space big enough to fit into.
So, when our new long-term 2014 BMW i3 came with the $1,000 parking assist program I decided to try it out.