Product Reviews

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The i8 is a low-slung, all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid sports car with a 129-hp electric motor powering the front wheels and a 220-hp, 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine driving the rear. Combined output is 357 hp, good for a blistering 0-60 mph run in 4.2 seconds, BMW claims. The i8 has an all-electric range of 20 miles before the gas engine kicks in, though the engine can be tapped as needed for maximum performance.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
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0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
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Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
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CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
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Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
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Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
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Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
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Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
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Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
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Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
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Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
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Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2015
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2016
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2017
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
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Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
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Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
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Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2015
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2016
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2017
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
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Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
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Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
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Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
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Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
First Drive

Shimmying beneath the stunning BMW i8's gullwing doors, and with a vivid blue light show waiting inside, you could be forgiven for a "Back to the Future" flashback. While this more than $140,000 four-seat sports car looks like a movie-set mock-up, it's actually real: a technically complex plug-in hybrid that, at the flick of a button, can switch between vegan-friendly electric athlete and snarling, kick-ass meat-eater.

BMW's new 'i' sub-brand, devoted to all-electric or plug-in hybrids, is currently represented by the small i3 EV and this soon-to-arrive i8 plug-in hybrid. BMW bills the i8 as a sports car for the future, combining high performance and super-low emissions. It's also constructed with the maximum use of sustainable materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced plastics for the cabin structure and lightweight aluminum foundations beneath. It hits the scales at about 3,300 pounds.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
coupe
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 1-speed Direct
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 3 electric (357 hp)
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