2014 BMW i3 Review
2014 BMW i3 Review
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
Used i3 for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Roomy four-person cabin
- quick acceleration and strong brakes
- nimble handling
- excellent visibility
- well-made and stylish interior
- versatile cargo area for an EV
- optional gas-powered range extender.
- Pricier than most entry-level EVs
- rear-hinged rear doors aren't so great if you frequently carry rear passengers.
The 2014 BMW i3 is an all-new model.
For city dwellers interested in buying an electric vehicle, the 2014 BMW i3 should make a compelling and spirited choice.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 BMW i3 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $0.14 per kWh for electricity and $4.04 per gallon average in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Compact Car
Even a quick glance tells you the 2014 BMW i3 is not your ordinary BMW. As one of the first two models in BMW's new environmentally friendly "i" sub-brand, the i3 is free from the packaging constraints automakers typically encounter when placing electric components in a vehicle that was never intended to have them. It is also free from the historic expectations of what people expect a BMW to look like, drive like and be powered by.
The result is a car that quite obviously looks unlike any BMW that's come before, but also one that is one of the most innovative on the road. At the same time, it still adheres to the fundamentals of the BMW brand: rear-wheel drive, responsive handling, a composed ride and energetic performance.
While the i3's styling is controversial, what is beneath the surface is nothing short of extraordinary. The mechanical undercarriage and battery housing are constructed of lightweight aluminum, while the upper body structure is carbon fiber, which is of course the same ultra-lightweight and ultra-stiff stuff that racecars and other really expensive things are made out of. You can even see the telltale black weave pattern in the door sills and on the black roof. This keeps the i3's weight down by hundreds of pounds compared to other electric cars, which means a smaller battery is required, less energy is consumed and your electricity bill will be lower.
That acceleration is provided by a 170-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels. On our official test route, the i3 was able to go about 96 miles before being completely drained and, on average, we found the EPA's estimate of 81 miles to be accurate. This obviously isn't ideal for every commute, so buyers looking for a little extra peace of mind can opt for a "Range Extender" variant that comes with a small gasoline-powered engine that recharges the batteries just enough to roughly double the all-electric model's range. That still means it can only travel about half the distance of a full-fledged plug-in hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt, however.
The lightweight construction and innovative packaging also aids performance and interior space. Not only is the i3 the quickest pure electric vehicle we've tested other than the Tesla Model S, but its low center of gravity and ideal 50/50 weight balance means that, when combined with the car's wide stance and BMW-tuned suspension, this is one of the most fun-to-drive electric cars on the market.
Inside, the lack of a central tunnel (it's normally for a car engine's exhaust and/or driveshaft) frees up floor space in both seating rows, while the airy cabin and under-floor batteries create a high seating position and commanding view of the road. There is room for four full-size adults to comfortably fit, while the fold-flat rear seat makes the i3 one of the more practical electric vehicles. The cabin's design has a decidedly futuristic feel thanks to the free-floating steering column, quirky shift lever, flat-panel displays and environmentally friendly materials. It's really unlike anything you've ever seen before.
As for alternatives, there aren't any all-electric cars that can match the i3's sporty performance, interior usability and upscale amenities, save for the considerably more expensive Tesla Model S. The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive is the i3's most direct rival. It's more spacious than the i3 but less efficient, not as upscale and only available in a few select states. If you're willing to be flexible on those qualities, you might also consider cheaper all-electric models like the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, 2014 Ford Focus Electric and 2014 Nissan Leaf.
Ultimately though, the 2014 BMW i3 represents a particularly successful achievement of its creators' singular goal: producing a new model worthy of being dubbed the ultimate green driving machine.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 BMW i3 is powered by an electric motor fed by a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the floor. The resulting 170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque is sent to the rear wheels.
In Edmunds performance testing, the i3 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, making it by far the quickest electric vehicle we've tested other than the more expensive Tesla Model S.
In Edmunds testing on our suburban electric vehicle evaluation route, the i3 went 95.8 miles on a single charge. This is a few miles shorter than other, similarly priced EVs, but still acceptable for most commutes. We also confirmed the EPA's estimate that the i3 will average a range of about 80 miles. Switching to the Eco Pro or Eco Pro+ modes can eke out a few extra miles of range, but you have to live with dulled accelerator response and/or weakened air-conditioning. The EPA rates this powertrain's efficiency at 27 kWh used per 100 miles driven (Remember: the lower the number here, the better.). For comparison, the Nissan Leaf is estimated to use 30 kWh per 100 miles.
Charging times range from more than 20 hours when plugged into a normal 110-volt household outlet down to about four hours using a 240-volt outlet. The optional DC fast-charging system can fully recharge the battery in just 30 minutes.
The i3 Range Extender model incorporates a small two-cylinder gasoline engine (with a 2.4-gallon fuel tank) that serves as a generator to supply recharging electricity to the battery back. So equipped, the i3's range rises to about 150 miles. This is still much less than genuine plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt or Ford Fusion Energi, though.
Also, because of the extra weight of the two-cylinder electric generator onboard, the 0-60 time for the i3 REX slows to 7.1 seconds. When the battery is depleted and the i3 REX relies on the generator, the 0-60 time slows dramatically to 13.7 seconds. In addition, the EPA says electric-only range drops to 72 miles (though we achieved 87.6 miles in our testing) and energy usage rises slightly to 29 kWh/100 miles.
Standard safety features on the 2014 BMW i3 include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard are BMW Assist eCall and Remote Services, which include automatic collision notification, an emergency request button, stolen vehicle recovery, remote door unlock and a remote control smartphone app.
Rear parking sensors are standard and a rearview camera and front parking sensors are available as options. Among its other add-ons, the Technology + Driving Assistant package includes a lane-departure warning system and forward collision warning (with pedestrian detection) that includes automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation.
In Edmunds brake testing, a standard i3 came to a stop from 60 mph in 109 feet, while a heavier range-extender model came to a stop in 111 feet. Both distances are superb for the segment, especially considering the skinny, low-rolling-resistance tires that are fitted to optimize efficiency.
While virtually all battery-powered cars offer snappier acceleration than most people expect (thanks to the instantly available torque characteristic of electric motors), the 2014 BMW i3 turns out to be even quicker than the norm.
Hit the road and the first thing you'll notice is the i3's aggressive regenerative braking system. While all electric cars (and hybrids, for that matter) use this technology to transform the kinetic energy generated when the brakes are applied into electricity to recharge the car's battery pack, the i3's system is designed to slow the car dramatically whenever you lift your foot off the accelerator. While this can be disconcerting at first, you find yourself adapting quickly enough that you'll eventually wind up using the actual brake pedal only when you need to stop more aggressively. It makes sitting in stop-and-go traffic far more pleasant.
With a REX-equipped i3, you'll never have to worry about getting stranded on the road because you ran out of electric power. As soon as the battery pack gets low, the gasoline generator automatically turns on to provide enough power to keep you going. But this is more of a safety net than a true propulsion mode. The i3 is noticeably slower when relying on the generator, and the motorhome-like generator's noise is unavoidable.
While the i3 can't match BMW's traditional models in terms of handling prowess, the combination of its rigid body structure, light weight, low center of gravity and ideal 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution make it more fun to drive than its competitors. Its tight turning circle, precise steering and small size give it a decidedly nimble feeling at slower speeds, making it a natural at navigating crowded urban streets and slipping into tight curbside spots owners of many larger EV models have to drive right on by. Ride quality is also more livable than other cars this size, though the i3's narrow tires are a bit susceptible to following grooved highway pavement.
For more driving impressions, check out our long-term test of a 2014 BMW i3.
Like the exterior, the interior of the 2014 BMW i3 is the result of a thorough reimagining of a car's passenger cabin. The space is remarkably quiet and the look is stylish and modern, with its thin flat-panel display screens and the unique shifter pod mounted to the far-telescoping steering wheel. The different trim packages, or Worlds, each provide a different ambience due to their unique mix of renewable, recycled and otherwise eco-friendly materials. Giga World is certainly the most intriguing, with its gray wool cloth, leather upholstery (tanned using an olive leaf extract) and eucalyptus wood trim (certified as responsibly forested) that give the cabin an ultra-cool, upscale ambience.
The raised front seats offer good comfort and outward visibility, while the two-person rear seat offers decent legroom and excellent headroom courtesy of the i3's tall roof line. Getting in the back is a two-step process, as you must open both side clamshell doors to get back there. This design isn't ideal for families or tight parking spaces. Cargo capacity is on the small side, with just 11.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 38.8 cubic feet with those seats folded down. Unlike most EV competitors, though, those seats fold flat and the trunk space itself is unfettered by oddly shaped protrusions created by batteries being stuffed in places they weren't meant to be.
As fanciful and unusual as the cabin is, the designers retained the typical array of climate and infotainment controls typical of other BMWs. In particular, the i3 features the latest version of BMW's iDrive controller, which is pretty easy to use thanks to straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing times.
2014 BMW i3 models
The 2014 BMW i3 is a four-door hatchback with seating for four passengers. offered in equally equipped full electric and Range Extender models. Both come in three different trim packages: base Mega World, Giga World and Tera World.
The entry-level Mega's list of standard features includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting (automatic headlights, taillights and running lights), automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, cruise control, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, "SensaTec" premium vinyl and cloth upholstery, 50/50-split-folding rear seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a navigation system, the iDrive electronics interface with a 6.5-inch screen, and a sound system that includes a USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack and HD radio.
Stepping up to the Giga model gets you distinctive 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, unique upholstery (a mix of naturally tanned leather and breathable wool cloth), genuine eucalyptus wood trim and satellite radio. The top-of-the-line Tera only differs from the Giga with its own unique 19-inch alloy wheels and full leather upholstery.
Options include a Technology + Driving Assistant package that includes adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go capability), a lane-departure warning system, forward collision warning with collision mitigation and pedestrian detection, an upgraded navigation system (with a wider screen and enhanced EV-related information), real-time traffic and BMW's Online and Apps services.
The Parking Assistant package adds front parking sensors, a rearview camera and an automated parallel parking feature. Stand-alone options include 20-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, an onboard DC fast charging unit, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
BMW i3 buyers may be eligible for a federal income tax credit. State and local governments may offer additional rebates and other perks.
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Its a BMW and an EV!
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I have driven BMWs for 10+ years and this all-electric BMW lives up to the ultimate driving machine claim. It is sporty and solid and handles the road like my 328i. It is filled with high technology with a large screen for nav, music, apps, and information. The construction is solid and the carbon fiber and all-aluminum construction makes the car safe and rust-free. Bodywork is actually … less costly than a steel car. This is not for long trips as the practical range in temperate weather is 80-90 miles. But get the DC fast charge option as that has helped me go 300+ miles at times.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Driving a Spaceship
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I have the base model without range extender, but this is my commuter car around the city with chargers on each end. It's not practical for a weekend trip outside the range unless you plan your travels in stages with 2+ hours in between for recharging, but I love this car for commuting to and from work (32 miles each way). It's a funky, awesome exterior and the interior build quality is … eco-luxury. I love the carbon fiber details and the eco-leather on the seats. The accent lighting makes me feel like I'm driving a spaceship. Also I love how BMW is really into the electric car movement by creating new manufacturing and technology to build them. It's not just a compliance car here!!!
5 out of 5 stars
79 Months and STILL Lovin' It!
4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
With 54,000 miles and 79 months now, I still stand behind my earlier review: I have a BEV - no gas engine. I have driven the car every day. In that time, there is nothing that goes wrong. Replaced tires, wipers, alignment, etc. Very simple. I will say that it is a city car - do not buy it if you are hauling a group of folks around the country. I have a Level 2 charger at home. This is a … perfect, quick, nimble ride. I love it! My other cars are a 2001 325i and a 2013 Mini Cooper S - I tend to keep things I like.
4 out of 5 stars
I am an i3 believer!
4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (electric DD)
I was looking for a stylish EV that was fun to drive, reliable, and had looks I appreciated. I had read numerous reviews on the i3, had seem them on the streets, and had more than once concluded it was not the car for me. However, when we had arrived at the BMW dealership to test-drive a 2014 3-series diesel wagon (I was getting desperate), there was my car for sale, beckoning my wife … and I. Now, my wife knew my checklist, and after asking our questions and taking it for a test drive, she was convinced this was my car. I had my reservations, as I commute around 30 miles to work, and am usually driving an additional 30-50 miles for business meetings each day. Given that this car is rear-wheel drive with no AWD, I had concerns about the snow. Additionally, the list price of the car was a lot higher than Edmunds' TMV and Cars.com's average recent sold price for these vehicles. Lastly, the i Remote app for this car had just horrible reviews. On the positive side, my car had just over 19k miles, includes the Giga and technology packages, was certified pre-owned, and in fantastic condition with no visible wear and tear. After 2 months with it, having driven over 3k miles in snow, rain, freezing cold and 90+ degree heat, I was loving the car. I drive very conservatively, making full use of the one-pedal driving (which had a quick learning curve) and never going above 68 mph on the highway. I typically do a mix of highway with twisty backroads. However, with all the mileage I drive, I hardly use the range extender. Most of my meetings are in Boston, and I can usually find a garage with an available charging station. When I have to fill up on gas (that sounds so odd to type), it was always a 2-second fill, staying under $3 per fill. This car feels incredibly solid to drive - like you're in a tank, it just feels so heavy - yet it is very nimble. The steering is precise and tight. Handling on the curves is fun, but the car feels unstable if you really push it. Surprisingly, without the snow tires, it handles pretty well on snow-covered roads - it even got me out of my uphill driveway without any slippage. You just feel more connected to the road with the i3. Being bottom-heavy and somewhat tall, it can easily be affected by strong winds on the highway. Yes, this is an odd looking car. In my opinion, it looks best from any profile view, and just plain odd from a direct front or back view. The inside is beautifully designed, spacious, and posh. For utility, the overall storage space is not much, but I am able to make my transfer station trips with a full-size plastic garbage can and several square container bins of recycling. As for the i Remote app, it has had its share of bugs, but otherwise works like a charm (I even gave it a glowing review in the App Store). After driving 14k+ miles on this car, and now having owned it for going on 10 months through all New England seasons, do I still believe in the i3? Yes, yes I do. Since my first review of the vehicle here on Edmunds, I have had new revelations about it. First and foremost, the car's battery does not like cold temperatures, and thus I am suffering from the obligatory 'range anxiety.' I have seen a significant drop in mile range on a full battery charge. Where I was averaging between 80 to 90 miles per full charge during the summer, I am now getting between 60 to 70 miles, if that. My maximum distance driven on a full charge is exactly 100 miles, which I achieved during the summer with a mix of highway and city driving using A/C sporadically. Currently, with these cold temperatures in the teens and 20s, it is difficult to get even 60 miles on a full charge. I recently drove a 2017 BMW i3 with range extender in 25 to 35 degree temperatures (Fahrenheit), and observed that its battery is impervious to the cold, on top of its larger mile range. Of course, now I desire a 2017 i3. Secondly, my i3 handles fantastically in the snow with its Blizzak snow tires. I have complete confidence in taking my car out into a snowstorm, having already tested it driving through snowy road conditions on the windy, hilly backroads of southern New Hampshire. Thirdly, my i3's factory speaker system sounds loud and crisp using the radio, but when utilizing its USB or bluetooth capabilities with my iPhone, the auditory volume drops dramatically, thus forcing me to crank up the car's volume control. Lastly, the sun visors are simply too small and are terrible at blocking out the sun through the windshield and door window. In conclusion, I am quite happy with my car, despite its low range in the winter, and happy to have the range extender as a backup. I have had no issues with it otherwise (i.e. nothing has needed repair). My only other concern about it is its depreciation, and hope that the vehicle is not obsolete when it is time to trade it in.
2014 BMW i3 Hatchback Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- EPA Battery & Range
- EPA Combined MPGeA combined total of 45% city MPGe + 55% highway MPGe: 124 MPGe
- 4 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 157.4 in. / Height: 62.1 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 80.3 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 69.9 in.
- Curb Weight: 2635 lbs.
More about the 2014 BMW i3
More About This Model
The 2014 BMW i3 is a compact electric car that is unlike anything BMW has ever produced. At the same time, it is also one of the most advanced and interesting cars on the road. Powered purely by electricity, constructed of exotic materials and unencumbered by the inherent limitations of being derived from a traditional gas-powered vehicle, the i3 feels like a harbinger of future personal transportation.
What Is It?
The BMW i3 is a compact, four-door hatchback that runs purely on electric power. It differs from most other electric vehicles on the market in that it's a clean-sheet design that was conceived as a dedicated EV from the get-go. The Chevrolet Spark EV, Ford Focus Electric, Fiat 500e and BMW's previous Mini E and Active E are electrified versions of existing products.
The i3, on the other hand, arose from a blank slate. As a result, the four-person cabin is large and airy, the backseat folds flat for extra cargo capacity and its myriad powertrain components (including the batteries) are accommodated with minimal compromise.
Yet, the packaging isn't the most radical or distinctive element of the BMW i3. It's the materials used to construct it. The mechanical undercarriage and battery housing are constructed of lightweight aluminum, while the upper body cell is carbon fiber — the same ultra-lightweight and ultra-stiff stuff that racecars, Ferraris and other really expensive things are made out of.
Not only is its application ground-breaking in such a relatively inexpensive vehicle, it keeps the i3's weight down by hundreds of pounds compared to other electric cars. The result? Smaller batteries, less consumption of energy and a surprisingly quick 0-60-mph time of just 6.6 seconds.
How Does It Drive?
You might expect such a tall, podlike vehicle to roll and tip about like a toy boat in a bathtub. Yet, with its heavy batteries spread out down low and its light carbon-fiber body structure up high, the i3 has a very low center of gravity. That, in conjunction with rear-wheel drive, a wide 62-inch track, a nearly 50/50 weight distribution and BMW's usual suspension wizardry, allows the i3 to change direction with poise, balance and ample driver confidence. The steering is also notably quick to react to inputs, with a relatively light effort and commendable feedback.
As a commuter car, though, it's likely that the i3 will spend a vast majority of its life puttering around suburbia, negotiating an urban jungle or stuck in the seemingly unending morass of highway gridlock. And for that kind of driving, the i3 is exceptional.
A big reason for that is the aggressive regenerative braking, a trait that we grew to love in our long-term Mini E, which was a test bed vehicle for the i3. Essentially, if your foot isn't on the throttle pedal, the car will engage regenerative braking to capture otherwise lost energy and send it to the batteries. It's so pronounced in the i3 that you rarely need to apply the brakes when in traffic.
Of course, this regenerative braking is still rather tame in the grand scheme of things, and the driver must still do it the old-fashioned way when stronger braking is needed. Thankfully, the i3's brake pedal has a far more natural feel to it than most other electric and hybrid vehicles. Emergency braking distances are also exceptional, as we measured a stop from 60 mph in just 109 feet.
Although our test car's optional 20-inch wheels look like any other oversized wheel from the side (19s are standard), if you look at them from behind or up front, you'll notice how narrow they are. This unusual, tall-and-skinny design is to reduce rolling resistance and therefore improve energy efficiency, while at the same time maintaining a suitable tire contact patch for handling and braking consistent with BMW expectations. If there is a downside, it's that these narrow tires are more susceptible to highway grooves, in which case the i3 can feel a bit darty.
What Is Its Electric Range?
On our electric vehicle evaluation test route, the i3 went 95.8 miles before its battery was depleted. This represents the upper range of what you can expect to see when driving the i3 in suburbia and is slightly lower than what other electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric (99.8 miles) and Fiat 500e (109.5) achieved on the same evaluation route.
Generally, we saw ranges that confirmed the EPA's estimate of 81 miles during the i3's week-long stay.
When it comes to recharging, the i3's battery pack took 4 hours to recharge using a 240-volt home charger and did so efficiently. This is similar to the Fiat and Ford, but we do not have data on the latest Nissan Leaf.
What if I Need To Go Farther Than 95.8 Miles?
For an extra $3,850, the BMW i3 Range Extender model sandwiches a 650cc motorcycle engine among the various electric components under the trunk floor. Unlike with plug-in hybrids, this engine is used only to generate electricity and given its 2.4-gallon gas tank, can only do so for about 90 miles. Because of the engine's added weight, the Range Extender's all-EV range is reduced to an EPA-estimated 72 miles with a total estimated range of 150 (it should also be a bit slower). By comparison, a Chevrolet Volt can go about 380 miles between its batteries and gas engine with a 9.3-gallon tank.
For this reason, the range extender doesn't morph the i3 into a true plug-in hybrid with cross-country functionality, like the Volt. It's better to think of it as a means to keep the party moving should you decide to make a spontaneous side trip, reside slightly outside the normal i3 electric range or suffer a power blackout while charging.
What Is the Cabin Like?
The i3's clamshell side doors might as well be the gates of a time portal that transports you into the future. It's certainly like no other cabin we've been in before. Interesting curves and contours abound, creating an overall appearance that is so unusual you'd swear it was from a concept car or something driven by Will Smith in a sci-fi action film.
As with the rest of the car, though, it's the cabin's materials that make it truly special. Our test car was fitted with the "Giga World" trim package, which brings with it an interesting mixture of eco-friendly materials. The seats and doors are trimmed in a breathable "Carum Spice Grey Wool Cloth" and "Cassia Natural Leather" tanned with eco-friendly olive leaf. Putty-colored leather accents the responsibly forested, "open pore" eucalyptus wood trim that cascades across the dash. The unusual black material on the far-out portions of the dash and doors is a plant fiber called Kenaf.
The overall ambience is indicative of a Scandinavian modern decor catalog. You can also get the base "Mega World" and all-leather "Tera World" (we don't understand the names either), but they don't quite match the Giga's ultra-cool vibe.
How Much Room Is There?
The cabin's uniqueness isn't just a matter of aesthetics, though. You sit at an almost SUV-like height with the grand, bubble-like windshield placed far forward and above the broad, intriguingly contoured dash panel. Visibility is abundant and can be improved with the optional rearview camera, parking sensors and automated parking system.
The driver seat doesn't adjust to the same absurd degree as the manually adjustable seats in other BMWs, but there's still an abundance of legroom for even tall drivers (Abe Lincoln, complete with hat, would have enough headroom) and the steering wheel telescopes out so far from the dash that almost anyone can achieve a generous arm bend.
Impressively, though, even with an Abe-like driver, there is plenty of space in the two-person, high-mounted backseat. Climbing back there is relatively easy, but the clamshell doors require the front doors to open in order to access the back ones. This not only adds a step, but it can be difficult in tight parking spaces. Nevertheless, the i3 is a legitimate four-person vehicle you can use to take friends out to dinner without apology.
How Much Stuff Can I Fit Inside?
With no need for a central transmission tunnel, the space between the driver and passenger footwells is open, leaving space for a purse or whatever else you see fit. The center console is home to a single large cupholder, another located under the flip-up armrest in a small bin, and the ubiquitous BMW iDrive controller and vehicle dynamics toggle button (for going between the Comfort and Eco Pro driving modes). There are also large door bins, making the i3 one of the better BMWs in terms of cabin storage.
For larger items, the 11.8-cubic-foot trunk is still rather high as a result of the space needed for the electric motor and range-extending engine. Nevertheless, it lacks the sort of odd crevasses, humps and boxes that usually make electric vehicle trunks difficult to use. Similarly, the backseat folds flat to create a total of 36.9 cubic feet, which is a bit smaller than what you'd get in a compact hatchback. As a small bonus, there is a tiny, 2.8-cubic-foot cubby under the hood that can hold a small duffel bag.
Will I Need To Be From the Future To Figure This Car Out?
Although everything about the BMW i3 screams "Car of Tomorrow," you don't have to be from the future yourself to figure it out. The shifter is a pod that sprouts forth from the steering column and features a large knob you twist forward for Drive and rearward for Reverse, with buttons for Park and Stop-Start. It's weird, but intuitive.
Controls for the climate control system are sensibly designed and placed, while the iDrive electronics control is the same one you'd find in any other BMW. The controller isn't quite as ergonomically placed as in those cars, and the dash-mounted volume knob and eight preset buttons are located farther away from it than usual. In general, there's a familiarity here that should make any current BMW owner feel, if not exactly at home, at least in a remodeled version of it.
The iDrive screen juts forth on an arm of sorts from the passenger side dash. A small 6.5-inch display is standard along with a basic "Business" navigation system, while a wider display and upgraded "Professional" navigation system is included with the $2,500 Technology + Driving Assistant package. Despite its not being shrouded, we found the screen to be impressively impervious to glare. The same could be said of the display screen that acts as the gauges, although the ample space above and below its letterbox-like image makes it look like a widescreen TV with the wrong aspect ratio selected.
What Safety Features Are Included?
Every 2014 BMW i3 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard are BMW Remote Services and BMW Assist eCall, which include automatic collision notification, an emergency request button, stolen vehicle recovery, remote door unlock and a smartphone control app. The optional Parking Assistant package includes front parking sensors and a rearview camera.
The i3 has yet to be crash-tested by the government or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
What Does It Cost?
The most basic, "Mega World" 2014 BMW i3 costs $42,300 with destination. That includes rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, the "Business" navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a USB/iPod interface, single-zone automatic climate control and a mixture of the aforementioned wool cloth and "SensaTec" premium vinyl upholstery.
An extra $1,700 gets you the Giga World, including its upgraded materials, plus "Comfort Access" keyless entry, different wheels, a universal garage door opener and satellite radio. The Tera World only adds to that full leather upholstery in a unique "Dalbergia" brown hue.
Options include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability in traffic, heated seats, an onboard DC fast charger, a Harman Kardon sound system and 20-inch wheels in place of the standard 19s. Consider the BMW i Station a must-purchase, as the difference in charge times between using it and a household plug is estimated to be at least 16 hours.
All of this applies to the BMW i3 Range Extender model, albeit with a price increase of $3,850.
All of these prices are also before the $7,500 federal tax rebate, along with any rebates your particular state may offer. You also need to consider the lower cost of electricity versus gasoline (especially if you live in a home with solar panels). In other words, the i3 isn't as expensive as it initially seems.
What Other Vehicles Should I Consider?
Chevrolet Volt: The Volt is a great alternative if you envision needing more range than both the standard and Range Extender i3 can provide. Its larger engine and gas tank make that possible. Yet if your commute is within about 40 miles, the Volt is essentially an electric car — and a good one at that. Comfortable and responsive, it, too, is one of the better battery-powered cars to drive.
Ford Focus Electric: This would be the car we'd otherwise most likely recommend in this electric vehicle price range. Like the regular Focus, the electrified version is blessed with nimble handling, a well-constructed cabin and good looks. It goes a similar distance on a charge as the i3 and takes a similar amount of time to recharge, but it's considerably slower and its batteries create an awkwardly shaped trunk.
Nissan Leaf: This fully electric hatchback is one of the more refined EV packages on the road. It delivers roughly 87 miles of range along with a comfortable and feature-packed cabin. It also starts at less than $30K.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
Quite simply, the 2014 BMW i3 is the most advanced electric vehicle in its price range. Although competitors cost between $6,000 and $13,000 less, none come close to matching its performance, driving experience, interior usability, cabin quality and unique style. If an electric car works for your lifestyle, the i3 should be at the top of your consideration list.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
If you have a long commute and don't live in a place where you can install a home charging unit, forget about the BMW i3 completely. Otherwise, the i3's price and four-person-only capacity could give you pause, along with the potentially high cost to replace its unique tires and repair potential damage to the carbon-fiber body.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2014 BMW i3 Overview
The Used 2014 BMW i3 is offered in the following submodels: i3 Hatchback, i3 Electric, i3 Plug-in Hybrid. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and 4dr Hatchback w/Range Extender (0.6L 2cyl gas/electric plug-in hybrid DD). The Used 2014 BMW i3 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive. The Used 2014 BMW i3 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2014 BMW i3?
Price comparisons for Used 2014 BMW i3 trim styles:
- The Used 2014 BMW i3 Base is priced between $16,990 and$24,590 with odometer readings between 20217 and106938 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2014 BMW i3S are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 BMW i3 for sale near. There are currently 40 used and CPO 2014 i3S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,990 and mileage as low as 20217 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 BMW i3.
Can't find a used 2014 BMW i3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used BMW i3 for sale.
Find a used BMW for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned BMW i3 for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale.
Should I lease or buy a 2014 BMW i3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.