The BMW i3 is considered the best used BMW hatchback. The BMW i3 is a 5-door hatchback electric vehicle with rear-wheel drive. The electric motor is powered by an 18.2 kWh li-ion battery pack, which can be extended to a 37.9 kWh li-ion battery pack.
The car has a decent resale value with a good demand among consumers. The i3 is also the least expensive EV to maintain.
The BMW i3: Family-friendly and electric
The BMW i3 is a small-sized electric hatchback that was released in 2013. It is the only fully electric BMW in the US. The car is considered a family car, which is best for driving in the city, and maybe on some short journeys outside the city. The car has a shorter range than other bigger EVs.
The BMW i3 has a BMW eDrive synchronous permanent magnet electric motor. The car is offered in 3 variants according to its battery range of 18.2 kWh, 27.2 kWh, and 37.9 kWh. The i3 was launched as the first-ever electric vehicle by BMW.
An electric motor with an impressive range
The i3 is a fully electric vehicle, which is famous for its small size and powerful engine. The car is one of the best-selling electric cars, and it was 3rd most selling car from 2014 to 2016.
The car has an estimated range of 81 miles, but that can be increased with further with bigger battery models. The 27.2 kWh battery model has 114 miles range, 37.9 kWh battery model has 153 miles range. BMW also offers Rex models, which have an extended range of around 200 miles.
Overall, the i3 is a brilliant ride with good range that can easily be used for city driving.
Reliable with affordable running costs
The car is pretty reliable due to its electric motor and superior BMW’s engineering. German cars are famous for their reputation for reliability. The i3 is an electric car, so it has a no fuel costs, just more affordable electric bills.
The car has been proven to be very solid, and it has a reputation for rarely experiencing any major problems or needing serious repairs. BMW also offers their standard warranty, which can cover almost any expense up to 3 years, and it also has an 8-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty.
Good safety scores
Any car is incomplete without good safety ratings nowadays. The i3 has an outstanding rating for a hatchback. The car is equipped with all the typical active and passive safety features, including:
- Driver’s, frontal, and rear head airbags.
- Emergency brake assist
- Electronic stability control
- Daytime running lights
- 4-Wheel ABS
- Integrated turn signal mirrors
The car is also great in terms of crash safety. The IIHS ranks the i3 very well. The frontal and side collision safeties are top-notch. The dummies used in the crash tests didn’t suffer any major damages, which proves its safety ratings.
Affordable and minimal maintenance
Electric cars are thought to be maintenance-free, but this isn’t actually true. Electric cars also need maintenance and service; however, it is less than compared to regular cars. The BMW i3 is thought to be one of the least expensive electric cars in terms of maintenance.
If you’re getting a used i3 with a warranty, then you would be getting the BMW Ultimate Care. This would cover every maintenance expense. However, if the car does not have a warranty, then you may have to deal with engine oil, engine filter, spark plugs, brake fluid, and other typical maintenance issues.
It has an owner rating of 3.4 out of 5. People on certain platforms and forums have admired the i3’s performance. However, the car does face some poor build quality issues. Despite quality problems, drivers still love the low-maintenance hatchback that offers an excellent BMW driving experience.
The i3 doesn’t usually face any major issues in its first 5 years. And fuel and maintenance savings are around $20,000 over a 3-year period. Overall, the car has some mixed reviews, but it is still a good purchase. The car’s value is also depreciates highly over 5 years, so you can find used i3s for an affordable price.
Things to look for before buying used BMW i3
BMWs have faced many issues in the past, but the i3 is seemed to be better than others. The running costs are low with cheap maintenance. However, if you are buying a used i3, then you should look for some certain things which can be prone to damage like:
- Sticky iDrive knob
- Fuel valve failure
- Brake pads
- Disc brakes
- Some electrical issues
Electric technology is considerably new in the automobile industry, and it needs some time to further enhance its quality. The i3 has faced some issues, but it is still a good hatchback to buy.
Is buying a used car a wise decision?
Buying a used car is always cheaper than buying a new car. Many cars lose half of their value in just 5 years, so buying these cars is not a bad decision. However, used cars can cause some problems if you don’t look them over carefully before purchasing.
Before buying used, have a mechanic thoroughly check the car for any issues with things like the paint job, accident history, any history of car faults, or things like engine oil leaks.
Do electric cars require maintenance?
People usually think that electric cars do not need any maintenance, but they do still need some maintenance. Of course, it’s less than regular cars, but they need maintenance in places like the battery, electric motor, and other electronics. They also require typical maintenance like changing brake pads or tires.
Does electric technology still need improvement?
Electric cars are the future of the automobile industry, but they need many improvements before they can dominate the market. These include:
- Battery charge time – Charging the battery takes too much time compared to fueling your car with gas. The fastest charging system introduced by Tesla still takes 20 minutes to charge 50% of your car, which is still too long.
- Range – There are some cars with brilliant range, but they are too expensive. People usually can afford small EVs, but they have very little range and can only be used in the city.
- Expensive – Electric cars need to be cheaper than ICE cars if they want to dominate the automobile industry.
- Battery life – The battery is prone to have more damage if it is driven in extreme weather.