The car has four doors, with the second-row doors hinged to the rear. (This arrangement is commonly referred to as “suicide doors,” although the rear door cannot open until the front door opens.) Thanks to a flat floor and the elevated roof height, there is more room in the back than the pictures show. Tall stance, large front doors and no B-pillar afford easy access, although step-in height is a bit high due to the battery placement.
Interior fit and finish follows BMW’s high standard with some emphasis given to the sustainability theme in the form of visible fiber at the door sill and matte wood finish. A large flat screen houses the navigation system, which can point you to nearby public charging station, as well as display a radius of how far you can go based on your current range.
Three trim levels will be offered: Mega, Giga, and Tera. The Mega is well equipped but you have to opt for the Giga for sunroof and full leather comes only in the Tera. As such, it’s easy to see the price hovering around the $50,000 mark before incentives for popularly equipped examples. All three trim levels will be available for the EV, as well as the REX. BMW expects about 60 percent of the i3s sold to have the range-extending capability.
The i3 is undoubtedly distinctive and will be seared in the public perception as BMW’s electric car. Before driving it, our concerns revolve around the EV range which doesn’t up the game over existing EVs and the car’s distinct appearance. Is a tall Euro-centric hatchback with narrow tires sexy enough to command such a price premium? Will most eco-lux buyers be drawn to the i3 if parked against the sleek Cadillac ELR?
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Regardless, we will buy our own i3 when the time comes and see it this is the ultimate recharging machine.