BMW i3 information: everything you need to know if you own it, are thinking of buying one or just want to find out more about Munich’s electric car. Click on the links below for all of CAR magazine’s news, reviews, videos, scoops and spy photos of the i3 car range.
The i3 is BMW’s first bespoke electric car and the first fruits of its Project i scheme to launch EVs, alongside the i8 hybrid sports car. It’s available as a pure electric version or with a range-extending hybrid, where a small three-cylinder petrol engine kicks in to generate more charge if you’re about to run out of juice. For more information on the BMW i3, click on our further stories on the links below.
60sec road test
You’re looking at the future of motoring, according to BMW. The i3 is a landmark car in many ways: it’s built from the ground up, instead of taking an internal combustion engine car and adapting it for electric motoring. It’s a clean-sheet design, which explains why a supermini can be made from carbonfibre. Why this smallest of BMWs looks as radical as a sci-fi vehicle. And why it’s one of the most desirable electric cars yet built. We love the way it looks but, most importantly, also the way it drives. Acceleration off the line is rapid - in fact, as quick as an M3 from 0-60mph says BMW - but you’ll have to conserve your energy unless you want to plug in imminently. BMW has spent much time looking at the holistic problems of electric motoring, and has developed apps to help you drive to your destination in intelligent fashion without running out. The interior is a masterpiece in modern art, with design values to shame many people’s living rooms. There’s a cool Swedish vibe at play and there’s space to tailor it to your tastes. Will the i3 prove as good in the long run? It’s too early to tell whether battery performance lasts as well as the claims.
The one we’d buy
A range-extender please
The one we’d avoid like the plague
The plain EV one if you don't have regular access to home or work charging points
Rivals to consider
Audi A1, Mercedes A-class, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Tesla Model 3, Toyota Yaris, VW Polo
Driving manners, clever integrated approach to electric motoring, thoughtful detail
You’ve got to stomach a £30k supermini!