BMW i3 – All you need to know

If you’re looking for a compact, stylish, eco-friendly, and luxurious electric car, the BMW i3 is a good option. This car is also easy to drive around town and park. Despite its compact design, it can carry up to five passengers.

However, you will have to pay a lot for the beautiful look and high-tech features that this car offers. It is more costly than even the base Tesla Model 3, which is faster, more reliable, and performs better. All in all, the BMW i3 is an excellent car for those who want to have an easy time around town.

With a range of around 97 miles, the BMW i3 is not the best car for people who want to travel for a long distance. Its competitors like Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt have a better range. Aside from that, the BMW i3 is less reliable than most of its competitors. 

History of the BMW i3

The BMW i3 is a high-roof hatchback made by BMW. It comes with an electric powertrain and has an underfloor Lithium-ion battery pack. Additionally, it is fitted with a rear-wheel-drive system through a single-speed transmission. It is BMW’s first zero-emissions car.

Unlike most all-electric cars, the BMW i3 comes with two trims, which include the all-electric (BEV) trim and hybrid (REX) trim. The latter uses the battery but also has an optional range-extending engine. What’s more, the production of the BMW i3 started in 2013 in Leipzig. 

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This car boasts several awards, and it is one of the finest all-electric compact cars on the market. The BMW i3 ranked 3rd amongst the electric cars sold around the globe from 2014 to 2016. Besides, it received two world car of the year awards, and it was also named the best world car design of the year in 2014.

Features of the BMW i3


The BMW i3 is a good-looking and compact hatchback. It is one of the best-looking cars in its class with a high-rood design. Like most electric BMW models, it has a small kidney grille, positioned between two LED lights.

Aside from having an elegant exterior, the interior of the BMW i3 is also top-notch as it boasts a spacious cabin, high-end materials, and advanced technology. It can also seat up to five passengers with the front legroom and headroom being more spacious than the second legroom and headroom.

This outstanding hatchback comes with a wheelbase of 101.2-inches, a length of 158.1-inches, a width of 70.5-inches, and a height of 62.6-inches.


This is one of the areas where the BMW i3 lacks. Since it comes with a small battery, this car is not very powerful and has a small range. It is based on the electric/gas engine type that delivers a maximum of 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. It also has a range of up to 97 miles, although this can change according to the trim.

Comfort and cargo space

The BMW i3 may be a compact high-roof hatchback, but this electric car is spacious. It can seat up to five passengers and has ample space. It has a total of 84 cubic feet of passenger volume, which is fine. Additionally, it has 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats up and 36.9 cubic feet of space with rear seats folded.

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Before you buy the BMW i3, it is crucial to compare its price with that of its competitors, such as the Nissan leaf (28,400), Tesla Model 3 (46,400), and Chevy Bolt ($32,400). You will notice that the BMW i3 is way costlier than these cars while they feature better range, power, and are more reliable. BMW i3 has a base price of about $$52,400.


What are the common problems of the BMW i3?

If you intend to acquire quality used BMW i3, ensure to know some of the problems you’re likely to face along the way. Some of the common BMW i3 problems are wrong printed circuit board, steering issues, problems with range extender, slow charging, fuel-vapor issues, and motor mount failure.

Note that these issues vary from one BMW model year to another. Some issues can only be found on the 2014 BMW i3, while others on the 2018 BMW i3. So, take your time and find out which issues are common on the model you intend to acquire.

More about BMW i3 problems.

Is the BMW i3 cheap to maintain?

Yes, the BMW i3 is one of the most expensive electric cars to maintain. Like most BMWs, this car also experiences lots of problems that should be tackled in time to avoid costly repairs. Besides, its parts and BMW services are very costly, adding up the cost of maintenance.

After how many miles does the BMW i3 start to develop issues?

Some BMW i3 users have stated that they started experiencing issues as fast as 40,000 miles. However, most serious issues start after the car hits about 80,000 miles. So, if you want to prolong the lifespan of your battery i3, ensure proper care and maintenance are adhered to.

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How long does the BMW i3 last?

BMW i3 has been on the market for at least 9 years. Nonetheless, even though this car can cover over 100,000 miles, it has shown that it is quite problematic and costly to own in the long run. The BMW i3 is one of the most expensive all-electric cars to own because of the number of issues it faces.

Is the BMW i3 still worth buying?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you desire a compact electric hatchback that is easy to ride around town, has a top-notch interior and is eco-friendly, the i3 is the ideal choice. But if you want a compact electric car with a decent range, more reliable, faster, and cheaper to maintain, the i3 is not the best car.


BMW i3 offers a smooth ride, excellent handling, an upmarket interior, high-tech features, and a spacious cabin. However, it has a small range, is less reliable, and costlier than most competitors. As a result, it is a huge bargain considering its competitors are cheaper, faster, more powerful, and more reliable.

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Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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