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City mpg:
137
Highway mpg:
111

Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.

2017 BMW i3 Sedan Overview

The standard features of the BMW i3 60 Ah include 170hp engine 1-speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, driver and passenger knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 19" forged aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control.

2017 BMW
i3 Sedan

Starting at: $42,400

  • Manufacturer Offer

    Financing Offer : 3.34% APR for 72 months on select BMW models

    * Read full offer details
    Applies to multiple models.

    * Disclaimer(s)

    • Truth in Lending Act Disclosure: Down payment will vary with APR and credit. For example, 3.34% APR with $2,500 down payment provides for 72 monthly payments of $15.35 per $1000 financed for qualified buyers. 3.34% for a term of 24 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $43.13 per $1000 financed. 3.34% for a term of 36 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $29.23 per $1000 financed. 3.34% for a term of 39 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $27.09 per $1000 financed. 3.34% for a term of 42 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $25.26 per $1000 financed. 3.34% for a term of 48 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $22.28 per $1000 financed. 3.34% for a term of 60 months corresponds to a monthly cost of $18.12 per $1000 financed. The rates described are for estimation purposes only; you may not be able to finance at this rate.

      See Trims

  • Manufacturer Offer

    Financing Offer : $5,000 cash back on select BMW i3 models

    * Read full offer details
    Applies to select new 2017 BMW i3.

    * Disclaimer(s)

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Specifications

  • Air conditioning
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Residual heat recirculation
  • Speed control
  • Power windows
  • 1-touch down
  • 1-touch up
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated entry
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Driver vanity mirror
  • Passenger vanity mirror
  • Emergency communication system
  • Navigation system
  • Front beverage holders
  • Rear beverage holders
  • Driver door bin
  • Passenger door bin
  • FM radio - SiriusXM
  • Radio data system
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Speakers - 4
  • Wireless phone connectivity - Bluetooth
  • 1st row LCD monitors - 2
  • Primary LCD size - 6.5"
  • Diversity antenna
  • Basic warranty - 48 months/50,000miles
  • Powertrain warranty - 48 months/50,000miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty - 144 months/ unlimited distance
  • Roadside assistance coverage - 48 months/ unlimited distance
  • Maintenance warranty - 36 months/36,000miles
  • Max seating capacity - 4
  • Front seats - bucket
  • Front center armrest - w/storage
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear seats - bench
  • Split folding rear seat
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Engine horsepower - 170hp @ 4,800RPM
  • Engine torque - 184 lb.-ft. @ RPM
  • Payload - 425kg (937lbs)
  • GVWR - 1,640kg (3,615lbs)
  • Exterior length - 3,988mm (157.0")
  • Exterior body width - 1,778mm (70.0")
  • Exterior height - 1,575mm (62.0")
  • Wheelbase - 2,565mm (101.0")
  • Turning radius - 4.9m (16.2')
  • Front legroom - 1,029mm (40.5")
  • Rear legroom - 810mm (31.9")
  • Front headroom - 1,006mm (39.6")
  • Rear headroom - 945mm (37.2")
  • Front shoulder room - 1,361mm (53.6")
  • Rear shoulder room - 1,250mm (49.2")
  • Interior cargo volume - 428 L (15 cu.ft.)
  • Interior maximum cargo volume - 1,045 L (37 cu.ft.)
  • Rear cargo - liftgate
  • Power door mirrors
  • Auto-dimming door mirrors
  • Turn signal indicator mirrors
  • Spoiler
  • Bumpers - body-color
  • Horsepower - 170hp @ 4,800RPM
  • Torque - 184 lb.-ft. @ RPM
  • Engine location - rear
  • Hybrid electric powertrain type - electric only
  • Hybrid traction battery capacity (kWh) - 22
  • Hybrid traction battery all electric range - 80 miles
  • Recommended fuel - Electric
  • Transmission - 1 speed automatic
  • Mode select transmission
  • Drive type - rear-wheel
  • Fuel economy combined - 124mpge
  • Fuel economy city - 137mpg
  • Fuel economy highway - 111mpg
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • ABS brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Dual front side impact airbags
  • Overhead airbag
  • Knee airbag
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Panic alarm
  • Perimeter/approach lights
  • Ignition disable
  • Security system
  • Electronic stability
  • Traction control
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Power steering
  • Speed-sensing steering
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front tires - 155/70QR19.0
  • Rear tires - 155/70QR19.0
  • Wheel size - 19"
  • Fully automatic headlights
  • Delay-off headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Speed sensitive wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Rear window defroster
  • Front reading lights
  • Display - digital
  • Compass
  • Outside temperature display
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Trip computer
  • Parking sensors - rear

Trims

  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
60 Ah 2017 BMW i3 Sedan 60 Ah Search New $42,400   170-hp 0.0L 0-cyl  1-spd auto  137 / 111  
94 Ah 2017 BMW i3 Sedan 94 Ah Search New $44,450   170-hp 0.0L 0-cyl  1-spd auto  129 / 106  
94 Ah w/Range Extender 2017 BMW i3 Sedan 94 Ah w/Range Extender Search New $48,300   170-hp 0.0L 0-cyl  1-spd auto  No Data  

Reviews

Driving Impression

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

BMW i3 acceleration is smooth and quick, with its 125-kilowatt motor (about 170 horsepower), making 184 pound-feet of torque. The regenerative braking is so strong the brake pedal is only needed to bring the car to a full stop, not to slow down. Other electric cars aren’t programmed so radically as the i3, even with its coasting mode between acceleration and regeneration. The i3 doesn’t coast smoothly or decelerate gently. These are sacrifices so the battery keeps it charge longer. Range is everything.

The all-electric i3 zips from zero to sixty in 7.0 seconds, while the optional range-extender engine slows it to 7.8 seconds. We’ve had an i3 up to an all-electric 83 mph, but at that speed you might get 10 minutes of battery.

The top-model’s range extender (REx) and generator package that supplements the electric motor has its limitations. Up long steep grades, and at 70 mph with the a/c on and stereo blasting, REx gets maxed out, and full power can’t be reached. The range extender doesn’t generate enough current to deliver full power.

The two-cylinder is basically a motorcycle engine, a 650cc twin making 34 horsepower and 40 pound-feet of torque. Think 1967 Triumph Bonneville. Heartbreakingly, it’s not used to power the wheels, but to power a generator that charges the battery. With its 2.4-gallon fuel tank, it increases the overall range to 150 miles, but cuts the electric range because of its weight.

A road trip with the i3 better be short. Stop for two gallons of gas every 140 miles, and pack real light.

There are modes on the console to increase range. Eco Pro and Eco Pro+ add 12 and 25 percent more miles. (Eco Pro+ gets more conservative with the heating and cooling.) If you need quick acceleration, those modes are instantly overridden. But the eco modes still allow decent power, unlike the eco modes on most cars.

The handling is nimble and crisp, with a small turning circle of 32.3 feet, to make parking very easy. It rides well enough, but it drifts in crosswinds, and rides stiff on those high-mileage skinny tires, which probably also contribute to the drifting in the wind.

The front tires start squealing way early. The rear jitters and skips in a fast choppy turn. The high seats mean more head roll.

Walk Around

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The i3 attracts attention, it has presence for being so small, and it carries intrigue. But it’s not attractive. Its profile is dorky, stubby at both ends while being tall. It looks best when viewed head-on, except for the chunky door handles, and the conspicuously skinny tires chasing mileage. From the rear, the tires look like they got lost on their way to a mountain bike.

The so-called grille is blacked-out, blue at the edges, the BMW signature on its i cars. No need for a grille with no engine up there.

So many lines and shapes going in different directions, at the rear. It’s confusing. Are those tail fins?

Interior Overview

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

Forward visibility is terrific except when it’s blocked by the big rearview mirror and camera, and it’s only adequate on the right and over the shoulder. The rear window is high and narrow, so there’s not much to peek through. A rearview camera is a real benefit here, but it’s not standard on the Mega.

Unlike the exterior, the innovative interior is soothing. It feels more Scandinavian than German. Simple. Tight textiles, light and dark, give whimsy and elegance. Not at all business-like, as in other BMWs.

The dashboard is like a shelf with a tablet on it, a 10.2-inch screen controlled by a knob on the center console.

The front seats are thin but bolstered well, and comfortable for hours. The base upholstery is like leather, made from recycled plastic; upgraded upholstery includes wool and real leather.

In effect the i3 is a two-seater, as the rear seat is hopelessly small and awkward to reach, despite the rear-hinged doors.

The trunk is small too. Total cargo space: as slim as it gets.

The Mega World gets that leather-like recycled-plastic upholstery. The instrument panel is what BMW calls grain foil. The Giga World ups the ambience to earthtone, with wool and olive leaf-tanned leather upholstery, leather instrument panel, and open-pore eucalyptus trim that would look lovely in a house.

Plastic bits still lurk in the corners. The Tera World is very dark.

The seat is high and upright, affording a good view. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes over a broad range. Any passenger that might be able to squeeze in the rear will also sit high, because of the battery pack underneath. It’s chin-to-knee time.

There’s almost zero mechanical noise inside the cabin, and very little road and wind noise. The only sound is a small serene hum from the electric motor (unless the gas-powered range extender is running).

Summary

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

If you live in the city and want the most noticed electric car on the street, the i3 is for you. The 2017 model with the optional motorcycle engine adds more range overall and reduces anxiety because the car can be quickly refueled.

Sam Moses contributed to this report.

Model Lineup

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The BMW i3 60 ah ($42,400) gets the 22kwh battery. The BMW i3 ($44,450) upgrades to the 33 kWh battery. The BMW i3 with Range Extender ($48,300) adds the two-cylinder gasoline engine. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

The Mega, Giga and Tera sisters have a last name: World. So the models are i3 Mega World, i3 Giga World, and i3 Tera World. Equipment in the Mega is less than mega. Leather-like upholstery made from recycled plastic, heated front seats, HD satellite radio (but not AM), automatic climate control, navigation, LED headlamps, and DC fast-charging capability using the Combined Charging Standard connector. No rearview camera.

Giga World is mostly cosmetic, with wool and fabric seats, leather and wood trim, and different 19-inch alloys. The Tera World has leather and fancier alloy wheels.

There’s a Parking Assistant package with rearview camera, parking sensors, and parking assist. The Technology Plus Driver Assistant package includes upgraded navigation with real-time traffic, radar adaptive cruise control with stop and go, city driving assist, and BMW Online. Other options include 20-inch wheels, a Harman/Kardon sound system, metallic paint and a moonroof.

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