Used BMW i3 Is A Great Car

Used BMW i3 Is A Great Car

One of the first widely available electric cars to hit the market was the used BMW i3, which debuted in 2014. BMW has improved its range, performance, and technological features several times over the years. However, the i3’s core appeal remains the same. This is an expensive, surprisingly spacious EV  with a compact frame that makes for easy parking, and it has a luxurious interior. Additionally, a range-extender model is available with a little gasoline-powered generator that enables you to keep going even if the battery pack is completely depleted.

On the downside, the majority of more recent electric cars have surpassed the i3. For example, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y offer improved range, usefulness, and performance. Other prominent EVs include more expensive vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volvo XC40 Recharge, as well as the Kia Niro and Mini Cooper SE electric. Since BMW is preparing its i4 and iX replacements, we also anticipate that this will be the i3’s final year on the market. However, the i3 might be a viable option for city commuters.

Range and Efficiency

The standard BMW i3 uses 30 kWh of electricity for every 100 miles of driving, according to the EPA. A bit more energy is used by the i3 with the range extender: 32 kWh. Although other EVs are even more efficient, this is still fine.

The range is also not very good. The EPA estimates the ordinary i3’s range at 153 miles, which is less than most other EVs. The Range Extender model’s statistic is even lower at 126 miles, but once the generator starts up, you may travel further. The entire range is around 200 miles before you need to refill.


When the BMW i3 first came out, its pricing didn’t appear excessive given its high-end interior, modern materials, and ample feature content. However, it is no longer the coolest kid on the block with the existence of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model 3. Additionally, it isn’t the most functional or roomy. Additionally, mainstream automakers like Kia and Hyundai provide better EVs for your money.

BMW offers four years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. The first three years’ worth of maintenance is free.

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For its compactness, the i3 offers a surprisingly high level of comfort. The front seats are narrow and hard, with little lateral support and no lumbar adjustment. Although that seems like a formula for disaster on paper, BMW has managed to make them pretty comfortable to sit in. The back seats, which are more elevated, are similarly cozy.

The extremely sturdy carbon-fiber construction of the i3 virtually minimizes trembling and shaking on bumpy roads. No one would describe the ride as being soft, but the suspension does a good job of absorbing road irregularities and potholes.

The single-zone climate control system is functional, but even among standard EVs, it is simple. The fact that it adjusts in 2-degree increments makes it even weirder. With the exception of when the gas generator starts up after the battery runs out, the cabin is extremely quiet most of the time. It seems as though a little lawnmower is stalking you.

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Despite its small size, the i3 is surprisingly adult-friendly. A larger passenger cell with lots of head- and legroom can be accommodated without an engine up front. But the back only has room for two people because it is so tiny. The i3’s interior is oddly configured, but once you get used to it, the controls are simple to use.

The i3’s reverse-hinged rear doors are also unusual. They open widely to let people or parcels through, but only if there is room. 

When attempting to enter and exit congested parking lots, you’ll frequently find yourself constrained by the front and back doors. Additionally, rear passengers are unable to exit.

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There are several places to put your belongings in the cabin. Large door bins, a practical dashboard shelf, and a little bin under the front armrest are all included. In the space between the back passengers’ seats, there are two cupholders. It has a smaller trunk compared to comparable hatchbacks, but it’s still enough. The i3’s lofty roof allows the 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space to be used despite the requirement for an elevated cargo floor due to the rear-mounted electric drive motor and generator.

The i3 has unusually good access to front-facing child safety seats because of the reverse-hinged rear doors. Anchors that are conveniently accessible behind plastic covers are advantageous for the two car seat positions. A larger rear-facing seat, however, can be difficult to get and fit in.

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We don’t mind that BMW still utilizes its outdated iDrive infotainment system in the i3. In fact, it’s simpler to use than, say, the controls in a 3 Series. The typical 6.5-inch screen is very modest, particularly in light of its location behind the front passengers. Both the optional 10.25-inch screen and the Harman Kardon audio system, which has better sound quality, are favored. Because Apple CarPlay is standard, the absence of Android Auto is largely made up for by BMW’s excellent onboard phone integration software.

The i3 doesn’t have all of the newest driving aids, such as lane keeping assist, but what it does have functions well. 

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Despite being a long-standing design, the i3 nevertheless has a unique look. This electric vehicle (EV) puts the “funk” in function, and the inside appears to have been designed by architects rather than engineers. The i3 still has a unique feel to it after all this time. The i3 is swift, agile, and nimble thanks to its rear-wheel-drive chassis, lightweight design, and small size. One-pedal driving is enjoyable and effective thanks to vigorous regenerative braking and the electric motor’s excellent acceleration and largely silent ride.

The BMW i3s isn’t sporty enough to justify the extra, so go with the regular i3. To get the larger central display and additional driving assistance functions, we also advise choosing the Technology + Driving Assistant package.

If you are looking for a  tiny four-door hatchback with an all-electric drivetrain go with the BMW i3 from 2021. The standard i3 and the slightly sportier i3s are the two trims that are offered. Both come with a Range Extender that keeps you going when the primary battery drains by using a tiny two-cylinder gasoline generator and a 2.3-gallon tank. All four models include a 42 kWh battery with a range of 126 miles for the Range Extender model and 153 miles for the electric-only version.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a used BMW i3 cost?

Currently, used BMW i3s cost between $13,000 and $42,750, and their mileage ranges from 3,060 to 107,162.

Is the BMW i3 a reliable car?

The i3 placed fourth out of nine electric vehicles in its class, receiving a score of 94.1% in our most recent dependability study. A solid achievement for BMW as a brand, ranking 13th out of 30 manufacturers.

Is BMW discontinuing the i3?

As a sort of successor to the i3, BMW teases the new electric BMW iX1, which will make its appearance later this year alongside a new ICE X1. The innovative, if somewhat dated, BMW i3 will likely continue to be sold until 2024, according to BMW.

How long will a BMW i3 last?

Normal battery life for a 2021 BMW i3 is 3 to 5 years, although actual battery life might vary substantially based on the battery type, battery size, weather, and driving patterns.

How much does it cost to replace a BMW i3 battery?

A new battery for a BMW i3 typically costs between $290 and $316. While parts are priced at $191, labor costs are predicted to range between $99 and $125. Taxes and other fees are not included in this range, nor are your particular model year or geographic area taken into account. There might be more repairs required.

Can I upgrade my i3 battery?

Even though it is not a do-it-yourself project, it may be simpler than most people think. You want additional range, but the battery pack in your BMW i3 is still good. If you already have a 60 Ah unit and upgrade to a 120 Ah unit, your electric-only range will double if you have a REx model.