Move Over Tesla, the Electric 2022 BMW i4 Is Impressive
This engaging sports sedan exudes the brand’s DNA
BMW’s latest electric revolution is underway, with two new models—BMW i4 and iX—showcasing its new approach to electric vehicles. Unlike BMW’s first foray into the field in 2014, with the quirky i3 urban runabout and the esoteric i8, these new models’ look like regular BMWs but with electric power. It’s a return to the familiar that should satisfy at least some BMW loyalists.
We previously evaluated the iX luxury SUV, and now we turn our attention to the i4, a low-slung sport sedan with a coupe-like silhouette and convenient hatchback à la Tesla Model S. The i4 is essentially the EV mirror image of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door coupe that is based on the 3 Series sports sedan. (The “i” indicates electric power, and the “4” indicate the car series.)
The i4 comes in two flavors: the eDrive40, boasting 335 horsepower with rear-wheel drive and a 301-mile range. It starts at $55,400, before tax incentives. And an up-level version, like the one we rented from BMW, with a 536-hp M50 dual motor configuration that makes it an all-wheel drive but cuts the range to 270 miles.
Both versions have an 81.5-kWh battery, and an 11-kW onboard charger that allows home charging on the quick side if connected to a 48-ampere circuit. On a long trip, in public DC-fast charging, the i4 can accept up to a maximum charging output of 195 kW. That is very competitive, but it doesn’t match Tesla’s 250 kW capability for its Model 3 and Y when plugged into the latest iteration of Tesla’s Supercharger.
The i4 is technically a four-door coupe so rear seat accommodations are not high on the priority list. We found the seat very snug and thigh support was short due to the low seat. Even passengers of average height might brush the top of their heads on the headliner.