BMW i3

With its space-age body, super-efficient powertrain and laserlike focus on its urban mission, the i3 pushes the boundaries in automotive design. This tall, narrow, electric city car is the first widely available model to use lightweight carbon fiber for its basic body structure. That single mission focus contributes to making the i3 the most energy-efficient car we'd ever tested up to that point.
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Fun to drive, fast, nible. Looks ok, but not super stylist."

Anonymous, OR (2014 BMW i3)

"fantastic acceleration"

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3)

"Very quick acceleration. Nimble."

Anonymous, AL (2014 BMW i3)

"Great acceleration."

Anonymous, VA (2014 BMW i3)

"The car is fun to drive. It has a get-up-and-go factor that always brings a smile to my face."

Anonymous, AZ (2014 BMW i3)

"Vicious acceleration, very sporty handling ... this car makes driving highly enjoyable. On the downside, it makes driving a gas engine car very boring, and going to a gas station an excruciating experience."

Anonymous, MA (2014 BMW i3)

"Great acceleration and handling in city traffic"

Anonymous, SC (2014 BMW i3)

"My favorite part of this car is the one pedal driving experience. The smooth quiet of electric driving is the best! Love the crazy imeadiate tourque with no shifting."

Anonymous, WI (2014 BMW i3)

"Wow! I believe EVs will quickly become popular because of the powerful acceleration and secure handling - not for environmental reasons. The instantaneous and responsive acceleration is far superior to ICEs. The low centre of gravity (due to the battery pack location) helps improve the car's handling. Overall, EVs provide a much better driving experience. Once other drivers experience this for themselves, EVs will become the next minivan or SUV in terms of popularity, a lot faster t"

Anonymous, BC (2014 BMW i3)

"Insanely fast 0-30 accelleration..I drive mostly in suburban areas and i feel like everyone is driving in reverse when i take off from a stop light. Power is addicting! Will always own an electric from now on out!"

TOM S., IL (2014 BMW i3)

"Great torque, but short wheelbase makes for a choppy ride."

ALBERT F., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"Great acceleration and braking."

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3)

"Great acceleration"

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3)

"I have never enjoyed a car as much as I do the i3. I will order another one as soon as the warranty is out on my 2014. It's wickedly fast, nearly silent, agile and very easy to maneuver and park here at the beach."

RON A., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"I have owned a lightweight sports car in the past, but even it did not accelerate as quickly as this car off the line, Really small turning circle and good handling. Also easy to park"

STEVEN M., NJ (2014 BMW i3)

"the thin tires cause the car to wander And not drive straight."

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3)

"The I3 is a rocket. I have to drive in a the power saving mode to prevent extremely fast pick up. The vehicle can turn in a wide driveway."

JOSEPH P., FL (2014 BMW i3)

"A fast start out of the gate. It can keep up with most cars"

MICHAEL W., MD (2014 BMW i3)

"After more than two year the car accelerates, handles, and rides exactly like new. I believe that the nature of electric vehicles leads to much better aging of the critical components of the car."

W C., IL (2014 BMW i3)

"Acceleration is outstanding, handling is confident and cost to operate is extremely low. 700 miles of use costs about $8.00 using off peak rate of $0.055 per kwh. Have had no repairs or any out of pockets costs except for one tire replacement due to a road hazard."

TIMOTHY T., WI (2014 BMW i3)

"This car is ALL ABOUT acceleration and handling (aside from it being an EV of course)! It is just a joy to drive in urban/suburban situations. Its ability to get out of the way of other vehicles is unparalleled. It is by far the most fun-to-drive car I have ever owned, and it does it so quietly!"

John M., IL (2014 BMW i3)

"Acceleration is great since it is an electric car, makes it fun. Ride is very stiff and you can feel every little bump with the low profile tires, I feel like the tires are the worst part of the ride experience but difficult to tell if the whole chassis is to blame for harsh ride on bumps. Driving by throttle with the i3 is a great experience and minimal use of break pedal is required and you get used to it very quickly."

Andres M., TX (2014 BMW i3)

"Fierce acceleration, especially at 0-45 range. Handling is exceptional. Rear-wheel drive has not been a problem in snow/ice, car is very well-balanced."

Anonymous, MA (2014 BMW i3)

"Great torque"

Anonymous, TX (2014 BMW i3)

"By far the best driving car we’ve ever owned. The rapid acceleration, one pedal driving through regenerative braking, very responsive maneuverability ( due to low centre of gravity), quiet ride. Far superior driving performance than ICE vehicles. Once drivers own an EV they won’t buy another ICE. As manufacturers bring longer range EVs to market the auto industry will change quickly just as the cell phone market was changed by the iPhone."

Anonymous, BC (2014 BMW i3)

"Dynamic cruise control works 95% of the time but can trip out depending upon sun angle, shade on roadway, and cresting some overpasses. It also offloads a driving burden and smooths the ride. Emergency braking has warned but didn't have to engage. No lane keep assistance."

Robert W., AL (2014 BMW i3)

"The immediate torque is fantastic"

Anonymous, TX (2014 BMW i3)

"Handling is good, but not up to BMW standards, with lots of wheel travel and bobbing up and down. The super narrow tires transmit more than the usual amount of road imperfections into the cabin. Acceleration is great. Single pedal control is great. The turning radius helps contribute to a great city car."

Mark L., MA (2014 BMW i3)

"I love how quiet the vehicle is. I love the quickness of acceleration - my friends call it my nuclear golf cart!"

Yvette A., FL (2014 BMW i3)

"It's a BMW."

Anonymous, WA (2014 BMW i3)

"I like how the car drives. Good acceleration and handling."

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3)

"The car has pure electric source of locomotive power... Good: Very high acceleration from zero speed. Very nice handling at low speeds Fantastic, time-based, adaptive cruise control that controls the car all the way to zero speed, and starts back up from zero speed Bad: Slow acceleration when already at 40 mph or higher Poor highway handling performance. Skinny tires lead to less robust handling at highway speeds"

Anonymous, OH (2014 BMW i3)

"Acceleration is excellent from a standing start and quite sufficient at highway speeds. The car handles crisply, better than one might expect given it's height and skinny tires."

Howard B., WA (2014 BMW i3)

"Instant and brisk, but also linier in its power delivery"

John V., IL (2014 BMW i3)

"Fun to drive: has a sporty feel"

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3)

"The one pedal driving/stopping is great."

Kenneth M., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"Very snappy acceleration. Good handing, all around fun to drive."

Quint K., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"Very quick. Very quiet! Nice combination"

Dave B., BC (2014 BMW i3)

"It's very quick, which makes it easy to merge onto the freeway. It has a very small turn radius, making it easy to park and navigate streets."

David G., AZ (2014 BMW i3)

"I find that the adaptive cruise control shuts off too easily, e.g. coming up out of a tunnel, oncoming car head lights, sun flickering through shadows on road from trees. The regenerative breaking kicks in quickly and the car can drop from 90 km/h to 70 km/h very quickly without a foot on the accelerator pedal (i.e. while the cruise control is on) which causes potential rear end collisions if the car behind is close or not paying close attention."

Pat D., BC (2014 BMW i3)

"This is the best handling vehicle I have ever owned, taut, responsive with impressive pickup. It has excellent visibility. The i3 is a superb town car, easy to maneuver, easy to park, great visibility."

Joel F., DC (2014 BMW i3)

"It's very responsive to acceleration and "braking" even tho I rarely use the brake. The charging aspect while driving has made me a much more "zen" driver. I've slowed down and make easy, gentle movements. Easiest car I've ever had to park. Had to get use to how light it is, but love it now"

Carol G., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"Very quiet, very responsive, hardly ever need to use brake,"

Anonymous, WA (2014 BMW i3)

"BMW unfortunately downgraded the potency of the regenerative braking during two different services. The car lost a bit of its sportiness as a result. Whereas one-pedal driving was easily possible initially, it is now quite a bit more difficult."

Steven M., NJ (2014 BMW i3)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Seats and ride are very comfortable. There is a rattle in the dash which the dealership has failed to elimanate"

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3)

"We use this vehicle much more than planned because it is great fun in the city. Because we are a family of 4, the rear doors are a hassle with every day use. That's the only issue. But never planned to be our 'go to' car."

JOHN G., GA (2014 BMW i3)

"I like the upright seating position and the seats are supportive. Though the seats are not supremely comfortable or adjustable, given the car's limited range this is of lesser concern, I never drive it for more than an hour. Climate control is very good. Ride is a firm and well controlled. I love the very strong low speed acceleration and quiet of the vehicle."

HOWARD B., WA (2014 BMW i3)

"The back seats don't get a lot of ventilation from the air conditioner. There should be vents in the back to help cool the rear occupants."

TORY J., TX (2014 BMW i3)

"A bit flimsy Very little padding"

Michael W., MD (2014 BMW i3)

"the utter silence of the motor is bliss! The seats are great, offering above average comfort in very limited outer dimensions"

Steven M., NJ (2014 BMW i3)

"An extraordinary car. Outstanding performance an economy. All in one car"

Dave B., BC (2014 BMW i3)

"The seats are comfortable enough for the limited time one will drive this vehicle given its limited range. Ride is on the firm side, but well controlled. Car is very quiet."

Howard B., WA (2014 BMW i3)

"I find the road noise to be high. The seats are comfortable and heated. I like that the heated seats funnel the heat up into the small of one's back to compensate when you've just shoveled snow. Air conditioning is just barely OK. It would also be good if, when you started the car, the climate control would start at the setting that was in use when the car was shut down; currently it always starts with the air conditioning on."

Pat D., BC (2014 BMW i3)

"Seat required modification to be comfortable. Ride is noisy and stiff as expected for this type of fuel efficient vehicle"

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Had car for three years, hasn't used as much electricity for charging as expected, amazing and very enjoyable drive. Other than software updates (no cost), and tore rotation (also no cost for first 4 years), there has been ZERO maintenance. No oil changes, no fluids, no exhaust ... just a fantastic car for the right person with the right commute."

Anonymous, MA (2014 BMW i3)

"I bought 1-year-old BMW i3 at a very good price (approximately half of list price). Have averaged 4.7 miles per KWH of energy, meaning that I can run the car for about 30% what I pay for my gasoline-powered car, while also polluting less.Add to this the benefit of virtually no maintenance and you can undestand my pleasure."

STEVEN M., NJ (2014 BMW i3)

"We got especially good value due to the $5,000 GA and $7,500 Federal Tax Credits."

LEE J., GA (2014 BMW i3)

"Leased a leftover 2014 model in 2015 for a very attractive rate which factored in government incentive."

SCOTT F., NC (2014 BMW i3)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"It's refreshingly different. So many of the cars today regardless of manufacturer look very similar inside and out."

Anonymous, BC (2014 BMW i3)

"The exterior is "weird" looking; most certainly doesn't look like other BMWs - but it has grown on me. After two years of owning the car I like how the exterior looks. The interior, on the other hand, took no time to appreciate. I fell in love with it the first time I sat in the driver's seat. Very modern, love the real wood dash, and the creature comforts are amazing."

QUINT K., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"People love the loft style. And height of seats. Roomy for small appearing car."

PATRICK D., CA (2014 BMW i3)

"I like the inside styling of the car, but the outside is something I had to get use to."

ALBERT F., CA (2014 BMW i3)
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