We have had short-lease ownership of both a 2017 and a 2018 model, They are virtually identical, with the main difference being that the 2017 did not have the backup camera. From 2018 on, all i3's now have the integrated camera, and it is a good one.
Now that the lease is up on the 2017 model, we got a nice promotional offer from a New England dealer, and took them up on it. So, we will now have a 2019 model, with the larger battery pack.
Obviously we enjoy the car. It is particularly fun and zippy around town. Highway driving is okay, but sketchy on days when there is a strong crosswind.
This car is not for everybody, of course. But none of our routine drives are more than 75 miles, and we have a level 2 charger in our garage at home.
As an experiment, I once drove round-trip 650 miles in one day, to visit my daughter at college, using frequent gas fillups. This is not ideal, but it is possible, if you don't want to find chargers.
Try driving a Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf 650 miles in 13 hours.
People get hung up on the list price of the car. As if that is what you really have to pay. The pundits don't seem to grasp that virtually nobody BUYS a new i3. The lease deals are too attractive. With some effort, you can lease one for less than $300 per month. Particularly if you are buying at the end of the model year.
You have the option of "buying out" the car at the end of the lease, but I suspect that nobody does that, either, because the pre-determined 'residual value' is set at an artificially high level, in order to decrease the monthly lease payments.
These are fun cars.
But because they are so fun to drive, the tires will wear out. if that bothers you, stay away from this car. It is a very odd tire size, and no other car on the planet uses that size. As a consequence, there is only one company that manufactures that tire size for all-season tires. (there are two other companies that make winter tires for the i3, but only in the 19" rim size).
At first, when I realized I might have to buy new tires on the 2017 that I turned in, with about 18000 miles, I was a tad upset. But then I realized that it is a high-performance car, and the rear-wheel drive dynamics do put a lot of stress on the rear tires.
In the end, the dealer who accepted the car at the end of the lease commented on the worn rear tires, but let it pass, ultimately.
And I am okay with buying new tires, if I have to. And I will be putting on Nokain R3 winter tires on my 2018 this winter, both for winter safety, but also to save the tread on the summer tires.
Again if you hate buying tires, and you want to own this car, then drive gently, corner reasonably, and avoid jack-rabbit starts. Hard things for me to do.
If you test drive this car, you will want one. I have now "test driven" over 20K miles, and I am sold.
It is an electric car 98% of the time. But it has neutralized range anxiety with the backup gasoline power. I rarely use gas, but it's nice to know that I can. That beats a Chevy Bolt or a Nissan Leaf, as far as I'm concerned. And it comes pretty close to beating a Tesla, from range-anxiety point of view.
I do live in an area with a handful of available high-amperage DC chargers. These will fully charge a depleted battery in about 40 minutes. But most owners charge at home, or at work, if they are lucky enough to have an enlightened employer.
Buying a used i3 REX is a totally valid option. They all have warranties out to 48 months, and the first 36 months includes free dealer service, including inspection stickers. So any car that you will find has been well maintained (though you will want to do your own due diligence on that). The gas engine requires an oil change about once a year, if it is used at all. The battery and electric powertrain should last ten years or more, without being touched. You just have to keep up with tires, wiper blades, and changing the hydraulic brake fluiid every couple of year.
But if you are buying used, be aware of the battery size. The battery size has jumped every two years of production. And be sure to get a backup camera. You can tell if a used car has a backup camera in the dealer's photos, because the little fish-eye is in the middle of the bumper.
And rumor has it that BMW will stop making these in a year or two. And it seems likely that they will not increase the battery size beyond what is is now (2019 and 2020 model years) It is a unique car, remarkably quiet inside, remarkably good ride, considering it is a small car. Remarkably tight turning radius. I can make a U-turn in places were no other car could possibly do it.
Even if you never own one, you should make an effort to drive one. It is unique.