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8 Reasons to Buy a BMW i3 Right Now

BMW i3 EV

8 Reasons to Buy a BMW i3 Right Now

Key Points

  • The BMW i3 was discontinued in 2022, making it available at a lower price than ever before.
  • The BMW i3 was one of the first fully electric cars worldwide, eliminating the need for gas.
  • The BMW i3 has a stylish and futuristic design, with a two-tone color scheme and modern features.
  • The interior of the BMW i3 is made with eco-friendly materials, including vegan leather seats and wood accents from sustainable sources.
  • The BMW i3’s carbon fiber construction makes it rust-proof and lightweight, weighing 3,000 lbs or less.

The BMW i3 rocked the world of electric vehicles when it was unveiled in 2013. It was a fully electric car with a design out of a sci-fi movie, which has won many awards through the years. While it never became the success BMW hoped it would be, it stayed in production for 10 years.

During this time, it gathered praise from reviews and users alike. However, it did not come without shortcomings. The range was lackluster compared to other contemporary offerings.

Moreover, the car’s performance left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, its owners loved the i3 for its simplicity and great looks, which had nothing to envy from high-end designs like the i8.

Nowadays, the price for a BMW i3 is lower than ever. That’s why, if you’re considering buying this car, the following reasons will help you make a decision.

#1: You Can Get One at a Discount

After almost a decade in production, the BMW i3 was discontinued in 2022. While you’ll have a hard time finding a brand-new i3, there are hundreds of used ones with low mileage for you to choose from. A new model used to sell for $45,000, but nowadays you can find used ones for half that price.

Furthermore, with over 250,000 BMW i3s out there, you shouldn’t have trouble finding replacement parts. In fact, BMW simplified the car so much that, with practice, you could make the replacements yourself — even without prior knowledge.

The only item that may be expensive is a battery replacement. However, unless you buy an early model, you likely won’t run into battery issues. Each i3 comes with an eight-year guarantee. So, by the time you buy one, you’ll still be well-covered.

#2: You Won’t Have to Worry About Gas Anymore

The BMW i3 was one of the first fully electric cars worldwide. While you can charge the car at home, you can also make use of the network of Level 2 and 3 charging stations scattered across the country. Except for the Tesla Superchargers (so far, exclusive for Tesla models), you can charge the car at any station.

reasons to avoid the bmw i3
The i3 lets the owner charge the battery from a conventional wall socket.

©Gabriel Nica/Shutterstock.com

Moreover, if you use a Level 3 station, you can charge your battery to 80% within half an hour. You’ll only need gas if your i3 has a range extender, but more on that later.

#3: It’s Very Stylish

The BMW i3 was created with a modern design in mind. While it’s on the lower end compared to the company’s higher offerings, the i3’s looks aren’t dull at all. The car comes in a two-tone color scheme.

The hood, rear, and roof only come in black. But for the other panels, you can choose between red, black, and grey, among others. Ultimately, you end up with a futuristic car that manages to avoid looking out of place in the present day.

#4: It Has Eco-Friendly Materials

The futuristic style of the i3 isn’t limited to the outside: the interior is as luxurious as it can get. However, BMW refused to use animal products in this vehicle and, instead, chose vegan leather for the seats.

Additionally, the wood accents are made with eucalyptus from FSC-certified forests. Eucalyptus is one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet, so they are easily replaced.

Moreover, the interior surfaces are made of 30% kenaf fibers, and the seats with 40% pure new wool. These materials help to regulate the interior temperature while avoiding the use of plastics. As a result of these and other design choices, 95% of the car can be recycled, according to BMW.

#5: It Will Never Get Rusty

The BMW i3 was the first BMW with a body and chassis made of carbon fiber. As a result, rust can’t affect it, and it will remain pristine as long as you take care of it. 

reasons to avoid the bmw i3
BMW cited consumers’ desire for larger electric vehicles as the reason for the discontinuation of the i3.

©Roman.S-Photographer/Shutterstock.com

Moreover, the carbon fiber construction makes the car very lightweight, as it weighs 3,000 lbs or less.

#6: It Has Excellent Handling Characteristics

The low weight of the BMW i3 makes it easy to handle but very precise, despite not having a powerful engine. It’s not as high-performing as a Tesla can be, but it does the job of getting you to places without being a hassle.

In fact, many owners simply describe the car as “safe” and “simple to drive.” This is true because the car has many safety features like autonomous braking and lane-keeping assist. Such measures awarded the car a four-star rating by the Euro NCAP.

Another reason for the superb handling was the company’s focus on improving agility, as showcased by the steering system. Uniquely, BMW also focused on the car’s tires, designing a special tire for higher efficiency and improved grip. The result is an EV with fantastic traction for its price.

#7: It’s Compact But Spacious

The BMW i3 is a small car, which makes it an excellent choice for driving in the city. The compactness of its design makes it easier to maneuver and parallel park in tight spaces. Nevertheless, the interior is spacious and can fit five people comfortably.

Moreover, if you fold the rear seats down, you can haul an impressive amount of luggage for a car this size. One owner even managed to fit a bass in there.

In fact, the interior design was so impressive that other companies started copying it. That says a lot about BMW’s small but valuable model.

#8: You Can Get a Range Extender

Unfortunately for the BMW i3, its range is a weakness rather than a strength. While the i3 has a range of 150 miles, the competition can double that very easily.

However, BMW made an optional upgrade available for the i3: a range extender. Called REx, it consists of a small gas engine designed to recharge the battery when it runs too low.

The engine is the same one that’s used in the BMW C650 GT maxi-scooter, only derated to 34 hp. With this backup engine, the i3 can reach 200 miles without a recharge. However, by using REx, the i3 loses its “all-electric” title, becoming a hybrid.

Wrap Up

The BMW i3 was never at the top of its class, but it always managed to get decent grades. While it wasn’t as successful as some Tesla models, it still managed to sell a respectable number of cars, staying in production for a whole decade. Even now, it remains a good choice for anyone looking for a cheap but high-quality electric vehicle.

However, this isn’t a car for people who like speed or put range above all else. The engine was never too powerful to begin with, and even with the REx upgrade, the range remains low. Instead, this is a car for people who value comfort and simplicity the most. 

The luxurious and spacious interior makes up for a relaxing driving experience. Also, the vehicle’s mechanics are easy to maintain.

Ultimately, the BMW i3 is a dependable car for driving around without pushing too hard. It’s safe and hassle-free, and the perfect entry point to the world of electric vehicles.

Similar Vehicles

8 Reasons to Buy a BMW i3

1. It’s available at a low priceThe car was discontinued in 2022, so prices are half of what they used to be.
2. It’s fully electricUnless you get the REx range extender, the vehicle is fully dependent on electricity.
3. It’s stylishThe BMW i3 has a futuristic design not found in other low-end electric vehicles.
4. It uses eco-friendly materialsUp to 95% of the car can be recycled and the interior doesn’t use petroleum-based products.
5. It doesn’t get rustyThe BMW i3’s body is made of carbon fiber, so rust can’t affect it.
6. It has excellent handling characteristicsBMW delivered a razor-sharp steering system for the i3, including special tires.
7. It’s compact but spaciousThe BMW i3 is shorter than the Tesla Model 3 and easy to drive in tight spaces. 
8. You can get a range extenderThe 150 miles range of the standard i3 can be extended to 200 miles thanks to a gas engine that recharges the batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the BMW i3 discontinued?

According to the company, the BMW i3 was discontinued because the customers preferred larger vehicles with longer ranges. The model was replaced by the larger i4 and iX1.

Is the BMW i3 fully electric?

The base model of the BMW i3 is fully electric. Still, there’s the REx option to install a gasoline engine and extend the range.

How many years does the BMW i3 battery last?

The estimated lifespan of a BMW i3 battery is 15 years, but in reality, it’s less than that. BMW’s warranty covers the first eight years or 100,000 miles, so the battery should at least last until then.

Is the BMW i3 a plug-in hybrid?

If the BMW i3 includes the REx gasoline engine, then it is a plug-in hybrid.

Can the BMW i3 run on gas only?

The BMW i3 is fully electric, so there’s no way to run it with just gas. Moreover, the REx engine only provides electricity to the main engine, it can’t move the car on its own.

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