Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.

BMW i3

  • Road Test
  • Predicted Reliability
  • Predicted Owner Satisfaction
BMW's electric car is a rear-wheel-drive, four-seat hatchback with rear-hinged back doors. The interior is striking in its simplicity and style, which is reminiscent of Scandinavian furniture. The electric motor produces the equivalent of 170 hp, which makes this tall, narrow car feel quick. An optional two-cylinder engine, which acts as an onboard generator rather than a primary power source, extends the range beyond the typical 75 miles to about 130 miles total. Charge times are about 4 hours with a 240-volt connection. In our tests we measured the electric equivalent of 139 mpg. Despite its tall stance, the i3 is very agile and easy to maneuver, though the ride is quite firm. It takes time to get used to the pronounced deceleration when lifting off the accelerator pedal. New for 2019 is the 120Ah, 42.2 kWh battery that delivers a claimed 153 mile electric range, and an i3s version with 181 hp.
All Ratings & Reliability
2014 Redesign Year
BMW i3 2018
BMW's i3 is built from the ground up, not a conversion. It is a rear-wheel-drive, four-seat hatchback with a pair of rear-hinged back doors. The electric drive produces the equivalent of 170 hp. An optional two-cylinder engine acts as a generator to extend the range beyond the 72 miles, to about 150 total. Charge times are 4.5 hours on 240-volt circuit, through the 7.4-kW onboard charger. The car uses an aluminum frame and carbon fiber structure to reduce weight. Despite its tall stance the car is very agile. It feels quick and easy to maneuver. The pronounced deceleration when lifting off the gas pedal takes some getting used to.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2018 N/A N/A
2017 N/A N/A
2016 N/A N/A
2015 $14,050 - $17,125 $11,285 - $14,135
2014 $12,650 - $14,875 $9,850 - $11,850